Want to take action on one of the most lucrative campaign strategies available to businesses who market online? Campaigning with email has existed since the conception of the internet and is going nowhere anytime soon. This free email marketing guide will open numerous opportunities for lead generation and is well-worth a read.
What Is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a campaign strategy used to maintain and promote continual audience growth. Using software, content, and graphics, email marketing helps traffic audiences towards key sales opportunities that are in-line with company goals. Such business objectives can include anything from promoting a new product or service to simply driving additional site traffic.
How Does Email Marketing Work?
Marketers commonly use emails to connect with both new and existing customers. Using a series of what are known as touches, email marketing campaigns continually remind customers of a brand and the value it can bring to their day-to-day life. Touches vary in complexity. Sending a branded holiday message or specific advertisement on a new product both serve as a touch. Most believe that 7-10 touches is enough to drive a customer to buy, however this number greatly differs between businesses. Some may find that only 3 touches are needed to drive a sale, while other companies may see great growth with 14 touches.
Why Email Marketing Is Important
Companies don’t have many opportunities to stay in direct contact with their audiences. Email marketing helps fill this void by allowing customers to consent to communication. Whether opting in to a mailing list or allowing an email to be saved on file, this consent to direct communication allows for personal marketing tactics to be used. Whereas other channels such as social media appeal to audiences at large, email campaigning helps promote a holistic approach to how businesses reach their customers.
Benefits Of Email Marketing
Oftentimes businesses find that capturing new customers is dramatically easier than maintaining a recurring audience. Email marketing is a supplementary strategy used to alleviate the complexities of this challenge. Although a great product or service is surmount in retaining an audience, email marketing helps to generate opportunities for easy communication. Rather than hoping that a customer will return, a simple email sent into their inbox reinforces their connection with a brand.
Email marketing also promotes direct response campaigning. Marketers will commonly use email to gain voluntary customer insights, funnel site traffic, or provide complimentary value. In these cases, the right people can be contacted at the right time to understand how an audience is segmented within a sales funnel. In direct response, many choose to continually give to their audience in the form of informational content. Email marketing helps to advertise such content in a place where almost everyone looks daily – their inbox.
How To Plan An Email Marketing Strategy
Planning an email marketing strategy is a relatively simple process. In fact, you’ll likely find that email campaigning is fairly similar to the other forms of marketing that your business currently does. Defining goals, audiences, and planned insights are essential parts of any campaign, with the same holding true for email marketing. Email advertising does require planning in regard to software, list building, and campaign messaging which are by no means the hardest part of the process.
Set Measures Of Success
Understanding whether the work being done is actually doing anything is one of the great challenges that marketers face. That’s why every campaign needs to have success-measuring metrics assigned. Using an analytical approach, campaigns can be measured with a series of single variable metrics such as list growth, open-rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, etc.
Key to success is having predefined goals. Although positive growth is a great site to see, gauging whether the campaign is actually profitable based on predefined metrics will serve as a more forefront insight.
Define A Target Audience
No marketing guide is complete without covering target audiences. In email marketing, predefined target audiences are commonly used that are reflective of the businesses current customers. Being that consumer retainment is one of the primary objectives of this sort of campaign, focusing on the desires and pain points of current customers is always a solid strategy to follow.
Audiences are not set in stone either. Those who are looking to expand into different verticals or demographics can use email marketing to attract these audiences as first-time customers. With proper messaging this is possible, however sticking to a current audience will likely prove a higher success rate in the beginning of a campaign.
How To Start An Email Campaign
Starting an email marketing campaign is a straightforward process. Once goals and audiences have been established as part of the planning process, efforts can focus on technical and logistical requirements.
Choose An Email Marketing Software
New marketers can be easily overwhelmed by the amount of email software providers out there. Some great products to look at include MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, and SendInBlue. Truth is, each of these products will do nearly the same thing. Subtle differences between platforms do exist, but will likely not be circumstantial to the campaign as a whole. Best of all, it’s relatively easy to switch platforms if required. Perhaps the user-friendly interface of MailChimp was appealing at first, but the enhanced automation of ActiveCampaign seems to be more appropriate for your campaign. Simply export your current mailing list and start again on a different platform.
Build Your Mailing List
Building a mailing list is a trial of patience. Rushing to gather thousands of cold emails will simply increase your monthly bill without a foreseeable return. Position email opt-ins where warmer leads are. For instance, an ecommerce store has a greater likelihood to convert a site visitor viewing a specific product page over a visitor on the landing page of a site. In this scenario, an opt-in is more valuable to the product page viewer as they are a relatively warm lead in comparison to the landing page visitor. With time and diligence your mailing list will be full of warm leads ready to convert.
Segment Your Mailing List
Once an established list has been developed, it’s reasonable to assume that not every email gathered has the same needs and desires. Implementing automations within your email software helps to understand which channel a specific email came from. One of the primary advantages of email marketing is that the right leads can be contacted at the right time. Therefore, warmer leads require different messaging than their colder counterparts. List segmentation is a direct solution to this need. Emails sourced from channels farther within the sales funnel are organized accordingly, that way businesses are able to improve the rate at which leads convert.
Write Email Copy
Drafting email content is entirely dependent on the established goals for a campaign. When writing, speak directly to an intended audience and maintain relevance to active sales funnels. Email marketing is a great way to communicate a product or service, but emails must be brief and do not always have to be designed to sell. Instead, consider adding an email headline that conveys a challenge or desire that an audience member may be facing, then offer your company’s solution as the copy itself. Writing a great hook is arguably the hardest part of perfecting email copy. Normally, when an audience member can relate to a common challenge or topic then they are far more likely to engage with the body content and click through. Great hooks, commonly placed as the email heading, can be measured through analyzing open-rate in particular.
Implement A/B Testing
Marketers can’t always predict the best email design, content, or call-to-action. That’s why implementing A/B testing can take your email marketing campaign to new heights. A/B testing is a process commonly conducted through email software that compares the metrics between two different emails sent to the same audience. Although individual recipients are not the same, a particular segment of a mailing list will be split and sent two varying emails. These emails are based on a common goal or collective and differ in their execution. In practicing A/B testing, marketers are provided insight into the type of messaging and design that resonates more with a specific audience.
Once a campaign is live, start paying attention to the goal-based metrics assigned prior. Ensure that goals are time-bound to analyze when certain results are to be achieved. Results should be measured on an ongoing basis, not just at the “end” of a campaign. Consistent fine tuning of an email marketing strategy will work wonders in both mailing list growth and capturing additional leads.