If you think email marketing is dead, think again as it’s still the most effective marketing channel available today. However, some things you did five years probably won’t work today as the industry has evolved calling for new and improved email marketing strategies.
You can no longer just send multiple newsletters or promotional emails to your entire database and expect good ROI. It’s all about using the best and most impactful practices for email marketing which is exactly what this webinar recording includes.
How Effective Is Email Marketing?
Let’s put it this way, email marketing is increasing year-on-year as it’s becoming more relevant and personal. This is largely due to better customer data management and software allowing for easy lead segmentation and content distribution.
To give you an indication of just how strong emails still are, have a look at this graph. It shows the number of emails sent every day in billions showing a remarkable upward trend.
As impressive as those numbers are, you might be asking yourself: “Does email marketing still work?” Keeping in mind the graph, here are some more fascinating stats that may help answer your question.
- Emails can result in higher ROI where each $1 spent gives an average return of $38 (1:38)
- 61% of consumers would rather want brands to contact them through email
- Email is 40x more efficient than Facebook and Twitter in acquiring new customers
How To Stand Out In The Digital Marketing Landscape
Even compared to PPC, SEO and content marketing efforts, email marketing still come out on top but it has to be done properly. Whether you’re just getting started or consider yourself an email Yoda, the same rules apply to everyone and it’s about following best practices to achieve the desired results.
Here are 6 of the most important aspects of an effective email marketing strategy:
- Building (not buying) a clean list
- Sending the right type of content
- Improve deliverability and email open rates
- Test absolutely everything for best results
- Create automated drip campaigns
- Track and measure any important data metrics
Build A Clean List
Internet service providers (ISPs) take many things into account when deciding whether your email will reach someone’s inbox or not. Important considerations are how active or engaged your subscribers are and ensuring they all have valid email addresses. Here are a few tips on how to build your email list organically.
- Have a sign-up or permissions checkbox on all forms on your site
- Add sign-up call-to-actions throughout your website and blogs
- Post your subscribe page across all social media channels
- Offer something in exchange for a contact’s information (e.g., email, name) such as a discount voucher, eBook, webinar recording or free consultation
Why Should I Not Buy Email Lists?
Contrary to what some may believe, the companies that provide purchased lists actually can’t guarantee quality data. No matter what they say, it is nearly impossible to identify spam- or honey traps hidden within these lists. Purchased email lists almost never contain valid emails and don’t offer any significant value.
Essentially, you will be emailing people who don’t know you, haven’t opted in, and most email addresses are outdated. This method usually creates more problems than it solves and should be avoided at all costs as it can lead to the following:
- Higher bounce rates
- Increased unsubscribe rates
- Increased spam rates
- Fewer email opens
- Decreased click-through rates
Recommended: ‘5 Email Mistakes You Need To Avoid’
Send the Right Content
Creating the right content for email marketing comes from correctly identifying your target audience and using buyer personas as this can help considerably. Knowing what content to produce and for whom, relates to answering specific questions when collecting data. Remember, keep the customer in mind at all times throughout the entire process.
Providing email content that drives intent can significantly increase the likelihood of subscribers taking action. Sharing rich content will help establish credibility resulting in the audience regarding you as an expert in your field. Here are some content types that have proven to be particularly successful:
Improve Email Deliverability And Open Rates
The secret to better email deliverability is to find the right balance between the number of emails you send, when you send them and how often. The time of day typically depends on your target audience and how you are measuring and defining email marketing success.
It can also be based on the user’s action and content type, whether its opt-ins, order/shipping confirmations, etc. However, among all the varying opinions from experts around the world, the consensus is as follows:
Avoiding the spam folder is particularly challenging with free ESPs (Email Service Providers) so it’s best to use an email marketing platform, such as SharpSpring, Force24, HubSpot, MailChimp or Campaign Monitor. Here is a great visual representation of how the right software can help you avoid getting caught in spam.
Test Everything Before Sending
With the available technologies today, nothing should be left to chance. AB Testing is non-negotiable as it can help you identify the best combination of CTAs, subject lines and email content for optimal results. Create at least two different versions of the same email and send it to a random sample list of your target audience.
From there, you can analyse each element and determine which one performed best. When something isn’t working, it’s time to change your approach and AB Testing is perfect for this. Always send a test email to yourself, triple check for quality assurance and always optimise for mobile.
Email Marketing And Automated Drip Campaigns
A drip campaign is a form of automated sales outreach and consists of a series of emails being sent automatically to a specific audience or list after they’ve taken a specific action. By implementing email automation you can save time by streamlining certain processes.
It can also help nurture customer relationships and keep your brand top-of-mind with strategically (and relevant) content. When done right, automated drip campaigns can provide exceptional value and increase sales. Here’s how you create a successful drip campaign:
- Identify the goal
- Determine how someone ends up in this campaign
- Decide how many touches your drip campaign will have
- Create the content (and personalize it)
- Know when to take someone out of the drip
Track And Measure Data Sets
It may sound simple but if you don’t measure something, how can you improve it?
The beauty of digital marketing is that it provides a constant flow of data so you can optimise your email campaign results. All new email software or apps can track and measure a wide range of metrics in some shape or form which makes it even easier.
That said, it also has to start with you making sure to set your goals whatever they may be as you’ll have to measure, review and optimise as you go along. Consistently monitoring and improving your campaigns will increase your overall competitive advantage.
For a more detailed overview, and to learn a few tricks from a verified WSI digital marketing expert, download the free webinar video and slides.
Final Thoughts On Email Marketing Best Practices
The best way to look at email marketing is to think beyond sales or promotions. Focus on the things your target audience want as it’s mostly solutions to problems or answers to specific questions. Take the time to provide valuable and personalised content to your most engaged leads and you will reap the benefits.
By using the appropriate email marketing software, you can create a calendar and schedule your email sends to align with other promotional content, such as blog posts, social media, events, product launches, etc.
Keep in mind that having a catchy (but not overly ‘salesy’) subject line, good content layout and clear calls-to-action can also impact email opens and clicks as highlighted in this simple guide.
Need help getting started with your email marketing campaign? Give us a call on 01453 542761 or visit our website and request a free consultation.