With video, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and chatbots, it may seem like email marketing is long past its prime. But email marketing has evolved. It remains an incredibly powerful tool for getting messages directly to your clients/prospects, building trust, promoting a brand, strengthening relationships and boosting ROI. In 2019, global email users numbered 3.9 billion. This figure is expected to grow to 4.3 billion users in 2023. That's half of the world's population! This is why building an effective email marketing campaign is more important than ever.
Elements of a successful email marketing strategy:
All successful email marketing strategies include a few key elements.
- List building techniques: There are three main ways that you can collect addresses: in person, through printed materials, and online. Use a paper sign-up sheet in your place of business. Add an online sign-up form to your website. Try a “text to join” app with a keyword that people can text, instantly adding them to your email list. Encourage social media followers and loyal customers to sign up. Collect emails at your booth at an industry conference. Use a contest or offer a discount as an incentive to opt-in.
- Opt-in confirmation: If you want to keep your emails out of the spam folder and maintain a good email sender reputation, only send emails to those who have opted-in or double-opted in. Never buy an email list.
- Content calendar: To avoid overwhelming your email contacts, create a content calendar that clearly pinpoints the times and dates you intend to send emails. This helps space out your emails so they are received on a regular and consistent basis.
- Email list management: Conduct an audit of your email list monthly or quarterly in order to avoid sending to old email addresses, bouncing emails or spamming. Increase the effectiveness of your campaign by breaking your email list into small targeted segments that allow you to choose your message based on the demographics or behaviour of a specific group (new customers, loyal customers, lapsed customers).
- Mobile-friendly: Mobile browsing has surpassed desktop browsing and provides more email opens. Optimize for mobile; images, overall design and layout. Limit the amount of text you include and incorporate more images for easier engagement. Put your most important information above the fold. Surround your call-to-actions with white spaces.
- Automation: To maximize the ROI of your email marketing campaign, utilize automation tools as much as possible (autoresponder, email workflows, segmentation).
- Tracking: Track your subscribers' activity across your website, landing pages and newsletters allowing you to send emails with specific messaging triggered by their behaviour. Track your open rate, click-through rate and unsubscribe rates and work to improve them.
- Timing: Send business-to-business emails (to entrepreneurs & workaholics) on Saturdays as this yields the highest open and click-through rates. For the general market (people who work 9 to 5), send emails in the middle of the week (Tues, Wed, Thurs) as they are unlikely to check emails on the weekend.
- Testing: Ensure all grammar and spelling is correct and that all links work. Run your email through a deliverability tool to let you know the probability of landing in the inbox, alert you to anything that could cause you to be flagged as spam and allow you to see how your emails render on a variety of ISPs. Do split testing (content, subject lines, send times), as many as three variations for each campaign.
- Focused objectives: Each email sent needs a specific objective (read a blog or newsletter, check out a promotion, look at a new product, attend an event, donate to a charity). Keep your content focused and on point.
- Clean and crisp: Provide a headline (what you are offering), a message (how it will help the reader) and a call to action (what the reader should do). Use keywords, phrases and bullet points in your content and include only relevant images.
- Personalization helps build a relationship with the reader. Use warm, informal language, interesting images and the person's first name.
- Clarity: Clearly explain what you're offering and what need it meets for the recipient. This increases the likelihood that the reader will engage with your email.
- Sharable content: Add social share buttons to your emails to encourage recipients to share with friends and family (potential customers).
- Participation: Irresistible subject lines, a distinctive voice and targeted content make it more likely that your readers will find your email compelling and engage with you (take up an offer, pass the email onto another, click a link, respond).
- Value and incentive: Give your audience something that is of value (educational, product and/or service information) and interesting to them (newsletter, ebook, white paper, contest, giveaway, email series).
Email marketing delivers huge returns for marketers willing to learn how to do it well. Good planning and data analysis will improve your email marketing campaign. Send separate types of emails to different groups of people. Be polite, respectful, and deliver value. Provide people what they've asked for and email on a regular basis.
Need help with your email marketing campaign? Want assistance with your digital marketing strategies? Call us at (403) 456-0072 or email CARE@CAYK.CA. Allow us to be your very own marketing department! Connect with our tightly-knit team of knowledgeable digital-first consultants, each eager to help your business grow. Contact us today.