Email marketing is an effective and affordable way to reach consumers and convert them from prospects to raving fans. In fact, studies in the last few years show that every dollar spent on email marketing generates $38 to $44 in return. That’s mostly because consumers who purchase products from an email campaign spend 138% more than those who did not receive an email offer. And with 99% of people checking email on a daily basis (as many as 20 times a day), it presents a prime opportunity for businesses to reach their target audience, increase sales, and earn loyal, long-term customers.
However, email marketing can seem ineffective if it’s not done right. For example, content that is poorly timed or viewed as irrelevant can cause a high turnover in subscriptions. It requires etiquette and an understanding of what your consumer will get from you to earn that spot in their inbox. Here are six steps to build a successful email marketing campaign:
1. Provide an Incentive to Opt-In
Consumers need a reason for opting in to your email list. Clearly communicate what it is that they will get, or how they will benefit by subscribing. For example, a discount on their first order, a free eBook, sample, or consultation. Draw them in with your headline, describing the benefit of providing their email address, and a visual to catch their attention or show a sneak peak of the material. Keep the subscription form short with no more than their name and email address. Lastly, make sure the subscribe button is clear and obvious. Place the opt-in box in one of these high-converting areas.
2. Segment your Audience
Not every customer on your email list is the same and blasting your entire list with the exact same email can feel robotic and misguided. Breaking up subscribers into smaller groups according to specific criteria makes your email feel more personal and relevant. Segmenting your audience is proven to increase email open rates, boost click rates, and decrease unsubscribe rates. It also makes it easier for you to create a message that makes sense to each subscriber. For example, new subscribers should be receiving a different message than seasoned, loyal customers. Or if a subscriber edited their preferences to only receive emails about a sale, you don’t want to be emailing them about new blog posts on your website. You can also group them by location to market your local event, or by interest to market products that they are personally interested in. Make customers feel like you know them, and you’ll increase conversions.
3. Timing is Everything
There’s no magical date, time, or number of emails that equals success. However, according to MailChimp, in general, the best time to send an email is on a weekday around 10:00 a.m. Knowing your audience and the type of schedules they may adhere to can help you narrow down the best times to reach them. The type of audience you cater to also influences peak times. Consider the location, age, occupation, and interests of the consumer, as well as the type of content you are sending. For hobby-based content, the weekend may end up being more effective than content sent on weekdays. Conducting various A/B testing of days and times can help provide insight on the optimal time.
4. Create Quality Content
You may have a stellar email list, segmented audiences, and the perfect time to send your email. But if the content of your email lacks pizazz, it will all be for nothing. Start by defining the purpose of your email and write like you would write to a friend. Hook them with a great subject line and personalize the content. Don’t be afraid to inject some humor and show the personality of your brand. Make sure the message of the email is clear and provides value, staying consistent with previous emails you’ve sent. Stay short and concise with relevant images to draw them in and a call-to-action button that is easy to find.
5. Automate with Autoresponders
An autoresponder tool can be a business’s best friend. With segmented audiences, autoresponder emails are triggered and sent by a specific action, such as a new subscription, purchasing a product, abandoning a cart, or even just browsing the site. From welcome emails to discounts on abandoned carts to up-sells on product purchases, these emails help nurture leads and turn that browsing prospect into a customer. The best part is, it’s automatic so businesses don’t have to do anything but make sure it’s set up.
6. Measure & Analyze Performance
One of the most important parts of building a successful email marketing campaign includes measuring and analyzing the performance of your campaign. The main trends you’ll want to monitor are open rates, click through rates, and unsubscribe rates. The open rate will show how many consumers are interested enough to view your email. Once opened, the click through rate will show the effectiveness of your content and call to action. And the unsubscribe rate will provide insight on the value you are offering your audience, or the lack thereof. These rates will help you find the strengths and weaknesses of your campaign and allow you to tweak the content, timing, and segmentation for a higher rate of success.
Contact The Light Digital for help creating effective email media marketing strategies for your business.