It is Monday morning and you are rejuvenated for the week ready to get down to work. You start with opening your email and boom, you have several emails to read and respond to. You customarily decide to skim through your emails as you neglect some while at the same time clicking-through others. Interestingly, you clicked on links attached to some email marketing to read their content, product features, or offers. What made you ignore some emails and at the same time click and read through others?
It is easier to picture this when you are the recipient of these emails. Email marketing requires the one drafting the email or strategizing a campaign to have the reader in mind. If you were the one opening your inbox, what would prompt you to click on an email, and what would lead you to simply click delete or the worst unsubscribe?
You might have luckily received tips from your friends on how your local business could go online to help you increase your Return on Investment. After several months of using social media channels and other online platforms, you realize that your online presence has not borne much fruits the way your friends hyped about. A friend tells you to try email marketing and the advice is simply, “start sending emails.”
Why Email Marketing?
Often, email marketing is mistaken as a strategy to promote a service or product. How many times do you click on that email with the headline, “Get… (product name) … for as a low as …”? Personally, that headline is enough to warrant a delete of your email without reading it. If you are looking for the number one worst way of doing email marketing, try the screaming “deals” strategy.
In real sense, email marketing is all about developing relationships with potential customers and current clients. When done in the right way, the potential clients become customers while the current clients develop into loyal fans. This is possible through informed, personalized, and tailored messages to these specific audiences. Following this way of email marketing will increase a return of $42 for every $1 spent and reduce the chances of spam emails.
Reducing spam emails increases the conversion rate of about 2.3% beating social media by 22% and search engines by 5%. 2018 data by Smart Insights shows that email marketing is still the most effective marketing strategy beating social media, chatbots, affiliate marketing, and search engines. Unlike search engines and social media that depend on algorithms for your targeted audience to receive a message from you, email delivers the content directly into their inbox.
Getting started with email marketing:
- You need a professional email and if it is directly from an Email Service Provider (ESP) the better. ESPs such as MailChimp, Zoho, GSuites, AWeber, Office 360, Infusionsoft, HubSpot, and ConvertKit among others provide servers that house your email lists and allow you to send out mass emails. ESP is your number 1 friend in complying with the CAN-SPAM laws meant to protect the consumers. Consider the cost and the ways your audience will be able to opt-in to your email in choosing an ESP.
- Strategize. You know what happens when you hit the road but you have no idea of where you are heading. The growth of your email list depends on the best practices that you implement and your vision.
- Start with what you have. The people to start with, in your email list are your friends and family members. If you are already in business and have run campaigns in the past, import all your existing customers’ contacts. Your first email should be an introduction for them to know you and why you will be doing email campaigns. Remember your first impression will determine future interactions.
- Content. Email marketing needs good content. It is crucial to segment your email list subscribers as part of campaigns to know which content works well. Analytics will help in knowing how to classify your email list, which consists of the following:
Open rates help you tell how well your relationship is with the readers. People who are excited to read your content open the emails quickly. Having a low open rate is an indication that you need extra work in providing quality, value, and managing the expectations of your audience. Unfortunately, other than just viewing your content on their email, this group does not take any actions on your email by not clicking on the given links.
When you check your analytics and see a higher click-through rate (CTR) that is an indication that people are taking action by clicking on the provided links. Remember the purpose of running the email campaigns is to engage your audience and make sales. Even though this should not be screaming in every sentence or paragraph. Your engaging, well researched and quality content should gear the clients in this direction. Catering for the needs of the responders through products’ or services’ offers and promotions could turn them into loyal customers. Your goal should be to have all your subscribers here. What happens in situations where they want to do a one-time purchase? This is why you must find a way (strategy) that will keep their interests high so that they keep clicking on the links on your email.
People unsubscribe from the mailing list for different reasons. When your analytics show that the rate of unsubscribing is higher than the rate of opt-in, then it is high time that you invest in content. One of the ways to capture the unsubscribers’ interest is through surveys that will help you know what they like and what they expect from you. Content is king and this includes how you brand your newsletter. People might be signing up for the wrong reasons because your opt-in headline is not descriptive enough. You need to be authentic, simple, and show value as you reach out to the unsubscribers.
- Brand your newsletter and email templates. Your email and newsletter templates should be consistent with your branding. According to Pardot, 66% of email marketers use newsletters while 54% use promotional content and 42% welcome email. Choose the design elements, layout, and graphics that stand out. Your newsletters could vary depending on the occasions such as events, holiday promotions, pitching a new product, press releases or anything that you would like your audience to be acquainted with. Ensure that your email and newsletter templates stand out to convert into leads and click-through rates.
Email Marketing Etiquette
How would you feel if someone invaded your private space? Take someone’s email as their private space that needs respect. Before adding someone into your emailing list, get permission from them. Make sure that when people are subscribing they are aware that they will be receiving weekly or daily or monthly email updates from you on a service or product. Your newsletter headline should be clear enough so that you won’t have a lot of subscribers who are deadbeat (they don’t open your email).
Welcome the new subscribers with customized content detailing why they will be receiving emails from you. Invite them to read posts from your website or give you a review or any form of action that will initiate that relationship from the word go.
Email marketing is all about meeting expectations. You are the one who sets the expectations through a follow-through great content. A positive campaign depends on a strong call to action and consistent follow-up. The expectations range from critical daily product updates to weekly email updates. Sticking to this as a change without a clear explanation to your readers is the surest path to your failure.
Auto-responders. Auto-responders serve different purposes such as triggering one to purchase an item, visit a specific page, or join your mailing list or simply follow-up information. It is important to respond to your clients (subscribers). Let them know if you are away and invite them to take action.
Email marketing works in customer retention, business conversion rate, raising awareness, and increasing acquisition. How this turns out all depends on you crafting and sending to clients targeted emails.
You need to learn and know about your targeted audience to provide value. Use their previous purchase preferences, shopping habits, and browsing history. You could create wish-list surveys that would help you know what the clients desire the most. This information is your arsenal in creating perfect email campaigns for your audience.
It is time to take action and incorporate email marketing into your digital marketing strategies. Increase your Return on Investment, conversion rate, and expand your market reach through email marketing.
What works well for you in email marketing? Send us your thoughts. Are you struggling with email marketing? Well, join our mailing list for more tips.