Email marketing applies old strategies to new tools. Even though email is new, the basic content of an email ad is no different than the print advertising that has been around for a century. Finding ways to use pictures, text, and special offers to make people want to buy a product has been the mission of marketers for as long as there has been marketing. As such, getting a degree in marketing is one of the best ways to prepare potential marketers for running effective email campaigns.
Companies who utilize email marketing promote their products and services while educating and interacting with subscribers. Establish your authority by sharing your best advice. Showcase the value of your products by solving customers’ most difficult challenges. Listen to feedback before developing new features. Once a customer believes you’re the best, there’s nothing to stop them from making a purchase.
1. Everyone on your mass emailing list must be an opt-in subscriber. Oh did we say must? Sorry, we meant MUST. If you send unsolicited email messages, that is considered to be spam. You can avoid the dreaded spam label (which will hurt your mass email deliverability and your business's online reputation) by only using opt-in subscriber lists. Check out our email list building blog post if you want to know more about how you can get customers to opt in to your mass email newsletters. Also, don't ever rent or buy mass email lists. And include an easy way for subscribers to opt out in each email you send, in case any of them do not wish to receive any more of your email messages.
33. The power of press: If your business is featured in an online community publication, the piece is likely to include a link to your business site. Make that link a focused landing page geared toward the publication’s readership. This tactic can work well if you have a regular column, are being consulted as an expert, or are the subject of a piece.
Customer referrals should be one of your key sources of new business. This means keeping in touch with your existing customers to ensure you are well placed to get referrals. Kyle Porter advises keeping the conversation informal. For example, “Hey John, we’ve got a killer new feature coming out that does X & Y. Which other marketing execs do you think would find this interesting?”
A click-through rate is a percentage that tells you how many successfully delivered emails in a campaigns registered at least one click. A standard click-through rate is generally two to three times the conversion rate of your online store, maybe 5% or so. Why? Because you have a highly targeted group of people on your list who have opted in to your content. Your calls to action and images in your email play a big role in your click-through rate.
An open rate is a percentage that tells you how many successfully delivered emails in a campaigns were opened by subscribers. A standard open rate is 20%-30%. You will notice your open rate is usually higher when you’re first starting out. Your subject line plays a big role in your open rate, too—the more compelling the subject line, the higher the open rate.
The best email software providers offer user-friendly interfaces, making it easy for anyone to set a campaign and build appealing newsletters. Worried about HTML and graphic design skills? If you want to build your newsletter in HTML, you can certainly do that. However, it is best to choose a platform offering a wide range of templates and stock images you could potentially use, such as Active Campaign. Some of the best email software also offers tools that test your messages for spam. They will warn you if your text contains words that might trigger red flags from email providers. After all, you don’t want to see all your beautifully designed messages end up in your subscribers’ junk folders without an even remote chance of getting opened. The best email provider services will even block your address if they detect any spam suspicion.
In fact, many small businesses are showing a renewed interest in email marketing as a way to reach their customers with relevant, personalized messages at the right time—without needing permission from the internet’s increasingly restrictive gatekeepers. Plus, email has seen consistently healthy growth in global users with no signs of slowing down.
In contrast, organic reach for Facebook pages has been declining since 2013, as the platform continues to focus its News Feed on promoting content from friends and family. Similarly, climbing the search rankings in Google is only getting harder, with advertisements and answer boxes resulting in a noticeable increase in no-click searches, especially on mobile. More than ever, if you want to reach your customers on these platforms you may be forced to pay—and those costs are increasing.
The world of promotional emails is changing as consumers become more leary of this type of email content. The world continues to grow in technology and available information, and consumers are being made more aware of when messages are overly promotional. The task then is to offer a good mix of engaging emails (how-to content, informational content, etc.) and promotions.
When using these emails in your marketing strategy, it’s important to make sure you are able to create a steady and rhythmic flow of emails. Customers who receive an email with their loyalty reward points update every few months are less likely to be engaged (and purchase products to earn more points) than if they were to receive a monthly update. But by using marketing automation tools to drive your email marketing, your brand can target the right people, at the right time, with the right message and keep them engaged with your brand.
Customers engage with transactional emails such as order, shipping and return/exchange notifications at a much higher rate than they do with promotional and branding-focused campaigns. It is clear from the total open rates that customers open transactional emails repeatedly. The exceptionally high open and click rates underscore the opportunity for companies to cross-sell products and services to highly engaged customers through transactional emails.
Design: With newsletters, the layout becomes a much more complicated task than it is with dedicated email sends. You’ll have to spend some time deciding on the right placement of images and text, alignment and prioritization of information. Thankfully, there are a bunch of websites out there to help you with these efforts. MailChimp, for instance, offers a package of 36 basic, flexible templates you can use to get started.