Plus Why You Still Need Email Marketing
Email marketing isn’t dead. In fact, companies view it as a primary aspect of customer acquisition no matter the industry.
This is because nearly everyone has an email. The majority of users check their email weekly, if not daily.
We know that there are a lot of different details that go into an email marketing program. These aspects include omni-channel or cross-channel promotion (like including your socials in emails), rich content (like promoting blogs), and of course the all important CTA (call to action) that leads to conversions!
Getting all of these details to work in concert together is what makes a great email campaign.
But with so much to worry about, what are some best practices that will help you get it just right?
Here are some guidelines to help you create email marketing campaigns that actually work.
1 | Know Thy Audience
Knowing your audience and what they want is perhaps the biggest piece of getting your email marketing right. If you aren’t delivering content your audience wants, it will go straight in the trash bin.
Remember, your audience is more than just a demographic group. You’ll need to have a granular understanding of your audience in order to have as successful a campaign as possible. So ask yourself these questions:
- When do they prefer to communicate?
- Is there a specific vernacular that resonates with them more than others?
- What types of actions or activities distinguish your audience from the general population (i.e. what do they want from you)?
While you may not be able to answer all these questions if your brand is new to email marketing, you’ll learn the answers over time with the wealth of insights you’ll amass from campaigns that will help inform and change your strategy going forward.
2 | Experiments Aren’t Just for Science Class
It’s key to experiment to find what works. This means doing some A/B testing on things like your subject line, CTAs, or even images in your emails. This allows you to test two different options against one another to see what works. Here are some general guidelines to follow when doing A/B testing:
- Only test one element at a time, otherwise you won’t know what element made the difference.
- Make sure you have a significant sample size.
- Once you find a winning element, move on to test the next element.
- Know that testing never ends! This is because your product and your audience change, and your email marketing should reflect that.
3 | Personalize
Batch and blast is a thing of the past! Personalization isn’t new, but it is certainly picking up steam. Your audience is looking for a more personal connection with your brand; they don’t want to be just a number in the masses. Personalized emails not only make your audience feel more special, but it also encourages higher conversion and engagement rates!
In order to personalize your emails, you’ll need to consider what kind of data you have. One of the best and easiest ways to personalize an email is to address the recipient by name, which means that you need to collect at least the first name of people signing up for your newsletters. Another example of personalizing the newsletter experience that is specific to brands that sell products or services is sending out birthday messages or discounts, which means you’ll need to collect birthday data. Knowing how you want to personalize your emails can help inform how you set up your newsletter sign-up form.
4 | Focus on Quality, Not Frequency
No one, and we mean no one, likes to have their inbox bombarded with tons of emails. Sending emails too often is a good way to get a ton of unsubscribes. Instead of focusing on frequency, focus on quality.
Focusing on quality means providing rich content for your audience without leading to email fatigue. Rich content means providing something of value to your readers. So ask yourself, what your audience wants or how you can solve a problem they have. Then craft an email campaign around that need that provides something of value, and be sure to skip out on emailing your lists five times a day.
A good way to figure out when your audience responds and when they become overwhelmed is to start out slow and then increase the frequency. When you start to see unsubscribes, pull back on the frequency.
5 | Track and Measure Meaningful Insights
Your email campaign doesn’t end once you’ve sent out the emails! Instead of focusing on content, it’s now time to focus on metrics. There are many metrics to look at, such as open rate, click-through rate, and more.
Take a breath. Email marketing metrics don’t have to be complicated. Instead of focusing on every single metric, focus on the insights that matter to the purpose of your email.
In other words, if the goal is to get your audience to read an important update and the content is in the body of your email, you’ll want to measure open rate.
But if you want to increase sales by offering a discount, click-through rate is what you want to monitor (and of course subsequent visits to your site and conversions on your offer).
A Few More Thoughts
These are the five big things to consider when sending out email campaigns. However, there are a few more things you should consider. This includes:
- Following a pre-send checklist to check for typos, broken links, spammy elements, etc.
- Having a plan for holidays that still remains mindful and courteous about your sending
- Nailing your timing (testing or using tools from your email platform can help with this)
- Rewarding your VIPs (those with the best open and click rates) with a little extra appreciation
Finally, we want to end on an important note. Once you have found what works for you, don’t just sit back on your laurels. Remember, your audience changes and so does what your brand has to offer, so your email marketing tactics should not remain static.