With the majority of customers present on social media, marketers tend to forget one of the most successful and cost-effective advertising channel – email marketing. However, according to Salesforce in their “State of Marketing” report, 76% of marketing organizations still invest in email marketing. Also known as email blasts, email marketing is one of the most powerful digital tools that exist. It is a great way to get your message out there and reach many potential customers.
You should definitely invest in e-mail marketing if you are looking to create closer relationships with your customers. However, the implementation of email marketing requires following some rules and defining an email marketing strategy. We will cover all these topics along this blog post.
What exactly is email marketing?
Email marketing is the act of communicating with a specific group of people through email. The people who receive these emails are usually potential or current customers of yours. The majority of big companies use email marketing to offer new discounts or announce product launches. Although, you can utilize email marketing in which form you see suitable for you. These emails are sent via e-mail marketing platforms or marketing automation, which we will cover later on this blog post.
Since GDPR was launched, in May 2018, companies can only send emails to those who specifically have indicated they are interested in receiving them. Otherwise you can infringe such regulamentations.
Email marketing is provided by email marketing services. Platforms that have been evolving over the years and become more and more technological. We will talk about these platforms later.
Why should you use email marketing?
There are many reasons you should implement email-marketing in your digital marketing strategy. The main benefit of this tool is being able to communicate directly with people that are interested in what you have to say. Contrary to what happens in traditional marketing, your email marketing efforts won’t be ending in failure, since your audience will want to hear from you.
Amongst the various reasons you should implement email marketing in your business, whether it is a digital one or not, here are the most relevant:
- Communicate discounts;
- Confirm and update online orders from customers;
- Announce product launches;
- Inform about site or physical store changes;
- Sell products/services;
- Personalize shopping experience.
Regardless of your business sector, if it’s digital or physical, it is crucial that you adopt an email marketing strategy and start communicating directly with your customers.
How to create an effective email campaign
Know your target audience
The first step when creating your email marketing strategy has to be understanding your customer needs.
Think about your overall business strategy and create goals that are in line with that strategy. Everything should be connected and, if possible, create an omnichannel experience for the customer. This way, emails will reach and speak to people more valuable for your company.
Note: Before you start sending emails, make sure you have permission to send them. Create an email list with all the people who have authorized the reception of your emails. This way you won’t make the mistake of sending unsolicited emails.
The email list will also be valuable to get to know your subscription base. Knowing your target audience is essential when sending emails.
You want to send emails that have meaning and purpose for who’s reading. For example, if a person who visited your pet store wanted to know more about dog products, they probably won’t be interested in receiving emails about cat or bird products.
A good marketing campaign starts by defining the goals you want to achieve. After deciding which type of email you will send, and what information it contains, define the outcome you expect from the emails.
Some examples of email marketing campaign goals would include:
- Increase sales on determined products;
- Lead customers to make product reviews;
- Decrease cart abandonment rates;
Use email marketing services
As mentioned above, email marketing services are crucial for creating effective email marketing campaigns. These tools can give you insights into customer behaviour, so you can deliver more personalised content. There are many email marketing automation softwares available. Some are more complex than others, so choose the one that fits your needs. These are some of the most popular email marketing services:
> RD Station
> Campaign Monitor
Having help from an email marketing platform is essential to create emails that look professional. Your template should be consistent and aesthetically pleasing for the reader. As smartphone usage continues to increase, make sure your template is optimized for both desktop and mobile devices.
The main advantage of these platforms are the insights and analytics it provides. These insights are crucial to understand how your campaign is performing. We will talk about KPI’s you should measure later on.
Besides insights about your campaign, you can also access insights about your reading list. As you grow this list and learn more about customer behaviour you can deliver more personalized content. This way you increase the chances of the customers not only reading your emails but also click through to visit your website.
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Create an appealing title and a good CTA (Call-to-Action)
An appealing title makes a huge difference on your email opening rate, but most importantly, it increases campaign results. Spend some time thinking about enticing email titles and subject lines. Keep these stats in mind when creating it:
> The perfect email title length is from 6 to 10 words;
> Email titles with the customers name increase opening rates by 40%;
> Titles with uppercase letters often are marked as Spam by email service providers;
Except when your emails’ objective is just to inform, your emails must contain links so that the readers can take the desired action. To this effect, it is crucial the presence of a good call-to-action.
A good CTA makes clear what is the action the reader should take when finished reading your email. That action must be clear and objective. Place something that catches your readers’ attention and makes him click that button to buy your product.
Personalize your emails
Personalizing the emails you sent makes it a more personal message. It is a simple action that has great results on your campaign performance. Home goods retailer Williams-Sonoma reported a 10x improvement in response rates from personalized email offerings, based on individuals’ onsite and catalog shopping behaviour.
Utilizing the variable ‘name’ in the beginning of your emails or at the subject line can make a big difference in opening rates, for example. Take advantage of email personalization so that your emails don’t come across as mass communication.
Keep your email list clean
Email marketing services will charge you for the amount of emails you send so keeping your email list clean is important. A big email list won’t serve you if half of the people don’t read your emails. However these platforms allow you to filter your lists helping you see which contacts are more active. On the other hand, you can also filter those results to see which contacts don’t open your emails for several consecutive campaigns.
Create specific landing pages for your email campaigns
Your email campaigns will be more successful if you send visitors directly to the page they want to see, so they can learn about the product, and maybe buy it! Avoid sending your readers to your homepage as it will probably not convert as well.
Now that you have learned the basics on how to create a successful campaign, let’s dive in on how to manage it.
Managing Successful Email Marketing Campaigns
Managing your email campaigns is crucial so that you can refine current campaigns and improve future ones. A/B testing is definitely an essential tool when managing campaigns.
A/B testing is when you create two versions of an email to see which one performs better. You send a group of customers version A and another group of customers version B. You can use this technique to test different email approaches and see which ones perform better. Test different subject lines, frequency, content and images.
Measuring Success in Email Marketing
Just like any type of online marketing, email marketing is easy to measure. As mentioned above email services usually include analytics tools, so you can track and measure how well your campaigns are doing. Be sure to use web analytics to figure out what people do on your website after they click on your emails. Benefits associated with understanding email performance and common metrics that provide insights to help you optimise future campaigns.
Email metrics are important because it makes you understand which aspects of your campaign are doing well and which needs improvement.
Below is a cheat sheet with the most important email marketing metrics you should analyse and with which frequency.
What not do in email marketing
1. Not segmenting campaigns
Segmenting your campaigns is essential when sending emails. Otherwise you can make the mistake of talking about a topic that the reader is not interested in. If you segment your emails you avoid unsubscriptions and your conversion rate will definitely increase.
2. Sending too much emails
Have you ever unsubscribed from an email list because you received too many emails? That happens a lot. In fact, it is the number one reason why people unsubscribe from email lists. when sending out emails don’t be to pushy, give time for your readers to digest the content.
3. Not setting goals
As mentioned above, setting goals is really important when launching a campaign. Otherwise, how would you know if your campaign is on track? Everytime you send an email make sure it has its own goal.
4. Not following KPI’s
KPI’s are useful to understand what is wrong and what is correct in your email marketing campaigns. With these insights it’s possible to know what should be improved in order to get better results next time.
There are several mistakes to avoid regarding email marketing, however these are a few you should keep in mind when beginning your email marketing journey. There’s no scientific formula to get it right at first so learn as you go and find out what works best for your audience.
Even though sometimes email marketing is a tool that seems to be forgotten, it is certainly a powerful tool with a very good ROI. It is definitely something to try if you haven’t already.