Email is not dead. On the contrary, it seems to be the channel that can withstand the test of time.
Email marketing has been shown to boost engagement and lead to more sales and conversions. Some of our own clients have experienced sales as a direct result of newsletters. Also, according to a recent study by MarketingSherpa, 72% of people prefer to get information from brands through email. Across every demographic, email is preferred over every other digital and traditional channel. Even marketers prefer to use email, with 44% using it for lead generation and 31% for direct sales.
However, the average person receives close to 100 consumer emails a day. That number doesn’t include the daily business and personal messages that they receive either. The typical person’s inbox is heavily saturated with messages, many of which are sales or product-related, so why would someone open yours?
A strong email marketing strategy is the key to creating effective messages that not only get opened but motivate people to take action. To create more successful email campaigns, consider these elements:
1. Email Service Selection
When selecting an email marketing platform, cost and capabilities are the top considerations. Some popular tools available are Constant Contact, GetResponse, and iContact. However, our preferred email service at 10twelve is MailChimp, because it is cost-efficient, has a wide range of features and an intuitive interface.
2. Subscriber Lists
Before you can launch an email marketing campaign, you need recipients. If you don't already have a list of email addresses, there are a few ways that you can gather them. But, we recommend building opt-in lists.
Although there are companies and services that specialize in finding email addresses, we highly advise against buying lists. The addresses that you buy may fit a certain age group or other demographic, but often, they aren’t your target audiences and won’t result in conversions. Instead, they may never reach the recipients and are more likely to be viewed as spam and tarnish your reputation.
The most effective and preferred method is to build your own opt-in lists, in which users give their email address to you freely. Do this by creating gates. Prompt users to share their email information when they register with your site, fulfill a product purchase or attend an event. Make it incredibly easy for current and potential customers to sign up with an email address. Opt-in lists are more likely to receive responses, site visits and conversions. They already have an interest or have built enough trust with you to share their information. Therefore, they are more likely to interact with messages that you send.
3. Automation and Personalization
Emails that are personalized have six times higher transaction rates than those that aren’t. Personalization can increase engagement and sales, but many businesses struggle with how to incorporate it. Managing your subscribers, crafting personal messages and deciding which groups to send them to can require and lot of time and analysis. Combining automation with personalization can help.
MailChimp has some impressive automation features. You can set up trigger emails that automatically send personalized messages to users based on behaviors. For example, you can connect MailChimp to your website or ecommerce platforms, like Shopify.
Using shopper behavior, personalized messages are sent automatically. Some examples of behavior-triggered emails that you can use in your strategy are:
● Abandoned shopping carts
● Recommended products, based on past purchases
● Introductions for new customers
● Exclusive promotions, discounts and rewards for purchases
● Re-engagement messages to bring back inactive customers
Trigger emails have been shown to increase open rate by 152% in comparison to traditional emails. With automation, you can minimize the cost and effort while experiencing the benefits of personalization.
4. Brand Consistency
As with any marketing campaign, your design and tone should reflect your brand and its values. When crafting newsletters and other materials, make sure that it is consistent with your company. Include your logo and business information. Incorporate the same color swatches in your emails that are in your logo and website layout. To ensure that your email marketing is professional and brand consistent, you may want to hire an experienced designer and create a base template for all your newsletters.
If your emails are cluttered with text, users will be less likely to engage and more likely to opt-out. People are drawn to visual content. Blocks of color and compelling images help capture attention and can draw a recipient’s eyes to specific sections. In fact, when content is paired with color, it can increase viewer retention and attention by 82%. Include photos, infographics and videos in your designs to increase engagement and click-rates.
One of the primary reasons why email has survived is because of its use on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Over 50 percent of emails are opened on a mobile device, so it is critical that your email messages optimized for mobile and desktop viewing.
Before you go live with any campaign, preview the desktop and mobile version. Since mobile screens have less real estate to work with, you may want to stick with single column templates, easy-to-read fonts and no more than 3 or 4 images per email.
7. Provide Value
Ensure that your messages are relevant and provide value. Many customers are willing to share their email information with you simply to get access to exclusive deals and discounts. However, if you are constantly emailing promotions, it could lower their value and be considered repetitive.
Instead, create a balance of educational, company-related and promotional messages. What types of messages are your customers most interested in? It may be promotions, but a well-rounded marketing strategy will prevent you from flooding inboxes with repetitive content.
Cater your content strategy towards your email lists and their unique interests by tracking results of prior campaigns. MailChimp provides insights for each email that you send. You can track the number of opens and click-through rates. It also integrates with other apps that you may already use, such as Salesforce and Shopify.
Data can help you craft messages that get more conversions and lead to more sales. It can also help you determine what time of day or day of the week has the highest rate of activity or engagement. Test different email subjects and layouts to see what receives the highest rate of opens and clicks. It is important to update subscribers consistently. If they have signed up, it is usually because they want periodic updates. But, remember to space out your emails, so that they don’t annoy users that have signed up.
Email is a unique marketing channel. For decades, it has remained a popular choice for marketers and consumers to communicate and receive information. However, email marketing has evolved in the past few years. Now, advances in data and technology can help marketers and businesses make smarter decisions and craft more effective email marketing strategies. With the right tools and a well-developed strategy, you can drive sales, nurture leads and tap into dozens of other benefits. For more information and guidance on how to build successful email marketing campaigns, reach out to us for a consultation.