When someone signs up for your email list, they’re entrusting you with something sacred: their personal inbox. Everyone wants the emails they receive to be relevant and engaging, because if they aren’t, we unsubscribe — so if your business deploys email without proper strategizing and best practices, your email endeavors have a good chance of falling on deaf ears. Here are a few tips for building effectual email campaigns that delight your audience and drive conversions.
1. Use an image-based layout.
A collage of photos with a few graphic call-outs will usually do the trick, especially among clothing and style brands. This style can produce a high-impact, stylish email, great for high end luxury or brands. But these can be hard to make if you don’t have a team of designers and coders to create the graphics and map or slice the images to build click regions in the email (see, it already sounds like a pain!).Instead, if you’re using a service like MailChimp, try stacking several image blocks together, or experimenting with a tiled mix of images and text boxes with colored backgrounds and/or borders to create the same effect.
2. Always be sure to include alt text for every image.
Alt text displays if a subscriber’s email service blocks images. This way, they’ll know they’re missing something and can turn images on or visit your email archive page.
3. Try sending targeted, re-engagement offers.
The basic idea is to offer something special and exclusive to a past guest or customer who you haven’t seen in a while. Using personalization features like their first name, a date of their last stay, and a conversational tone helps these offers be successful.
4. Stop looking at other people’s rules for best times to send your emails.
Everyone else is doing this, too — weekdays at 10 am is when most people start to get online. We’ve seen great success when sending at more unusual or simply less popular days and times. Experiment with this for your own audience, and consider sending later in the evening or early in the morning on weekdays, or on weekend afternoons. And, sign up for your competitors’ emails to know when theirs typically hit inboxes.
5. Get creative with segmentation and plan ahead.
When you first start publicizing your email list, set up your segmentation questions and preference selection first so all new subscribers can opt in. It’s much more difficult to get existing subscribers to update their preferences (though you can help this by offering an incentive for updating, a coupon or giveaway). If you’re using MailChimp, their Goal Tracking feature (coupled with Google Analytics) allows you to use subscriber’s website activity to build segments of your list.