The Minimalist Guide to Email Marketing

The web is saturated with ways to get customers' attention, but the power of email marketing is not to be downplayed. Subscription acquisition can be a challenge, and those newsletter templates may make your skin crawl (oh god, please, anything but HTML!) but the end result can be quite rewarding when done well. Here's some simple, user friendly tips to optimize email for your company within minimal effort.

Sign up for an email management service
For as little as $10-15 a month, a service like MailChimp will help you organize all of your subscribers into groups, easily design email blasts, optimize your newsletters for spam filters and track analytics for opens and click-throughs after you hit send.

Create a simple and highly visible call-to-action
Anyone who visits your website should be able to easily sign up for your email newsletter. Make it obvious, make it quick and preferably place it at the top right hand corner of your site where people's eyes are naturally drawn.

Use an incentive
Give people a reason to sign up. Are you an ecommerce site? Offer a coupon or discount code. Are you more of a content creator? Offer a premium white paper download. Whatever you offer, make sure it's automatically sent to new subscribers and that you use a code or link that you can track. This will start the process of turning your subscribers into loyal customers.

Be Clever
It's important that your emails don't feel too invasive. Instead of using aggressive subject lines like "FREE FREE FREE" or "THE ONLY SALE THAT YOU WILL EVER NEED" (which are likely to get picked up by spam filters anyway), try to write something a little more engaging and personal. Email marketing is the perfect place to exercise your brand voice and stand out amongst the spammers.

Track your stats and use them to your advantage
Do emails you send on Friday at 3pm have a 30% higher open-rate than those sent on Monday at 9am? Are image links being clicked on 50% more often than text links? Use this knowledge to your advantage and create your email design and schedule based on it. Simply spending 15 minutes studying the statistics from your previous campaign can yield a higher return for your next one.