Did you miss #ContentWritingChat this week? Before you hit “send” on your next email newsletter, get caught up with our recap and brush up on your email marketing skills.

#ContentWritingChat May 31 2016 Recap: A Crash Course on Email Marketing & Scheduling

This week, Olivia Dello Buono was our guest host. Olivia is the Social Media Specialist for AWeber. She shared her tips and tricks for writing amazing emails. You won’t want to miss them!

Q1: How important is it for a business to have an email list? What benefits does it provide?

Should every business have an email list? And how important is email marketing? To find out the benefits of having an email list for your business, check out these answers:

As Olivia pointed out, there’s a lot of noise happening online these days. It can be hard to break through all of that and stand out! Your email list provides a good way to push through the noise and connect with your subscribers. And who could argue with that ROI?

Kristen is a Content Marketing Specialist at AWeber, so it’s no surprise she knows the impact email marketing can have! Not only will your email list get you a high ROI, but it’s also a great way to connect with your audience.

As Sarah from ThinkSEM said, an email list is graet for keeping you in front of your clients. Your email list allows you to stay top of mind for them when they see you pop up in their inbox. What’s the key thing to remember? If you’re going to create an email list, you need to actually USE IT.

Scott knows an email list provides a simple, yet effective, way for you to keep in touch with people. You can easily send a mass email out to your list and reach thousands of inboxes.

Varun views an email list as your own personal social media network. That’s a great way to look at it right? It allows you to connect and engage with your audience, while giving you the chance to convert them into loyal customers. That’s a huge plus!

As Jacob said, once you get your list going, you can segment, target, and test to create the right emails for your audience. This is essential if you want to make sure you’re giving your audience the exact content they’re looking for.

Our CEO, Julia, knows email lists are crucial. Use your list to communicate with your audience and build rapport, which are essential if you want to succeed in business.

Q2: How do you get people to sign-up for your email list?

Once you’ve started your list, it’s time to get those subscribers! How do you do it? Start implementing these tips:

The inbox has become a sacred place for many. Not everyone is quick to hand over their email address, so you better give them something good in return. Olivia recommends providing an incentive for signing up. If you can give your audience high-value content in exchange for their email, you’re golden.

Focus on adding value if you want to snag those subscribers! Liz (also a Content Marketing Specialist at AWeber) suggests offering a webinar, a guide, or even an email course to increase sign-ups.

Get creative with your opt-in incentive! There are so many things you can offer to people who subscribe to your list. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and test a few things to see what converts the best.

Q3: What are some tips for writing great email subject lines?

When it comes to email subject lines, you want to make sure they’re great in order to encourage people to open. How do you do that? Check out these tips:

Olivia said to keep it short, sweet, and to the point. Keep your subject lines relevant and let people know exactly what they’ll find if they open it.

Jane recommends keeping your subject titles consistent with the voice you typically write in. You might want to consider adding an emoji, too! It’s an easy way to help your email stand out in a crowded inbox.

It looks like Olivia is a fan of emojis as well! Have you used them in your email marketing?

Alberto said to play with your audience’s curiosity. Use your subject line to intrigue them and make them want to open your email. A question is always a nice way to do this.

What’s Kyle’s advice? Keep it simple! Use your subject line to refer to something your audience wants to know more about. It helps if you have a good understanding of exactly who your audience is, which is why you really need to get to know them.

Cheryl is also a fan of keeping it on the shorter side. She reports that data suggests 40-50 characters works best.

Jacob knows testing is key. What works for your audience might not work for someone else’s audience. Don’t be afraid to change it up and test different subject lines to see which ones get the most opens. A/B split testing is extremely helpful for this.

Great advice from Jenn: don’t think you have to be perfect. As she said, testing is important to see what works the best in the end.

Great answer, Scott! Before you hit that send button, ask yourself if you would open the email with your chosen subject line. If the answer is no, odds are your subscribers won’t open it either.

One final thing to keep in mind: never mislead your subscribers. Don’t title your email subject something that’s unrelated to the content of your email. It’s tricking your subscribers. They won’t stick around long if you keep that up.

Q4: What kind of content should you send to your email subscribers?

You’ve got the subscribers, but what should you send them? Here’s what some participants from Tuesday’s chat had to say:

Olivia said to keep in mind the goals you have for your email list. Make sure you’re delivering exactly what you promised your subscribers when they signed up.

Kristen recommends sending some of your best evergreen content from your blog. The great thing about evergreen content is that it never gets outdated. It’s always relevant to your audience. Repurpose your best blog posts by turning them into emails.

Pratik said to send content that’s engaging, highly relevant, and rewarding. Great answer!

To put it simply, you need to know your audience. Your emails should contain the type of content your audience is looking for. Give them what they want consistently and they’ll be happy to stick around. Spot on, Sarah!

If you’re struggling to figure out what your audience wants, all you have to do is ask. They’re the best ones to tell you what they’d like to see in your emails. Create a survey, send it to them, and watch the responses roll in. Just make sure you act on those responses when you receive them.

As Jenn said, make sure you deliver on whatever it was you promised to your audience when they subscribed. If you send unrelated content, you’ll be sure to see a lot of unsubscribes.

Jeremy said to make sure your email content is compatible with your audience, their needs, and their email systems. That’s key!

Not sure what to send your subscribers? Answer their biggest questions with your content for a successful email marketing strategy.

Another thing to consider is how far along a subscriber is on their customer journey. For example, if someone just joined your list, it’s not a good time to pitch your latest product. Keep that in mind when sending out your emails.

As Erika said, it’s a privilege to have access to someone’s inbox in this way. Make sure you’re giving your subscribers amazing content to give them a reason to stick around.

Q5: When are the best times to send an email? How often should you send them?

Before you send out your next email blast, you might want to consider the date and time on which you’re sending it and how often you’re emailing subscribers. Take a look at these tips from Tuesday’s chat:

As our AWeber friends said, it really depends on your audience. Run some tests to see which dates/times perform best for your audience. What works for your subscribers might not work for someone else’s subscribers.

Are you noticing a pattern yet? Test, test, test! Some data suggests Monday and Friday are great days for sending emails, yet some tests might say otherwise. Figure out what works for your unique audience.

You should always consider your target audience and the industry you’re writing for. Great answer, Zala!

A helpful tip from Liz: consider the feelings of your audience. A lighthearted, fun email on a Monday might help them beat the workday blues.

If you want to give your subscribers some more control, allow them to select how often they’d like to receive emails from you. You can also let them choose email topics they’re most interested in.

One or two emails per week is definitely a good goal to have. You want to stay relevant to your subscribers without overwhelming them. Consider their needs when creating email content.

You mean everyone doesn’t have second breakfast? As Jenn pointed out, consider what you’re selling when deciding when to send an email.

Q6: What tools can we use to start/grow an email list?

If you’re looking for some new tools to use in your email marketing, look no further! We have a round-up of some awesome tools you have to try:

Of course, you may want to check out AWeber as your email service provider!

As Kristen said, LeadPages is great for creating sign-up forms, landing pages, and more.

Scott recommends having a sign-up box below each of your blog posts and a pop-up that shows when someone tries to leave your website. Don’t be afraid to try a few different locations, pop-ups, etc. to see what converts the best for you.

Pratik also recommends using a pop-up. Another great option is to have your pop-up show after someone has scrolled halfway down the page. It’s less intrusive than a pop-up that shows immediately upon arriving to your site.

Varun suggests using a lead generation tool on social media such as Twitter Cards. It’s a great way to promote your email list to get a boost in subscribers.

Q7: What are the best practices for maintaining a healthy email list?

If you want to keep your email list healthy and succeed at email marketing, here’s what you need to do:

Olivia and Kristen know it’s important to keep your list tidy. When was the last time you cleaned up your email list? Delete the people who never open your emails. They’re just costing you money in the end.

Give your subscribers the content they’re looking for and email them regularly. Don’t create an email list, only to forget all about it. Build a “warm” list by staying in touch.

Get rid of those email addresses that keep bouncing. Do some tests to figure out what days/times work best for your list and implement them.

Have you found that a lot of people aren’t engaging with your emails? Jenn suggested running a re-engagement campaign. If they still don’t respond, it’s time to cut them from your list.

Having a double opt-in is a great way to ensure you have people on your list who are genuinely interested in your content. Requiring that extra step ensures they aren’t spammers.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to those who aren’t opening your emails or engaging with them. Ask them what you can do to improve.

Whatever you do, do not flood the inboxes of your subscribers. You don’t need to send a ton of emails within a short period of time, unless you’re launching a new product or service.

Q8: What do you see for the future of email marketing?

What’s ahead for email marketing? Check out what some chat participants had to say:

Olivia said emails are going to become more interactive. There’s no reason for email marketing to be boring, right? Make it fun and exciting!

Kristen said the one-size-fits-all email marketing strategy is not going to cut it anymore. Start thinking about how you can cater to the individuals in your audience.

Pratik also sees emails getting more personal. Due to the variety of mobile devices today, ensuring your emails look great across all of them will be even more important.

Erika knows email is going to continue to be effective into the future. Make sure you’re sending relevant and targeted content to your subscribers. Give them a reason to stay on your list.

Emails will encourage more real-time connection between a business and their clients.

Cheryl sees emails incorporating richer media. Audiences love visual content and it’s important to consider that in email marketing.

Emails are hyper-targeted, uber-relevant, amazing vehicles for delivering content. A definite yes to this!
We look forward to seeing you at the next #ContentWritingChat! Mark your calendars weekly for Tuesday at 10 AM CDT for great chats centered around content writing and marketing.