How to Leverage Email for Your Business

Email is back and better than ever. Actually, even after all these years, email never actually went away. (Despite endless reports that it is dying.)

Time has proven quite the opposite. In fact, email is still one of the most vital channels for businesses to reach audiences and grow. Here are just a few of the statistics that prove it:

●      There are over 3.7 billion email accounts worldwide. (Radicati Group)

●      An estimated 269 billion business and consumer emails will be sent and recieved In 2017, a number that will grow 4.4% to 319.6 billion in 2021. (Radicati Group)

●      In the United States, 90% of people use email--that’s more than the 70% of social media users

●      The preferred method of business communication for 86% of professionals is email (HubSpot)

●      More than any other channel, (60%) of consumers prefer to receive promotions through email. (MarketingSherpa)

●      Email marketing produces an ROI of 38 to 1 on average. (DMA)

What Your Business Emails Need

Before you start crafting emails and sending out blasts, there are a few essentials you need to get started.

Verify your domain.

First, you need a verified email with your company domain. You shouldn’t send out marketing or any business communications with a personal account. (You might be surprised by how many people do that.) Without a professional custom domain, people are less likely to trust you or even look at your correspondence. Plus, it can hurt your brand image.

Curate quality email lists.

Second, you need to have recipients or an email address list. Again, that may seem obvious, but there are good and bad ways to acquire email addresses. Don’t buy an email list from a third-party. Those lists may have outdated information and include random people that may or may not be relevant to your business. Not to mention, you’ll most likely be flagged as spam.

To get the most conversion, invest in better methods of collecting emails. For instance, you can have users register or ask them to subscribe to your email newsletter.

Additionally, you should create a custom email signature that includes links to your business website, social media accounts, and other contact information such as phone number and location.

With the right elements in place, you can start crafting more effective marketing. At 10twelve, we have worked with clients to create engaging email campaigns. Here are some key tips to boost your efforts:

1. Segment lists.

To optimize the effectiveness of any content, you need to send the right messages to the right people at the right time. As your business grows, you may have several audience personas and segments. When you communicate with customers, think about segmenting your email lists to fit each market. It is especially important if you have numerous locations in different cities or regions.

Segmenting your list by location, demographics, interests, previous buying behaviors, and other preferences can create more relevant information for all your recipients.

2. Experiment with video.

Video content is powerful. When combined with email, video can produce an even higher ROI.  In fact, one report found that including the word “video” in the subject line of an email increased open rates by 19%. Reports also show that 4 out of 5 consumers find demo videos helpful when making purchasing decisions. Including testimonials, demos, tutorials and compelling brand stories could increase engagement.

3. Personalize it.

Personalization is key in many aspects of business. Instead of only sending blanketing email content, connect and form meaningful relationships with your customers by personalizing your messages. This shows your customers that you care and grabs their attention enough to get them to click and read further on.

Referring to recipients by their name is one way to add a personal touch, but there are also recommendations and behavior-triggered data to consider.

4. Use behavior-triggered data.

Behavioral data can take personalization to a whole new level. When used effectively, behavior-triggered emails could reveal to people what they want or need before they even know that they do.

For instance, your business can increase sales by sending emails with curated recommendations, similar to the recommendations generated by Amazon and Netflix.

Some email providers can use AI and automation to identify patterns in customer data. You could generate a list of products or services that might interest current customers based on their previous purchases. You could remind them that they need to renew a subscription or that they will be running low on a product they order in the past and should repurchase.

5. Incorporate email into your purchasing process.

To maximize the potential of email and grow your business, don’t just view it as a way to send out the monthly newsletter. Yes, newsletters can be a powerful content tool. However, there are many more creative and essential ways you should be using email marketing in your organization.

When customers make a purchase, send them an automated confirmation email. If they haven’t logged in or been active on your site, capture their interest again with a re-engagement message. Email can even be used to decrease the high rate of abandoned carts. According to research from Baymard Institute over 67% of online shopping carts are abandoned. A percent of those carts can be recovered with a strategic email remarketing campaign. A report from eMarketer found that a simple notification telling users they forgot some items in their cart increased open rate by more than 40%.

6. Track and analyze metrics.

Make sure that you are measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) of your email marketing. Many email marketing providers offer important measurements such as open rate, click through rate, bounce rate and conversion rate. Track results for every email campaign and compare them. Make changes to the subject lines, and learn what entices people to open.

7. Test and iterate.

Successful email campaigns don’t happen by chance. They take planning, data analysis, testing and a lot of iteration. Your first email might not produce an amazing ROI, but as you learn more about your audiences and their behaviors, you can hone the effectiveness of your messages.

Test sending emails out at different times of day and days of the week to find out when you are most likely to reach and engage your audiences. Based on a study from HubSpot, 11:00 AM EST is when emails have the highest clickthrough rates. However, those optimal sending hours can differ from business to business.

Try different variations of copy. Adjust the formatting and content, then perform split tests to hone what is most effective.

Any business that thinks email is dead is missing out on a huge opportunity to boost sales and build strong customer relationships. If your company isn’t using email marketing or simply haven’t found much success, then it could be that you need to revamp your strategy. With some professional marketing help from the team at 10twelve, you could be crafting email campaigns that engage with your target audiences and grow your brand. To learn more, chat with 10twelve today.