How to Run a Spotless Email Marketing Campaign
There are about 270 billion emails sent out every day. That’s a lot of stuffed inboxes. Because of this, many e-commerce companies have backed off of using emails as a part of their larger digital marketing plans.
And yet, even in this world of social media, SMS, etc., while many were predicting the death of email marketing, here we are looking at ROI figures of $38 dollars for every dollar spent.
The businesses that are realizing this type of return, though, are those with solid email marketing campaigns that are turning opens into leads and customers.
So, how do you get these kinds of results? Here is a guide that will help you develop your campaigns to do just that.
The Preparation Work
Before you craft any email to be sent out, there are some preliminary steps you obviously need to take.
- You Need to Find A Good Tool
There is a number of great email tools that are reasonable and can make your campaigns much more streamlined. Most offer the same types of services, so get a good tool that will best suit your needs. These tools will not only automate your campaigns but will provide many other services, such as tracking opens, segmentation, A/B testing, and more.
- You Need to Build a List
Email lists take time to develop. But you need to use proper and ethical ways to grow your list. You can certainly buy lists, etc., but that will only destroy your reputation and result in your being deemed a scammer. Gmail, Outlook and others do monitor senders who are frequently scammed. Just don’t do it.
Building an email list takes time. Realize that, and be ready to be a bit patient. But that does not mean that you should not begin a campaign, even with just a few addresses. There are things you can do to build a list just from those few. Here are the ways you grow an email list the right way:
- Get Permission to Send Emails
You can do this in a few different ways. When visitors come to your site or read a blog post, you can offer them something for free in exchange for an email address. Offer a newsletter with important information or promotions that they may want in the future. Have an opt-in form on your site and in your blog posts. And that opt-in should offer something valuable. Sometimes a really engaging post can motivate a reader to sign up for your newsletter or emails.
One thing to remember as you ask people to opt in to your emails. Tell them why you will be emailing them so that they see some purpose in signing up.
- Build Your List
Keep up your opt-in campaign. You can also use your social media accounts – post engaging stuff and add a link to your page with an opt-in. Over time, you will build that list, and the best thing about it is that it will be comprised of actual leads, not random people who have no interest in the product or service you offer.
One effective way to use opt-ins to build your list is to have what is known as “exit-intent” pop-ups. These will show up as a visitor is about to leave your site. You can offer something of value at that point if they stay, link to the offer, and provide an email address to get it.
Always tell your subscribers up front not just what they can expect your emails to include but approximately how often you will be emailing them, especially if one of those opt-ins is an email subscription.
- Every Email Must Have a Goal
Here is where segmentation enters the picture. Your email list must be divided into groups, based upon your various audiences. Among them will be the following:
- New Subscribers: You will want to send a welcome email. The goal is to begin to develop a relationship with what you hope will become hot leads. Spend a small amount of time telling about yourself and your business values. Let them know how often you will probably be sending emails and for what purposes.
- Boosting a relationship with subscribers who have been with you for a bit by promoting some offer. It can be a discount, or if you have expertise in your niche, perhaps an e-book, a video, a podcast, etc.
- Moving loyal readers toward purchases by showing the value of your products or services. This might include photos or videos of happy customers using your product. At the same time, offer a discount or coupon.
- Keeping current customers engaged with updates of new products, as well as special loyalty savings
- Reconnecting with inactive subscribers who have not opened your emails lately and/or not taken any action that you have pushed.
For each email you send, you must have a goal. What is it you want the customer to do as a result of that email? Whether it is to link to a new product page, download a video, or take a look at what you have on sale for the holiday season, you should have some call to action within each email. Some e-commerce companies, especially if their audience is millennials and Gen Z’ers, even send out emails with news of their support for certain causes and ask their subscribers to participate with them in some way.
And don’t forget those transactional emails. These are the most easily automated and confirm purchases or update shipping details. These do not involve any recipient action, but they do keep a customer informed and satisfied.
Crafting the Campaign Content
As you craft the content for each type of campaign for each of your segmented audiences, there are several considerations to keep in mind:
- Understand Your Audience
There is a lot of demographic data out there about your typical customer. As you write your emails, you must understand all there is about your audience – gender proportions, income/education levels, values and beliefs, sense of humor, language, etc. Your content must fit those audiences.
- Keep a Consistent Brand Voice
This, of course, relates to #1. Your brand voice should match your audience. Consider the difference between email style and tone that Red Bull and Rolex would use in their emails, for example.
- Engage with a Compelling Subject Line
These are almost like newspaper story headlines. Journalists under the need to capture attention up front with an intriguing subject line. Some of your options:
- Tell recipients exactly what they are about to get by opening the email
- Be witty and creative if you understand your audience’s style preferences
- Use psychology (scarcity, reciprocity, social proof, etc.)
John Poole, Marketing Director for Studicus, puts it this way: “Our audience is students. They appreciate certain kinds of humor, they also look for bargains, and they look for relief from the pain of tough coursework. These three concepts usually drive our email subject lines.”
- Writing that Email Copy
First and foremost, you must deliver what you have promised in the subject line – no exceptions – or you will lose all credibility. Second, the content itself should educate, entertain, or inspire. While media has become one of the most popular methods of delivering content, and you should use it, there will have to be some text as well – a customer’s personal story, a survey or poll, etc.
If you struggle with subject lines, content, or both, then get some help. SMEs that don’t have content marketing staff outsource this work. Check out writing services that have creative copywriting staff like Wow Grade or Supreme Dissertations, use a freelancer from a source like Upwork, CoSchedule Headline Analyzer, or get in touch with us at igwebs. We have multiple services, including photography, video production, and content writing.
Always have a CTA – you do want your recipient to do something. Within a CTA button, make sure that you use action words, create urgency if you can, and focus on the value by taking the action.
- Test and Track
If you are using a good email tool, most of this will be done for you through automation, and you need to “listen” to what the reports are saying. You will get information on how many opens for each audience, for each type of email, and you can even A/B test subject lines. You need to know what is resonating with your audiences so that you can “rinse and repeat.”
That’s a Wrap
This is a lot to think about as you develop email marketing campaigns. But remember the stat above: if you do this right, you can realize an amazing ROI.
Author Bio: Estelle Liotard is a content and email marketer for a number of small businesses, including Trust My Paper, Grab My Essay, and BestEssayEducation. When not immersed in her “day job,” she can be found on stage as a keyboardist for a local band.
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