Email marketing in 2017 is going to get more and more competitive. The leading financial services and Fintech companies are setting strong email marketing best practices for 2017 to win more conversions and close more sales.
With so many new digital marketing channels available, nothing comes close to email marketing in terms of:
- Engaging in conversations with your hottest leads
- Showing the authority of your business and staff
- Being the thought leader in your industry
- Successfully retaining more clients
- Customer acquisition
- Ensuring new leads do not slip through the cracks when your sales team are busy
So let’s dive in and uncover the top email marketing best practices you can employ in 2017.
1. Keep your emails simple
Time is precious. In particular, your potential clients’ time is precious.
Therefore, focus on delivering your key messages in the most efficient way possible.
The goal of the email is to earn the click through. So before writing up your emails, answer this one question.
If this email could achieve one thing, what would it be?
Some refer to this as the ‘Most Wanted Response’ or MWR.
By focusing on the most wanted response, you can remove a lot of the clutter in the email and get straight to the point.
2. Inspire your subscriber to open your emails with a compelling subject line
Remember the days when people used to read their physical mail over a bin? One of most widely used marketing methods in the 80’s and 90’s was direct mail.
People used to get inundated with junk mail, so they used to sit down with a bin between their legs as they read their mail.
Junk mail – bin. More junk mail – bin.
The 2017 version of this is the delete key.
Picture each one of your subscribers as they sit at their computer ready to view their emails.
But picture them with their finger sitting directly over the DELETE key.
The delete key is the 2017 version of opening your mail over a bin.
Therefore it is essential you create the most powerful headline you can to earn the open.
Your first goal is to inspire your prospect to open their email so they can read your compelling email.
How to write a powerful subject line
- Write down 25 subject line ideas before you choose the final winner
- Make sure the most compelling reason to view the email is in the subject line
- Create curiosity and pique their interest
- Keep it short
- Try A/B testing to determine the ultimate winner
In 2017, the marketing automation platforms and email service providers allow you to A/B test your subject lines.
You can even run the test on a list and let the software pick the best subject line. It will then automatically email the rest of the list with the winning subject line.
Gotta love automation. What a time we live in.
Despite this automation, isn’t it crazy how busy the marketing team is all the time?
3. Create focused call to actions in your emails
This email marketing tip is simple. Don’t confuse your prospects with multiple call-to-action options.
The answer to the MWR mentioned above should guide all your hyperlinks and CTA buttons.
Focus on the number 1 result you want from the email and make sure every CTA directs them there.
When it comes to effective webinars and seminars, the old rule of thumb is to tell them what you are going to say, tell them and then tell them what you just said.
Human beings are simple creatures.
We need to hear things multiple times before it registers as something we should do.
We find the best solution for higher email click through rates is to provide three options to click from the email.
How should I create my email links?
We find contextual hyperlinks work well. If you have a graphics department and they have a suite of CTA buttons, then use them. Our preference is contextual hyperlinks.
Every person reading gets inspired by different things.
Three links provide the opportunity to find a compelling reason to click for each type of person.
4. Review your automated email follow up sequences
When was the last time you subscribed to your email list and got the follow-up email series?
Maybe 12 months? Two years perhaps?
We know the hard truth too well.
Marketing departments are usually quite lean, and the daily to-do list is gigantic. There just isn’t enough time in the day.
However, in 2017, reviewing your automated follow-up emails is critical. You can watch the video below to find out more.
Get one of your team to subscribe to your email sequences every six months and see if the content and CTAs are still relevant.
Your next job is to find the holes that need fixing or re-write your 2017 automated follow-ups.
Keep your emails current and keep them up to date.
5. Keep your email list clean
Open rates, spam and junk mail. Arghh. So annoying.
Your focus in 2017 is to maximise your email open rates.
To get the best email open rates, you must clean up your email list.
How frequently do you remove the hard bounces? You know, those emails you deliver to someone who no longer works at the company, like Peter@companyXYZ.com?
Most email programs allow you to filter for hard bounces.
Do a quick review of the list. See if some of the emails are missing data and fix them up. You might notice it
You might notice it misspelt with .comau instead of .com.au for example.
Otherwise, cull them. Delete them. Get rid of them. You don’t need them on your email list.
If you do not get rid of them, then your open rate KPI is going to suffer. It is impossible for a hard bounce to have a positive open rate. Simple.
6. Build your email list using lead magnets
What’s the point of having the best email subject line, the best email copy and the best email CTAs if you have a small email list?
In 2017, you must aggressively build your email list for your email marketing strategy to work.
How do you build a strong email list in 2017?
Value, value and more value.
Offer your potential subscribers the most value you can in the form of:
- Content upgrades
- Downloadable guides
- Handy checklists
- A how-to video series
The assets mentioned above must all be presented in a landing page for lead generation.
Why you must create more landing pages for lead generation
Hubspot ran an analysis on 7,000 companies to realise there was little to no jump in leads for those who moved from 1-5 or 6-10 landing pages.
However, those companies who increased the number of landing pages from 10-15 saw a 55% increase in the number of leads.
In fact, the next massive leap in lead generation from landing pages was when companies had 40 landing pages.
It goes without saying, you need more landing pages if you are going to drive more email leads in 2017.
7. Introduce gifs to your email marketing to grab attention
Ok. So this is more of a fun one. Particularly for those who are good with design and love to be creative.
Instead of using a static image, introduce a gif where appropriate to your email marketing.
We did this for one of the financial services companies we worked with. Instead of putting an image of the latest morning video report, we created a gif to go in the newsletter. The gif caught people’s eyes.
We received some email replies immediately. Some responded to let us know it looks great. Others wanted to know how we did it and how they could do it.
So you could say gifs work.
Some of you may be thinking ‘it won’t work in our industry’.
But we created a weekly global market video covering Forex, Indices, Commodities and stocks. Finance is one of the more traditional industries, but it worked for us.
How to create a gif for your email:
We like to keep things very simple. We used a program (and still do) called igifmaker. You run the video, place igifmaker over the top and record the section you want. Gee whiz, this email marketing is easy, right?
Will 2017 be the year you truly maximise your email marketing?
Hopefully, the seven email marketing best practices tips mentioned here help you and the team to more success in 2017.
Why not sit down with your team and note what success will look like and map out a plan to achieve it.
There is no doubt email will continue to be the number 1 sales and online conversion tool for many industries, but in particular the finance industry.
So get your email marketing shoes on and wring every last drop out of your email marketing opportunities.
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You spent way too long creating an impressive email campaign for 70% NOT to open it. Use this simple tip to boost your email open rates by 58%.