Email marketing offers a cost-effective way for small and large businesses to connect with existing customers and leads. In fact, stats show that many companies generate $40 for each dollar that they spend on their email marketing budgets. If you’re not seeing that type of ROI, please read on for some email marketing tips that will help you achieve it.
When you send emails, you can grow your business from the comfort of your home or corner office. And while it may be tempting to go straight for Facebook or Twitter in the social media age, most people still use email daily.
More than 304 billion emails are sent and received on any given day, and there’s no no postage necessary. This is why strategic email marketing campaigns offer a significant return on investment if you use them effectively. So, let’s look at some tips for incorporating email into your marketing so you can grow your business.
Does email marketing still work today?
Unequivocally, yes. If you consult any marketing expert, they’ll tell you that email may not be the flashiest marketing strategy, but there’s a reason it’s still so widely used today. Major companies such as Amazon, Walmart and Kohl’s understand the value of sending promotional emails. That’s why each of these companies spends millions of dollars annually on these campaigns.
It is a mistake to think that email is archaic. In actuality, email marketing is one of the most effective marketing methods for reaching customers.
According to countless studies, email marketing is still more effective at engaging and converting users than any social media channel in existence.
Email is an inexpensive way to reach a wide range of demographics, and automation and segmentation solutions can make email generation even more efficient, further increasing the ROI.
Further Reading: How to Measure Your Own Email Marketing ROI
Types of email marketing campaigns
Some of the most common and effective campaigns include welcome emails, triggered emails, newsletters, re-engagement, post-purchase drip and seasonal.
1. Welcome emails – After you gain new subscribers, you must welcome them and make them feel connected to your community. Creating a series of 3 to 5 welcome emails can accomplish this task. Welcome emails can include a thank you offer, an introduction to your company, and helpful tips.
2. Triggered emails – Email automation tools allow you to send emails after the recipient takes certain actions. Events that trigger follow-up emails include clicks to links on your website, responses to a survey, and shopping cart abandonment.
3. Newsletter – While they aren’t considered to be campaigns, newsletters can be beneficial to your overall email marketing strategy. An engaging email newsletter includes focused, interactive content like videos or other attention-grabbing materials.
4. Re-engagement – It isn’t unusual for customers to sign up for newsletters and stop engaging with a brand. When this happens, this is known as email churn. You can send re-engagement emails to invite subscribers back to your community and determine if they are willing to re-engage.
5. Post-purchase drip – Savvy email marketers know the value of connecting with customers after they purchase a product. If you provide quality customer service, a post-purchase drip campaign can entice customers to buy other products or learn more about your company.
6. Seasonal – From Valentine’s Day to Thanksgiving, holidays offer a good reason to reach out to your customers. The key to an effective seasonal campaign is to begin your marketing efforts about a month before the holiday.
10 email marketing strategies to increase engagement
Whether you operate a startup or an established company, email marketing offers numerous benefits, and the key to getting results is to implement the right strategies for your business. Let’s take a look at some email marketing strategies that can increase customer engagement.
1. Define your target audience
In the digital era, customers expect personalized offers that provide solutions to their specific problems. Many customers are pressed for time, so this means that they don’t want to engage with generic emails that won’t help them make informed buying decisions.
Defining your target audience can help you create email campaigns that appeal to your specific customers. Quite simply, your target audience is the people who are likely to buy or need your products or services. In order to define your target audience, you must take time to explore the interests, motivations, pain points and preferences of your customers.
Here are a few questions to consider as you try to learn more about your target audience:
- Where do they live?
- How much money do they earn?
- How do they use your products or services?
- What is their level of education?
- What are their challenges?
- Where do they find their content online?
By defining your target audience, you can build strong customer relationships and effective communication strategies. And you can also leverage other channels to gain email subscribers, which you can then segment based on your understanding of your target groups.
2. Provide content that delivers value
Increasing sales is an important goal for any business. But this doesn’t mean that your email messages should be focused on creating revenue at the expense of providing value.
There is no shortage of companies who show up in a customer’s inbox each day. On average, people receive 121 emails every day. Unfortunately, many of the emails have low conversion rates because the content doesn’t provide value to the recipient.
The best way to add value through your emails is by providing high-quality content tailored to your audience. Strong email content should tell a story and show how your company can solve the reader’s problems. It should also use catchy subject lines, be free from clutter, and avoid industry jargon that the average reader doesn’t understand.
Further Reading: How to Create the Perfect Content for Your Email Marketing
3. Enroll in an email automation service
Time-saving automated software solutions are always a great option, from secure invoicing solutions, to email automation services. When budgeting and accounting, you will want crucial automation features to integrate with your email service like sending payment reminders and offering automatic credit card billing. For email, solutions like Constant Contact, MailChimp and ConvertKit are just a few of the ones on the market that can save you time in your email automation.
Creating and formatting individual emails for each subscriber can take hours. With an automated email service, you can create email campaigns that can send the right messages at a time that you select.
Email automation can also create personalized email experiences for your subscribers. If that isn’t enough, email automation can increase workplace productivity and help you implement scalable marketing strategies.
To learn more about ConvertKit’s features check out this video:
4. Develop an email marketing plan
Before you send out your first marketing email, it’s a good idea to develop an email marketing plan. Developing strategies gives you time to think about the results that you are trying to achieve. A detailed plan can guide you through the marketing process.
An email marketing plan might include:
- A list of email marketing tools
- Types of emails to include in your campaign
- Specific tactics to build your email list
Creating marketing strategies and plans requires focus and commitment, which is why some email marketers skip this step altogether. But you should know that it is nearly impossible to realize marketing success without having an actionable plan.
Further Reading: A Comprehensive Guide on How to Build an Email Marketing Strategy
5. Comply with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003
Email recipients have rights that are protected by federal law, and one of these rights is to only receive emails that they have subscribed to. The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act enforces this, and your email marketing strategy should too. Even if a person has opted to receive your emails previously, you are obligated to comply with this regulation.
Email marketers must include their company addresses and names in each email, and the “Reply to” and “From” fields must include authentic email addresses. Every email must contain a visible link that gives subscribers the opportunity to unsubscribe from the list, and all subject lines must accurately describe the content in the email.
6. Perform A/B testing
Also known as split testing, A/B testing is a unique marketing strategy that allows you to test different versions of a marketing campaign. The purpose of A/B testing is to determine which email offers a better performance. You can perform split testing on emails, website pages, YouTube videos and other marketing assets.
Here’s an example of how A/B testing works with email marketing. Suppose you have two subject headlines for the same email, and you want to determine which subject headline performs better. Send one headline to the first group and the other to the second group. Throughout the campaign, you will analyze engagement metrics to determine which email is more effective.
With A/B testing, you can test a variety of variables. These include CTAs, audio, video and images. Remember to test one variable at a time for each A/B test. Trying to assess more than one variable can make it difficult to determine the reason one email was more successful than the other.
7. Segment target customers
One of your missions should be to find out more about your customers and send content that appeals to them. This is where email marketing segmentation provides value.
Let’s say you own an ice cream shop in Los Angeles. Your shop caters to a variety of dietary needs. If you send an email about your new flavor of milk chocolate ice cream to customers who only eat sorbet, the email may not be appealing.
Marketing segmentation gives you the opportunity to dig deeper to learn more about your customers. That way, you can put your customers into categories and market based on their preferences, increasing the relevance of each email to the needs of the specific user.
Further Reading: How to Use Email Segmentation to Boost Marketing Conversions
8. Include Calls to Action (CTAs)
After recipients read your emails, what do you want them to do? Customers may not know the next steps to take. That’s why you must include a clear and visible call to action in your emails.
Some examples of effective CTAs are ‘Sign Up’, ‘Buy Now’, ‘Join Free for a Month’, ‘Subscribe’, ‘Get a Coupon’, or ‘Get Started’.
When customers see these messages, they know the specific action that they are being asked to take. When crafting your CTAs, you should be specific and brief. A good CTA will also create a sense of urgency, motivating the user to take immediate action.
9. Set SMART goals
When it comes to creating the best email marketing campaigns, be prepared to try out many strategies. And before you get started, set realistic expectations for your strategies. Create a timeline for the email marketing campaign that spans six months to one year, and monitor your progress.
Set SMART goals for your marketing initiative – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. Setting realistic goals provides the motivation, clarity, and focus you need to be patient with the marketing process.
Here are some examples of SMART email marketing goals:
- Generate 250 email marketing leads in each quarter by implementing inbound funnel marketing campaigns
- Increase company internet sales by 15% within 12 months by running weekly email campaigns
- Boost our business blog’s email subscriber list by 25% within 6 months by offering a downloadable ebook
10. Evaluate marketing metrics and KPIs
There are several reasons to invest time and money into email marketing campaigns. Maybe you want to generate additional leads and grow your subscriber list. Or, your goal might be to convert new leads into satisfied customers.
Regardless of your aspirations, you must have a way to measure the success of your email marketing campaigns. Without clear metrics and KPIs, it will be difficult to determine which marketing strategies are the most effective.
Some popular email marketing KPIs include:
- Clickthrough Rate
- Conversion Rate
- Bounce Rate
- Open Rate
Email Marketing Tips Conclusion
Marketing through email is a popular and effective way to reach customers around the world. It may take time for you to learn the best strategies to engage your customers, but once you master email marketing, your company will surely reap the rewards. Start applying these tips today to maximize your influence and visibility as a business.
This is a post contributed from one of my marketing partners.
Hero photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash