Email provides the benefit of unlimited space for content. Unlike many social media platforms, you are not limited by character limits or the types of media that you can share with your recipients. Attention spans are short, so it is an email marketing best practice keep the message to the point, but the choice is yours as to how long or short the message might be for each email. Make content easy to scan at a glance and get the main message, but also give readers the option for more information if they want.
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Email marketing is an essential component of a marketing strategy for any kind of business. It does not matter if you own a brick-and-mortar shop, or you sell your products via an e-commerce website. This marketing tool will allow you to better communicate with your customers, inform them about the launch of new products, attract them with customized offers, and much more. All this is done by creating an email campaign and sending out a carefully crafted email newsletter to your potential and existing customers and clients.
No matter what type of email you’re sending, the bottom line for every type is value. Every email should provide something valuable to your audience, whether that’s a perfectly timed offer, a lead-nurturing message tailored to where the user is in your funnel, or a newsletter packed with interesting, relevant content. And because user experience matters, it should be easy for users to see that value quickly through simple, easy-to-read and mobile-optimized messages.
Why is email marketing important? Compared to the many marketing channels available today to reach your target audience, email is the most effective channel for capturing attention, as well as engaging and connecting with prospects and customers to drive sales and revenue. No other channel is as successful at building strong customer relationships as email marketing.
For new visitors, click-through rates from a service page to a pricing page are extremely high. The conversion rate of requests for quotes (RFQs) from the pricing page are higher than conversions from a service page. Instead of “package pricing” like most SaaS providers, our pricing pages include “Starting At” pricing. We list a “Starting At” monthly price, document everything included, list all available options, and then request leads “Submit An RFQ”.
Email list segmentation works fantastically for brands who gain information about their subscribers. Studies have shown that marketers who use this tactic often boast improved engagement rates as a result. The old ‘spray and pray’ method of sending the same email to every subscriber or customer no longer works, and the companies that see the best results from their email marketing are segmenting data and campaigns to ensure that they’re sending the most relevant message to individuals.
One element that continues to drive the effectiveness of email marketing is the availability of high quality, relatively low cost tools and service providers. Services such as MailChimp, Get Response, Aweber, iContact, Constant Contact and other quality service providers offer a wide range of email capabilities and pricing options. This is a very competitive market and small businesses are the beneficiaries of a growing list of new features and capabilities offered by email service providers.
Of the couple thousand people who joined my email list during the challenge, more than 250 people signed up for the paid course the next month when I released it, netting myself a hugely positive return on this lead generation idea that essentially cost me nothing—and because it worked so well, it's a lead generation process I'll be replicating with a much-requested topic from my audience of learning how to start a blog as well.
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When using pay-per-click advertising create a plan with budget expectations and performance targets such as cost per lead and cost per sale. If after three months, with AB testing to refine and improve, you’ve not gotten below those targets then pause to reconsider the channel. A good benchmark for cost tolerance per sale is to invest up to 25% of the lifetime value of a customer account. This will get you moving in the right direction.
With the new buyer it is important to note that your marketing efforts don’t end once a new lead comes into your system – what we call Top of the Funnel (TOFU) marketing. Many companies do a good job at generating leads, but the problem is that most new leads are not ready to buy yet. And if a sales rep does engage and the lead isn’t ready to talk with them, it reinforces the notion that marketing sourced leads are not great. As a result leads get lost, ignored, or snatched up by your competitors.
The two examples above are of Brain Pickings’ weekend newsletter (to the left) and Fast Company’s design daily newsletter (to the right). These emails are always packed with useful and entertaining information, a sure sign of high clickthrough rates and an engaged audience. On the top of each newsletter, you will spot a call-to-action which invites people to either donate or subscribe.
You can find the answer to any question you might have on the internet. But how many really good answers are out there? Taking the time to create an in-depth, step-by-step article that answers a burning question for your prospect serves as an opportunity to generate a lead. After all, the company that provides the best answer will often get your business, right?
All the types of marketing email we have discussed so far assume that you are sending communications to your own email database. If you want to reach a different audience and gain new leads, you might want to try out sponsorship emails. You pay for including your copy in another vendor’s newsletter or dedicated send. Research shows that US firms alone spent $1.51 billion on email marketing in 2011.
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Generates Less Concurrent Buzz: With dedicated sends to your entire email database, you can generate a lot of buzz around your brand. There is an explosion of engagement resulting from the simultaneous forwarding and social media sharing (especially if you have Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook sharing links in your email). Lead nurturing cannot quite achieve the same buzz effect because it is programmed to schedule fewer emails to segmented audiences. So while there will still be sharing, you won’t see a huge spike in traffic and conversions on a specific day. Rather, the visits and leads will trickle in.
Time-saving - through automation you can trigger emails to be sent to customers based on an action they have performed on your website - eg. send a welcome email when a user signs up to your website, or issue an email offering a discount incentive if user abandons an online shopping cart. Once you have developed a template you can reuse for numerous email campaigns.