Although email marketing has been around for a while, it continues to drive significant results for small businesses across the country. Even with the rise in popularity of other marketing platforms like social media, email marketing is still one of the best tactics that brands can use to reach and engage their target audience. Below, we’ll cover the top 25 of the benefits of email marketing and explain how they can help your business improve lead generation, conversion, and revenue.
Create a new campaign within the mass email platform and create your message following directions provided with the platform. Typically, you can copy and paste if you've already created a pre-written message in Microsoft Word or other writing software. You may need to add pictures, borders or logos in order to make your mass email more attractive. This is especially true if you're sending a newsletter or something similar. The instructions are basically the same if you're using email distribution software, though these programs typically have a word processor built in.
Bonus: As one related mini-lead generation tactic to add onto the process of collecting leads from free downloadable materials on your blog—try leveraging exit-intent popups that detect when a visitor is about to navigate away from your opt-in page, and they'll quickly surface the reader a reminder offer to grab your download before leaving. I've tested this and seen a meaningful lift in new subscribers that otherwise would've left the page.
eROI’s monthly newsletter is a stellar example on so many levels. The first few paragraphs includes an entertaining introduction to the topic of the newsletter. Then, they include four “insider tips”, which include “read more” buttons to the blog post on their site. But the best part of this newsletter is the interactive element at the bottom: they used working radio buttons to allow subscribers to vote for next month’s theme! How cool is that?
“One suggestion I offered my newer agents was to go to the mall or shopping center during the holiday shopping season and hand out business cards attached to a candy cane to everyone walking by. No need to wait in line to see Santa to get a candy cane. Spread a little Christmas cheer with the candy canes and hopefully pick up a new client or two for the new year. Everyone loves a candy cane at Christmas!!
So many brands and companies build their audiences on Facebook and Google+, which is fine, but we don’t own those names – Facebook and Google do. If we are thinking like real media companies, the asset is in the audience. Getting an email address is the first critical step to figuring out who my reader is and, hopefully in the future, my customer of some sort. If our goal is to drive sales or keep customers happy in some way, we first need to get them as part of our audience. If I have one regret as a business owner, it’s not focusing on building our email list earlier in the process.
Newsletter Emails — Sent on a regular basis—such as monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly—newsletter emails are a great way for organizations to reinforce their industry expertise, build loyalty and engagement with subscribers, as well as grow a list of qualified prospects and customers. We have clients who get a triple-digit ROI on the email newsletters we produce for them, meaning a very strong payback. In addition, check out this great infographic for all the ways you can calculate the return from an email newsletter for your business.
Review platforms generally have a strong presence in organic search, making them a great opportunity to expand your brand presence and get noticed by the right people. When you encourage users to leave reviews on a third-party platform with strong SEO, you increase the chances of being found by qualified prospects in search -- without paying a dime.
Not everyone your business has ever interacted with can be counted as a true lead. Maybe you’ve connected on social media but don’t have other contact details; maybe they’re in your address book but you have no idea whether they’re really interested in your services. The following strategies are designed to pull more of the people in your business’s orbit into your list of leads.
Develop strategic alliances with customers who naturally refer to you as part of the way they do business themselves. For instance, every client of mine receives a certificate for a complimentary consultation as part of my “Preferred Partners Program.” My partners include a vocal/presentation expert, a financial advisor, professional organizer and executive attorney. All of these services make sense for my busy clients. And all of my partners’ clients get a certificate entitling them to a free session with one of Enerpace’s coaches. It’s a win-win!
A pop-up form. Try setting pop-ups to trigger when a visitor is slipping away, so you don’t interrupt their experience. Exit-intent pop-ups only show when a visitor moves their mouse off your website, toward the search bar or back button, giving you a second chance to collect their email. Try apps like Privy, Sumo, or JustUno on the Shopify App Store to create your pop-ups.
According to Clutch, even though 90 percent of marketers say it's important to optimize emails for mobile devices, just 59 percent of companies say optimization is part of their email marketing efforts. Yet in 2016, more than 50 percent of email opens took place on a mobile device, and that number is only going to grow with time. Moreover, if an email is difficult to read or just doesn’t look good on their device, 71 percent of people will delete it, and 16 percent will hit unsubscribe. While it’s great to see marketers focusing on personalization and segmentation (both extremely important tactics in an email strategy), it’s surprising that more aren’t looking at mobile. It doesn’t matter how great the content in your email is, if it’s not mobile optimized, most people won’t even bother to read it, and some will opt out altogether – not the results you’re looking to get from your email strategy.
Get them to buy a second time! This seems obvious, but it has serious implications for your email marketing strategy. Due to high customer acquisition costs, most retailers break-even on the first purchase, the F1, and it’s only on repeat purchases that they generate profits. And yet if you were to look at all your customers today, you’d probably have 80%–90% F1s. Put another way, 80%–90% single-purchase, marginally profitable customers.
Campaign Monitor customer Rip Curl utilized segmentation and dynamic content to deliver the right message to the right person. For example, they know the gender of their subscribers and where they are located geographically, so they can ensure that females in the United States receive a promotion about bathing suits during the summer months and males in Australia receive an email about wetsuits during the winter months.
Every e-commerce company is familiar with the dreaded abandoned cart. Consumers visit your site, put items in their shopping cart, and then leave without making a final purchase. Whether they get busy with something else or want to take time to think about their purchase, it is vital that you take the opportunity to reengage these customers. With email automation, you can send an automated email message to these consumers, encouraging them to come back to your site and finalize their purchase.
Amazon has a simple way of soliciting these reviews—they just ask upfront how many stars you’d rate the product. The presentation of the request is visual. At a glance, users understand what is being asked of them. Once you click the image to leave a star rating, you’ll be taken to a page that allows you to both leave a star rating and a written review.
Anniversary Emails — Celebrating a subscriber’s anniversary for joining your email list is another excellent opportunity for keeping your company top of mind and encouraging sales. On average, anniversary emails generated almost seven times more revenue compared to bulk mailings to the same customers in a study by Experian CheetahMail. See FulcrumTech’s review of a recent anniversary email sent by drugstore.com for an outstanding example of this type of email.
The lifeblood of a small business comes from good customer service, and thank-you marketing emails are compelling and rewarding to patrons. Customers feel real value when a business takes the time to respond to their experience and ensure that all expectations were met. Thank-you emails should be customized to the consumer and include current and future offers, along with a small token of gratitude, such as a discount on the next purchase.
With email marketing, you can look at exactly how many people are opening, reading, and clicking through your email content. This allows you to determine if your email campaigns are successful and see just how much of a return on investment these campaigns are offering your business. As you make adjustments to subject lines, messaging, and types of offers, you can continue to track success to see which strategies are bringing you the best results.
Subscribers are generally a diverse and quality audience that can be leveraged to determine popular opinion. Companies can create surveys to help formulate important brand identifiers like incident response strategies, potential sales, new branding, etc. Consider sending an email requesting customer feedback on products, services, or policies. Utilize this information for quarterly reports and action plans. Companies can also create an email marketing campaign asking their dedicated consumers for online reviews to boost sales.
Reactivation emails are sent to subscribers who have previously interacted with brand, but haven’t continued to engage. This could include consumers who abandon their shopping cart before making a purchase, email subscribers who haven’t been opening your emails, or existing customers whose subscriptions are expiring soon. Target your offers based on each subscriber’s behavior and lifecycle stage (e.g. send more aggressive offers to subscribers with lower engagement or existing customers who are likely to churn).
If you do use your own email provider, you will create your message and input the email addresses just as you do for your everyday email. This is the only way to send email for free forever, but it's also the least effective and can cause problems associated with spam email (see Resources). Take a look at the email broadcast software available as well. Email distribution software can be just as effective as a mass email program.
There is always room for improvement, and one of the best ways to improve the customer experience is to understand how your buyers feel. Ask your subscribers for feedback directly based on the proper context (e.g. after they book a trip from your website or 3-months into their software subscription). Since their feedback can be extensive, you may want to provide a CTA to a landing page to collect it. For example, after a game, the Arkansas Razerbacks send attendees an email thanking them for attending, recapping the scorecard, and directing them to click a link to take a survey about their experience.
Designing the look and feel of the email is an important but tricky process. The choice of images and text must reflect the demographic that is being marketed to. The email needs to grab the reader's attention and draw them into the details of the sales pitch as quickly and succinctly as possible. If the email is confusing or boring, readers are likely to delete it before reading too far into it. All of that effort is then wasted.
You can easily segment groups of your prospects and customers and send them specific marketing messages that target their personal needs and interests. By segmenting your email list, you can take the personalization of your emails to a whole new level. Demographic, geographic, and behavioral (e.g., past purchases) are a few of the types of data that you can use to target different segments of your email list and send more relevant and personalized email content.