Love it or hate it, email remains a core channel for digital marketing. In fact, email consistently has the highest return-on-investment when compared to other outbound digital channels. Developing a strong and smart email marketing program is a surefire way to strengthen your business long term.
Though email has been around for a long time, it remains a constantly evolving medium. The factors influencing email campaign success are always in flux. With that in mind, here are five email marketing tips to make sure your campaigns work.
1. Manage and Grow your Subscriber List Properly and Legally
In recent years, large email services like Gmail have become much more stringent with regard to email marketing. Gone are the days of massive blasts and cheap email lists. Today, most email providers really require each person on your list to have a demonstrable relationship with your brand. Email marketing has arrived at a quality over quantity point, and 1,000 loyal subscribers is typically much better than a 10,000 cold email list.
To ensure success with your list:
- Review and clean your lists consistently.
- Ensure that every email sent has a clear option to unsubscribe and is adhering to CAN-SPAM and other legal requirements.
2. Segment Your Lists
Email marketing is in the midst of a large push towards personalization. Marketers are working to stick out from the crowd by creating emails that are tailored, as much as possible, to each customer’s specific needs. Again, it’s a push towards quality over quantity.
The personalization strategy known as segmentation is when large email lists are chopped up into small lists based upon common characteristics. Small and more pointed campaigns are then deployed, which better address the needs of the smaller audiences. A basic example would be a large clothing retailer dividing up their email list on the basis of gender; a sale on women’s wear is more relevant to the female audience.
To segment your list:
- Develop 2-5 archetypical customer personas
- Map out what unique value your brand provides to each. For example, a local plumber’s commercial clients have a different set of concerns than his residential clients.
- To the best of your ability, go through your list and place each subscriber into smaller lists based on your archetypical customer personas. For our local plumber, this might be residential clients, commercial clients and contractors.
- Create unique campaigns for each segmented group. Cater towards each segment with a message addressing their specific needs.
- Keep in mind, to save time each campaign doesn’t need to be entirely unique. Often segmented campaigns re-use 80% of the email and simply adjust subject lines and sections of body copy.
3. Mix Promotion with High-Value Content
No one likes a hard sale or wants to feel like a shady salesman is sending them unsolicited emails.
Work to infuse each email with free value on top of your promotional purpose. For example, a local financial planner could include monthly financial tips in addition to sending promotional emails. This technique improves subscriber retention and is an opportunity to reinforce your brand’s values.
4. Automate, Automate, Automate
Email marketing can be labor intensive: campaign creation, graphics, copy, scheduling, etc. All these tasks require creativity, time and meticulous review. Automation is an opportunity to amplify and squeeze more value out of all the prep work emails require. Take full advantage of all the automation capabilities that your email service provides.
Some forms of helpful automation:
- Trigger emails, or an email which automatically fires when a user completes a certain action such as abandoning an eCommerce cart.
- Automated scheduling, or the ability to pre-load and schedule campaigns far in advance or when it is statistically the best time to send.
- Personalized messages, or the ability to automatically send personalized emails such as long-term prospect follow-up, birthday greetings, product recommendations based on prior purchases, holiday greetings, etc.
5. Monitor Analytics and Continuously Improve
Email marketing should be an exercise in continuous improvement. Deduce which numbers matter most to your business (CTR, Conversions, etc) and strive to consistently improve these with each campaign. Learn what messages different segments are responding to, and then use actionable data to improve each new campaign and your business in general.
While there is a learning curve to creating and deploying effective email campaigns, it’s almost always a smart investment. An effective email program allows you to forge a profitable connection with your customers while learning valuable business insights. Just remember to follow these five tips to get the most from your investment.
Want More Email Marketing Tips?
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