Email Marketing

7 Tips for More Effective E-blasts

Sending out promotional emails can be a tricky task. Appealing to the audience and capturing as many clicks as possible requires careful thought and testing. Try some of these simple tips to improve your open and click-through rates and effectively promote your products and services.

  1. Subject line appeal. Your subject line is the reader’s first impression if you use email. Keep it short and simple, but interesting. Ask a question or leave it open-ended to encourage the reader to open the email. Try to keep your subject line under 50 characters.
  2. Avoid looking like spam. Many email clients are now extremely effective at filtering spam out of inboxes, but avoiding trigger words in your subject line doesn’t hurt. Additionally, be sure the content of your email is honest and clear. Don’t offer something you can’t deliver or ask for personal information without providing a solid privacy policy.
  3. Have a clear all to action. What is the main action you want the audience to take? Download a free resource? Preorder a book? Purchase a Bible study? Make sure your desired action is clear, and provide an easy way for the reader to respond.
  4. Include a special offer. Get the reader excited by offering something new, exclusive, free, or at a discount.
  5. Use a clean design. Don’t clutter the e-blast with too much text or small images. Keep the design clean, simple, and attention-grabbing. Using one full image or a series of images is an easy way to offer an appealing, clean design and make the email user-friendly.
  6. Make links easy to click. Use buttons and images to encourage readers to click. Keep them near the top of the email and don’t bury your links in text or at the very bottom of your email. Include the links multiple times so the readers don’t have to search for them.
  7. Target to a specific audience. Send to an audience who will already have an interest in the type of product you’re offering for easy clicks.

Taking some of these basic steps can quickly improve your e-blasts, and continuing to test and adjust over time will offer valuable date for your future mailings.

 

Posted in Advertising Tips, Email Marketing


Behold, the Power of Words!

As an editor, I certainly believe that language is powerful. The right words, in the right order (with the right punctuation, of course) can truly inspire people to do all kinds of things.

One of the most powerful ways marketers can harness the power of words is through a clear, direct call to action. This is no easy feat. So when I came across this blog post from WordStream on “7 Ideas for Upgrading Your Call to Action,” I thought immediately of the marketers we work with at Christianity Today, and how these tips might help craft even more compelling calls to action.

Sometimes it’s as simple as changing one word. They suggest changing the word “your” to “my”—this conveys ownership on the part of the reader. In one experiment described in the post, a marketer at Unbounce found that making this simple change on one client’s account led to a 90 percent increase in click-through rate.

Other times, applying a mental framework helps shape the words of an effective call to action. A great one, they say, could be prefaced by the words “I want to…” This leads to strong action words that immediately connect with the target audience’s felt needs.

For more ideas, check out the full post here.

Laura Leonard is managing editor of IgniteYourFaith.com, ChristianCollegeGuide.net, and SeminaryGradSchool.com, as well as the special advertising sections in Christianity Today magazine.

Posted in Advertising Tips, Email Marketing, Online Advertising


Nonprofit Marketing Trends for 2015

What is your number one priority in 2015? In today’s fast-paced society, marketing tactics and communications channels are constantly changing. Quickly identifying areas of growth and adapting to new technology are essential to success.

The fifth annual Nonprofit Communication Trends Report sheds light on current nonprofit marketing strategies, failures from 2014, and upcoming plans and challenges in 2015. The report gives an excellent baseline to the norms for nonprofit communications in 2015.

Expect many nonprofit marketers to increase the frequency of email and print marketing efforts. Another key shift in 2015 is making donor retention a higher priority than new donor acquisition.

Some of the biggest challenges facing nonprofit marketers are: lack of time to produce quality content, lack of budget for direct expenses, and the inability to measure effectiveness.

Communication and Marketing at your average nonprofit in 2015 include:

  • “Engaging Our Community” as a top priority.
  • Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are the most important media sites.
  • Email newsletters and email appeals are both sent monthly.
  • Direct Mail appeals are sent twice a year, print newsletters are sent quarterly (if at all).

The full report is available online at NonprofitMarketingGuide.com

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Serving as a Marketing Analyst, Josh Wood whips our team into shape with his eye for strategy and trends. He also has over 20,000 Twitter followers.

Posted in Advertising Tips, Email Marketing, Online Advertising, Print Advertising, Social Media


2015 Media Kit: Resources to help you meet your marketing goals

2015 media kitI haven’t even bought a turkey for Thanksgiving yet, but here at work I’m already well into 2015 projects — tweaking next year’s plans and figuring out how to meet my marketing goals. If you’re in the same boat, here’s something that might help — our new 2015 Media Kit.

You can download the entire media kit pdf, or you can get the same information by navigating this website. Either way, you’ll find information on our print, digital, mobile, and social opportunities that can connect you with over 3.5 million responsive consumers every month.

I like this graphic that our designer, Michael, developed to show our current (and growing) reach:

Resource growth

If you’re looking for creative solutions to help you meet your 2015 goals, take a look through the media kit, then contact Toks, Walter, or Peggy. They can customize a plan to your exact budget and marketing needs.

Posted in Company News, Digital Magazines, Email Marketing, Mobile Advertising, Online Advertising, Print Advertising, Social Media


3 Tips for Effective Email Marketing

467208035The web contains infinite inspiration for marketing content. Jump on Google or Facebook and you’ll immediately see what’s trending and hot right now. Reviewing these popular promotions can spur creativity and improve your marketing. With email marketing, however, it can be very difficult to find good examples of what others are doing. Recently Hubspot posted 10 Examples of Brilliant Email Marketing (and Why They’re So Great). With each example they give what specifically makes the email so effective. Here are 3 of our favorite ideas:

1. First Impressions Count
One of the first items they focus on is a short and punchy subject line and preview text. Remember that not only is the subject critical to recipients opening your email, but it will also set expectations for the contents. Make sure your message can deliver on promises in the subject line.

2. Modify for Mobile
Another key item is having a responsive design, which will optimize the layout based on the device. With the increased use of mobile devices to check email, this is increasingly important for a consistent viewing experience of your marketing message.

3. Make Action Easy
While some email designs focus on beautiful imagery, ease of navigation prompts the right action from readers. The reader should very quickly know exactly what to click on if he or she is interested. Witty but confusing calls to action can be problematic and lead to lower conversion rates.  

You can see all 10 brilliant email marketing examples and what makes them so successful on Hubspot’s original blog post.

Posted in Advertising Tips, Email Marketing