With everything going digital these days, it’s natural for you to consider new marketing avenues for your business because if you don’t, you’ll end up being left behind. Emails have become the primary form of communication between most people – whether consumers, businesses, organisations, entities and much more. Email was one of the first digital mediums that came to the forefront, while people were still foraging through the workings of the Internet.
Understanding the Concept – What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a commonly used term, but do you actually know what it means and what it can do for your business? Email marketing is typically information sent by a company or business to a group of stakeholders through electronic email. These stakeholders can be anyone from other businesses and associates to existing and potential customers. Emails are typically used for a myriad of reasons, some of which are:
- Welcome letters to new customers
- Advertising new products and services
- Offering new deals and discounts
- Sharing updated information on company performance
- Solicitation of new business
- New store openings
- Detailing major milestones of a company
Email marketing is an efficient way to communicate with customers, while building trust in your company and promoting brand recognition. Through email marketing, businesses can easily reach their target without having to spend on print, television, radio and Internet advertising. Personalizing emails and sharing information customers are interested in can boost trust and loyalty, while eventually boosting your sales.
Building the Rationale – Why Email Marketing?
While Tweets, Facebook posts and Instagram updates have taken over the social media marketing world, email marketing still remains a robust form of communication and has never been more important than it is today.
With new email marketing software available, you will not only reach your target audience, but you can also stay connected with purchasers. You will have the ability to retain current clients, while also attracting new ones. With low investment needed, the return is substantially higher than other channels of marketing. So why email marketing?
- Email has substantially higher reach than other channels of communication.
- Email can deliver your message appropriately.
- Email has the ability to drive major conversions for your business.
- Email offers higher ROI than other communication platforms.
- Email is a personal form of communication and resonates well with readers.
- Email marketing has a significant number of advantages, which is why it is important for businesses to incorporate them as part of their overall marketing strategy.
Getting the Basics Right – How to Use Email Marketing Effectively?
Consumers are inundated with advertising from a range of businesses, so you need to find a good way to cut through the clutter and get your message out to your audience. Here are some strategies to help your business use email marketing effectively:
Get Permission from Your Audience
No email campaign can really be successful without seeking permission from your audience to get started, so you need to build a good email database. You can either do this by getting people to subscribe or you can solicit their permission by explaining why they need to be on your database. A strong call-to-action will help you better explain your email campaign strategy. Here are some details to cover:
- What do people get when they give you their emails?
- Are you going to spam them?
- How often do you intend to send out emails?
- Will they be entitled to any special discounts or promotions?
- Will your offers be relevant or just junk that people delete?
You need to address these issues if you want to be successful in getting permission from your audience. This permission will also help you successfully navigate spam filters, so that your emails directly reach the inboxes of your consumers, and not their spam boxes.
Stick to Shorter Subject Lines
People don’t have a lot of time to spare these days, so you have to grab their attention as quickly as possible if you want to retain their interest in your content. Long headlines can come across as verbose and boring, so your best option is to stick to shorter, and crisper subject lines that grab attention instantly. Why shorter subject lines?
- They can be catchy without seeming too dull for readers.
- They give the reader insight into your content – with the expectation that it is as crisp as the subject.
- They highlight what you’re trying to convey to your readers effectively.
Pay close attention to your subject lines (just as you would your content) to ensure that you hold on to the attention of your readers, without them simply clicking past your email.
Write for Mobile
Whether you like it or not, most users these days use their cell phone for virtually everything online.
This means that they are more than likely to read your email on their cell phones. Make sure you write email content for mobile, so that it doesn’t look strange when opened up on a reader’s cell phone.
- Design a responsive email message to integrate with all platforms – cell phones, tablets, desktops and laptops.
- Convert emails to single column templates to fit easily into mobile screens.
- Increase your front size for better visibility on phones.
- Have a clear call-to-action in a visible spot and make it easy to click to gain the traction you desire.
- Avoid too many heavy-to-load videos and images because many readers will use their data.
Being able to write for different platforms is vital to your email marketing success, so don’t make the presumptuous mistake of thinking that readers will only access their emails from laptops and desktops. People are always on the run these days, so design your email campaigns to resonate visibly with all kinds of platforms.
Segment Email Lists to Ensure Higher Open Rates
Your email database probably consists of a list of people from different regions that have different interests and needs. A good way to ensure you’re reaching the right audience is to segment your email lists to ensure you have higher open rates for any email marketing campaign you run. Here’s what you should consider:
- Demographics – where does your audience live, what is their gender, what kind of hobbies do they have, what kind of jobs do they do.
- Behavioural data – what do they want from your products, how do they buy your products, how often do they read your emails, what kind of email engagement do you see.
- Sign up dates – when have they signed up to your list, how long have they been part of your database communications, how often do you see open rates occur
By segmenting these email lists, you’ll increase the chance of your readers opening your communication because they find it relevant and interesting.
Avoid Using Words That Could Activate Email Spam Filters
With the sheer number of businesses using email marketing to communicate with people, email platforms have now created spam filters to protect users from unwarranted forms of communication. If you don’t want your email to be flagged as spam, consider avoiding certain words that could activate these filters. Here are some words and phrases that you will absolutely want to stay away from:
- Free offer
- No credit check
- Earn per week
- Earn big
- Massive savings
- Additional income
- Apply online
- No fees
- You have been selected
- Free preview
- Double your income
These common spam words will send your email straight through to junk, so make sure you avoid them at all costs for more effective communication.
Encourage Readers to Share Your Email Message
Even though you’re writing to specific readers, you can extend your database and business by simply encouraging them to share the message with their existing networks – thereby expanding yours in the long run. Get them to engage with your business by sharing on social media and other platforms to drive more conversions. Use these tips to encourage readers to share your email message:
- Encourage all offers to your reader’s network like family, friends and followers
- Extend any exclusive discounts to the network
- Give your readers further incentive to share by offering greater value for them
- Use social media links at the end of your email message to get onto social media platforms
Email shares and forwards are some of the best ways to help you grow your audience because you are able to reach out to more and more people with your call to action.
Email marketing is one of the most effective and affordable strategies to engage with existing customers and prospects. For every dollar you spend on email marketing, you can potentially generate high returns in the form of sales conversions.
Like any other channel of marketing, email requires optimisation to ensure you engage better with your customers and readers. Your goal should always be to find new ways to improve your database communications, so that you don’t end up becoming a stale player with falling open rates. These tips are ultimately designed to help you get the most out of your email marketing campaign, so make sure you employ them for the best results.