Permission-based email marketing is still a smart strategy that yields a high ROI if it is executed properly. If your email marketing campaign only consists of getting people to buy your stuff, then you are doing it wrong.
In a world where branding still matters and it’s easy to shop around online, this is one of the commonly accepted avenues to use as a dialogue to build relationships with your customers so that they favor your goods over others. If you don’t have a newsletter sign-up option on your website, now’s a good time to build one out with security features to protect the information of your customers.
Well-thought out email marketing campaigns can boost your ROI and sales by:
- Building Brand Awareness
- Strengthening Consumer Relationships
- Generating Leads With New Customers
- Increasing Returning Customers
- Increasing Traffic to Your Website
- And, Ultimately, Increasing Revenue
As you sit down to revise your email strategy, keep these five things in mind to create a successful email marketing campaign.
1. Understand Your Audience
An important part of branding and marketing is understanding who your target is and core customers. These two things should be generally similar as you don’t want to be targeting certain people but it turns out a completely different group of people are purchasing your products.
For example, if your core customers are people ages 25-60 who enjoy outdoor activities on a regular basis, your target should not be 18-30 year olds who occasionally go skiing on vacation.
Understand their lifestyle, hobbies, philosophies, etc. so that you can better personalize the emails and speak directly to your target audience. If need me, create segmentations to better cater to specific groups.
2. Set Your Goals
Identify what your goals are for email marketing and do more than self-promotions. Customers don’t connect well with companies that are only out for their money and it leaves them less than loyal to your brand.
Some goals may include: increased traffic to the site, social shares, visits to the blog, etc. Once you decide on what your goals are, you can craft the key messages and objectives of each email that goes out.
3. Plan the Content & Design
Each email should be unique in content and occasionally mixed up in design to keep things fresh. As you now have a better idea of who your audience is, you can speak directly to them with a brand voice and personality that works well with your industry.
The content itself should be simple, interesting, innovative, and helpful. Engagement with the audience is more fruitful when they feel they learn something from the email besides, “We have lip balms on sale.” Educate them on why these lip balms are helpful to them or why certain ingredients are included.
A great way to come up with email marketing content is to interweave other ongoing campaigns that are happening in TV, print, social, online, etc. so that your brand and marketing are more streamlined. This is also another way to see where best to allocate your budget since you have the option of analytics to refer to.
4. Add in Key Features
Once you have your general design and content ready, hold off on hitting the send button and make sure you have these key features added in first to guide the audience and provide confidence.
- A Link Directing People Back to Your Site
- A Sense of Urgency Without Pushiness
- A Call to Action (i.e. Shop Now — but avoid spammy words like: Free, Click Here, Opportunity)
- A Personalized Sign-Off
- Social Share Buttons
- Option to Unsubscribe
You may not want people to unsubscribe but it gives people the reassurance that they aren’t trapped into getting your emails forever and people are less likely to “SPAM” your email, which isn’t good for business overall. This is a good place to provide alternative options to the frequency of emails too.
5. Send Out with Skill
We’re almost ready to send out those well-crafted emails but there are just a few more things to finalize beforehand. Create an email title that is catchy but isn’t spammy and the title should definitely match the content. Don’t trick people into opening your email and finding something else inside.
Check out the analytics and behavior of past emails to determine when and how often email campaigns should be sent out. Often, people do not like getting daily emails unless they specifically subscribe to them.
Test each email in-house with a small group before sending it out so that others can check for any errors. Once everything is good to go, schedule it out or hit send.
Keep your email list healthy by checking up on the analytics regularly. If you notice any bounce backs and undeliverables, remove them from the list.
As you pay attention to your analytics and behavior week over week, you can identify which campaigns are successful, which are not, and opportunities to tap into for a successful email marketing campaign.
The author of this article is Erin Tran. If you enjoyed this piece, you can follow me on Twitter @CustParadigm. When I’m not helping digital marketing clients as an SEO Specialist at Customer Paradigm, I’m often exploring the great outdoors.