You’ve hopefully read a few of our articles by now, but in case you haven’t, we stress the importance of email marketing. Email marketing is still the best and most effective practice of digital marketing that has proven time and time again to give you the best ROI - if done correctly. Email marketing is a powerful tool that you can use to make your business easily accessible to all of your clients and prospective clients.
Email marketing helps you nurture leads, keep current clients and customers up to date on the latest updates of your business, and keep you relevant and engaged. As we mentioned above, email marketing is the most effective way to improve your overall ROI but it also has proven to be the most beneficial way to build awareness of your brand, and improve new strategies for acquisition, conversion rates, and client retention. Email marketing is considered the most effective channel for meeting all marketing objectives.
The 5 Best Steps to Successful Email Marketing
Knowing email marketing and why businesses use it is only half the battle. The most important tool is knowing the key email marketing strategies to have the most successful email marketing campaigns.
For example, most email marketers argue that the best time to send an email campaign is on a Tuesday but there are many factors that go into this statistic and depend on your industry or specific niche.
Any good email marketing campaign can be worth your while. Email marketing is the most cost effective form of marketing, improves your brand recognition, and helps improve your overall reputation. That answers the question why over 80% say that their email marketing is the main driver for customer retention. No matter the size of your company, email marketing campaigns are a crucial asset to your success.
Once you have your brand online you should be launching your email campaigns. For any new business, you will want to focus on building your list and brand recognition to get more brand awareness.
Some Steps to Get You Started
Before starting any email marketing campaign, in order to be successful you must have a clear and reachable goal. Try to implement an SMART goal:
T: Time bound
Know what you’re trying to achieve and what you’re wanting to accomplish. By having clear set goals you’re able to make smaller steps to figure out the most efficient ways to reach your goal.
You will start to see what needs to be done in order to have a successful and attainable email marketing campaign. Regardless of the size of the smaller goals you set in order to reach the bigger one, every step is a step in the right direction.
To help determine your goals, ask yourself “Why am I sending this email?”. If you’re unable to answer that question, then you may want to rethink what goal or message you’re trying to send. Think of what the outcome will be if you send this email campaign. What do you want recipients to do from your communication? For example, if you plan on sending emails in the hopes of getting new clients then use that as your guiding light when crafting your message and strategy.
If your plan is to strengthen relationships and build customer reputation, then make sure that is reflected in your emails as well. The content should be geared towards your customer. Try to provide value within every single email communication you send. You want to build a reputation for yourself where your recipients will look forward to your messages and look forward to opening them.
By setting clear and defined goals early on will help you pave the way for your overall email marketing strategy and help you make it the most effective.
Build Your List
Do you have a solid foundation on which your email marketing campaigns will lie? You should be practicing new and exciting ways to gain new customers to your subscription list and the best ways to retain them. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’re talking about your email list.
This list is composed of those who have either opted in on your communications and people that have worked or interacted with your business in the past. Who you add to the list is determined by what you want to accomplish.
Even if you only have a handful of email addresses, it matters how your customers engage with your content versus how many names you have on a list. As you continue to grow, however, you should add people in various categories so you know their buying habits, spending patterns, geography, gender, and you can get even more specific. This helps make your email practices more concise and less confusing.
You should also start a new pattern of how often you want to email your customers. You want to ensure that you’re not bombarding your customers with too many emails where they get sick of you. But you also want them to engage with you when you send emails and not forget about who you are. Depending on your business and niche, a good rule of thumb is to email your subscribers 2 times per month.
For small or medium sized businesses you may want to invest some time on Google or social media ads that can help you boost traffic and drive engagement. Unfortunately, customers won’t sign up on a whim. You need to show them why you are worth their while. This form of gaining new customers is called ‘lead magnet’. This would be adding a free coupon or discount code when someone adds their email to the sign up form, or a whitepaper download, or even a free case study download to get them interested with a form of value.
Once you’ve been able to collect a set of email addresses and people for your list you can start grouping them into segments to make them more personalized, which is key to your success.
Does Your Email Work?
You can have the catchiest subject line and a great overall message but if your email doesn’t have a good and easy to open message - you’re sunk.
There are many resources available to you to make your email look great and easily opened- on any device. Make sure that your emails are also easily readable through HTML format and have smaller image sizes that won’t affect your text if they don’t open. For example, some subscribers block image downloads and this can affect your overall email.
Additionally, have you looked into your sender reputation score? This score is determined by how well your emails are getting delivered and past any spam traps from email service providers. You want to make sure that your emails are ‘non spammy’ and are being sent to real and valid emails. By having a clean and healthy email list, this helps improve your sender reputation and overall health of email campaigns.
There are many ways to maintain a clean and healthy email list but one of the most successful is through email list verification. Software such as Emailable can help you ensure a clean and well maintained email list. They offer results that break down your lists into various categories such as : Deliverable, Risky, Non Deliverable.
Your Call to Action
First of all, do you have a call to action (CTA)? If you’re asking yourself “What is a call to action” don’t panic. It is a simple step that you should include at the end of your emails that gives a clear and concise next step for your email recipients. For example, you can add a “learn more” button at the end of your emails to get your customers to click and take them to a landing page to get more information.
A call to action should be simple, two to three words that explain what necessary next steps should be taken.
As a general guideline, your emails and all communication with your customers should be as pain free and easy to do as possible. No one wants to take more unnecessary actions than they have to, so do the guesswork for your customers. Make every step as simple and as uncomplicated as possible.
When you are adding a call to action button on your emails (or even your website) try using a stand out color. Although many may think that red means stop, it actually has the highest click rate for any button or call to action when it comes to email marketing and consumer behaviors. By using a contrasting color you’re drawing the eye to the next and seemingly most logical step.
Personalized Email Campaigns
As we’ve mentioned earlier, when you group your email customers into different categories, it helps you in the long run. Sending personalized emails is a great way to improve your email marketing campaigns and see a higher success rate overall.
- People like to feel like people. No one wants to receive a cold and computer generated message. You want to make every customer feel special and give them personalized attention.
- For example, by using their first name in the subject line or when opening an email with “Dear Bob”, a little goes a long way.
Personalized messages are a wonderful way to engage with customers and it has also proven a great way for customers to engage with your brand as well.
You want your emails to be engaging and worth the skim - honestly, not many people read an email word for word. So try to:
- Write in short and concise sentences
- Keep them to the point
- Leave out any unnecessary words, speak like you’re chatting with a friend
- Use the 3 by 3 method: the reason why you’re emailing, the vision, and any proof of success
- Send a newsletter letting your customers know there are people behind the screen
Review Your Emails
Review your emails and messages before you send them out. This means, test your emails. You want to make sure that they are delivering well, the HTML text is working, your images are a good size, and so on and so on.
When you test your emails you’re able to see with the eyes of a customer. And most improtantly, make sure your emails are deliverable on mobile phones! Mobile optimization can make or break your campaigns. As the world of smart phones develops and grows, so do the amount of people reading emails on their phone.
Your links should be easily opened and any images should be downloaded, and if not, your text shouldn’t look like anything is wrong with it.
You want your emails to look like they were sent from a friend, with clear and easy to understand messaging. You shouldn’t have too many images where it can impact your text.
Your Key to Email Marketing Success
Your key to a successful email marketing campaign starts at the beginning. You need to have a clear goal for yourself and your marketing team to all be on the same page. By having a clear goal you’re able to have a better path to your goal. By keeping your goals SMART, you keep them specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound. You’re able to see what steps you need to take and keep them in a specific timeline to improve time management and overall processes.
Have a clean, healthy and engaged list. Your email list should consist of people that want to receive your email communications. Your lists should be managed and cleaned regularly to help maintain a high sender reputation score. With a higher sender reputation score you’re able to send more emails with the peace of mind that they are actually getting delivered. By using an email checker software like Emailable you take out all the hard work and know what emails will be delivered and those that could potentially harm your campaign.
Ensure that your emails actually work. Are there too many images? Is your HTML text not formatted correctly for all server types? These are questions you should ask yourself, and then test, to make sure that you’re sending high quality and high value emails. You want to do everything in your power to have a solid email marketing campaign, the rest is up to the recipients.
Your call to action should be included in every email communication you send. A call to action is a clear next step for your recipients to take so they don’t have to question what they need to do. Make it as easy as possible for your recipients to get to the next phase. By taking out any guess work, you make the processes more simple for them, and by making it more simple, the more likely they’re able to continue with it.
Personalization goes a long way. When people feel they’re being valued they are more likely to take interest in what you have to say. A personalized email is more likely to be opened because recipients feel like it was made specifically with them in mind. You want to segment your email lists to send communications to people with specific interests or from certain geographical locations to make curated content specifically for them.
When crafting your next email campaign, keep these 5 aspects in mind. When you take into consideration the smaller details for your email marketing strategy, the more likely you are to succeed and see that amazing ROI.