The practice of sending emails to your prospects and customers about your company news, product updates, upcoming event notifications, etc. is called Email Marketing.
Emails provide a direct connection to your audience (prospects + customers). So if you can build good relationships with your contacts via emailing, you can use this digital marketing strategy to drive profits for your business.
Let’s dig deeper into email marketing..
Is email marketing expensive?
Email marketing does NOT have to be expensive.
Even Mailchimp is free up to 2000 subscribers. With a bit of planning, we can aim for high-impact ROI at low (or no) cost.
Types of Email Marketing Campaigns You Should Try:
- Welcome – to welcome your audience when they sign up to join your mailing list.
- Goal-oriented – usually Newsletter or promotion-oriented
- Thank-you – to thank the audience for a particular action taken on the website, like an event registration or download. This can also turn into a drip marketing campaign. Depends on your objectives.
- We-miss-you – to try to get back those who have abandoned you, either right before the check-out, or stopped coming to the website.
There are other types of campaigns as well, but these 4 are pretty standard.
How to choose the right template for your email marketing needs 👇
- Decide if you’ll use a pre-made template or design your own
- Define the goal of this email type
- Create/choose a look that complements your brand
- Add images, text, CTA buttons
- Test, test, and test some more
And then hit Send.
What to write in your emails?
It is best to:
- Write about what your audience cares about.
- Talk about what you/your company has been up to.
- Send your audience your latest posts from your blog RSS.
How do you improve your success rate in email marketing?
“Personalisation – it is not about first/last name. It’s about relevant content.“Dan Jak
This is so true!
When we email content that is of value to the reader and as per the reader’s expectations, the success rate of our email marketing campaigns go up.
I was working with an investment banking company when I got big time into email marketing. They had a pretty low open rate and even worse clickthrough rate to their website. So I was given the task to boost the open rate.
My first step was to clean up the database to start using the first names in the emails. And I thought that would be it! I would hit the target open rate.
But that didn’t happen.
I did get a better open rate than before, just not the massive surge I had hoped for.
That’s when I looked thoroughly into the content within the email, beyond the first name. Since it was content related to investment banking, most of it flew right off the top of my head. But what I realised was:
- testing the email previews for different devices improved our open rates, AND
- using better headlines and bright coloured CTA buttons improved our clickthrough rates.
Another way to Boost Your Email Marketing Success
You can also improve the open rates or click-throughs on your emails by segmenting your audience in your contacts database.
To get started, you should add more fields to the lead capture forms on your website, like company, job title, etc. depending on the type of website/business you are working with.
As new email addresses roll in, use these extra fields to separate the audience into different segments.
Once you know the segments, you can plan the content in your newsletter (and blog as well as overall website) with content that you know will appeal to these segments.
And then the final step is to include a Subject Line that appeals to all segments to at least open the newsletter email. The content within the newsletter can then take care of the click-throughs by themselves.
I use Mailchimp for email marketing, and the tagging features provided by Mailchimp help me segment the audience.
And yes, tagging is available in the free plans of Mailchimp. So try it out.
I’ve also used SendGrid and ConstantContact in the past. But I always come back to (and recommend) Mailchimp.
How to boost your email marketing 👇
You can boost the success rate of your email marketing efforts by making sure that you:
- get explicit consent to send emails (use email capture forms on your website) – don’t buy contacts’ lists.
- understand your audience.
- make your email personal AND relevant to your audience. Never spam!
- make your email mobile-friendly.
- try A/B testing on different looks of layouts, call-to-actions, images, etc.
Why your email marketing is NOT working:
If you’re not getting expected results from your email marketing campaigns, it may be because of the following reasons:
Your emails are NOT relevant to your audience
You can fix this by defining your target persona and then planning your email marketing strategy accordingly.
Outdated database of subscribers
The best way to fix this is to send an email to your subscribers to see if they are still interested to be your subscribers. Plus keep those email capture forms live and active in your website to get new subscribers to sign up!
You do not use any Call-To-Action buttons
To fix this, use attention-grabbing buttons with bright colours, instead of plain text for your CTA. It can make a world of difference!
You are NOT testing before sending (I used to do this a lot!)
This is simple. Test for Desktop, Mobile and Tablet views before sending.
Send to yourself and check on all the devices you have.
And then hit SEND.
Boost your email marketing by adding social media buttons to your emails
- Sharing buttons to share your links
- Follow buttons to Like, follow your social media channels
Most email tools have these buttons built-in. So it’s super easy to do this. Just try!
Don’t ignore the analytics!
A lot of us send emails and only expect replies. We tend to forget to check the analytics. But analysing your analytics data and tweaking your email marketing strategy as per that data is essential to the success rate of your campaigns.
Here’s what you can learn from such analytics:
Best time to send your emails
Not right away, but over a period of time as you try a few combinations of days and times, you get the data to find the right day and time for your intended audience.
Last year when I was working with a business analytics firm, we discovered that Sundays are best times to send our emails.
We were under the impression that our business emails, mostly dealing with industry news and technical articles, wouldn’t be read over the weekend.
And we were proven wrong!
Your most popular content
The most clicked content within your emails is your most popular content, so chances are if your future emails have content similar to that, your open rates and clickthrough rates are bound to rise.
Your loyal readers
These are the users who have engaged with you the most, over a period of time. And chances are they will continue to engage with you, unless you stop emailing them.
You might send them a note of thanks (or maybe even a coupon, if your business allows one!) for being such a loyal follower, and you may just acquire a brand advocate in the process.
In this manner, you can even scout for influencers to get into Influencer Marketing for your brand.
What are the laws of email marketing? 🤔
Yes, there are several laws of email marketing. Some years ago, I was aware of only ONE law, that is, the CAN-SPAM Act.
Everyone is aware of it. (More or less!)
But I got involved in a project that led me deep into email marketing, and I realised there’s more than one law at play here.
There’s also CASL (that’s Canadian), ACMA (that’s Australian), and the recently popular GDPR (that’s EU) that you have to bear in mind when getting into email marketing, or any type of messaging for commercial purposes.
Were you aware of these?
Have a look at these laws whenever you get into email marketing for these regions.
What are the best practices of Email Marketing?
So the best practices for email marketing are:
- Add email previews to boost your open rate – make the previews attractive so your audience can click on the email to open and read it in full!
- Write content that your audience will like – not what you think is good, but what your audience will find helpful and interesting.
- Make your emails mobile-friendly – because most of your audience will most likely open your email in their mobile devices.
- Include a way to unsubscribe, and make sure you remove the unsubscribed users on time from your database.)
- Test before you SEND – send it to yourself on Gmail, on your office email, check how everything looks, make changes, test it again. Test till you feel satisfied. And then hit SEND.
Now, over to you..
Email marketing is NOT dead. Just like SEO or Content Marketing, Email Marketing is an important digital marketing strategy that you can utilise to build your brand better. Just make sure that you are following the best practices of email marketing, listed above. And use this article as a guide to improve your open rates and click-through rates.
And if you want to get started with email marketing, just drop us a line!
Read my other Digital Marketing articles.