Email marketing is a highly effective digital marketing strategy that involves sending marketing emails to prospects and customers. An effective email marketing campaign can turn prospects into customers, and convert one-time buyers into loyal followers.
There’s no denying that email marketing still plays a pivotal role in business but it’s more than just random emails. Our inboxes are constantly bombarded with marketing-type emails so it really needs to stand out. In many instances, people simply ignore emails, mark all as read, delete them without reading or unsubscribe altogether.
Marketers believe email subject lines are among the top three most important elements after cross-device rendering, deliverability and creativity. Not only that, successful email marketing campaigns require good quality lists and effective market segmentation.
How To Run An Effective Email Marketing Campaign
Your email marketing campaigns need a quality content marketing plan with headlines that encourage subscribers to open and read. You can’t just send a simple weekly newsletter to your entire list and expect significant results. Among others, there are three major elements you simply have to include in your next email campaign.
Email Personalisation and Graphics
Your marketing emails need to be personalised to the reader and filled with interesting graphics. Personalise your marketing email message with an appropriate greeting, or recognition of an interest or hobby. Very few people like to see “Dear Sir/Madam or “Dear Valued Customer”.
For maximum impact, your emails must also include interesting graphics. With the right customer information, you can personalise offers relating to birthdays or anniversaries. You can even customise your offers based on previous purchases or other interactions.
Intuitive and Responsive Design
A large number of customers read emails on their mobile device which means having a mobile-friendly campaign is essential. It’s not just about the design and readability either; you also need to build a strategy for mobile users. Make sure you test your emails in on all major mobile devices before finalising your email marketing campaign.
You need to assume users will spend no more than 5 seconds looking at your email so try to grab their attention immediately. Create catchy subject lines, titles and easy formats. Use headings and paragraphs and ALT tags for images as some email clients don’t show images by default. Cross-device design is vital in email marketing as the end-goal is to create a functional, attractive and value-adding campaign for a complete customer experience.
Did you know that over 51% of smartphone users found a new company or product while searching on their smartphones? (Google, 2018). It’s all about creating mobile friendly emails!
Clear and Simple CTA (Call To Action)
The main concern is this, “If people get multiple emails per day, why should they open and read yours?” Instead of generalising or stuffing your email with too much information, provide a clear message and meaningful calls to action. Many people only focus on the email subject line so they don’t always read your messages all the time. While they might open your mail, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have read the entire message.
When using software like SharpSpring, MailChimp or HubSpot to send emails to your subscribers, you must create clear messages. Provide readers with step-by-step instructions on what they need to do next. For example, tell them to confirm their email address for GDPR purposes or where they must click to proceed to the next step.
The tone of your email marketing message can also affect how your audience responds. A conversational tone could result in more personal and genuine interactions. Ask questions to get them thinking and then provide them with the answers they need. You can do this through your CTA directing them to the appropriate content that will helps or educate them.
The Importance Of List Segmentation In Email Marketing
When creating social media content, you generally focus on a particular persona and the same applies to email marketing. People engaging with your brand for the first time don’t want to be overwhelmed with a plethora of questions. Be smart and ask a few specific questions that will help you deliver interesting and relevant emails. There is nothing more frustrating than receiving an unrelated email about something you have zero interest in.
On initial sign-up, ask your new subscribers questions such as:
- Would you like to receive updates from us?
- How often would you like to receive updates? Weekly, monthly or quarterly?
- What specific topics are you interested in? (List some of the services or products you provide)
- What type of content interests you the most? Text, blogs, videos, infographics or ebooks?
Collect data whenever you can but keep the customer in mind at all times. Email content that drives intent increases the likelihood that subscribers will take action like sharing or ultimately making a purchase.
The foundation of an effective email marketing plan is to better understand your customer by creating buyer personas. Understand their personal circumstance, lifestyle and buying habits and then create appropriate groups and segment your email list accordingly.
Should I Use Purchased Email Lists?
While buying email lists may seem tempting, we absolutely and undeniably DO NOT recommend doing it. Regardless of what the supposedly reputable company states, you don’t really know those leads from a bar of soap. The data could contain invalid, incorrect and outdated email addresses, not to mention spamtraps used to curb ‘serial spammers’. If you get lucky and the data quality is acceptable, your marketing approach or goals and targets might differ from those of the leads on the purchased list.
In addition to purchased lists, avoid adding emails from business cards collected at events such as conferences or trade shows. Unless they gave express permission to send them an email, you are technically spamming them which does not bode well for your business’ email sender reputation.
Always follow white hat techniques and focus on growing your list organically. If done correctly, you will have more control over the entire process which will result in email marketing success.
Email Monitoring and Marketing Automation
You can continuously improve your email marketing strategy by varying your email content and layout. Try different subject lines or design layouts to help you understand what will get your message opened and lead to action.
There are also a number of email monitoring and reporting tools such as MailMonitor and Google Analytics. If you are using similar tools to generate accurate and detailed reports, be sure to read them intently. Identifying areas you can improve upon is key to a successful email marketing strategy
Marketing automation is a great way of nurturing leads and to provide a flow of information to your visitors as they move through the sales cycle, allowing you to address all of their needs. You will be able to see what your customers are interested in, allowing you to ensure the right material is triggered at the right time.
What type of content entices you to open an email? Do you only glance at the subject lines and open what looks relevant or interesting? Please share your comments with our readers below or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.
Final Thoughts On Blog Series
We hope that you enjoyed reading all eight parts of our blog series and you should now have a better understanding of digital marketing. Please get in touch if you have any questions or need assistance with setting up an email marketing strategy for your business.
For ease of reference, we’ve listed all the episodes in our blog series below:
- Introduction to SEO and Digital Marketing – Part 1
- SEO and Digital Marketing – Part 2
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – Part 3
- Content Marketing – Part 4
- Social Media Marketing – Part 5
- PPC Advertising – Part 6
- Affiliate Marketing – Part 7