The Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks starrer, ‘You’ve Got Mail’, created a great buzz in the late 90s and early 2000s making everyone look forward to receive an email from a loved one. This was a start of decades to follow in using technology daily.
Today, an email can be sent and received in minutes, not having to wait for days for a response.
Marketers need to take advantage of every opportunity technology presents. Social media is big, but what is the guarantee that you will be at the top of your targeted audience feed, and them responding in action? Hence, the idea of email marketing.
Email marketing is using email to build a relationship with, and promote the products and services you offer to potential customers. So, how to do email marketing? Here are the steps to start up an email marketing campaign:
- Understand the goal of the campaign. Do you want to increase traffic on your website, attract new customers or market a new product? Start your campaign with first having a clear, focused goal.
- Create your own list of receivers instead of buying one. Here is a 2-part formula for building your email list that is followed by some of the most successful email marketers around: A valuable incentive + simple subscribe opportunities = large email list. Regardless of how many subscribe opportunities you present to a visitor, it is unlikely they will subscribe without a valuable incentive. And no matter how good your incentive is, you still need to make it simple for people to subscribe to get them to join your list.
- Stick to the guidelines of the CAN-SPAM Act 2003 for commercial emails in the US, which states that there needs to be clarity and reliability of the sender of the email, no deceptive subject-line, identification of the email as an advertisement, consent to subscribe and the choice to opt out of the subscription.
- Each customer’s needs and requirements are different, therefore group them accordingly (called segmentation or segmented lists). Select the type of campaign – newsletters, marketing offers, announcements, event invitations – for the segmented list, according to the goal you have in mind.
- Work on a schedule. This gives you a disciplined deadline and also sets a subconscious alert in the subscriber’s mind to be prepared to receive an email. Also, don’t only send them an email when you have to sell something. Receiving regular updates will earn their trust over time
- Keep your campaign user-friendly and desktop and phone friendly, aptly promoting your best services.
- Measure the results of your campaign by tracking the results with relevant email marketing tools and website analytics tools.
Remember that an email is going to sit in their inbox until they see or delete it. To avoid deleting, involve the following most successful email marketing campaign ideas:
Keep the subject attractive and clear – As simple as it seems, the subject of your email can make or break the decision of the consumer to open the e-promotion. Keep the subject line short and phone friendly and such that it will raise curiosity.
Experiment with the visual aid – Using a stock image may not be as appealing as a focused, original image. Will a still image work better than a video or a gif? Remember the goal of the segmented list, and use an appropriate visual aid.
For example, your website sells garments, and you have a fresh stock of trendy, plus size clothes, but you put a skinny model on the promotional poster. Would a plus size person be confident about that piece of garment complimenting them? Instead, if the poster has a plus-size model who carries the garment flatteringly, the subscriber is more confident of buying the piece of clothing.
Personalise – This doesn’t mean just making sure the email content addresses the subscriber by name. While that is good, making a customer feel special by sending them a greeting on their birthday and anniversary, along with a special gift offer can go a long way. Starbucks implements this and offers a reward during your birthday month. Amazon is another great example of doing this as they give you personalized recommendations based on your past purchases.
Including product reviews by other customers in the campaign gives the subscriber a reason to trust the reliability of the product.
Keep a purchase – including items in a cart, but not purchased – trackable. Like this, you can send them a reminder to purchase the items still in their cart or make personalized recommendations.
Referral programs give a motive to the customer to use services offered, along with spreading the word among their contacts.
What are the benefits of using email marketing?
- Inexpensive: No print costs, no postage fees, no advertising rates. Email marketing is a very affordable marketing style. You may only have to pay for the email marketing and analytical tools.
- Return on investment: In 2011, the Direct Marketing Association estimated that email marketing typically returns £40 for every £1 invested. So, even though you buy certain tools to make your job easier when your marketing strategy is focused and of good quality, you get high returns on a small investment.
- Fast: It barely takes a few minutes for the email to get delivered, provided you have the content of the email and the segmented lists ready.
- Trackable: Many marketing channels present ambiguous and estimated results. Email marketing, on the other hand, draws precise and valuable metrics, including delivery rates, open rates, click-to-deliver rates and subscriber retention rates. Even better, these metrics are more than just numbers and percentages. They are insights about your customer’s behaviors and interests. Use your email marketing campaign as a tool to monitor what information your consumers are most responsive to, and then, target your marketing strategy towards more successful campaigns and topics of interest.
- Increases brand awareness: Sending out a regular email on the predetermined schedule, that shows up on someone’s account every few days or weeks reminds them of the existence of the availability of the services you provide.
- Targeted: No longer do we need to place an advertisement on television, on a food court’s placemat, or in a periodical with no control of who will see it. With email marketing, you have the ability to control exactly who sees an email by segmenting your contacts based on their lead status, demographics, location or any other data. Targeting emails ensure that your audience receives content suited specifically to their needs.
- Easily shareable: At the click of the ‘Forward’ button, a subscriber can share the content you sent them to their contacts, furthering your promotion.
- Global: An email can be economically sent to someone sitting at the other end of the world without moving from your seat.
- Call to act immediately: The subscriber doesn’t have to go somewhere or wait for a particular time to avail of the offer at hand. They can get what they want at the click of a button.
- Less intrusive: Email marketing does not intrude personal space or time, like a telephonic or door-to-door sales call would. The consumer can view the content in their own time and comfort zone.
- Environment-friendly: The carbon footprint that would be caused by other forms of marketing by using paper, fuel, printing, etc. is less.
In today’s constantly changing digital world, email marketing can take a backseat. However, if you haven’t considered email marketing for your business, give it a try. Email marketing is overlooked by many. With a strategic approach, focused goal and a strong message, you will benefit from email marketing.