It’s so important to get it right
Email marketing is a fine art. Get it wrong, and you’ll find yourself confined to the spam folder for good, but get it right and it can be incredibly beneficial to your marketing strategy.
We’ve all been on the receiving end of email marketing that could only be classed as spam. Endless irritating emails day after day, even from companies you don’t recognise; forcing a ‘move to junk’ or even an ‘unsubscribe’ (if you’re lucky enough to get that option). Every business wants to avoid being on the receiving end of those moves; you want to be whitelisted, you want your customers and potential customers alike to look forward to receiving your emails and find them useful.
Using email marketing involves a combination of skills and analytics. You need to ensure that your content is engaging and useful, use a design that is eye catching, and have a cracking call to action to get that engagement. It also involves a lot of back-office work; split testing, monitoring open rates, analytical work and review. Used effectively, you can build up a great email database that gives you repeat custom. Let’s have a look at some of the best email marketing tips we can offer.
Email Marketing Tips: Build up your audience
To begin with, you need to start building up your email marketing list. Have sections on your website and links on your social media for visitors to sign up for email updates, newsletters and special offers. Make sure it has a clear call to action, and if you can, also mention the regularity of the emails. For example: “sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter containing special offers, helpful advice and much more”. With this, you’re not only demonstrating what they can expect to receive, but also how often. Just make sure that whatever intervals you are claiming, you stick to. Don’t claim a weekly newsletter if you’re going to send one every day, and likewise if you will only send them once a month; either way you’re probably going to annoy them by not honouring your promises.
Email Marketing Tips: Welcome them
Once someone has registered to receive updates, it’s a good idea to send a welcome or introductory email, so that they know you’ve received their registration. Use this email to demonstrate what they are likely to receive as a result of signing up to your emails; some example offers or a featured blog for example. Be sure to explain that their details won’t be passed onto anyone else, and encourage them to register with your website (if you have a website that offers account sign-ups). If you can, also give instructions on how they add you to their ‘trusted senders’ list (to stop you from going to the junk folder), and also give details of how they can opt-out.
Email Marketing Tips: What can you offer?
Consider why each person has signed up to the newsletter. For this, it’s important to know your target market, which you will have done as part of building your brand. What can you offer them that they will find useful? Discount vouchers for your shop? Exclusive online offers? Thought leadership and engaging content? Make sure that you’re adding value with your email marketing, and make sure once they hit your website that you’ve got something of value to offer them.
Email Marketing Tips: Don’t over-promote
Try not to use your newsletter to endlessly promote or pitch to your mailing list. You have to give them something of value. Promotions are effective but they should be interspersed with engaging content, relevant blogs, news and genuine business updates. Everyone loves a deal, but don’t make it look like you only wanted your customers’ details to constantly sell to them. Use email marketing the same way as you use social media; avoid common mistakes and use it as a way to build lasting relationships with your clients and bring them back time and again to your website.
Email Marketing Tips: Make a schedule
If you’re not going to have time to sit down and come up with emails once a week or however often you’re planning to do a campaign, then make sure your email marketing platform has an option to auto-schedule. Then you can take some time to do several emails at once, and schedule them for the month ahead. Just make sure you have the ability to remove people from the list who have unsubscribed, because there’s nothing worse than unsubscribing to a newsletter and continuing to receive them. That way, when you do come to do a manual promotional email for a new offer, you’ve already built that relationship with the emails you’ve scheduled with blogs and content over time.
Email Marketing Tips: Keep your branding
Design your email templates to be consistent with your branding, and ensure that your message is in keeping with your brand identity. Brand consistency is key to your marketing success, and this is true of any communications you send to your customers. Most email marketing platforms will have a feature for you to design HTML templates, including images, calls to action and links to your website. Take advantage of these.
Email Marketing Tips: Use the data
You should also take advantage of the analytics provided by email marketing software. Most platforms will give you basic statistics after your campaigns; the golden three you want to focus on are open rate (ie how many customers opened the email in their inbox), click through rate (CTR) (ie how many clicked on a link on the email message to take them through to your website), and unsubscribes.
If your open rate is low, then that demonstrates that most recipients are deleting your emails upon receiving them, so your message is not being communicated well enough. You’ve not lost them completely though as they’ve not yet unsubscribed. You should rethink your strategy and try new ways to engage those customers.
If your CTR is low, then they’re opening your messages but your calls to action or your content is not engaging enough to bring customers to your site. This is where you should look at improving your content within your emails to increase the traffic.
Unsubscribes are the ones you least want, this means you’ve lost your audience completely. Review what you’ve been sending and see where you can change your approach to reduce the drop in subscribers.
These three statistics can help you immensely in honing your message. By constantly reviewing them you can refine your communication to try and increase open and click through rates and stop people unsubscribing.
Email Marketing Tips: Test your material
As part of this statistical analysis, you should also consider split testing your messages. By segmenting your email marketing you can test which messages are more effective on certain groups of people. You can also use it to communicate with those who haven’t opened your previous emails, asking them why and for feedback. You could also try out new messages on those who are opening your emails but not clicking through to the website. This takes strategy and time, but it will be worth it. To make sure you’re sending the right communications to the right people, you could also include segments when people sign up for your newsletter. Ask them what kind of updates they’d like. For example, is it only news that interests them? Or special offers? Then you can have separate lists and target your marketing more diversely based on what they select.
These tips can help you to make a success of your email marketing, but if you want some more guidance, contact us and we can help you.