Email marketing is the most important part of an effective marketing strategy for all companies, start-ups, businesses. However, most companies just send out newsletters or news updates whenever they feel like it is possible and they do not take advantage of what a proper email marketing strategy can offer. As social media are taking more and more space and time, email marketing is left behind. But is that really how it should be?
Email marketing is a channel of communication that belongs solely to your company, as your email address and the email marketing service you use are personal, and do not depend on the existence and maintenance of the social media platforms. As such, based on the service that you use, you have the opportunity to create, design, evaluate, redesign your email marketing strategy every time you feel it’s needed.
So, here we will see what are the main features you should consider using and utilising to grow your business.
1. Grow Your Subscriber’s List
This is a step that you should think about in the beginning but always go back to this. The best way to achieve great results with your email marketing strategy is to have a long, solid subscriber’s list.
If you have enough subscribers, then this means that your email campaigns will reach a great audience. This justifies spending time, energy, resources to create, design your email marketing campaigns.
There are many ways to ask the email addresses of people that interact with your company. Either they visit accidentally your company’s website or looking for something particular, you can ask for their email addresses.
But, regardless of how and when you ask for their addresses, don’t forget to make it clear that they have something to gain from that.
For example, you can provide them a discount/offer for their first order, or tell them that every week you send exclusive personalised offers.
2. Create Your Segmented Groups
While your subscriber’s list is growing, you should start thinking about your target market groups. Every business has a general audience, but this audience can be easily divided into smaller segmented groups, based on specific characteristics.
There are many ways to divide your audience into groups. The most common one is demographic segmentation, which means dividing them by gender, age, marital status, family situation.
Also, you could use psychographic segmentation. This would divide your audience based on affinities, interests, lifestyles, hobbies. Psychographic segmentation is more difficult to be made, as you would need to somehow collect this information about your visitors/customers. But, it is very effective, as it leads to better segmentation and helps your personalization projects.
However, it is up to you to decide the way you want to segment your market. Depending on your company, products, services, you should understand which way would work better for you.
For example, if you run a pet store, demographic segmentation might be more effective, as you could suggest family-friendly options. But if you have a clothing store, then psychographic segmentation would work better, enabling you to give fashion tips, based on their activities, interests, and hobbies.
3. Personalise Your Email Campaigns
Personalisation is a marketing tactic that can vary on style, sophistication, details. The main purpose of personalisation is to make your email feel human to your recipients. Receiving dozens of emails daily that come from automated services, if your email seems personalised, then your subscribers will respect and value you more for your time.
The most basic kind of personalisation is to add your recipient’s first name in your email subject line and your email content. The more personalised tags you take advantage, the more personalised you can make your emails. You can add their location, the specific time you have sent your email.
Also, another good choice is to personalise the sender of your email campaigns. You can use a name (it doesn’t even have to be the name of someone in the marketing team) per segmented group so that they feel like having someone to communicate with.
4. Improve Your Content Writing
Content is the king! We all know that content is the key player for any type of marketing, as it can engage or repel your customers/visitors.
Your content should be formal, but still friendly so you can engage in honest, entertaining discussions with your recipients. Remember that your subscribers are as human as you are and no one likes to be treated like a walking wallet.
You should use active words that motivate your subscribers to take one specific action, based on the goal of your particular email campaign.
Also, your tone, style of voice, and writing should be maintained and address them in similar ways.
5. Make It Visually Appealing
When your subscribers open your email, they should feel happy and relieved. Your email should be clear, simple, and have appealing colors and structure.
You can use prepared email templates provided by your email marketing service or design your own if you feel creative.
Your email templates should include your company’s logo, so as to be clear that you are the sender of the email.Also, the colours of your email templates should be complimentary and include one of your brand colours, at least.
6. Decide Your Main Goal
There are different kinds of email campaigns that you should create, design, and communicate with your subscribers. Based on the kind of email you are about to send, you should decide on your main goal.
There are educational emails; this kind of email provides useful information and tips to your subscribers about your services, products, and issues related to your company.
There are salesman emails; this type of email attempts to bring your subscribers one step closer to the final conversion where they buy one of your products.
There are value emails; this form of email brings extra value to your company by giving value to your subscribers. The given value refers to the hidden features of your products, detailed guides about related topics.
For example, if you run a vacation rental software, sending a detailed guide about all the recent COVID-19 updates on the industry, then your subscribers will feel that you appreciate them and value your efforts.Also, there are operational emails; this type of email is usually automated and refers to “thank you” emails, confirmation of subscription/order, and reminder emails.
7. Set Your Desired Event-Tracking
When people open your emails and visit your website, they take specific actions. So, you should have created and enabled events to track. These events can be click-throughs, time spent on a specific page, their journey on your website.
These events help you to see if the goal of the email was clear and if they proceeded as you desired. Also, it will help you find out if there is a process in the journey that makes it difficult to find out what’s their next step.
It is crucial to know the journey, the steps of your visitors, as you need a lot of data and information to evaluate properly your email marketing strategy, and each campaign.
8. Trust Your Data Analytics
Most of the time, digital marketers have too much information and data about their campaigns, projects, and schemes. However, what they lack is knowledge about what to do with this information collected.
There are three aspects to design your data research, analysis, and evaluation.
Firstly, you should collect data about the actions of your subscribers when they interact with your email campaigns. Such metrics are opening rate, click-through rate to visit your landing page, unsubscription rate per campaign. These metrics can help you see which subject lines work better, which content was more engaging, what type of content got annoying and your subscribers jumped off the ship.
Secondly, as it was mentioned before, you should track events when they visit your website. These details, along with conversion rates, loyalty schemes, your ROI per campaign, are crucial for the success of your email marketing strategy, but also for your e-commerce company development.The last aspect to consider is why you have these results, why your subscribers have behaved as such. This is the most difficult aspect to evaluate and analyze, but it might take your marketing campaign to the next level.
9. Run Α/Β Testing and Redesign
If the content is king in marketing, then testing is the king of email marketing. Running email marketing campaigns without testing their design, copy, subject lines, pictures, deliverability is a waste of time and resources.
Two things that you should pay attention to firstly, your deliverability rates, and then the opening rates.
So, you should always run an email deliverability test to make sure that your emails reach your subscribers’ inbox, and not end up in the spam or never reach their account.
Then, you should check your opening rates, which are mostly affected by your timing and your subject lines. Thus, run tests about the best time to send an email to your subscribers and also check which subject lines are more captivating and motivate them to open your email.
10. Set Automated Email Campaigns
The last advice I would like to provide you is to utilize the automation features of your email marketing service.
You create and set specific triggers that are activated once a specific condition is met. This could refer to a series of emails that are sent one after the other when the previous one is opened. It could mean adding automated tags, based on the opening rates of each subscriber and sending different types of emails.Also, there are external factors that could trigger automated emails. For example, if your company demands so, you can add weather-based automation to re-engage your audience.
Designing an effective email marketing strategy could be easy if you know why you do it, what you want to achieve. If your goal is not clear, then this could turn your email campaigns into great fails without ever realizing what went wrong.
If you follow these steps, then this will guarantee that your email marketing strategy is in the right direction. But you would still have many things to check, design, evaluate, like your brand identity, your USP, and your product quality.
All in all, these are the main suggestions I can provide for someone starting their business, or starting their email marketing journey.
Let me know if you have anything else that you would like to ask if you have implemented any of these tips, or if you would like to suggest a different route.
Christoforos Zafeiris works as the SEO Copywriter for the email marketing software company Moosend. He has always been eager to change the narrative and influence trends with his words; thus, copywriting is the only natural choice for him. Besides that, he has been an enthusiast of human communication, long walks, and emotional storytelling.