In our news section, we’re starting out with a great piece of Instagram advice courtesy of Social Media Today, where they’re discussing one of the most common brand questions – just where should you put your hashtags in Instagram? It turns out, there’s actually been some research done on this, and there’s not a ton of difference based on where the hashtags are. However, the best results are associated with putting tags in the caption section. Now you know!
Oh, and if you didn’t catch this heartwarming story about a Florida elementary student making his own University of Tennessee t-shirt, just know that the University made his drawing an official school design. It’s a sweet ending, and a great example of creating viral marketing just by tapping into an existing story.
Also, as a great introduction to our interview today, GetResponse has released an important survey about global email behaviors, especially open rates and click-through rates. You can take a look at the whole thing here (sidenote: America has some of the worst email open rates in the world – any ideas why that’s the case?). Some of their suggestions for improving emails for better responses include:
- Express value with your subject lines – especially valuable content that readers can access, like a report, ebook or newsletter.
- Don’t send emails every day. Around every week seems to be the sweet spot for brands. Frequent emails tend to just get ignored over time.
- The first hour after your email is sent is the most important. This is particularly true if there’s an urgent offer or limited-time deal. The people who care will open it right away.
But onto today’s exciting interview! The team is talking with Bryan Jenkins, Sales Director with EmailOversight, a solutions company that offers the latest tools for email management and security. Here’s a few of the most interesting tips we learned from Bryan about email marketing and how to improve your emails if the results are quite what you want.
1. Getting an Email Service Provider
An ESP is excellent for all sorts of useful email services, including tracking, personalization, list management, design, managing subscriptions, understand email lists, and much more. While email service providers are often associated with larger companies, even smaller businesses can get many benefits from partnering with one of these providers…which is why EmailOversight markets to companies of all sizes!
2. Effective Email List Management
EmailOversight offers a great tool here that can really help clean and manage email lists…which tend to get old and outdated if they aren’t properly maintained. That could be that a lot of emails just get rejected outright because the address is wrong. Tools like EmailOversight’s look for email address errors, update addresses from businesses that have changed their email, and help segment lists according to goals. If it’s been a few years since you’ve really gone through your email list and checked for accuracy, now is a great time to start.
On a side note, in the B2B world you can absolutely consider buying a high quality email list to start looking for some leads. It’s not always the right choice, but it can be a good beginning step (consumer lists are a whole other deal and should be avoided).
3. Focusing on Email Design
Another benefit of an email service provider is getting great templates for HTML and other tools to help manage email design. If you aren’t designing emails like this, you really need to start! Better email design allows you to add images, buttons, and links with style, instead of depending only on text and the awkward image tools or links that your email platform offers. If you aren’t using high-quality HTML design that formats your email to look professional, now is a great time to start – and you could see better email metrics because of it. Just don’t use too many images!
4. Creating the Right Subject Lines
B2B subject lines can and should be different from B2C subject headings. For example, shorter subject lines – only several words – do better in the B2B world. Subject line personalization is also a big deal: If you can personalize the subject line for an individual client, it has a much better chance of being opened and read. Subject lines with direct questions or references to business goals also tend to do well. Avoid popular B2C buzzwords.
5. Don’t Mix Up Hard Sells and Soft Sells
Hard sells are very common in the B2B world – email content creators often assume that their contacts understand that the email is literally a pitch to buy something, and so they tend to make calls to action very direct and information very sales-oriented. That’s fine…but it’s also important to know when a soft sell can get more results (particularly with clients you already know).
6. Send Your Newsletters at the Right Time
Don’t send out newsletters too often! As we mentioned above, about once a week or so is as frequent as you want to get with newsletters. Of course, sending B2B newsletters on the weekends is sort of a waste, so try to send during the workweek. According to SendInBlue, Tuesday is one of the best times to send newsletters to B2B agencies – the Monday stress isn’t there, the end-of-the-week crunch isn’t there, and people are likely to have more time and energy to read their emails.
7. Don’t Make Your Emails Too Long
Bryan likes keeping email newsletters to three basic sections that can be updated between newsletters and only takes a few minutes to read. You really don’t want you emails to be longer than that – and going even shorter is great. Respect people’s time, and make your emails easy to follow and digest in a brief period.
We want to know – do you struggle with email campaigns? Or maybe you’ve discovered an email sweet spot that yields amazing results for your brand! Either way, we’d love to hear about it. Connect with @21handshake on social media and share any tips or experiences. If you liked the episode, please take a moment to review, subscribe and share as you can. Until next time!