Best Practices for Your Next Email Marketing Campaigns
If you watch internet marketing videos on YouTube, you’ve probably heard content creators explain the value of email lists. Many of the online “gurus” say ‘it’s all in the list.’ List, list, list!
And well, they’re kinda right.
Email marketing is still one of the best ways to generate leads and promote your business online, and it’s not as complicated as people think. Once you have mastered the basics, you can set up email marketing automation to streamline the entire process.
Regardless of the niche you occupy, an effective email marketing campaign begins with good audience targeting. Whether you’re doing cold email marketing or connecting with repeat customers, it’s important that your messaging is attuned to the right people.
If the messaging is spot on, your business can flourish with email marketing, using it as a vehicle for better communication with your customers—and a way to massively boost revenue.
Why Businesses Need Email Marketing
People check emails on a daily basis, it really doesn’t matter what they do for a living. Email is one of those channels that has withstood the test of time, even as social media channels have soared in popularity.
Email marketing has many key benefits for businesses, the primary being communication.
Building relationships with your customers involves repetition. That’s why it’s so important to send out emails at a regular cadence, ensuring that your audience keeps your brand front of mind and feels like you are actively trying to engage with them.
The more readers get to learn about you, the more they will trust you. What is that acronym we always hear from Google? Websites need to provide ‘expertise, authority, and trust’ to their audience. Although that term is specific to the SEO world, it more broadly applies to the online marketing space as a whole.
Providing Up-to-date Information
Emails are a great way to keep your customers informed about company news, new product or service announcements, and special offers. If people know there’s a chance of scoring a great deal, they will open your email every time it comes through their inbox.
Effective email marketing puts transparency first. Use it as a megaphone for broadcasting the realities within your organization, and keep customers abreast of your plans ahead.
Easy to Automate
Email marketing is one of the few channels you can largely automate. Whether it’s a cold email campaign or one that targets past customers, you can rely on email marketing automation tools for help scheduling emails and segmenting them by audience.
Most of the top tools include a variety of email marketing metrics to help you track the top KPIs. You can compare open rates across different campaigns and see whether readers clicked on specific links.
Emails can be sent out at customized frequencies to ensure that your customers are getting the most appropriate email for their current needs.
Ideal Uses for Email Marketing
The true advantages of email marketing are only realized when you have the right applications in place. Here are some of the most common email marketing campaign uses.
31% of B2B marketers say email newsletters are the most effective way to nurture their leads. Newsletters have become one of the most popular email formats for businesses to send to share news, product updates, and keep their audiences engaged.
The ultimate goal in most newsletter campaigns is to push users towards a conversion, but this process should happen subtly. Avoid making every email center around a direct product promotion or your audience will stop opening them.
Newsletters are all about cultivating a connection between brand and readers, so it’s best to share fun information about your company. Announce upcoming promotions, new product releases, and lead with value. Explain how your products will make an impact on your readers’ lives, using enticing visuals and illustrations to convey impact.
Brands rely on email newsletters to build brand loyalty, not as a primary means of selling to customers. If you constantly share valuable content, your subscribers will yearn for your next email. Their increased interest level will help you take your brand authority to new heights.
It’s all about the long game. As you build your email list and continue to send more newsletters you will see an influx of traffic to your website. It may not happen overnight, but with consistency and quality you can realize impressive gains over time. Plus, when you include social media links on every email you can send more traffic to your other digital properties.
Coupons and Discounts
Share your brand’s latest deals in a way that incentives your audience to click through and buy. Use catchy visuals around your coupon codes to make sure they are seen and clicked on.
Mastering the subject line will also ensure you get people clicking through to your offers. Make it clear that people will get 50% off from opening your email and use scarcity words like “limited time offer” to encourage more clicks.
Click-worthy subject lines require A/B testing so it’s important to take the time necessary to see what works.
Sending Promotional Materials
Promotional-heavy emails are some of the toughest email marketing campaigns to master. If the promotions are too heavy-handed, audiences will refuse to open them. In worst case scenarios these emails will get eschewed to the dreaded “spam” folder.
Affiliate Email Marketing
Affiliate email marketing might present the greatest challenge of them all. As an affiliate, you make money by directly promoting other peoples’ products and services, but you have to avoid sounding outright promotional in your email campaigns.
So how do you craft effective promotional emails as an affiliate marketer?
Start by ensuring that every offer is accompanied by a value proposition. Let’s say you are an affiliate for boat parts and accessories and you are promoting a specific type of sail—you should include tips for “selecting the best sail” in your promotional email.
By including tidbits of value you will sound less heavy handed in your promotions and increase consumer trust. Plus, if customers can learn more about each product, they will be much more likely to make the right purchasing decision.
Drip email marketing campaigns are great for leading audiences towards a purchase while avoiding the pitfall of sounding too promotional. These campaigns also tend to be more subtle in nature since they involve a series of emails, with each of those emails having a specific role along the sales funnel.
The first few emails of a drip campaign may not have any outright promotional materials. Instead they will get the audience familiarized with the brand, usually with links to free content—ebooks, downloads, courses.
Effective drip campaigns lead off with a series of value-driven emails that are meant to build trust. Once trust is established, brands can start more openly promoting their products or services.
Promotional and Sales Announcements
There are specific times where it’s okay to be a little more promotional. The holidays are a classic example of this, with Black Friday leading the charge.
During these rare time periods, customers want you to sell to them. In fact, they are combing through their inbox looking for great deals.
Creating a holiday catalog is a great way to facilitate your sales announcements and get customers excited to buy. Here you can openly promote your best offers in a more suitable environment.
Product and Service Changes
Changes happen for a variety of reasons, but it’s important to let your customers know this so they can adjust their behaviors accordingly.
You could be a subscription box brand that’s changing up the delivery frequency of certain packages, or even a plumber that no longer offers emergency services. No matter the change, it should be communicated right away. Even if it’s a mild inconvenience to your customers, they will appreciate the fact that you were forthcoming with this info.
Promote Special Events
From company meetings to ticketed events for your customers, you can utilize email marketing as a promotional vehicle to let people know about upcoming events.
You can present exclusive offers for people to purchase tickets through email and offer up free merchandise as well. Throw in discount codes with an expiration date to heighten the sense of urgency for your email subscribers.
As the event date approaches, send your list extra details so they can feel better prepared. Share info about pricing and registration while also sharing engaging visuals of the event space itself.
In addition to the emails themselves, you’ll want to juice up your event landing page to appear as conversion-friendly as possible. This is the logical next step for someone reading your email, so make sure that the lander adds more context to the event and helps users make a final purchasing decision.
Events are a great way to make your audience feel more connected to the brand, even if they are done virtually. Nowadays, it’s perfectly acceptable to throw an online event instead of an in-person gathering.
Some email marketing campaigns don’t necessarily have a conversion goal at the end. The goal of these campaigns might just be to boost engagement and nurture your audience further. If this is your plan, then here are a few simple email marketing ideas that may help.
People love winning FREE stuff, and a simple contest is a surefire way to generate excitement. Get your email list pumped up by offering an enticing prize to “one lucky winner.”
One of the best ways to ensure they engage with your emails is to include codes in each email that they have to enter on your website.
Another way to proliferate branding is to include an option within each email to download your app. You can even make it a requirement for people who want to participate in your contests.
App downloads can be good for exclusivity. Tell your audience that they must download your app to get the latest information about products and features. If they don’t, they will feel left out.
New brands often struggle with building a social media following. It’s not something that happens overnight, but with a little help from email you can drastically speed up the process.
If you follow anybody on social media, you’ve probably heard their pleas for “likes” and “follows.” As a business owner, you should be doing this too. With email marketing, this can be done seamlessly within your normal email flow without sounding overly promotional.
One way to start is by including “like” and “follow” icons within your standard email templates. By templatizing them you won’t ever forget to add them.
You can also run contests that target only your social media followers. This will encourage any holdouts from your email list to immediately follow your social channels.
New Products and Services
Finally, email marketing gives you a prime opportunity to show off the best and brightest goodies produced by your company.
Advertise the latest products and services to your list while providing exclusive offers they can’t refuse.
This can be a good promotional tool to use in tandem with blog post announcements. Send customers from the email list to your blog posts so they can learn more about newly released products and services and engage more with your website. Even offer up a demo option to get people signed up to the new product or service faster.
Email Marketing Strategies
Establishing an email marketing strategy with a clear purpose is the first step towards crafting a successful campaign.
Purposes range from awareness to brand building, nurturing to lead generation. Once that goal is defined, you can determine what types of emails will provide the best results.
It’s not only the purpose that’s important, it’s determining the right day and time for email sending to maximize your ROI. A major factor to consider is the type of organization you own. An ecommerce company would benefit most from sending out morning emails in the middle of the week—this is when people are at the office combing through their inbox (cough cough, I mean “working”).
A B2B company might benefit from emailing their list later in the day when decision makers are most likely to be free.
Here are some additional tips to harness the most effective email marketing strategy possible.
Email design responsiveness is not something that comes to mind for most of us, but it should be. Especially since so many people are checking emails on their phones.
Just like you would want to develop a mobile-friendly website, you should aim to create mobile-friendly emails. This means having your call to action opportunities above the fold in every email, in case people choose not to scroll down.
Win Back Inactive Customers
Email marketing can help you rekindle that fire you had with past customers. First determine what constitutes a past customer. Is it someone who hasn’t purchased a product in 3 months? 6 months? Longer?
Once this customer is defined, it becomes much easier to launch a targeted email marketing campaign and win their favor. You’ve probably seen it from subscriptions that you haven’t engaged with in awhile, they’ll shoot the gold ole “we miss you” emails. You can be a tad more subtle than this and still get customers coming back.
Is the goal of the campaign to significantly boost subscribers? If so, you should try to exchange as much value as possible using the allure of freebies.
Email Marketing Best Practices
Articulating your message is key, so here are a few email marketing tips and strategies to get your words across.
Personalize your emails
It doesn’t hurt to add some personalization to email marketing campaigns. Even if you are sending bulk emails to a list, you can setup presets in your email marketing automation software that infuse the recipient’s name within the subject line.
This helps your audience feel a tighter connection to your brand and they will feel like you’re speaking to them personally.
Formatting that is easy to read
Most readers are multi-tasking, they don’t have time to digest emails with long paragraph structures.
Be sure to use no more than 1-2 lines at a time before starting a new paragraph.
Use analytics to improve campaigns
Once you establish your KPIs for email marketing, it’s time to track each campaign’s progress. The most common KPIs will be open rates, click through rates to landing pages, and time spent reading the email.
Understanding your numbers will lead to more successful campaigns.
Trust your CRM for stronger campaign targeting
CRM email marketing involves a combination of customer relationship management software (CRM) that’s integrated with email marketing automation software.
CRM platforms provide a great source of customer data that can be used for more precise email targeting. Most email marketing platforms connect with CRM tools to allow businesses to import this data into their campaigns hassle-free.
Harness the Power of Email Marketing Today
Thanks to its low price and automation capabilities, email marketing remains one of the most effective digital marketing channels around.
You can launch a campaign in minutes and start connecting with customers around the world, providing lucrative offers, sales, and routine newsletters.
If you are looking for ways to improve relations with your customer base, email marketing is the channel for you.