Email marketing is still one of the most effective marketing strategies but it’s not as simple as writing an email and sending it. Our inboxes are constantly bombarded with marketing-type emails so it really needs to stand out. Email campaigns need a successful content marketing plan with enticing headlines that subscribers want to open and read. You can’t just send a weekly newsletter to your entire list and expect significant results.

Marketers believe subject lines rank among the top 3 most important elements followed by cross-device rendering, deliverability and creativity. Good quality lists and effective market segmentation should be at the forefront of your email marketing campaign.

List Segmentation for Email Marketing Success

When you create social media content you focus on a particular persona and the same should apply to email content. People engaging with your brand for the first time don’t want to be overwhelmed by 20 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 no interest in.

On initial sign-up, ask your new subscribers questions like these:

  • Would you like to receive updates from us?
  • How often would you like to receive updates? Weekly or Monthly?
  • What specific topics are you interested in? Mobile Marketing? Social Media? Marketing Automation? Web Design and Technology?
  • What type of content interests you the most? Text? Blogs? Video? Infographics?

Collect data whenever you can but keep the customer in mind at all times. Providing email content that drives intent increases the likelihood that subscribers will take action like sharing or even making a purchase.

There is Life Beyond The Newsletter

Research has shown that around 80% of content marketers use email newsletters. It’s said to be among the top five tactics critical to their company’s overall content marketing success. Newsletters don’t have to be the only email marketing campaign to your subscribers. In fact, there are a number of alternatives involving behaviour-based automation triggers which are based on your personalised buyer behaviours. Common examples include the following:

  • Welcome emails – new users sign up for an account or join your group
  • Shopping cart abandonment emails for incomplete transactions.
  • Birthday reminder emails.
  • Membership subscription renewal email.
  • Anniversary email to celebrate their time as a subscriber or customer.

The info you collected at the initial sign-up can also be used to trigger email automation. For example, if a subscriber indicated weekly emails about web design and SEO pitfalls, automation can be triggered to notify them when you launch a free webinar with a well-renowned global SEO expert. In contrast, a subscriber from a small business writing blogs about pets probably won’t be interested.

Quality Always Trumps Quantity

The next part might be a sensitive subject for some as we’re talking about removing subscribers from your email list.

Deliberately deleting leads does seem crazy right? Some might agree but it’s simply not the case. Imagine you had a list of 500 subscribers where only 400 were really part of your target audience. Those 100 subscribers can actually do more harm than good and will more than likely never engage with your emails and be converted into a good sales lead.

You can also setup a workflow that politely gives subscribers the option to unsubscribe from your communications. This works well when someone hasn’t opened or clicked an email after 3 months. Send an automated email saying you’re sorry they aren’t getting the desired value from your content and that, unless they take a specific action, you’d like to remove them from your list. There are times when this actually works and a lukewarm lead becomes more engaged. Perhaps all they really needed was a little nudge.

What type of content entices you to open an email? Do you merely 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 or Twitter.

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