Top Reasons Successful Businesses Use Email Marketing
Email marketing is a digital marketing strategy that uses email to promote your business’s products or services. Using Email marketing, you can keep your customers updated on the latest news about your company, sales promotions, and exclusive deals for your subscribers. It can be a powerful tool to keep our customers informed and in touch. Most importantly, it can boost conversions and revenue by providing subscribers and customers with valuable information.
Advantages of email marketing
Email marketing is a popular marketing tool because it prompts the user to take some kind of action - an email will sit in the inbox until it’s read, deleted, or archived.
High conversion rates
For every $1 spent, email has an average return on investment (ROI) of $44 or a 4400% ROI, according to a study by Campaign Monitor. On a global level, as per Statista, 30% of marketers say email marketing has the highest ROI.
Build better relationships and generate leads
Email marketing helps build better relationships through personalized engagement and that, in turn, helps drive traffic to your blog, social media, or anywhere else you’d like customers to visit.
Boost brand awareness
Emails can be used to keep your company and its services on the top of mind of your prospective customers especially when they are ready to engage.
Promote your content
Email marketing can be used to share relevant blogs or any other useful contents with your prospects. You can also use email marketing to promote your products and services. 86% of consumers like to receive a promotional email from brands they subscribe to at least once per month.
Email is the #1 communication channel
There are 3.8 billion email users worldwide and at least 99% of consumers check their email on a daily basis. So this makes emails a perfect place to reach out to customers.
How to Create an Email Marketing Strategy
Believe it or not, people receive an average of 121 emails every day. That means there is a high probability that your marketing emails will get lost in crowded inboxes, or worse, be sent to the spam folder. To avoid this, you need to develop a proper email marketing strategy. Let’s learn how to create one.
Define Your Audience
It’s crucial to have a clear understanding of who your audience is in order to effectively communicate with them. You need to start with identifying who your target customer demographic is and then send them personalized and targeted emails that help increase engagement, build trustful relationships and generate greater ROI.
Identify your goals
Identify the average email stats for your industry and use them as benchmarks for your goals.
Create a Way for People to Sign Up
An email list includes users who have allowed you to send them your business content. You need to build that list so that more and more customers are subscribed to your content. However, don't be discouraged if you have a small list in the beginning because it usually takes time to build it up. Check out our article to learn how to build your email list.
Choose an Email Campaign Type
There are various types of email campaigns you can run, such as; welcome emails, event invitations, digital newsletters, etc... Start by learning about the different types of email campaigns and decide which is best for your audience. You can also set up different lists for different types of emails, such as welcome emails only for new customers. This way customers can sign up for only the emails that are relevant to them.
Make a Schedule
First establish your sending frequency and goals. Some businesses such as blogs or news websites may send daily updates to their subscribers, while others only send once or twice a month. Then create a content calendar to schedule your campaigns, blog posts, social media posts etc... Your email marketing schedule will depend on your industry, the types of content you send, and your sending frequency.
Measure Your Results
Establishing and tracking key metrics will help you make small changes to your emails that will yield large results. Some important KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to track are:
- Opens and Clicks- This will tell you how well your subject lines and campaign content resonates with a particular list. Be sure to compare the rates with your industry benchmarks.
- E-commerce data- such as purchase data for your subscribers or subscriber profiles.
- Website traffic- trends in website traffic or e-commerce activity after you send any campaign.
How to Build Your Email List
As a business owner, it is always exciting to build and grow your email list. Let us learn how to build your email list.
Use lead magnets
To grow your email list, you need to attract people with a compelling offer. This offer is the lead magnet. It is something that you give away for free in exchange for an email address. Some popular lead magnet examples are:
- A cheat sheet of tips or resources
- White papers or case studies
- A webinar
- Free trials or samples
- A free quote or consultation
- Quizzes or a self-assessment
- A coupon
Conditions for an effective lead magnets:
A good lead magnet should provide value for free. Other conditions to make an effective lead magnet are:
- Easy to consume: Lead magnets are only effective when the audience uses them. So using a digital format such as pdf, webpage, or a video, makes it easy to use and obtain for your new leads.
- Actionable: Lead magnets should provide some solution or an actionable tool or skill set that your new leads can apply.
- Creates noticeable improvement: People will only continue to keep buying your products or services if they work well. Your lead magnet will become successful if it’s as valuable as your products and services.
- Relevant: Every new lead is in a different stage of the buyer’s journey. Segmenting the lead magnets is important so you can share relevant content as per each segment.
- Stepping stone to paid subscription: The purpose of providing a free lead magnet is to convert the new leads into paid subscribers. You offer free content which provides a small insight into the services you provide. So a lead magnet should be such that it converts those leads.
Create an enticing opt-in form
Opt-in forms convey the benefit of the lead magnet to your subscribers, so the new visitors to your website subscribe to your email list in exchange for getting the lead magnet.
Some tips for creating a good opt-in form:
- Attractive design: Your form should stand out and be visually attractive so that people sign up. Try to include an image of the lead magnet if you can.
- Enticing headline: Your headline should clearly describe the big benefit of your lead magnet to customers so they are compelled to read further.
- Helpful description: Description should be short and to the point.
- Simple form: Don’t ask too many details in the form as this causes customers to abandon filling it out. Just ask for basic information such as name and email address.
- Compelling subscribe button: Make sure to make the subscribe button a contrasting color so that it really pops out on the page.
Using Social Media to Grow Your Email List
Social media is a powerful tool to grow your email list. Let us look at some of the ways you can leverage social media to increase your email subscribers.
Run an online contest
Use your social media accounts to run a free giveaway in exchange for contact information. Ask the visitors to enter the contest using their name and email address.
Promote an offer through Facebook that requires an email address
Promote content on Facebook that can only be accessed after signing up. Also add social sharing buttons to your landing and thank you (after sign up) pages so that your leads can share the offer with their own network.
Use twitter to promote your lead-gen offer
Create a Twitter campaign for your followers that promotes some free resources such as an ebook. Then ask users to enter their email address to download that resource.
Add a call-to-action button to the top of your Facebook Business Page
Link your Facebook Business page's call-to-action button to a landing page that requires an email address to access some free special resource.
Use social media to publish links to gated offers
Gated offers are truly exclusive and only qualified buyers can redeem them. Use your Facebook Business page or LinkedIn Company Page to post links to the same gated offers that require an email to redeem. Gated offers often pique people’s curiosity, increasing the chance they will offer their email address.
Use Pinterest to promote gated visual content
Pinterest allows you to host visual content that encourages visitors to sign up to see more of your content. For example, if you sell graphic t-shirts, create a Pinterest board with a few of your designs and then ask users to sign up to see more of your t-shirts.
Add engagement features to your YouTube channel
Encourage people to subscribe to your channel via their email address by adding hyperlinked "end cards" to your YouTube videos.
How to Send Marketing Emails the Right Way
After you have built an email list, you want to start sending out emails immediately to your subscribers. However, you don’t want to end up in the spam folder or blocked list. So, let us look at some of the important things you need to know in order to send marketing emails properly.
Choose an email marketing service
An email marketing service allows you to efficiently create, personalize, and optimize marketing emails that have a professional look without having a designer on your team. Also, you will receive helpful data so you can analyze the success of your email marketing campaign. Keep these features in mind when you choose an email service provider:
- CRM platform with customer segmentation features
- A positive reputation as an email service provider (ESP)
- Easy-to-build forms, landing pages, and CTAs
- Ability to split test your emails
- Built-in analytics
- Downloadable reports
Use best practices for sending marketing emails
Having a well formatted email or a carefully crafted subject line is very important before sending your marketing emails.
- Copy: The copy in the body of your email should stick to only one topic to not distract your customers.
- Images: Images should be relevant and optimized for all devices such as mobile, desktop etc.
- CTA: Your call-to-action should be prominent and lead to a relevant offer.
- Timing: A study found that Tuesday at 11 AM ET is the best day and time to send your email. *Note: We’d still recommend that you test the timing yourself and see if any day and time stands out as being successful or unsuccessful.
- Responsiveness: More emails are opened on mobile as compared to desktop. Research found that 55% of emails are opened on mobile.
- Personalization: Emails should have a personal touch and not sound like an office email.
- Subject Line: Use clear language that is personalized and entices the reader to open the email.
Segment your email list
Segmentation is the process of breaking your email list into sub-categories based on your subscribers’ unique characteristics, interests, and preferences. Sending a generic email blast to all your subscribers will not resonate with all your subscribers. Every subscriber is at a different level of readiness to convert into a customer. Check out our article on How to Segment Your Email Marketing List
Personalize your email marketing
- Add a first name field in your subject line
- Include region-specific information
- Write about personal events like birthdays
- End your emails with a personal signature
- Use a call-to-action to an offer that the reader will find useful
7 Ways to Segment Your Email Marketing List
Segmentation is the process of breaking your email list into sub-categories based on your subscribers’ unique characteristics, interests, and preferences. Sending a generic email blast to all your subscribers will not resonate with all your subscribers. Every subscriber is at a different level of readiness to convert into a customer. If you customize the emails based on different customer subcategories, you’ll produce better results because they will resonate with your customers.
How to Segment Email Lists
You can start with segmenting customers based on basics such as age, gender, and location. During the email sign-up process, the more information you can get about your audience the more options you’ll have for demographic segmentation. But be careful not to make the sign-up process too lengthy by asking too many questions as it can turn off certain customers. Focus on the most important questions only.
Email engagement metrics such as Open Rate and Clickthrough Rate are important in keeping track of your email marketing success. Using these metrics, you can segment users as active vs inactive- someone who hasn’t opened your email in 3-4 months. And then you can create a customized campaign to re-engage the inactive users.
Segmenting customers based on past purchases is another way where you start sending out email recommendations for similar items or accessories that would go well with their previous purchase. Or an email for a replacement, refil, or renewal of the product purchased in the past.
Use the customer amount spent history to classify customers into those who are likely to buy more expensive items and who are more interested in affordable, lower dollar items.
Position in the Sales Funnel
Segmenting by where your audience is in the sales funnel is extremely important. Emails for a group of brand-new subscribers should be more generalized, giving a range of the products or features you offer. Whereas, for customers who have been signed up for a while, you should look at their previous activity and send more targeted emails.
You can send targeted emails based on the specific pages your audiences visited. You can also send out targeted emails based on website activity, such as:
- Pages people visited
- Pages they didn’t visit
- People who visited one page but missed another related page
- What videos they watched (and how long they watched them)
Time Since Last Purchase
Time since last purchase is an important metric to classify customers who purchased recently and customers who purchased months ago.
This group purchases frequently and they trust and like your brand, so you target them by:
- Upselling products or plan upgrades.
- Offering promotional deals.
- Promoting new features or products.
This group bought only once so your emails should be targeted at drawing them back to your brand by:
- Offering personalized discounts on former purchases.
- Highlighting the company’s positive attributes.
- Sending reminders to renew/repurchase.
- Frequent Buyers
Email Marketing Testing and Analysis
Analyzing the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns is crucial to making good decisions that have a positive impact on your business's bottom line.
A/B test your marketing emails
Sending one standard email to all your subscribers will not resonate well with all of them. As some audiences like bright catchy emails whereas some prefer minimalist upto point emails. That’s why you need to test the different variables using A/B testing. A/B testing, or split testing, is a way to understand what type of email performs best with your audience by analyzing the results of email A vs. email B.
Step-by-step process for A/B testing your emails:
- Select 1 variable to test at a time, e.g., subject line, images.
- Create two versions of the same email: one with and one without the variable.
- Send those emails out simultaneously.
- Analyze your results and only keep the version that performed better.
- Test a new variable and repeat the process.
You can do A/B testing through your email service provider as most will have A/B testing built into their software.
Set email marketing KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
The most important metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of your email marketing campaign are:
- Deliverability- the rate at which emails reach your intended subscribers’ inboxes.
- Open rate- the percentage of people that open your email once it reaches their inbox.
- Clickthrough rate (CTR)- the percentage of people that click on your CTAs or some specific links.
- Unsubscribes- the number of people who opt out of your email list once they receive an email from you.
Identify factors that have biggest impact on your KPIs
Many factors impact your KPIs and you need to figure out which will yield the biggest changes.
- Ensure that your email is regulatory compliant and doesn't end in the spam folder
- Remove inactive people from your email list
- Remove those email addresses which are hard-bounced
- Use attractive and clear language in your subject line to entice people to click on your email.
- Identify the best time and day to send your emails.
Clickthrough Rate (CTR)
- Try different CTAs, e.g., graphic versus inline copy
- Redesign your offer so it provides more value to your customers
- Ensure you aren’t promising one thing and delivering another.
- Ensure whether the emails you sent are aligned with your brand.
Use an email marketing report template
An email marketing report is where you record your results of different KPIs and take action to improve them. Here’s how you should organize your report:
- Total number of emails sent
- Number of emails delivered
- Deliverability Rate
- Bounce Rate
- Open Rate
- Clickthrough Rate
- Unsubscribe Rate
- Subject line
- Length of email body
Questions To Ask:
- How did your CTR compare to your open rate?
- Did a certain subject line perform better than others?
- Does the length of email make a difference in CTR?
Types of Marketing Email to Send
Oftentimes marketers spend a lot of time on the design of the email template. They want to create a really beautiful email. It makes perfect sense as you want to have the best campaign. However, it’s equally important to pay attention to the content and the type of marketing email you are sending.
New Content Announcement Email
This email is used to promote a new marketing offer -- one single offer -- with a call-to-action that links to a targeted landing page made for that specific offer.
Product Update Email
Most companies send a weekly or monthly product digest to keep their customers or fan base up-to-date with the latest features. Instead of flooding your audience's email inbox with every minor product update, send them a periodic email with each update clearly and briefly mentioned.
Digital Magazine or Newsletter
Many companies send a roundup of stories or articles published weekly or monthly. Be sure to include a headline, a brief summary or introduction, and a CTA for recipients to read more. Also make sure to share them in a visually appealing way.
Event Invitation email
Email is a great tool for promoting an upcoming event you're hosting. But if you want your contacts to register for the event, it is important that you clearly showcase why that event is worth their attendance. You can do it by creating attractive visuals and highlighting the benefits of your event.
Sending a new subscriber welcome email or if you're hosting an event, sending event alerts to the registrants of any new event updates, are examples of dedicated sends.
Co-marketing is when two or more companies partner together for some task, event, or other promotion. Make it clear that this offer or event is the result of a partnership with another company. Be sure to include the logo of the other company as well.
Internal updates email
It is equally important to send regular internal updates or newsletters to your company’s employees to keep them updated about the latest company information -- whether it be new product updates, marketing offers, or events.
Confirmation emails are very important to users. The best example is after an online purchase or buying tickets. Confirmation emails should be clear and state what was purchased.
Form Submission Kickback (Thank-You) Email
A kickback email should be automatically triggered whenever a user fills out a form on one of your landing pages. These kickback emails are often referred to as thank-you emails. Keep these emails simple and only thank the users for their form submission.
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