Email Marketing Tips and Strategies for Business Growth ft. Jay Schwedelson

Jay Schwedelson, a trailblazing force in digital marketing, is the Founder of SubjectLine.com and President/CEO of Outcome Media. With accolades like the Silver Apple Award and B2B’s Who’s Who, he leads innovative ventures like Guru Events and serves as a Harvard Business School guest instructor. Jay elevates marketing landscapes and empowers marketers with his insightful contributions. In

Email Marketing Tips and Strategies for Business Growth ft. Jay Schwedelson

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    Summary

    In this podcast episode, Jay Schwedelson discusses effective email marketing strategies. He emphasizes the importance of personalization and segmentation in email campaigns to increase engagement and conversions. Schwedelson suggests using data-driven insights to understand customer behavior and preferences, allowing for targeted and relevant content. He also highlights the significance of testing and optimizing email campaigns to improve performance. Schwedelson advises marketers to focus on building a strong email list and maintaining a good sender reputation to ensure deliverability. By implementing these strategies, businesses can enhance their email marketing efforts and achieve better results in terms of customer engagement and revenue generation.

    Key Take Aways

    1. Personalization is crucial in email marketing. Tailoring emails to individual recipients based on their preferences and behaviors can significantly improve engagement and conversion rates.
    2. Building a clean and targeted email list is essential. Focusing on quality over quantity ensures that your emails reach the right audience, increasing the chances of success.
    3. Testing and analyzing different elements of your email campaigns, such as subject lines, content, and CTAs, is vital for optimizing performance and achieving better results.
    4. Mobile optimization is a must. With the majority of people accessing emails on their mobile devices, ensuring that your emails are mobile-friendly is crucial for maximizing reach and engagement.
    5. Utilizing automation tools can save time and improve efficiency. Automating certain aspects of your email marketing, such as welcome emails or abandoned cart reminders, can help nurture leads and drive conversions.
    6. Consistency in branding and messaging across all email communications helps build trust and recognition among your audience.
    7. Segmenting your email list based on various criteria, such as demographics or purchase history, allows for more targeted and relevant email campaigns, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates.
    8. Monitoring and analyzing email metrics, such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversions, is essential for understanding the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts and making data-driven decisions for improvement.

    Read Transcript

    Jay Schwedelson:- A lot of times when marketers are setting up their email campaigns they focus a lot of their time and energy on what’s in the email the creative uh the offer things like that in email personalization is a huge reason why an email performs well you may not be able to put a smiley face emoji in your subject line you may have brand guidelines strict rules and things like that but there are other ways to stand out they think that the reason that their email performance is not working is because maybe they’re sending too much when the opposite is usually true.

    Shelly Singh:- Welcome to the growth genius series brought to you by DMA Asia and infidigit my name is Shelly and I’m your host today our guest speaker is Jay Schwedelson founder of subjectline.com the leading free subject line rating tool ranked in the top one percent of all websites worldwide, Jay is also the president and CEO of world data group a multi-brand marketing services company whose portfolio includes subjectline.com outcome media and Guru events which puts on the guru conference the world’s largest email marketing event schwedelson has been named to Crane’s top 100 industry leaders for 10 consecutive years a very warm welcome Jay.

    Jay: – Hi thanks for having me it’s excited to be here.

    Shelly: – Great to start with a little about you, your company, role to our viewers and listeners.

    Jay: – Sure so I’ve been in the marketing world for about 25 years I have an agency which is called outcome media about 100 people or so we help Brands both business and consumer marketers with their demand generation efforts separate from that as you mentioned we put on a conference it’s free it’s about email marketing it’s called Guru conference you can go to Guru conference.com and last year we had 13 000 people that signed on board for the event and it’s two days 30 speakers everything you ever want to know about email so it’s totally free and I would recommend you-you checking that out so that’s what I do.

    Shelly: – Wow that’s very interesting I’ve never seen anybody organizing a Free Conference so-so that’s very interesting to know and so about subject live I’m very keen to know more about that so what are some hot Trends you’re seeing with subject line right now any tips for crafting a subject line that will increase open rates?

    Jay: – Yeah so a lot of times when marketers are setting up their email campaigns they focus a lot of their time and energy on what’s in the email the creative uh the author things like that when in reality if they don’t spend time on their subject line and they don’t get their email open then what’s the difference really what-what matter who cares what’s inside dream milk we can’t get it open so the subject line is really-really-really important a few things to think about that are working right now for subject lines is first off whatever is the most important part of your subject line has to be at the very start right if you have an offer you know two days left or 24 hours only or you know you want somebody to register for something like save my spot that needs to be set at the very start of the subject line because nobody’s actually going to read the second half of your subject line and at that very start there are things that you could do literally in the first character or two that will actually dramatically increase how many people are opening up your emails for example putting a number to start your subject line you know the seven latest trends in marketing actually the number being the first thing your subject line will actually give you a boost in engagement because it stands out a little bit more an emoji to start at the beginning of your subject line whether you’re a business marketer or consumer marketer at the very start that’ll increase the number of people opening up your emails capitalizing the first word of your subject line will increase the number of people opening up your emails so little things add up to a big difference and it’s all about the start of your subject learning.

    Shelly: – Very interesting like putting a number Emoji or Capital words wow interesting so I want to talk about personalization we all know that personalization is a necessity, but many aren’t sure how to execute beyond the usual hello and first name, so you know does personalization matter if yes then what are the Tactical ways to start implementing personalized content?

    Jay: – You know in email personalization is a huge reason why an email performs well and a lot of people think that we talk about personalization you think you’re talking about let’s say in the subject line again you would say J, check out whatever and they think personalization is just the person’s name let’s say in the subject line but that is just the tip of the iceberg I’ll give you an example of what I mean let’s say you want to always tell the person who they are as fast as you can meaning in the subject line let’s say somebody just bought a home this is just for new homeowners okay this is for people who love fishing for new grandparents right for people that live in the Chicago area in the subject line the sooner that you could tell the person who they are whether it’s by their interest their geography the stage in life you know are you a new parent that gets a dramatic increase in people opening up your emails because like oh that’s for me but on the business side also if you got an email and it says just for marketers you’re like oh I’m a marketer I need to open that up right or you put it in the subject line the actual name of the company that you’re emailing to right so it says something like is outcome media at risk oh-oh I’m outcome media I need to open that up so personalization can go well beyond somebody’s name it could be their interest it could be their job function it could be their company it could be the stage in life and the sooner you tell some somebody who they are and you let them know that the email that you’re sending is not for everybody but it’s for you it works incredibly well so much so that even if you did none of what I just said and you just put in the subject line just for you literally writing just for you people whether it’s subconscious or not people get excited about the fact that wait a minute this email is not for everybody it’s for me and that does really-really well.

    Shelly: – Yeah very interesting so my another question is that how do you craft an email on an interesting subject or continue conversation with an uninterested customer?

    Jay: – You know that a lot of us are in let’s call it a boring industry okay maybe you’re in a regulated industry maybe you’re in you know Healthcare or Finance or government or things like that and you think that you have to be very dry right that you have to be sort of boring in the way that you are marketed the most important thing we have to realize that we’re all people at the end of the day we’re people we all react to the same things now you may not let’s say you’re marketing somebody in the financial services category of a business to business side you may not be able to put a smiley face emoji in your subject line you may have brand guidelines and strip rules and things like that but there are other ways to stand out okay there are ways to stand out that can still be a conservative marketing technique I’ll give you an example let’s say that you are promoting a webinar okay when you send out that email in that subject line for example you could start your subject line and use brackets and right in the brackets you could write save my spot so instead of writing a webinar or register you might save my spot and you say the five latest trends in you know financial reporting all of a sudden you’re getting a little bit of excitement save my spot it’s not being boring and saying a register right and you’re getting people a little bit excited about what they’re doing inside the email the mistake that most marketers do is that they don’t do enough with their call to action buttons the buttons that are actually in the email getting people to click through and go to the site they think that if it needs to say something like download or register or buy now when those call to action buttons are critical they’re critical in getting hard offers-offers that are difficult to convert uh they’re critical elements to getting those people to the destination page landing page so instead of saying things like download okay if you’re promoting a piece of content you want to say get my free report okay or I want in or save my spot things that are more active that are more interesting and if it’s a consumer offer instead of just saying register sign up it is get my free trial start my 30-day free trial whatever it is that you’re promoting you can make that call to action button more exciting and that helps a lot with offers that are a little bit boring.

    Shelly: – Yeah interesting so my next question is very basic, but we all want to know that what are the most ideal days and frequencies for sending email?

    Jay: – That’s a great question ironically people think that they’re sending too much email they think that the reason that their email performance is not working is because maybe they’re sending too much when the opposite is usually true for two reasons number one the way that you stay in somebody’s inbox versus the junk folder and by the way about 20 of all email goes to the junk folder it doesn’t matter if your Amazon the NFL Salesforce Google 20 of all emails gone go to junk folder so if you see some you won’t go in the junk folder don’t lose your mind it happens with every marketer for 100 different reasons okay so it’s important when we’re talking about how often you’re sending the reason that you stay in somebody’s inbox rather than a junk folder is about overall engagement how often are people opening and clicking on your emails if you don’t send enough email and of course the email needs to be relevant it’s got to be good stuff but if you don’t send enough email frequently enough you won’t be generating enough opens and click-throughs to Warrant to keep you in that inbox so ironically if you don’t send out enough you have a greater likelihood of going to the Jungle folder so you’re not going to the junk folder because you’re sending too much you might be going to the Jungle folder because you’re not sending enough now that being said how much is the right amount okay how much is the right amount and there’s no exact number like send out twice a week or twice every other day what not but if you’re not sending out at least once a week you’re not even in the ballpark believe it or not on average consumer marketers send out four emails a week and business marketers send out three and a half emails a week on average okay now so you’re sitting there say whoa I don’t send out that much but you probably do because one email might be a newsletter another one might be an offer email mother one might be whatever but that is what marketers are sending on average so I encourage you to be stay as relevant as you can send out relevant stuff but you’re probably not sending out nearly as much as you probably should be.

    Shelly: – But there are like I have subscribed to some emails and sometimes I get every day but it’s so irritating I’m like why I’m getting every deal by an email because my inbox is full of only their emails?

    Jay: – You know that’s an interesting point because it’s all about relevancy right if I sent you an email every day and I sent you one great idea every single day you might look forward to that email you might be like oh Jay’s got great ideas I can’t wait to get his emails whereas uh somebody else sent you an email every day and all it is Promotional and it’s garbage like why am I on this list it’s terrible frequency is about relevancy right you have the license to send out more when whatever it is that you are sending is relevant and people want to get it so I could send you 10 emails a day if they were relevant and you like them so the more relevant you are the more uh frequently that you can send your email and that’s kind of the direct correlation that exists.

    Shelly: – Yeah but are there any key components for getting an email opened and clicked?

    Jay: – Are there so there’s different kind of emails right so you have really two different rules three different kind of emails there’s transactional you buy something you get an automated email right that’s over there then you have your newsletter okay and then you have offer emails so you really need to break those two buckets apart and by the way I encourage everyone to break their tracking apart too when you talk about what is my open rates the percentage of people opening up my emails what is my click-through rate look at all your emails and together in Aggregate and say my emails get an average of a 25 open rate and a three percent click-through rate you can’t do that you need to create buckets my newsletter gets an average of 25 open rate and three percent click rate my offer emails that promote this type of offer get these metrics this offer gets these types of metrics you need to have different benchmarks for the different kinds of emails but so for example for your newsletter a lot of people make the mistake newsletters are very hard it’s a lot of content to put together it’s big pain to get newsletter content and you finally it’s send it goes out the door and you hope it did well the mistake that marketers most often make is if they don’t send it again you should be sending your newsletter twice you send it that first time let’s say on Tuesday here’s the newsletter for the week and then you send it again on Thursday you take everyone who didn’t open up the original email you send it again saying hey subject line I think you missed this and send it again because that newsletter takes a lot of time and effort to put together and a lot of times people will miss it so sending a newsletter twice okay in the same week is a great idea to increase your open rate and your click-through rate on that piece of content that took you a long time to put together and on offer related emails really make sure that you are using a sense of urgency I don’t care if you’re a business marketer or a consumer marketer you want to be able to tell a person there’s two days left for this offer time’s running out this is your last chance in the subject line and even if you have no end of your offer you want to say something like don’t miss out in that subject line human nature is always about wanting the thing that may not be available in the future so when it’s an offer email really try to push that that sense of urgency.

    Shelly: – So are there any major pitfalls to avoid?

    Jay: – So things to avoid obviously you don’t want to be you don’t want to send something that’s not true okay there are certain words that might get you a really a lot of people open but there are words I would avoid so for example things like urgent I just talked about urgency but you don’t want to say something’s urgent right or alert you only want to be alerted if your bank account gets compromised it’s urgent is like you know somebody’s going to the hospital that’s urgent yeah you’re promoting your offer it’s not urgent it’s not an alert and that upsets people right that upsets people and that gets people to unsubscribe the other thing that gets feel unsubscribed is when you personalize with their last name for some reason we’re okay when we say J, blah blah blah but if I saw Jay schwedelson, blah blah blah we see spam complaints go up a lot right so little things like this are really important make sure that you’re not upsetting the person that you are marketing to.

    Shelly: – So I also wanted to ask you that are there any powerful metrics for the email marketing other than open and click?

    Jay: – First off creating your own benchmarks are really important a lot of times people send me what’s the industry average I’m in the automotive industry I’m in the financial services I’m in healthcare I’m in business to business technology what is the industry average for it opens or clicks or response rate or whatever and that drives me crazy because it means nothing it means nothing what you need to do is you want to create benchmarks for your own performance okay you want to Benchmark everything that you’re doing so when you send out on a Monday your newsletter and you have what is your deliverability rate 99 what is my open rate what is my click-through rate that’s your newsletter you don’t really have an offer when you do have an offer okay this is where the metrics go beyond the opens and the clicks right they go to your destination page the game of the destination page let’s say you’re promoting a webinar or some sort of piece of content or you’re giving out a coupon the consumer side what is your abandon rate what is the percentage of people that get to your destination page that don’t fill out and that’s a critical metric because there’s a lot that you could do on that destination page whatever pages that you’re taking them to that you could do on that page to significantly increase the number of people that are signing up so what can you do number one when you’re promoting an offer I don’t care if it’s consumer business you want them to do something buy something download something register for something when they get to that page what is on that page is there a navigation bar where they can click off and go to another part of your site which is horrible to do you want everything on that page to be about that offer that they can’t leave that they’re sort of Trapped they click through and now they can only do that thing so you want to limit any click-throughs going anywhere else and when you have all those fields you’re asking them to fill out you need every one of those fields every additional must fill field required field on your landing page okay you’re going to lose about eight percent of your registers so you want to think about every single thing that you’re asking somebody because that destination page is really important and one other little trick that does really well is you send out your email and it has a big hero image in it right there’s a picture of something when they click through and they go to that destination page what you want to do is you want to have that same image the same here image that’s in your email you want to have it front and centre on your destination page because it makes people feel comfortable it’s subconscious but people feel good saying oh I was interested in this thing over here I clicked on it this I’m in the right place I’m in the right place I’m going to do the thing they asked me to do having the same primary image on your email and your destination page significantly increases your performance or back to your question really digging into the data on your destination page and when people are falling off and why is going to be a big difference maker in terms of your overall response rate.

    Shelly: – Great very good points I also wanted to ask you a few about few campaigns which you can share with us any of your successful email campaign example or anyone done by anyone else which you admire?

    Jay: – Yeah so my company on behalf of our clients we handle six billion email messages a year that’s a lot of email and we see a lot of good and we see a lot of bad and I sign up for everything I really do encourage marketers instead of looking at your inbox as oh I got so much spam oh my inbox is filled with so much garbage right it really to me is I sign up for everything because when you get an email let’s take an email from Apple okay Apple’s the biggest company in the world most valuable company in the world when they send you an email is literally giving you a marketing gift what they’re saying to you is here is the latest marketing that we have the best that we can do and we’re giving it to you for free every best practice that we could think of everything we can come up with the timing the creative the subject line the fromage or everything here it is for you marketer in your inbox it’s a gift and that is the way I look at every email from all the different brands that I get okay because they’re not just sending it out by accident it was like oh yeah just send it who cares no this has been thought about approved by legal approved by everybody and so to analyze every little piece of it is so valuable and there are some marketers that really go over the top that I think are wild so for example Wayfair sign up for wayfaires emails dominoes the pizza place sign up for Domino’s emails why do I bring up those organizations because they go further than almost any other marketer you’ll see them try things in their-their subject lines and they’re from address and then they’re body copying they’ll use 400 emojis and I’m not telling you to copy what they’re doing but I think it’s really important to see how far extreme marketers go with some of the tactics that they try because then you’ll feel better about trying some of the smaller things a lot of times marketers get scared like oh I can’t do that you know it’s too much so when you see these other big Brands going crazy doing all sorts of stuff you’re like all right if they’re gone do that I can do this and so that’s, that’s an important on the business side I think Salesforce does a really good job trying to use some of the latest best practices and Trends so yeah so I would sign up for all those emails.

    Shelly: – Great my next segment is on Trend so what are the top three local and Global Trends in email marketing to watch for?

    Jay: – Yeah email marketing obviously continues to evolve I would say one of the biggest things is a change over the last few years in terms of what’s called spam trigger words okay so if you went back even now if you were to Google spam trigger words or spammy words you will find hundreds of Articles telling you words that you need to avoid using in your subject line or your body copy because if you use them it might trigger you to go to the Jungle the words like you know free or an exclamation point or things like that that information is really old information that’s information from years ago that’s how filtering and why you instant junk folder used to be that’s not the case anymore you don’t go to the junk folder to the spam folder 99 of the time because of the content because of the words that you’re writing because of the symbols that you’re using you’re going to the spam and jump folder because of your technical sending reputation and the reason I talk about this as a trend is that a lot of times when you see best practice information especially about email marketing it’s not really current even though it might be an article written today it’s based on Legacy information so this idea of spam trigger words or spammy words really isn’t a thing anymore and yet you’ll see articles about it every single day so I would encourage you to you know when you see when you hear anything that’s like taboo or we could never do this with email because we heard you know blah blah blah those are likely the things that you need to try first because that’s based on the information from five years ago 10 years ago so that to me is one of the biggest changes in email marketing.

    Shelly: – Great so what would you recommend to the marketeers to do in the near future, and you know on the horizon of three to five years on email marketing?

    Jay: – Well I think email is more and more important than ever not just because I do a lot of this for my job and I’ll tell you why you could build up a huge following on LinkedIn or a big following on Instagram or Tik-Tok or whatever but in any moment those platforms could snap their fingers change their algorithms and when you go to share your content it’s throttled back you know I like to look at that as rented real estate rather than owned real estate so all these social platforms they’re great but you never really know where you stand and you never really can reach your entire audience of people that are that I’m following you, you just can’t with any one put it doesn’t work that’s not how the algorithms are set up but with email it’s really owned right you own that you own that dialogue you decide when everybody on your list gets something what everybody on your list is going to see and there’s no algorithm that’s going to stop you from communicating with that database so focusing your efforts every and it takes time it’s a daily thing right collecting that email address like on your website do you have a fixed position something that doesn’t go away on your website where someone could sign up for your newsletter right are you doing pop-up contact captures where they go to your website or they leave your website says hey get our latest trends report put in your email address or get 10 off put in your email address you know when you do a social media post on LinkedIn do you say also sign up for my newsletter everywhere that you can you want to be thinking about how to build your email list and it takes time but this idea of owned property versus rented property in terms of your your digital kind of view is really it’s critical for marketers.

    Shelly: – Wow great so this brings us to our last segment in this episode tell us about any one passion you follow and how it helps you to elevate your profession?

    Jay: – You know I started my own newsletter not my company me it’s called scoop and you could actually uh you could find my newsletter if you go on LinkedIn and, and find me on my profile you can sign up for my newsletter but the reason I bring that up is that I decided a few years ago to start this newsletter and instead of it being like a boring newsletter about just marketing stuff I put in a few marketing ideas and then I share what I’m up to in my real life you know I’ll share what’s going on my kids what TV shows I’m watching what I had for dinner last night I share what I’m really doing and how I really feel about things I mean I don’t get into politics or religion just the basics and I have found that by being as transparent as I can by being as real as I can I built up a much better relationship with all the different you know people in my business life and so that’s really been interesting to me to go further and further down that path and my newsletters has grown exponentially because of this and I get really high open rates and really great engagement and what I’ve learned from this is we are living in a world where everything is you know we’re not really together as much and people working remotely and everybody thinks that you know when you something goes online has to be perfect right where in reality the more real that we could be you know let’s say you do a video you want to put on LinkedIn pointing that camera at yourself on your phone does a lot better than standing in front of a green screen and making it all look all nice and pretty and we live in this inauthentic world so the more authentic we can be I found it to be super engaging and also it’s more fun for me so I guess that’s a passion of mine over the last few years is trying to get comfortable because it’s very uncomfortable to get comfortable with being transparent about myself so that’s what I try to do tomorrow.

    Shelly: – That’s great very interesting to know that I will definitely like to check out your email?

    Jay: – Okay good thank you.

    Shelly: – Where can our listeners and viewers find you and connect with you?

    Jay: – Yeah so number one please connect me on LinkedIn I love being connected with everybody on LinkedIn I share a lot of information there I have my own website separate from my companies it’s my name it’s j-a-y schwettleson.com so it’s j-y and then my name schwedelson s-c-h-w-e-d-e-l-s-o-n.com so Jay swadelson.com and you can sign up for my newsletter and all sorts of other stuff there and I really do encourage everyone who if you care about email marketing this event is free I would go to Guru conference.com it’s really useful information 30 speakers two days I think it’s fun so yeah so that’s fun and it’s free and why not.

    Shelly: – Great thank you so much Jay for your time today and wonderful insights into email marketing not only is email marketing cost effective but it’s flexibility and ease of use makes it significant gross driver to bring Roi I’m sure our listeners will take away actionable insight and start implementing thanks again.

    Jay: – Sure thing great being here thank you.

    Shelly: – To all our viewers thanks for listening and please subscribe to our Channel if you like this episode leave a rating and review I’ll see you next time with a new speaker till then peace.

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    Email Marketing Tips and Strategies for Business Growth ft. Jay Schwedelson

    Email Marketing Tips and Strategies for Business Growth ft. Jay Schwedelson