Email -- I love email.
Before you go and think I am crazy and a relic stuck in days of yore, think about what email can do for your business. Yes, there are sleeker, newer and glitzier way of communicating in today's modern era of communication, but none that day-over-day is as efficient and gets the results that email provides -- especially for responders to your inbound digital marketing strategies. But, and this is a big but, there has to be a plan.
Just going through the motions on your email marketing campaigns will never allow you to achieve your digital marketing goals. Your email campaigns are a continuous source of leads. They can engage your audience with can’t-miss offers, invaluable content, special one-time promotions and an endless supply of new information about your company and your market. It’s a critical tool for lead generation but not if you don’t follow some simple and effective approaches.
This is critical. Identification of your sales process and who your customer is will enable you to customize content that helps get that customer down the pipeline and to a buying decision faster. Content that builds trust and credibility that is relevant to your buyer shows them that you are invested in their concerns not just trying to sell another widget. This takes a little time to think through who your buyers are what different content is most effective at what stages. Sure, "speeds and feeds" needs to be in the mix, but it cannot be just about that.
2. Opt-In and Customer Buy-In
It may be tempting, but carpet-bombing your market with email campaigns doesn’t work. It forces customers to opt-out instead of getting them to opt-in. Focus on customer buy-in. Give customers a reason to want to receive your email campaigns. It will increase your email open rates, greatly improve your conversions and increase customer engagement. Avoid buying email contact lists. Have a strategy that incentivizes customers to provide you with their contact details and then ensure they've bought into receiving emails.
3. A/B Split Testing Different Layouts and Configurations
Testing email marketing campaigns is vital to making sure you’re not wasting time. A/B split testing different email layouts and configurations allows you to pinpoint the perfect layout for optimizing your click-through-rates (CTR). A/B split testing is nothing more than monitoring your CTR on one email campaign sent to one set of customers, relative to the same campaign sent to another set of customers. The minor differences are then tracked to see if they had any impact on CTR.
4. Improving Your Call-To-Action (CTA)
Draw attention to your CTA. Use the written word but accentuate your CTA with bold fonts, bright colors, and attention-grabbing backgrounds. Making your CTA work isn’t happenstance. It takes time, effort and the willingness to investigate different configurations. Track your CTR on various emails and see if there is a correlation between increased CTR and the specific CTA used on that campaign. This is a strategy that must be used across all your digital marketing approaches.
5. Continuous Engagement
What does it mean to continuously engage your audience? Well, it means that your digital marketing strategies are always promoting new and interesting offers. It means you’re following up on past content pieces and providing updates on emerging trends and market advancements. It means you’re promoting your best offers through your email campaigns and then improving upon those offers on the next go-around. It means leveraging a strong social media presence so that customers have a means of voicing their opinions and you have a real-time solution to keeping them informed.
6. Initiating Action
Your email campaigns must initiate action on the part of your customers. One-time discounts are one way to get customers to act. An improved CTA is another. Links to discounted products and special offers is another. Inviting customers to engage you on social media is one more way to get them to act. Each campaign must have an end-goal for customer actions. Each campaign must have an objective. More sales, increased social media shares, and inventory liquidations are just some of the objectives you can isolate on each campaign. Next, use triggers to get customers to act on those initiatives.
Email marketing is a critical component of your digital marketing strategy. It works best when you commit yourself to the process. Identify your best performing email campaigns. Ask why they were effective and then duplicate those efforts across every campaign you launch.
Contact us to learn more about how you can make your next email campaign a resounding success.
Written By: Doug Milnor