Every week, the folks at InVision send a roundup of their best blog content, their favorite design links from the week, and a new opportunity to win a free t-shirt. (Seriously. They give away a new design every week.) They also sometimes have fun survey questions where they crowdsource for their blog. This week's, for example, asked subscribers what they would do if the internet didn't exist.
Everyone's busy and their inbox is already full. Why add to the problem with a longwinded email? People generally like short, concise emails better than long ones because concise emails have an obvious focus. Plus, when your users are scanning through all their emails in a short amount of time, they're more likely to find the overall message before deciding to take any action.
High reach: When people join your email list (subscribe or “opt in”), you can reach them. If they just like your Facebook page, for example, it’s unlikely that they’d see many of your updates. Sure, not everyone opens your emails, but the numbers are heavily in favor of email marketing compared to other similar marketing tactics. I’d rather get 1,000 new email subscribers than 10,000 Twitter followers.
It is vital to consider the questions that a customer will be answering - the information they will be seeking – at each stage of their journey because your email campaign should provide the answers. If a customer leaves an item in their online basket and they don't complete the purchase, send a personalised basket abandonment email including that very item:
Advocacy: The old adage of “word of mouth is your best marketing” is still true today. When a customer loves your company or products, they tell others about it. Social media and online reviews are some of the strongest purchase influencers. To capitalize on the advocacy stage, identify your happiest customers and see if they’ll spread the word with a review or testimonial. If you have a referral program where you offer discounts or other rewards for bringing in new business, make sure this program is a big part of your email marketing strategy for devoted customers.
Full-funnel campaigns also take into consideration how the marketing funnel has morphed over the years. The old school of thought had a top, middle, and bottom part of a funnel, where customers went in at the top and left it after making a purchase. The funnel has evolved into a customer lifecycle that includes those pre- and post-purchase phases mentioned earlier.
The ideal type of opinion (unrelated to your expertise) is one that doesn’t offend anyone, but makes some people relate to you more. For example, I’m a vegetarian. I used to protest whenever there wasn’t a big piece of meat on my plate. But when I tried eating just veggies for a couple of months, I realized I felt a lot more energetic. Sure, it’s more ecological. And often animals are treated cruelly. But those aren’t the things I emphasize if someone asks why I’m a vegetarian. No one in their right mind has a strong negative reaction to someone eating food that makes them feel energetic, right? But for some vegetarians it’s a very meaningful choice, so it might have a positive impact on those people. That said, I highly doubt that my choice of diet have any direct impact on my sales.
For example, a young company experiences growth and considers purchasing an employee health insurance plan but knows little about options. A health insurance company offers an online quiz with questions such as what state the company resides and what employee health benefits laws apply based on the number of employees, what to look for in health insurance offerings, etc.
What does your current email marketing performance look like? Analyse the performance of key metrics such as Open Rate, Click-through-Rate (CTR), Deliverability Rate, Unsubscribe Rate, ROI. What is working well and what isn’t. This can also be internally focused – for example, maybe it is taking a long time to create email content, or the creation process is inefficient.
Purchase (formerly the bottom): This phase should drive the sale, such as a free trial or discount offer. These messages can be much more direct and sales-oriented since these customers have indicated they are closer to a purchase than others. In this phase, it’s important to keep your emails focused on the primary call to action (CTA) and make sure the transaction is as easy as possible. Some companies opt to offer post-purchase set-up assistance or support to help customers move from engagement to purchase.
Engagement (formerly the middle): Email marketing strategies for this phase deliver education and then point to a product’s benefits, offering a gentle sales lead. Customers have a growing interest in your product, but some might stay in the engagement phase for a while—perhaps visiting your social media pages to find out more about the product before purchasing. If customers are going to abandon the sale, it’s likely to be in the engagement phase, which is where re-engagement email campaigns come in.
‘Lead scoring' is what we think of when we consider ‘marketing automation'. Everyone knows by now about assigning a value to leads, so I won't bore you with the fine details here. The important part of lead scoring, which often gets missed out, is the follow-up. Nurture your best leads by following their engagements closely. Gauge their communication preferences, assess their buying behaviour, understand their journey, and communicate accordingly.
For example, I can safely share that I listen to a lot of music, and I’m almost fanatic about sound quality. I might listen to an album with poor sound quality once, but I probably won’t go back to it. And to be clear, 95%+ of new recorded music has what I consider poor sound quality (due to an absurd standard of perceived loudness, which takes away natural dynamic range from the sound). That said, I’m not a hi-fidelity sound geek. I’m perfectly happy with my high-end studio monitors—I don’t buy $1,000 power cables, $5,000 CD-players, or $20,000 loudspeakers capable of playing back sounds too high for dogs to hear.
This kind of initial research and analysis is incredibly important. If you include anything which you haven’t subjected to research, analysis, insights, experience, and expert opinion, it simply won’t fly. This is important. Everything these days has to be tailored very specifically to your brand and your personal customer experience. Your competitor might have an amazingly successful marketing strategy (and it's good to learn things from what they're doing!), but that doesn’t mean that the same kind of thing would be as successful for your brand.
If you're inviting readers to download an ebook, for example, and you have a picture of the ebook included in the email, don't just hyperlink the text next to the image telling people to "download it here." Hyperlink the ebook's picture, too. People are drawn to images much more commonly than text, and you want to give your email subscribers as many options to get your ebook as you can.
If you’d like to keep in touch with our support team through online chat or email, upgrade to our Essentials plan starting at $9.99 a month. Whether you’re hitting a roadblock with an email you’re writing or want more information about how something works, help is available around the clock. And when you’re ready to take your marketing to the next level, we have plans for that, too.
When a new person registers for my event or webinar, add the person to a list in my email marketing tool – This zap enables you to automatically add new registrants from your event management tool into your email marketing system. From there, you can send them automated reminder emails in the lead up to the event and follow-up emails after it. It works with a number of event management & webinar tools, including Eventbrite, Meetup & GoToWebinar.
Whenever possible, add a personal element to your emails. Most email tools allow you to enter shortcodes that will be replaced with the recipient’s name when the email is sent out. Emails from Treehouse Co-Founder Ryan are always fun and personal. The subject lines are creative, messages are sent "from" Ryan's email address, and the content is personalized. If you reply to the mail, you'll even get a prompt response from Ryan himself!
Note: if your email is not run by a Microsoft exchange server, the you must leave your computer turned on and Outlook running for the automated replies to be sent. If you’re not sure if your email is setup in this way, ask your IT department. If you don’t have an IT department, then your email isn’t likely setup on an MS Exchange server and you should leave your computer on.
First of all, BuzzFeed has awesome subject lines and preview text. They are always short and punchy -- which fits in perfectly with the rest of BuzzFeed's content. I especially love how the preview text will accompany the subject line. For example, if the subject line is a question, the preview text is the answer. Or if the subject line is a command (like the one below), the preview text seems like the next logical thought right after it:
Alternatively, at least, an eye-catching design. It’s worth letting a proper designer have a go at prettifying your emails. Customers are often opening emails on the go, so you need to work hard to grab their attention. Making your emails nice to look at is a brilliant way to hold their eye. Netflix put time and effort into making their emails stand out, personally and visually – and it pays off for them!
With this in mind, keep returning to these analytical markers throughout your eventual campaign. Continual research and analysis give strategies, the ability to roll with the punches and evolve following current events. The best strategies are not set in stone. With the ever-changing digital landscape, it is vital to leave a bit of flex within your overall strategy.
Building subscriber lists is a common need for email marketers. The important thing to remember with this objective is that your email marketing should be focused on quality and not quantity. Because you could gain an additional 1,000 subscribers but they aren’t really interested in your brand and are therefore not going to add much value to your email database or your business.
Think as well about the kinds of metrics you're evaluating. You probably know that interaction with email campaigns is measured through open and click-through rates. While it's meaningful to review email response in this way, if this is all you measure, you're missing the bigger picture of the value of email to your company and its customers. These rich metrics in the email are great. However, there is a distinction must be made between:
One of the great things email has going for it is that it can adapt on a dime and turn on a penny, meaning that it has the potential always to be relevant and timely. This is very different from social media posts, which are less intensively targeted, less time-focused, and work on more of a broadcast basis. The capacity to intensively segment, target, and stream your email marketing also helps you to narrow your analysis to certain points. By doing this, you can learn a lot about your brand, your customers, and your marketing profile in general.
Keep the subject line and pre-header short: The subject line is crucial. Keep it short so the reader knows exactly what the email topic is about. And the pre-header text (also known as snippet text), don’t let it go to waste by using “To view this email in your browser…”. Instead, summarize the email or include a call to action (i.e., Use “FREESHIP” to get free shipping).