Author: Vishal Yagnik

Vishal Yagnik is heading Production at InboxArmy, an email marketing agency. Vishal's hobby is to share his insight with fellow marketers and is an avid but silent blogger. With his all of technical, agency and customer side experience, he brings unique and deep understanding to email marketing that combines best practices with actual-tested strategies and disposition in real world cases.
Increase Email Open Rates with Engaging Subject Lines

Increase Email Open Rates with Engaging Subject Lines

How many times have you deleted an email just because of its vague, purposeless, and boring subject line?

Your subject line can determine whether your email gets opened with intrigue or hits the trash bin in a flash. In fact:

email subject lines

So, let’s discuss some best practices for writing subject lines that can ensure more opens, better engagement, and more successful email marketing campaigns.

1. Keep an eye on the number of characters

There’s no “right” subject line length, but the safest bet is to keep it as short and concise as possible. This is particularly important to keep in mind for your mobile email viewers where subject line truncation comes into effect.

Try to cut down on characters without changing the meaning. For example, instead of “Half Price,” you can write “50% off.”

Pro Tip: Utilize your preheader text to convey more information and add more “oomph” to your main CTA.

2. Take a descriptive approach (that matches your brand personality)

Sometimes, a descriptive subject line that clearly conveys the purpose of the email brings better results than a fancy one. Just make sure it matches your brand personality.

I recently received an email from Terrain with the subject line

“An all-weather sofa for outdoor rooms.”

Simple, yet engaging.

Chubbies sends out emails with “funny” or “unorthodox” subject lines every once in a while. Check out this subject line:

“Me to me: Open one more”

The From Name on this email jumped out at me as well:

Me: You opened enough emails today (info@chubbiesshorts.com)

This would certainly pop out of the cacophony that is my inbox. You can see if a similar approach works for your brand!

Pro Tip: It was disclosed at Email Evolution Conference (1-3 May 2017) at New Orleans that there is no such things as trigger words anymore.

3. Personalize your subject line

“Hey *YourName*! Exclusive 50% off for you”

Seeing your name in a subject line is a great way for marketers to grab your attention. It always feels good to be addressed by your name rather than a simple “Hey”.

Subject lines personalized with a recipient’s first name can lift open rates by 20%. Using personalization as part of automated email programs is also a great way to get your exclusive birthday discounts or cart abandonment emails to stand out.

Pro Tip: You can even use the recipient’s location in the subject line to add a more “local” feel.

4. Make wise use of emojis

When done strategically, emojis can add a visual appeal to your email and subject line.

Use emojis that are relevant to your offer. Avoid over-emoji-ing your subject line and email content. Moreover, make sure that the emojis you do use render correctly across the email clients used by your subscribers.

Pro Tip: Employ A/B testing with one subject line with an emoji and one without.

5. Add “emotion” to your subject line

Humans often get carried away by emotions, don’t we? Use emotional appeal to get your subscribers to open your email. Don’t sound too desperate or pushy but subtly convey a sense of urgency through the subject line.

Create the “Fear Of Missing Out” by choosing the right words. Have a look at this subject line by Travelocity:

“Rooms are booking up fast! Find great hotel deals now >>”

Pro Tip: Don’t use too many exclamation marks or CAPS LOCK in the subject line as it turns the subscribers off.

Final Thoughts:

Keep your subject lines long enough to bring your offer or necessary information to the table, but short enough to arouse interest and curiosity with your subscribers. When in doubt, test your subject lines and determine what types of subject lines work with your mailing list, and what types simply don’t.

Need help with your email marketing subject line strategy? InboxArmy can offer you email marketing strategy packages within your budget that can help boost ROI. Learn more now >>

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top 9 email rendering challenges

Top 9 Tips to Overcome Email Rendering Challenges

Every email client renders your email template design and code differently. This presents a major challenge for email marketers who obviously desire to deliver flawlessly designed and rendered email marketing campaigns.

Subscribers simply don’t have patience for poor design and rendering. Let’s take a quick look at how to overcome common rendering challenges so that you can deliver perfect email marketing campaigns to your subscribers.

Here are our top 9 quick tips:

  1. Don’t place calls to action in background images.
  2. Avoid using “float” and “clear” coding – use hard line breaks instead.
  3. Standard bullets are better than custom bullets.
  4. Use alt tags on all images and rely on HTML text for CTAs.
  5. Use HTML tables rather than div tags for message layouts.
  6. Use Inline CSS instead of CSS stylesheets.
  7. Use web-safe fonts like Arial, Tahoma, and Courier.
  8. Specify widths and heights in pixels, not percentages.
  9. Don’t use JavaScript.

Want a deeper dive into this topic? Download our “Foundations of Effective Email Creative” eBook (part of our Foundations of Email Marketing series) and get those details as well as testing ideas and a review of how subscribers encounter your email.

Download Ebook Now

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The Foundations of Email Marketing - Email Creative

The Foundations of Effective Email Creative

One email can make or break you when it comes to your customers and subscribers. That’s why it’s so critical for your email designs and code to not only match your brand (the look of your website, etc.), but also be built on proper foundations for the inbox experience in terms of rendering and use.

As part of our continuing series on The Foundations of Email Marketing, we’ve put together this eBook on the Foundations of Effective Email Creative. In this eBook, you’ll learn:

  1. How Subscribers Encounter Your Email
  2. 9 Tips to Overcome Common Email Rendering Challenges
  3. Email Testing Ideas You Can Implement Now

Grab a copy of the eBook now so your email creative and strategy can continue to enhance your customer experience and drive more conversions.

Download Ebook Now

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email marketing list

Building Your Email Marketing Mailing List

One of the prime purposes of any good digital marketing campaign is to get subscribers and customers to join your email marketing list. The key here is to BUILD an email marketing list organically—we never recommend buying an email list. Your list should only have contacts who have granted you permission to email them and therefore expect to hear from you.

So, what can you do to build your email marketing list organically?

  • Produce content that your target audience wants to read and engage with.
  • Make sure your email signup box is easy to find and consistently designed.
  • Ask for the email address from your customers every chance you get, whether it’s customer service calls, tradeshows, conferences, or contests and campaigns run on social networking sites.
  • Leverage partner websites and have a co-marketing offer with them. You can find new target audiences by doing so.
  • Incentivize your best subscribers and customers to help you spread the word about your company to their near and dear ones. Word of mouth is the best marketing channel to build up your email list.
  • Optimize your landing pages to drive conversions.

Your email list is priority #1 when it comes to driving higher revenue from your email marketing strategy.

Learn more about how you can build your mailing list, optimize your landing pages, and dive into your list sources in the first eBook in our “Foundations of Email Marketing” series:

Foundations of Email Marketing - Download Ebook

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Separate Your Marketing and Transactional Emails

Separate Your Marketing And Transactional Emails for Better Email Deliverability

Every email you send affects your deliverability either in a positive or negative way.

There are two general types of emails: Marketing Emails and Transactional Emails:

1. Marketing emails include “mass” message with the purpose of promoting a product or service. (This is also an important distinction in terms of anti-spam laws.)

2. Transactional emails include purchase confirmation emails, sign-up registration emails with activation links, invoices, password reset emails, shipping confirmation emails, and other notifications.

Your transactional emails should be considered “urgent” and priority #1 in terms of getting into the inbox. The quantity of these messages is generally low (at least on a day-by-day basis), and yet need to be delivered as soon as possible after the transaction is complete.

It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but your marketing emails can seriously affect the possibility of your transactional emails being delivered. Why?

  • Your marketing emails will generally be sent out to a large(r) number of subscribers.
  • Your email server may require a significant amount of time to process and deploy all messages.
  • Marketing messages receive a much higher percentage of spam complaints, blocks, and unsubscribes.

Why would this matter to your transactional messages?

  • Your transactional emails may get delayed by getting stuck behind large marketing message sends.
  • Your transactional emails may get flagged as spam because your marketing messages have received large numbers of complaints.
  • Your marketing message mailing list may be filled with bad email addresses and un-engaged subscribers.

Why do we bring all of this up? Because if you can maintain the infrastructure, you should keep your marketing and transactional emails separate.

How can you separate your marketing emails from key transactional emails?

  1. Use separate IP addresses for your marketing and transactional emails.
  2. Use different domain or subdomain names in the “From” and “Reply-to” email addresses.
  3. Send your emails from different servers to prevent blacklisting and throughput issues.

Takeaway:

Separating commercial and transactional email streams is crucial to ensuring timely delivery of all your important email messages. Achieve this through separate sender and delivery profiles created to manage commercial and mission-critical emails.

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Event Email Marketing

Effective Pre-Conference / Event Email Marketing Tips

When it comes to conferences and events, most businesses spend much of their time planning everything that revolves around the physical booth. They tend to overlook the value of pre-conference marketing.

Pre- event email marketing is the perfect way to create awareness about your brand’s conference presence and an essential vehicle to boost booth visits and participation. Here are some email marketing tips to hit a home run at your next conference/event: 

Building Your Pre-Conference Target List

Here are 4 ways you can get contacts for your mailing list:

  1. Through Social Media – You can tap the individuals who have confirmed their attendance on the Facebook page of the conference organizers or through the Twitter hashtag for the show.
  2. From Attendee Lists– If you get an attendee list from the organizers, you can do research to find the relevant contacts and add them to your list.
  3. Your Local Clients– If you have clients in the local area of the show, invite them to come to the show and visit your booth along the way.
  4. From Event Landing Page Appointments– You can email to those who have given their email address to book an appointment at the conference booth.

 

Tapping the Right Pulse Matters: What and When to Send

When to start sending your email campaigns may depend on the nature of the event/ conference you’re attending. Some conferences sell out quickly and early, so your event email marketing campaigns can start earlier—perhaps a month or two out.

Some conferences sell tickets to walk-ins, so starting a campaign too early may not be that beneficial. For those conferences, starting your email campaign two weeks out may be a good place to start.

No matter when you start, at least one email campaign is a must. Ideally, your email strategy should revolve around a series of emails, preferably personalized.

First Email

The first email would be an announcement + invitation email. This includes when and where the conference is, what it is about, and why you have booked a booth there.

You can include options to book appointments with your representatives at the conference. You can also highlight any incentives or giveaways you might be featuring.

Second Email

The second email will provide further details about your company and what attendees can expect. Flaunt the freebies you’ll be giving away. If you’re offering free consultations, offer reminder. If one of your representatives will be speaking at the conference, showcase that session as a reason to come say hello.

Final Pre-Conference Email

From a week until 24 hours before the event, send a reminder or two to clients about visiting your booth or to confirm appointments. You can also help by providing a booth location map, parking information, etc.

The number of emails you send is ultimately up to you. A few things to consider as you plan your campaign:

  1. Your list won’t be perfect in terms of whether the folks you add to your list are actually attending. Make sure you have strong, working unsubscribes and adjust your expectations for engagement accordingly.
  2. Focus on creating brand awareness. Your brand logo, colors, and themes will help attendees remember who you are and know what to look for when they arrive into exhibition hall.
  3. Include pictures of your booth from past events and quotes from previous attendees to boost impressions from first-time attendees.
  4. Provide a link to a dedicated event landing page (discussed below). 

Create a Designated Event Landing Page

As a best practice, create a landing page that provides detailed information about your booth at the conference. You can have CTAs that take email recipients to this landing page through your emails.

A landing page can divulge:

  • Details of what they can expect of you at the event
  • Details of the individuals they will find at your booth
  • How one can book an appointment with you at the booth

You can also incorporate a countdown timer on the landing page to communicate the time left for the event to start.

Leverage Social Media, Too

Connecting on social media with those who are attending the conference is yet another way to get a head start ahead of the conference. Ideally, your social media campaign should embrace 3 strategies:

  • Creating a brand image
  • Targeting influencers
  • Listening to what others in the group are saying 

Pre-Conference Email Ideas

Check out this pre-conference email created by InboxArmy that has really helped our client.

Email Marketing

 

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Holiday Email Templates

10 Awe-inspiring Holiday Email Templates Inspirations

Holidays are all about getting in the mood to have some serious FUN!

The excitement of the commencing holidays is reflected even in an email marketer’s emails. As they pack their bags to zip off for a well-deserved vacation, it’s time we gather up some of the best holiday email templates that reflect the essence of ‘the holidays’ in full swing.

Check out these inspirational holiday email marketing email examples:

BRAND: VANS

The “Free Shipping Day” grabs the attention on the first sight. It is also showcased in a graphically well-presented way. The clean and simple CTA category of a few top selling products and suggestions is displayed. It shows the right time to order, taking care of the holiday delivery deadline date, and the timeline creates transparency and a trust factor.

Holiday email templates_Vans

BRAND: TOMS

A good pre-header text on the top along with a highlighted ‘free shipping’ tab in the top navigation bar gives an impactful look. The “12 days of giving” campaign is simple and clear along with an Offer description with a bold green CTA that is standing out. A unique use of the tag hanging on the date strip with another bold green CTA provides other information as well. The product image is in a 2D effect that’s separately standing out and is equally noticeable.

Holiday email inspirations_Toms

BRAND: TILLY’S

A nice gift card mailer for last minute shoppers. The adorable looking French bulldog pup with a glowing Rudolph red nose gives it a merry start to the email. They haven’t highlighted ‘free shipping’ as this email is only promoting gift cards.

Holiday email inspirations_Tillys

BRAND: TIFFANY & CO.

Just a shipping FYI mailer that is simple yet striking. The classic Tiffany&Co blue box gift wreath as the design is very attractive. The text is simple and concise giving the required information.

Holiday email templates_Tiffany

BRAND: STARBUCKS

A simple and sober design with a snowy white background. The Offer text is highlighted in the strip informing about the timeline. They haven’t used any CTA as it doesn’t even require one. However, what’s missing is social sharing icons.

Holiday email templates_Starbucks

BRAND: MOMENT

A simple gift card mailer with a strong question at the opening that connects perfectly with last minute and confused shoppers. The email is minimal and is in dual colors giving a heightened impact. The bold CTA followed with a THANK YOU message underneath is a great way to connect with the customers.

Holiday email marketing_Moment

BRAND: LORD&TAYLOR

A great pre-header text with a rather unusual ‘share this’ widget in the top right corner. The usual category mailer with a zig-zag styling product display. The “Big Sale” text at the bottom of the email with Offer details and more navigation bars, which is something different.

Holiday email marketing_Lord&Taylor

BRAND: J.CREW

The bold discount text at the beginning of the email is a great way to attract the customer at ‘first glance’. The email is in a zig-zag pattern with category options and relevant images. At the footer, highlighting “12 days of deals” with a different font and color is making it look very attractive compared to the other discount information and the CTAs.

Holiday email marketing_J-Crew-Factory

BRAND: BODEN

Boden email has a good use of the pre-header text for better opens as it’s carrying a nice strip showcasing the ‘discount’ and ‘free shipping’. It’s a creatively nice email with bold CTAs at the end and a catchy introductory text.

Holiday email templates_Boden

BRAND: BHLDN

A perfect example of a non-promotional email. The email is loaded with wishes for the subscribers. A good fascinating and interesting use of GIF and fonts. It looks like a perfect casual holiday wishing note.

Holiday email examples_BHLDN

Another email just wishing the subscribers for the holidays with a ‘no selling’ agenda. The pretty creative is flowing with words from top to bottom as they blend in within the creative and socials at the bottom.

Holiday email templates_Bhildn

Final Thoughts

Holiday emails are all about having fun with the design and words. They usually don’t have to have a promotional or sales agenda. Sometimes just the wishes work their wonders.

Here’s wishing you a happy holiday!

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Cart Abandonment Email

Cart Abandonment Emails: Weapon for E-commerce Business

Cart abandonment is a nightmare for e–commerce marketers. According to a 2016 statistical report by SaleCycle, cart abandonment rates have reached a whopping 74.52%. And the numbers could keep rising with the holiday season drawing near—a time that is supposed to be “kingmaker” for marketers.

There are numerous reasons why customers abandon their carts. A top trending reason is high shipping costs or no ‘free shipping’.

This is where cart abandonment email come to the rescue.

Cart abandonment emails that have the following can really boost your business and win back customers:

  • Personalization
  • Reminder of the products
  • Tempting offers & free shipping
  • Attractive CTAs
  • Timing and frequency of the email
  • Series of emails

To understand the nitty-gritty of each revenue-boosting component, take a look at our amazing and creative cart abandonment emails Infographic.

View Infographic

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