More revenue is generated from email marketing than all other types of digital marketing combined, according to a 2015 survey of marketing executives. However, leveraging email marketing is becoming more and more difficult as the technology continues to evolve.

Email came on the scene in the 1970s strictly as an inter-office communications tool. Today, 2.6 billion people across the world use email, and a typical email looks more like a webpage than the plain text messages of yore. Soon, an email to your car could turn on the A/C.

But all the advances in the world won’t help your campaign if you’re not creating content that your audiences will actually read and engage in. Here are some tips to take your email campaigns beyond the inbox:

  • Have a goal behind every email. Make sure you know exactly what you want to accomplish with each email you send. Is it a call to action (CTA), useful information, a special offer? Is it better as a single message or an e-newsletter? If you’re not sure what you’re trying to achieve, your recipients will be equally confused.
  • Use subject lines related to your topic. Subject lines that highlight your message have higher clickthrough rates. “Did you know that (community name) now offers pay-per-month rental units?” will capture attention better than “News from (community name).” Steer clear of “clickbait,” luring readers into content that has little to do with your subject line.
  • Send only to people who want to hear from you. If you have contacts who have submitted forms, you’re already ahead of the game, because they chose to respond to your content. Customize your messages to them. But take a hint, too. Recipients who rarely or never open your emails do not want to engage with you, especially if they’re cold contacts from an imported list. It’s okay; remove their names. You will only annoy them or, worse, jeopardize your domain reputation by being marked as “spam.” If your open rates have fallen, it means you’re no longer meeting customer expectations, and you need to back off on sending to them until you find a better way to reach them.
  • Experiment and test. Repeat. The only way to engage your audience is to know your audience. The only way to do that is to continuously try new strategies – often – tailor them to each of your lists (you should have several, each with its own “personality,” based on needs and preferences, not just demographics), and keep track of the results.
  • Send from a personalized account and on different days of the week. “Noreply@company.com” is a no-no; recipients should be able to respond to a real person. Vary the days you send your email messages, too. Conventional wisdom says that the best days to email are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays; however, the market is bloated on those days. Change it up; try sending on a Monday or Friday…heck, even a Saturday, when people are less swamped and more likely to respond to a CTA.
  • Brand your emails so that your customers recognize you as a trusted sender before they even open your message.

While email marketing is rife with possibilities, it is getting harder to do well, as content creators vie for attention in an ever-evolving landscape. The right marketing team can help you chart this fertile territory and reap its many rewards.

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