Email marketing is one of the easiest and most effective marketing tools you should have in your marketing arsenal.

Email marketing’s high impact, low cost approach helps you easily connect with your audience and promote your brand, business and increase sales simply by sending an email packed full of information, news or new product details.

There are so many email building websites you can use to send out superb marketing email, MailChimp is probably the most well known of all.

They have templates that you can edit to make it look like an extension of your own website, or just to give you an idea for how to create your own bespoke layout.

Does email marketing work?

It is certainly cost efficient in that you you can probably do it for free, or if you have to pay for it, a study by DMA found that for every £1 spent it had a return on investment of £38. That is not to be sneered at.

All you have to do is get customers to give you their email address.

And here is where you have to be strategic in order to increase CPA and open rates of emails, especially given the volume of emails that we all receive each and every day from other companies trying to vye for our attention.

How to build an email list

The key here is to offer customers something that they absolutely have to have. Gone are the days of people simply giving their email addresses away to just anyone.

People are savvy, they know the value of their information, so they guard it closely.

You have to give them something so valuable in return they will eagerly hand over their email address in exchange.

1. Have a sign up sheet

If you’re at an event, trade show, sampling, community event, party, wherever you are, have a signup sheet and encourage people to jot down their details.

2. Business cards

Swap your business card with theirs - your email address for theirs, it’s easy and everyone wins.

Alternatively place a box or bowl for people to drop their business cards into if you’re at an event. Give them an incentive such as a valuable prize they could potentially win when you pull a random card out of the bowl at the end of the day - a huge reward for such little effort.

3. Organise a giveaway

Use a direct mail marketing campaign to ask people to sign up for further information and by doing so they are automatically entered into a prize draw to win something awesome.

4. Optimise your website

Include a ‘sign up here’ button on your website and again, encourage people to sign up in exchange for something truly fantastic that they just absolutely have to have, in exchange for handing over their details.

5. Start a blog

Create such fabulous content that your readers must have it direct to their inbox every time you post something new. An email address for free information? Bargain.

At the end of every blog post include a call to action to get readers to sign up to receive more information or to leave a comment.

How to increase email open rates

Now that you have your email marketing list of recipients, you don’t want people to unsubscribe straightaway nor redirect your email to junk or the trash. Neither do you want to gain a reputation as that company who spams people with needless information on a regular basis.

Before you begin to increase open rates you’ll want to know what your current open rate is. Know that in 2017, the average open rate across all industries was 24.7%.

So how do you increase your email open rates?

The key is to stand out from the crowd (it also matters what day you send your email on).

  1. According to research, the best day to send an email marketing message is a Tuesday.
  2. Lure readers in with an engaging subject line. They will have to click on your email to find out more. Research found that using a movie title or song lyric increased opening rates by 26%.
  3. Don’t ‘dear all’. No one wants to be mass spammed, at least make it personal if you’re going down that route. Alter the settings so that people, when they sign up, give you their first name so you can direct your email personally to them. Then write the body of the email as if you are writing just to them.
  4. Don’t spam people unnecessarily. If you have lots of little bits of news to get out there, save them and include it all in one catch-all email. Include in that email specific call to actions for each piece of news if you have to. That way recipients can choose what they want to click through to, rather than just being given one option per email.
  5. Use a personal email address to send your emails from, don’t send them from a generic company account. You’ll get a 35% higher open rate if you do.