At Clareity’s MLS Executive Workshop last week we presented for two hours on improving member/subscriber communications, covering topics such as email, social media, video, surveys, and use of language across these and other channels. Following is just a small part of that content, relating to email…
The most important thing you can do to improve your email communication is to measure its effectiveness: opens, clicks-throughs on links, and follow-up on the call to action associated with each email.
There are many dimensions of email that you can change to see what effect they will have on your readership’s opening your message. You can experiment with the time and day on which you send your email, the subject: line, the style of the email and graphics you include, and the copy in the body of your message.
In order to tell what about your message is having the desired effect, you need to perform what is called “A/B Testing”. In this method, you send one version of the email to a percentage of your readers, Group A, and a version with one thing changed about it to the remainder of your readers, Group B. If you are using a professional-grade email tool, it will track the opens and click-throughs for you, and tell you which version of your email is getting more traction. Once you have this information, you can improve your emails by homing in on the qualities that will make your email successful with your subscribers.
There are many other aspects of successful email communication, including the crucial one of how to get engagement from your audience – how to make them perform an action that you would like them to take, rather than just opening your email. We presented many ideas about this at the Workshop, along with the latest tools and ideas for integrating email with the website, social media, and other communications channels. But the important thing you should take away from this article is the idea of constantly testing your emails to see how you can improve your email communications. There are many “answers” out there on the Web about email best practices, but you are the only one with your specific audience and your personal way of approaching them. Only by running your own tests can you figure out the most effective way to reach your subscribers.
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