Email marketing has been around for nearly as long as email itself. It is still a very common form of marketing that many companies employ in a bid to raise awareness and increase sales. Unfortunately, many fail in this regard due to poorly thought out strategy. But don’t worry – there is good news! Although there are many newer and shinier marketing channels, email remains a relatively cost-effective and efficient way to reach your audience and ultimately, with the right strategy, get results.
Let us just think about it from a personal point of view for a moment. To send somebody a marketing email, it means that they previously had to sign up for your mailing list or become a subscriber. People generally will not just give this information away for no good reason. This means that, at the absolute least, they are somewhat interested in what you are offering. These connections can then be harnessed from both a relationship-building and profit-building standpoint.
WHAT IS EMAIL MARKETING?
Let’s start simple and answer the question: what is email marketing? Email marketing is the process of sending messages/advertisements to your audience via email. This information should provide value to your customer, without being overly “salesy”. You can utilise email marketing to build relationships, boost awareness, promote your content, market your products, and ultimately, increase conversions.
ADVANTAGES OF EMAIL MARKETING
Before we look at how to plan the perfect email marketing campaign let’s quickly look at some of the benefits email holds over other mediums.
With email, you can:
- Create personalised content that will resonate with your target market
- Increase sales by promoting your products
- Increase website traffic and brand awareness
- You control what content you create and when you send it
- Very cost effective as it is an owned media, unlike Google ads whereby you must pay for each click
- Creates value for your audience by helping them overcome a pain point
CREATING YOUR EMAIL MARKETING STRATEGY
In order for your email to be opened it needs to stand out. According to Expanded Ramblings, the average person receives about 120 emails in a single day, yes, you read that right.
Just looking at this number should make it self-evident that if you don’t have compelling content in the email, it is doomed to get lost in your customers’ inbox. So, read on for our foolproof guide to creating the perfect email marketing strategy!
1. Define your audience
Who are they? What do they want/not want? How can we help them achieve this? These are just some of the questions to keep in mind when you start thinking about creating content that will resonate with your audience. A great rule of thumb for email marketing (as well as all other types of content you create) is to focus purely on delighting the customer, rather than simply shouting about your products/services. An engaging yet clear subject line will help this.
If we think of email from a content marketing perspective, it should be about creating value for your target market that helps them achieve a pain point while also nurturing them along the sales funnel to becoming your (repeat) client/customer. When we frame it like this it makes it clear that the goal of an email marketing campaign is that it should be customer centric. This also has the additional benefit of making customers look forward to future emails and will increase your open rate.
2. Lay out your goals
If you don’t know how the success of your email marketing campaign will be measured, how will you know if you have succeeded (or failed)? Whether it is internal expectations, or industry benchmarks regarding open-rate, click-through-rate etc, know how to appraise the campaign once complete? List your goals before the campaign and be honest when reviewing them post-campaign.
3. Encourage sign-ups
The bigger and better qualified your email list the better, right?! Ensure that sign up to your newsletter/subscriber list is a simple and straightforward process. Make the subscription clearly visible on your website and encourage sign-ups to learn about future special offers, stay up to date with company news etc. Ways to encourage more subscriptions would be providing pop-up messaging on your website when somebody is navigating away from your site as this is a great way to organically grow your mailing list.
4. Know your campaign type
Choosing a campaign is another important and often overlooked part of creating an email marketing strategy. While it may seem confusing, it is relatively simple. Just think campaign goals and what type of email would be best to achieve it.
For example, are you sharing important company news or updates with your audience in a quarterly newsletter or are you promoting a new limited-time offer to a particular segment of your database? In these two instances, the type of campaign type will vary significantly. An important thing to remember here is that creating dedicated mailing lists will ensure that only content relevant for a particular segment of your audience will be received by them!
5. Create your schedule
How often will you send marketing emails? When you build your timeline make sure to keep it consistent – don’t send 4 emails in a week then nothing for 6 months. You need to find the perfect balance, this will come down to your industry, what content you are sending in your e-zine and your audience.
6. Measure your results
The final step in creating your email marketing strategy is one of the most important – measuring your results. Did your campaign meets its goals – why/why not? What were the finding/learnings? What could be improved upon for the next campaign? These are very important questions to ask if you are to continually improve the quality, engagement, and ultimately leads/sales generated from your marketing campaigns. Keep your KPI’s in mind as you move through these steps and you can’t go far wrong!
Author Bio: Katie McGarr is one of the resident writers for SPRINT DIGITAL Agency Dublin, a firm offering an extensive range of digital marketing and website services to businesses across UK, Ireland, and Continental Europe. She enjoys sharing her insights about blogging, web design, SEO, and other forms of digital marketing.