Does email marketing play an important role in your current digital marketing mix? If the answer is no, then please keep reading because we’re about to show you why this powerful marketing tactic is worth the investment.
Sure social media marketing gets most of the buzz, but we have just one question for you. What’s one of the first things you do when you sit down in front of your computer every morning? The majority of you probably thought “I check my email.”
A well executed email marketing campaign can be used to engage new leads and nurture existing customers. On this page, we’re going to cover the basics and show you how email marketing could easily become your most lucrative marketing channel this year!
Don’t Forget to Be Polite
If you’re someone who takes the time to keep your inbox organized, you probably have a low threshold when it comes to promotional emails. The simple fact is that many businesses and brands have made email marketing a staple part of their inbound strategy. That doesn’t mean that all (or even most) of them know how to do it right.
In an effort to educate you on email marketing best practices, we want to stress that you stay polite. What do mean? While your message may seem amazing to you (who wouldn’t be excited by our upcoming sale?), the average reader is going to see it in a different light. You need to keep this in mind, because someone who feels imposed on by a brand’s emails will quickly unsubscribe from your list and may even report your emails as spam.
Building an Email List
It should come as no surprise that your email campaign won’t be that effective unless you have a sizeable email list to contact. There are several strategies that you can use to build your email list, but please don’t resort to buying “pre assembled” email lists.
The method that works best for you will depend on factors specific to your business and niche. When getting started, make sure that you have defined a clear purpose for asking users to provide an email address.
Don’t just ask for email addresses just because you’ve heard that email marketing is a great strategy. It is, but you need to think about how it can be used to specifically help you grow your business. This will also help you craft a more compelling call to action (CTA) and supporting copy that will convert more leads (i.e. grow your email list!)
Before launching your new email marketing campaign, it can also be beneficial to put yourself in the mind of your target demographic. Nowadays, tons of websites are asking for their email address. They’ve likely had their fair share of negative experiences from brands sending them too many or irrelevant emails.
People should feel excited about giving you their email address because you’ve made it clear you’re going to provide them with something of value.
Using Lead Magnets for Email Marketing
One really effective tactic you can use to build your email list is a lead magnet. Essentially, you are offering something of value to a prospect in return for them providing their contact information. Here are some effective types of lead magnets you can use to grow your email list:
- Reports and guides
- Resource lists
- Video training
- Free trials for your product or service
- Discounts or free shipping
- Quiz or surveys
- Assessments or tests
- Pricing specifics for products or services
If you want to learn more about creating a great lead magnet for your website, check out this post from Digital Marketer.
Pick Your Email Service Provider
After you’ve built up an email marketing list, you’ll want to choose a reputable email service provider. These services will allow you to take your email marketing efforts to the next level!
Here are the email service providers we recommend:
In addition to making it easier to send out emails to your list, most of these services provide a quality score rating for each email you create. This score will show you if there’s a risk that your email could be interpreted as spam and it’s the most effective way to get your emails whitelisted.
Whitelisted essentially means your emails have been given that stamp of approval and usually occurs when you’ve been added to the target’s address book. We recommend providing instructions on how to do just that at the top of each email you send to your list.
Set Expectations with the Right Follow-Up Email
Setting the right expectations is a very important aspect to any email marketing campaign. What do we mean by this? A strong call to action (CTA) and consistent follow-up are foundations for a successful campaign.
Some marketers don’t stick to the promises they made on their lead gen page. Sending daily emails when you promised to only send them once a week? That’s not going to get you the results you are looking for. On the other hand, sending infrequent emails when your leads are expecting regular updates will also quickly undermine your marketing efforts.
This is the reason that email service providers like Get Response allow you to create an autoresponder sequence. You DEFINITELY want to set this up for your campaign. That first follow-up email can make or break your entire campaign!
This initial follow-up email serves as a form of introduction and provides the details of what you plan on doing now that this person has subscribed with their email address. Don’t worry about getting too detailed in this follow-up email. Your subscribers should get a very clear idea of what’s in store for them — it doesn’t take much for them to click that unsubscribe button.
How Often Should You Pitch to Your Email List?
This is a difficult question to answer as your needs will vary based on the type of niche your business is in. On top of that, there isn’t a Golden Rule that you can follow when it comes to how often you should pitch to your email list.
Remember that your email list should be viewed as a permission-based asset. These leads have chosen to provide you with their contact information, but they can also choose to unsubscribe at any time and end this relationship. Take great care when developing this relationship as it is very fragile. Err on the side of caution when it comes to pitching or providing content. Track engagement metrics and over time you’ll learn what the optimal marketing mix is for your email lists.
The Difference Between a Good and Bad Newsletter
Have you ever received a newsletter from a brand that you don’t recall asking for? This is not a good sign and usually happens when that business hasn’t done a good job of setting expectations. Some websites also employ a bad signup form that manually adds people to a list without making that action clear to them.
Email marketing can be extremely effective, but not if you try and utilize subversive techniques to grow your email list. You’ll only be met with frustration and failure if you don’t put in the effort to build a quality email list.
So let’s assume that you have done a good job building a list of subscribers that actually want to hear from your brand, there’s still a few things to do to ensure that your newsletters are top notch! While your newsletters should contain a list of new product or service updates, it should also contain a friendly and personal message.
Newsletters shouldn’t be viewed as simply promotional, the best marketers use newsletters to further develop their relationship with their subscribers. Your promotional pitches should be saved for unique offers and announcements.
Autoresponder Best Practices
Let’s circle back and discuss autoresponder best practices. Most people make the mistake of waiting to contact their email list until they have something to pitch. This is not a successful approach to email marketing.
This is where the autoresponder’s true value lies.
You can schedule out regular emails (timing will vary) that provide real value to your email list. This way, you’ve already started to establish a relationship with your list when it comes time to announce a new sale, product, service or feature. Essentially, you’ll be much less likely to annoy your subscribers.
Be sure to schedule your emails to be sent out on specific days. This way, you won’t accidently send your list more than one email a day (usually not a good idea).
Email Marketing Analytics – Pay Attention!
You track specific metrics for your website right? Well, you’ll want to do the same thing for your email marketing campaign. Fortunately, those email service providers listed above provide complimentary analytics!
Starting out, here are the metrics we recommend you track:
- Open Rate
- Click Through Rate (CTR)
Let’s start with your open rate, as it shows you how well you’ve developed your relationship with your email list. A low open rate means that more of your subscribers are deleting your emails upon receipt.
A poor open rate means you need to provide additional value and/or set better expectations right off the bat.
A low click through rate (CTR) on your emails could mean that you need to narrow the focus of your message. It could also mean that readers are simply not seeing the value. You can work to improve your CTR by improving the copy in your announcements and newsletters.
Do you have a high rate of unsubscribers compared to your opt-in rate? This is a serious issue and it means that your subscribers aren’t seeing any value from your emails. This is not an easy issue to overcome, but you should start by examining where people are choosing to unsubscribe in your email marketing funnel. Identify those weak points in your strategy and address them.
Tracking these email marketing analytics are essential to running a successful campaign. They’ll show you the weak points in your strategy and what you need to improve.
Segmentation means that you are splitting up your email list into more defined groups.
When you build a large email list, you can improve the effectiveness of your campaign by further segmenting this list into targeted groups. It’s an important aspect of email marketing because your customer base will have different preferences when it comes to communication.
If you treat them all the same, you run the risk of pissing off an entire list. Your customer email list is extremely valuable for your business, so be sure you take advantage of email list segments to improve your communications.
The best marketers use segmentation to split test their messaging to different groups and refine their email marketing strategy.
Let’s be clear, this will take work to get right. That’s why many choose to skip this aspect of email marketing. However, your email marketing efforts will be more effective if you take advantage of segmentation, so we highly recommend it.
Show Your Email List Some Love!
A good email list takes time and plenty of hard work to cultivate, but rest assured that it will become an extremely valuable resource for your business. Done right, email marketing can be used to bring in more leads to your SEO optimized website and delight existing customers.
Worried about setting up your first email marketing campaign? Our team is here to help you! We offer email marketing as a part of our inbound marketing services package— fill out the form below to learn how we can help grow your business with email marketing!