Email Outperforms.

A recent survey of U.S. marketing executives concluded that, when it comes to driving revenue, email outperformed social media, website and display advertising combined.  And the vast majority of millennials believe email will still be around and viable ten years from now.  Here’s how to make that work for your company.

It’s Subjective.
Most email subject lines are 41 – 50 characters long.  But research shows that the emails with the highest open rates have longer subject lines, with 65 characters as the ideal.  So take that into account when you write your email’s subject lines.  One word of caution, though.  Most mobile devices only display 25 or 30 characters.  So if you have a special offer or deal, put it in the first half of that subject line.

What’s the Frequency?
Many companies worry about sending emails too often.  But sending more often can actually offer a bunch of benefits.  If you’re doing it well, it will increase the total number of emails that get opened and the total number of times readers click through to your website.  That means recipients are more engaged, so bounces, unsubscribes and spam complaints are all likely to drop.  And since all mailbox providers will eventually include engagement as a factor when making spam decisions, higher frequency is your friend for the future, too.

Testing. Testing.
No medium offers more opportunity to test different messages at little or no additional cost than email does.  It’s a simple matter to divide your list in two (or three or four) and test various aspects of the messages you send to see which result in higher open and click-through rates.  Experiment with subject lines, images, layout, length of body copy, call to action — every element that might affect engagement.  As you find out what works best, you’ll be creating your own proven set of best practices.

Keep It Clean.
While you might assume that a bigger list is better, there are plenty of reasons to trim your email list.  While email is incredibly affordable, it doesn’t make sense to pay to send emails to addresses where they go unread.  And those unread messages signal lower engagement, which can hinder the overall effectiveness of your entire list.  So first, remove “hard bounce” addresses from your list.  Then send a separate email to those on your list who haven’t read one of your messages in awhile, and ask if they want to remain on the list.  You’ll re-engage some, and removing the rest will result in a cleaner list.