Email marketing remains one of the most cost-effective strategies for retailers and service providers. Because every dollar spent on email marketing nets an average of nearly $45 in return, businesses use this method to increase consumer interest and to advertise new products, services, or promotions. However, some strategies work better than others. Here are some tips to help improve your email marketing.

1. Create Momentum with Your Email Marketing Strategy
Each email you send to your subscriber base should build toward a greater goal or purpose. Instead of sending out one email two weeks before a big promotion, start hinting about the upcoming promotion months in advance. This works particularly well during the months before a major product release. Hook your readers with interesting information and valuable deliverables to whet their appetites.

2. Use Personalized Subject Lines
Emails with personalized subject lines get opened 22 percent more frequently than those with generic subject lines. Include each subscriber's name in the subject line, then again in the body of the email. Consumers respond better to companies that view them as individuals and not just numbers on a subscriber list.

3. Don't Waste Recipients' Time with Unnecessary Verbiage
Get to the point in the first line of every email, then relentlessly prune each sentence until you strip out every unnecessary word and phrase. Consumers lack the time to wade through long emails, no matter how much they like the sender, so don't give them a reason to hit the delete key before they reach the end. Whenever possible, pack the most important information into the beginning of each email.

4. Welcome New Readers to Your List
When a new subscriber opts into your list, send a welcome email to show you value their interest. Provide a list of benefits they'll enjoy as members or offer a free gift or discount as an expression of gratitude. This email marketing strategy offers the added benefit of reminding readers that they subscribed in the first place, so they won't disregard your emails as spam.

5. Offer a Benefit with Every Email
You don't have to give a free gift with every email you send, but make sure each piece of correspondence contributes something of value. Share an insider tip to make your readers' lives easier, or refer them to a service or product that might simplify a dreaded task. Keep the correspondence short and sweet, but leave readers with a takeaway — tangible or otherwise.

6. Take Advantage of Risk Aversion
Most people avoid risk when possible, so capitalize on that instinct. The best email marketing strategies take human psychology into account because it drives consumer behavior. Show your readers how a specific action, such as buying your product, will help them avoid potential risks.

7. Create a Sense of Urgency
Consumers respond favorably to time-limited promotions. Set a deadline for taking advantage of a coupon or promotion, for example, to encourage subscribers to act on the opportunity. This technique works in other forms of marketing, as well, including print, television, and radio.

8. Time Your Submissions
The best email marketing software programs, such as iContact, offer drip campaign functionality. This allows users to schedule emails based on specific intervals. For example, retailers often align email campaigns with Friday afternoons because most people get paid on Fridays. Think about your target audience and the lifestyles they lead. Choose times that align with their purchasing habits.

These email marketing tips make you more likely to succeed as you communicate with your customers, clients, and associates. Use them to make every email more effective and to create a more cohesive email marketing campaign.

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