Crabtree + Company's Online Reputation Management (ORM) Series
Part Three: Emails and Eblasts
Welcome to the third edition of our ORM series. The focus of today’s post — eblasts.
There’s never a bad time to launch an email marketing campaign, but with the holidays and end-of-year-appeals season upon us, it's the perfect time to review this list of best practices and friendly reminders.
1. Subject lines matter.
They’re the first thing your audience sees — and they often determine if your eblast gets read or trashed. Winning subject lines are brief, because on many devices longer ones get cut off. Craft a subject line that pulls your readers in: pique their curiosity, initiate a story, or create a sense of urgency that drives them to read on and take action.
2. Maintain a good marketing list.
Make it easy for new people to subscribe from your website or on social media. Be sure you have permission to email everyone on your list. Include a visible unsubscribe link at the bottom of your email, and make sure people who unsubscribe don't get emailed again. Email marketing platforms like ConstantContact and MailChimp make it easy to manage lists and unsubscribes, and typically have an unsubscribe link built into their email templates.
3. Your eblast should be direct, concise, and have value or a call to action.
Provide useful content for which your readers will be thankful. (We hope you'll find this content valuable, and if you need help with your own emails, take action and call us!)
4. Don't skip holiday greetings or end-of-year messages.
Tis the season to spread the love to your clients. Sharing your appreciation for their business is a great way to strengthen the relationship and keep a good thing going into the new year.
And if you don’t have an end-of-year message, it’s not too late. Crabtree + Company creates memorable and meaningful holiday messages — let us craft your perfect holiday eblast.
5. Be mobile-friendly.
Start with a mobile-friendly template from ConstantContact or MailChimp to be sure everything looks good on all platforms and devices. Test on a phone and tablet and adjust as needed. Keep font sizes above 14 points to ensure readability. And use images sparingly — with alt text included for each image in case your reader’s device doesn’t display them.
6. Keep an eye on your email marketing stats.
Your open rate, bounce rate, unsubscribe rate, and more can be viewed from the dashboard of ConstantContact, Mailchimp, Emma, or whatever platform you use. These companies also provide average rates by industry — so you can look up your industry and see how you’re doing amongst your peers.
7. HTML or plain text?
HTML emails have numerous advantages over plain text emails such as color, text formatting, hyperlinks, and the use of images. Although some people prefer plain text, most people want to quickly scan an email and move on — and emails with formatting and images can be processed faster. Some email services (like MailChimp) automatically generate a text only version of each email. This can be helpful, as some email clients do give users the option of receiving plain-text only. But in recent years, plain text has become less and less common.
We hope these pointers have helped you prepare to launch your next email marketing campaign. And if there’s anything we can do to help make it a success, we’re ready. Call us at 703.241.9001, or visit us online.
Up next, Part Four of Crabtree + Company’s ORM series: Website Security.