AWeber Blog | Email Marketing Tips & Best Practices
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Recently, AWeber’s Senior Content Marketing Strategist Liz Willits analyzed more than 1,000 emails from 100 of the top email marketers. She found that the average email length is 434 words, and the average subject line length is roughly 44 characters.
But if you want to stand out in the inbox, you can’t be average.
Willits dove into her research with author and marketing guru Tim Cameron-Kitchen, on his popular podcast, the Exposure Ninja. Willits explained that while knowing the average formula for email is a great starting point, the most successful email marketers go against the grain. They do the opposite of what’s popular.
You can do the same, said Willits on the podcast. Take emojis in subject lines, for example.
“According to our research, only 6.9% of people use emojis in their subject lines,” said Willits on the podcast “If most people aren’t using emojis in their subject lines, then it might be a good idea to try using them and see if it impacts your email open rates. It might just help you stand apart from other messages in the inbox. The most successful email marketers are successful because they’re unique.”
For more tips on writing unique and powerful emails that get opened and clicked, listen to Liz’s advice on the Exposure Ninja Podcast, episode #132 (Lessons Learned from the World's Most Successful Email Marketers). Or, listen on your favorite podcasting apps like Stitcher or Spotify.
For more than 20 years, AWeber has supported entrepreneurs and small businesses with powerfully-simple email marketing solutions. Get your free trial today.
The way marketers use email marketing is about to change forever. Emails have always been static. You send your subscribers fixed content, and they read it or click on it to go to a webpage or landing page.
But on March 26, 2019, Google’s Product Manager Aakash Sahney announced AMP for Email. AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. It allows email marketers to easily create emails that are interactive, not static.
AWeber is the first small business email service provider to support the new AMP for Email technology. “Interactive email opens up amazing potential for marketers to engage and connect with subscribers in ways they've never been able to before,” says AWeber’s Technical Product Manager Dave Stys. And a recent study from Kapost found that interactive content drives 2x more conversions than static content.
Learn what interactive emails are and how you can use them in your email marketing below.
Interactive emails are messages that your subscribers can click on to change or alter the content within the email itself — even after the message is delivered to the inbox. The content can also update each time they open the email. Interactive emails act like a webpage.
Interactive content allows you to send emails that are more engaging. You can include extra content in your emails without overwhelming subscribers, and your subscribers can interact with the email to get additional information if they need it. “It will open up the opportunity for email subscribers to engage with content without ever leaving their inbox,” AWeber’s Creative Director Chris Vasquez says.
With a carousel, your subscribers can click to navigate through different images, products, or blog posts in your emails. If you have multiple pieces of content to display in your email, you can use a carousel to save space and enhance the design of your message.
When a subscriber clicks on an accordion, a section of the email will expand to show more content. You can use accordions to give subscribers the option to see additional information within your email.
A sidebar is like a website or app navigation menu. If you’d like to give subscribers the option to navigate to different webpages, use a sidebar.
Do you need to display different content for different subscribers? Now, you can add buttons to your email to let subscribers completely alter the content within a message.
For example, your subscribers can change the language of your email.
Add a working email sign up form to your message. Your subscribers can sign up for a webinar, email list, or event directly from your message.
Use AWeber to build interactive emails.
AWeber is the first small business email service provider to support the new AMP for Email technology!
AWeber is the first small business email service provider to support the new AMP for Email technology!
AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. When paired with AWeber, the powerful technology has the ability to completely alter how you connect with your prospects and customers via email.
With AWeber and AMP, your subscribers won’t have to leave the inbox to visit a web page. Instead, they can book an appointment, RSVP to an event, sign up for a newsletter, leave a product review, answer a survey, or view a live package shipping update — all inside your email!
Through AWeber’s API, you can create powerfully-engaging interactive and dynamic content using AMP components within all Gmail messages received on a desktop starting TODAY! Discover more ways to use the power of AWeber and AMP to accelerate your business’s growth. Watch the video below.
Want an even deeper dive into what you can do with AWeber and AMP for email?Sign up for our webinar on July 11 at 1 p.m. AWeber’s Technical Product Manager Dave Stys and Senior Content Marketing Specialist Liz Willits will give you a demo of the technology, show you awesome ways to use AMP in email, and answer all your questions.
There are a few simple steps you’ll need to take to get started with using AMP for email inside AWeber. See them here.
Ever see an advertisement for a fitness program? There’s typically a “before” photo and an “after” photo of a customer who followed the workout.
On the left is a “before” photo of a shirtless, slouching man. He’s pale. Average-looking. He’s not smiling.
Then, in the photo on the right, the same guy magically turns into a tall, bronzed, Greek God with an eight-pack of cobblestone abs. His biceps are the size of bowling balls. He’s ridiculously happy.
They barely look like the same person. But that’s the point, right?
You can relate to the guy on the left, but you want to be the guy on the right. If lefty could do it, so can you!
I may be exaggerating this a bit to make my point, but here’s the thing: Social proof works.
What is social proof?
The gist of social proof: When people are uncertain, they’ll look to others for guidance. In marketing, social proof can be a powerful psychological trigger to influence people to buy a product or service.
Social proof is so effective because it helps your customers confidently make a decision. You're providing evidence that your product is beneficial, has more fans than just your mom, and can positively transform people's lives.
Luckily, you don’t have to get your customers to go shirtless to provide evidence that your product works. (If you’re not in the fitness industry, that would be . . . awkward.) There are other ways to do it.
5 Ways to Include Social Proof in Your Emails
Social proof #1: quotes
Ask a satisfied customer for a quote about why they love your product or can’t wait to try it. Or grab quotes and comments from your social media feeds.
When a new subscriber reads that other people are excited about your product, they’ll be more likely to take action, too.
Jonathan Goodman, the founder of Personal Trainer Development Center, uses quotes from his social feeds as proof of happy customers. This helps drive more sales for his latest issue of Fitness Marketing Monthly, a print newsletter delivered to subscribers' doorsteps.
Social proof #2: numbers
Marketing professionals use data all the time to persuade people to buy a product or donate to a cause. They call it the "Statistics Appeal," and it’s based off research that shows people generally trust numbers. So use numbers and stats that tie directly to the success or quality of your product to give perceived weight to your product.
Brian Dean, the SEO expert behind Backlinko and an AWeber customer, uses his numbers to prove why he’s an expert in SEO on YouTube. He uses this as social proof for why you should sign up for his course.
Social proof #3: ratings
Have 5/5 stars on Amazon or Google? Let your subscribers know!
Great reviews or ratings provide social proof that others recommend your business or products, which might compel prospects to click through to the order page or check out the reviews. If your subscribers see others taking positive actions, they will be more inclined to buy.
Below, you can see how Henneke Duistermaat of Enchanting Marketing ends her 16-part snackable writing course with links to buy her two books. She also points out that they both receive 5/5 star reviews.
If you have famous customers, tell your subscribers. Or have them give you an endorsement that you can include in your messages. People are more likely to buy a product if they admire a person or business that uses it.
Social proof #5: case studies
Have a customer who is extremely excited about your product or service? Ask them to relay their experience to you, and post it on your blog or website. Their story may entice others to try your product, as well.
Ramit Sethi uses case studies of happy students to sell his 6-Figure Consulting Program.
Social proof — when used to drive home why you're an expert in your field and why your product can help transform your subscribers' lives — can exert immense influence over your readers' actions. But like any other email marketing tactic, social proof only works if you provide your audience with compelling, helpful content.
Ready to get started adding social proof to your email marketing campaigns? Try AWeber for FREE today. It's never been easier to connect with your audience and drive success for your business.
Your smartphone lets you stay in touch with friends, access nearly any information on the internet (why are hamburgers called hamburgers when they’re made of beef, not pork?), get directions, play games, maintain your calendar . . .
And check email.
Depending on your audience, as much as 77% of your subscribers may open your emails on their mobile devices — which means they’re staring at your content on a screen slightly larger than a credit card.
That's why you should always break up your email copy into shorter, easier-to-read chunks.
Long blocks of text are difficult to read on a smartphone. They force the reader to scroll and scroll and scroll, which is a horrible user experience for your subscribers. Plus, long paragraphs make it easier for your subscribers to lose their place since mobile readers are often distracted readers.
So how short should your paragraphs be? My recommendation: 2 to 3 sentences max.
Breaking up paragraphs will feel unnatural at first, but your subscribers will thank you. It'll make it easier for your audience to scan your emails and it'll drive them forward from one sentence to the next.
The result: They’ll be more likely to read your content and click on your call to action. And that's good for business.
71.1% of the 1,000 subject lines we analyzed were between 21 and 60 characters. To stand out from everyone else, we recommend you don’t keep your subject lines within those bounds. Instead, try the 2 methods below:
Most email clients, like Gmail and Yahoo!, stop displaying an email subject line on mobile devices once it reaches between 33 and 43 characters. The exact number varies from one email client to another.
To optimize your subject lines for mobile readers, use subject lines with less than 30 characters. This way, your subject line won’t get cut off in the inbox.
Or, you might want to experiment with even shorter subject lines. Brian Dean, founder of SEO company Backlinko and one of the 100 top marketers whose emails we analyzed, used to send emails with longer subject lines. These subject lines told his subscribers exactly what they’d find inside the message. The problem with that? "It gave people no reason to actually open my email," he said.
Now, he sends subject lines with an average of 15.1 characters. “After lots of testing, I’ve found that short subject lines get much higher open rates,” Dean said. He contributes this to 2 factors:
Short subject lines reach the inbox more frequently.
Short subject lines are more mysterious.
Here are a few of Dean’s short email subject lines. All are under 15 characters long:
Subject line: New Technique
Subject line: Email Outreach
Subject line: Blog Posts
2. Use really long subject lines.
You can also stand out in the inbox with really long subject lines, since only 18% of people include more than 60 characters in their subject lines.
This email subject line from social media platform Sendible stands out in the inbox because of it’s unusual length of 111 characters.
Subject line: “Be Your Freaking Self”: 11 Experts Have Their Say on the Future of Social at Social Media Marketing World 2019
Copywriting expert and Copyhackers Founder Joanna Wiebe recommends you either use very short subject lines or very long ones. These subject lines will stand out from everyone else who uses subject lines around 50 characters in length.
“Subject line length absolutely matters,” Wiebe said. “We prefer one- or two-word subject lines above all else. To mix things up, we also add realllllllly long ones.”
Here is one of Wiebe’s short subject lines:
Subject line: Got wins?
And here is one of her longer subject lines:
Subject line: My template for your "messaging recommendations report" <-- live in today's Tutorial Tuesday
Test your subject lines out.
Every audience is different. Try short and long subject lines with your subscribers to see what works best for your unique audience.
We analyzed 1,000 marketing emails from 100 successful businesses and entrepreneurs. While we didn’t randomly select these businesses, we chose experts across multiple industries and from numerous countries.
Email automation is powerful. It lets you connect with your audience around-the-clock, convert leads into customers, turn customers into superfans, and drive serious results. And it does all of this while you’re busy doing other important things, like running your business or watching Game of Thrones.
But there’s one big catch: Your email campaign needs to have the right emails in the right order if you want to reach your goals.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could import a proven, tested campaign from an email expert into your AWeber account with just a few clicks?
Well, now you can!
New in AWeber! Shareable Campaigns
AWeber has added a new update: Shareable Campaigns. This tool gives you the ability to add another email marketer’s pre-built, successful email campaign into your account in seconds. Think of these automated campaigns like blueprints that you can easily tweak and customize before sending to your own audience.
On the other hand, you can share your best campaigns with the click of a button, too. For each campaign, AWeber’s platform will generate a unique code that you can hand out to others.
No more trying to replicate supermarketers’ email flows or wondering why your series isn’t working. AWeber's Shareable Campaigns feature will help you automate your email marketing faster than ever before.
Here are some ways you may be able to use Shareable Campaigns
Marketing agencies and consultants: Easily pass along important and/or effective email flows to your client’s or team member’s account.
Franchises and teams: Share campaigns across accounts so all messaging is on brand. Emails will share a consistent look (the same templates, imagery, fonts, and colors) and voice and tone.
Marketing experts, bloggers, or educators: Do you teach others how to incorporate email into their marketing funnels? Share automated campaigns with your students or clients so they can get started with email automation.
AWeber Affiliates: Create a Shareable Campaign as an incentive to drive new referrals to AWeber. Simply share your Campaign code with your audience, along with an AWeber sign up link with your Affiliate ID attached. You'll get commissions for anyone who signs up for an account using your link!
4 campaigns you can add to your AWeber account right now!
AWeber's email experts are sharing 4 proven email campaigns below. Pick 1, 2, or all of them to import into your AWeber account. Just copy the sharing code provided, add it to a new Campaign, fill in the blanks to personalize the content, and you’re done! It’s that simple.
*Want to import one of these Shareable Campaigns into your AWeber account? Just click the "copy" button below to add the Shareable Code to your computer's clipboard. Then, head to your AWeber account and paste it into a new Campaign. You're done!
Shareable Campaign #1: the welcome campaign
Use this automated email series to welcome new subscribers to your list and begin building a relationship with them.
Shareable Campaign #2: the lead magnet campaign
Do you offer a lead magnet — a.k.a. freebie or incentive — on your sign up form to entice people to join your list? This automated series will deliver it to your new subscribers immediately after they join your list.
Shareable Campaign #3: the blogger campaign
Want your audience to fall in love with your blog content? This automated campaign will show off your best blog posts so subscribers keep coming back for more. Plus, it will welcome people to your email list and promote your product or service (if you have one).
Shareable Campaign #4: the mini-course campaign
If you’re a course creator, a free email mini-course is the perfect way to show off your expertise, build a relationship with new subscribers, and then promote your paid course at the perfect time. This campaign will help you do just that!
How to import a Shareable Campaign into your AWeber account
1.Go to the Campaigns page and choose the list where you’d like the Campaign added.
2. Click the "Create a Campaign" button. In the dropdown menu that appears, select "Import Campaign."
3. Paste the Shareable Campaign code into the portal window, and select "Import." (Your series will load after a brief delay.)
4. Once the Campaign loads, you can customize the content if you'd like, and then activate the series.
How to create a Shareable Campaign code inside your AWeber account
1.Under the Campaign you’d like to share, select the “Sharing Options” button.
2. In the window that appears, click the toggle labeled, “Make this campaign sharable.” This will generate a Shareable Campaign code that you can pass along.
There’s a reason top marketers send survey emails so frequently — they work.
Survey emails can decrease unsubscribes, increase engagement, and help you sell more products or services.
Learn about the 5 survey emails that will make your marketing much more effective.
AWeber makes it ridiculously easy to send surveys to your audience. We have 4 ready-to-go email templates waiting for you in our Drag and Drop Email Builder. Start your 30-day free trial to try them out.
1. The welcome email survey
Getting feedback from your audience is so important that many experts include a survey or question in their first email — the welcome email.
Related:How to Write the Perfect Welcome Email
Matt Kepnes, founder of travel company Nomadic Matt, surveys his audience in his welcome email. He asks subscribers to click on a link to tell him where they want to travel.
After they click, he sends them personalized travel advice that matches their choice. For example, if a subscriber chooses Europe, he sends them content exclusively about Europe.
You can even survey your audience by simply asking them to reply to your email. In the message below, Ann Handley, the Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs and an AWeber customer, asks her audience to respond to her email to let her know what they want to learn.
Pro tip: To encourage more subscribers to complete your survey, keep the survey short. One to five minutes is a good range. In your email, mention that it will only take a few minutes to complete the survey.
2. The pre-launch survey email
You could spend hours creating a product or service only to find out your audience doesn’t like it. To avoid this, send a pre-launch survey email to ask your audience’s opinion.
For example, this survey email from The Path asks subscribers to tell them what kind of new products they’d like.
Pro tip: In your survey email content, explain how you’ll be using the feedback you receive from subscribers. This can get more people to complete your survey.
3. The post-purchase email
Want to know what your customers think of your product or service after they purchase? Send them a survey.
In the email below, Old Navy thanks subscribers for purchasing and asks them to complete a 5-minute survey to share their feedback. In exchange, they offer them a 10 percent discount on their next purchase.
Pro tip: Incentivize subscribers to complete your survey by offering a discount on your product or service in exchange for completing it.
4. The data survey email
It can be a huge effort to collect data for a report, guide, or infographic. Survey emails make it much easier.
Andy Crestodina, the founder of Orbit Media, publishes a yearly report on blogging trends. To gather data for the report, he emails his audience a survey asking them to answer questions about blogging.
Pro tip: If you need to send a longer survey, be sure to give your subscribers a reason to complete it. Offer a large prize to a randomly-selected winner or smaller prizes to everyone who completes the survey!
5. The email footer survey
Find out whether or not your subscribers like your email content. Just add a 1-question survey to the end of your emails to ask for their opinions.
We add a footer survey to nearly every email we send at AWeber. Subscribers simply click a happy or sad emoji face to tell us how they felt about the email.
Related:Here’s How We Got 1,600+ People to Give Us Email FeedbackPro tip: You can easily add a survey like this to your own emails using AWeber’s 4 survey templates.
Ask questions. Get answers.
Survey emails are great for gathering useful information about your subscribers that can help you increase email engagement and market your business.
Looking for an easy way to create surveys in minutes? We created fill-in-the-blank survey email copy templates that you can use today! Download them now in our free “What to Write in Your Emails” guide.
Your subscribers located in the northern hemisphere are gearing up for the spring weather. Use the change of season to your advantage, and add spring-related topics and themes to your emails.
The reason: Seasonal emails tend to have higher open rates because they create a sense of urgency among readers. (If they don't open it now, they'll miss out!)
Here are five creative email ideas to try this spring in order to drive more opens, clicks, and sales.
Tip 1: Change up your subject lines
Add the word "spring" or spring-related topics to your subject line so your subscribers know the content inside is timely and relevant.
Or if you send out a monthly newsletter, add the month — March, April, or May — to the subject line. That way your readers understand that the info is seasonal, and won't be pertinent the following month.
Have some fun with the subject line! Check out how Etsy made this subject line a spring-related pun, but gave more context to the message inside with their preheader text.
However, always make sure your subject line accurately reflects the content inside your newsletter or message. If it doesn't, then you'll lose your subscribers' trust. They'll more than likely unsubscribe or mark your email as spam.
Check out Etsy's email that went with their subject line, below. Their lead story in the email directly corresponds with the subject line. The reader doesn't have to go searching for the content and they're not left hanging.
Pro tip: Have subscribers from all over the world? Send a targeted email to only a segment of subscribers based on their geographical location inside AWeber.
Not an AWeber customer yet? Start your 30-day FREE trial today!Tip 2: Promote seasonal sales and services
Encourage customers to purchase your product or use your services with a spring sale or discount.
Here’s a fun example from Expedia:
Below, Sears reminds its subscribers that they should get their riding mowers tuned up before the start of spring. They offer a helpful video, plus repair service and a discount on parts in the actual email content.
Pro tip: You can offer exclusive promotions to subscribers on your mailing list, and you can use them as incentives to encourage email sign ups. For example, offer a discount to anyone who signs up for your email list during the first week of spring. Don’t forget to share it on social media, too!
Tip 3: Play up design
While your email design shouldn't drastically change from your brand's look and feel just because it's spring, you can give it a little "pop" with some spring images (think: flowers, umbrellas, birds, sunshine, butterflies, grass) and colors (think: pastels).
Here's an example from Ann Taylor, which stays true to their brand's font and styling, but has some fun with imagery and color palette.
Modcloth accentuates their brand with a GIF that draws attention to their new spring apparel.
Tip 4: Incorporate spring holidays
In addition to longer days and warmer weather, spring also brings with it a lot of holidays.
Check out the subtle (and hilarious) way Motherhood Maternity ties in a discount with Cinco de Mayo:
Here's how Williams-Sonoma drives sales around their personalized baskets for Easter.
Tip 5: Draw on spring themes
Spring is a time for renewal. Birds come back. Flowers bloom. Baby animals are everywhere.
But it's a time for renewal for humans, too. That's why you find many people spring cleaning and reorganizing their lives during this season. Almost any business can apply this theme to their marketing!
See how Plated tapped into spring's time for discovery and growth, while showing off their fresh, colorful produce.
Have services instead of a product? You can still play up this theme. A nutrition blogger, for example, might focus on the idea of cleansing the body from junk food. Or a marketing agency might encourage subscribers to cleanse underperforming tactics from their marketing strategy. You get the idea.
Pro Tip: Your spring-related email isn’t limited to discounts and promotions — consider creating content that focuses on helping your customers during this time of year.
Ready to get started? Log into your AWeber account today to create a spring-themed email your subscribers will love.
If you're not an AWeber customer, you're missing out! Sign up for a free 30-day account. You can start sending emails today!
This article was originally published on 3/2018, and updated on 4/18/2019. Additional reporting by Jill Fanslau.