Email marketing is an important channel of communication for brands looking to forge solid relationships with their customers, clients and leads, both prospective and existing. People might miss new updates on a brand’s website or social media, while an email is delivered straight to their inboxes and can be read at their convenience. This is what makes email a great tool for sending newsletters and special offers to customers.
There are a few things to take note of to ensure you get the formula right and don’t end up spamming or annoying the people you want to engage with.
Step 1: Build up a contact list
Before executing an email marketing campaign, you’ll need to develop a contact list consisting of email addresses. This can be compiled from existing customer information or new sources such as website pop-ups or in-store posters encouraging people to subscribe to the email newsletter. Be sure to do this according to local data privacy laws and spam regulations so you have the right permissions to send promotional emails.
Be sure to capture details about people’s interests, and see if they match with what your brand or business has to offer. This is helpful if you have multiple product categories or services. Tailoring your email content to suit a specific customer segment increases the chances of recipients opening the email and taking action – be it visit a specific landing page or purchase a special product.
It also reduces the likelihood of the email being marked as spam, or your contact unsubscribing from the database.
Step 2: Leverage an email marketing software
Once your contact list is ready, it’s time to set everything up on an email marketing software. There are many out there, including Mailchimp, HubSpot, ActiveCampaign, Marketo and more – choose one based on your needs and budget.
Many email marketing software systems will guide you through the entire process of setting up an effective email campaign. Typical features include:
- Contact database that stores customer information
- Signup form that can be used on your website to enrol new email subscribers
- Email templates for different styles of emails (announcement, event, newsletter, etc.)
- Content personalisation (e.g. customising the email greeting to include the recipient’s name)
- Email previews on different devices
- Email scheduling
- Reports to track email performance
Step 3: Create actionable emails
While sophisticated software offers you the option to greatly improve your email, either with slick templates or advanced targeting features, don’t neglect your fundamentals: the email itself.
Create attention-grabbing emails that encourage people to take action based on your marketing goals. Create content that leaves them with no other choice but to engage with it.
Here are some email best practices to keep customers engaged:
- Subject lines will help you stand out and make a good first impression
- Use clear, concise and simple language so readers can easily digest
key points even when skimming through
- Focus on your target audience and present the information in a way that benefits them
- Use strong calls to action statements with links that direct readers to relevant landing pages
- Use engaging copy for your call-to-action buttons. For example, instead of writing “click here” or “sign up now”, try “learn more about [topic]” or “join the fun”
- While creativity is important, make sure to not stray too much. Make sure the email colours, design and tone of voice are consistent with brand guidelines.
Step 4: Find out how your email performed
If you are executing a large email marketing campaign, setting up an A/B test to evaluate the possible performance of your content will help you succeed. Testing a particular subject line or image will help you determine which option pulls in higher open rates or click-through rates. Alternately, you could pinpoint the ideal placement for the email’s primary call-to-action button. Optimising the email will ensure your efforts achieve the best possible results.
Your work does not end after you hit the “schedule” or “send button. Once the email has been sent, continue monitoring its performance to improve future campaigns.
Here are five useful metrics to help you understand email performance:
- Delivery rate
- Open rate
- Click-to-open rate
- Conversion rate
Email is a key component of an integrated marketing plan. Keeping track of your email performance over time will help you refine your strategy to build and strengthen relationships with your customers.
Want to improve your email marketing strategy? You’ve come to the right place — chat to us at firstname.lastname@example.org