Email marketing is a constantly changing platform but make sure you’re using best practices to deliver quality content to your email subscribers! We’ve listed out ten tips to improve your next campaign:
- Clean and current list: A good email campaign is dependent on the audience receiving it. You need to know who you’re talking to in order to know what to share with them. Keep your list current, never add people that have unsubscribed back into your list, and use an email verifier tool such as BriteVerify to ensure the emails are accurate and won’t bounce. It’s bad news for you if too many emails bounce and could have an impact on whether you can send future campaigns or not. See how ISPs determine if your mail even makes it to your subsrcriber's inbox:
Photo Credit: Barber and Hewitt
- Subject line: Your subject line should both tell the reader what’s inside the email as well as create the need for them to read so they’re not missing out. You may also want to create a sense of urgency to make the email seem timely. Keep in mind that a typical desktop inbox will show roughly 60 characters of the subject line and only 25-30 on mobile devices.
- Let’s get personal: You use their name while they’re at your property so why are you still addressing them as “valued guest” in your emails? Use their first name in the email subject line or body copy! Making it more personal to the reader is a great way to capture and hold their attention. Studies have also shown that using a reader’s location can improve open rates by 65%. For example, “Hey, Jane from Phoenix!”
- Reply address: These days, no one wants to be talked to without the option to have a conversation so if you still have a firstname.lastname@example.org as the reply address for your email campaigns, you could be hurting your efforts by telling your subscribers you don’t want to hear from them but you’re going to tell them stuff anyway.
- Mobile-friendly design: Campaign Monitor has shown that from 2010 to 2015, email opens increased 30% on mobile devices. People are on the go and expect all of their communication platforms to be mobile-friendly as well. Utilize a responsive design to make sure your emails look just as good on a smartphone as they do on a desktop.
- Images are worth a thousand words: Humans process images 60,000 times faster than text and you should be using images to tell your story instead of long-form text. Use engaging and seasonally appropriate images within your email to help keep the reader’s eye moving. Email marketing professionals also recommend using white space to help break up text and images. If there’s too much going on the reader won’t know what to read or look at first. Another trend we’re watching is using GIFs (animated images) in emails.
- And your point is? Get to the point and fast. If you need more text to tell your story, utilize read more buttons and direct them to your website to continue reading longer sections of your email. People want to be able to scan your email for topics that may interest them. Also, keep your fonts a bit larger than you’d think is necessary. Headlines should be at least a 22 point font and body copy at 14 points. Apple devices automatically resize emails when the font is less than 12 points.
- Give them an action: If you’re offering a promotion you should encourage them act! Using buttons like “Book Online” or “Reserve Now” are becoming industry standard, especially with the move to mobile-friendly. Buttons should be at least 44 x 44 pixels, as suggested by Apple and the fact that that size makes it easier to tap, and the color should stand out. It’s preferable to use contrasting colors in emails, but we understand when clients prefer to use their brand colors. Just make sure the button looks like a button and it’s a clear call to action.
- Unsubscribe: Though we hate to see people go, we need to make an unsubscribe link prominent so they know how to opt-out of future emails. Do not hide this text or make it hard to read, but we’re also not saying put it in the header of your email. Make sure you have the option available to your subscribers though to follow email marketing regulations and best practices in general.
- A/B Test: Like anything in life, we only get better with practice and understanding what works best for us. A/B testing is critical to get a better understanding of what your subscribers want or how to get their attention. There are four common A/B tests you can run, such as testing subject line, whom the email is from, content, and send time. Did you know that Google ran thousands of tests to determine which shade of blue its users preferred? Now that’s dedication to A/B testing.
What tips would you share with fellow hoteliers about email marketing best practices? Tell us below!