How to Email Market the Right Way
Email is one the most valuable tools in a marketer’s toolbox and the statistics prove it. With email accounts forecasted to reach 2.9 billion by 2019, one can infer that the easiest way to reach the masses is to create successful email campaigns. So how does a business create a “successful” email campaign and become email marketing specialists? Well, it starts with collecting appropriate email addresses and understanding their customers.
Whether a business offers coupons, discounts, or free gifts as an incentive for customers to sign up for their email list, successful campaigns involve much more effort than just capturing emails and pushing messages. Ensuring that adequate attention is paid to how email addresses are collected, where they are collected, why they were collected, and what the consumer believes will be the result of the collection is key to email marketing success.
5 Steps to Success
First and foremost, ground your email marketing list in trust. Shady email capture and misleading promises are not a good way to start any relationship, especially a business to consumer (B2C) relationship. Not only are there legal implications surrounding consumer permissions for email marketing, but unsolicited emailing can damage a brand’s reputation.
To avoid these issues a business simply just asks permission to send periodic emails about XYZ. By asking permission and explaining what customers can expect in their inbox, you’re going to obtain email addresses from people interested in the information and more likely to engage.
Segment Your Lists
This point can’t be stressed enough. Segmenting (or chopping) your email list will allow you to specifically target your content to individuals based on the pre-determined information. There are tons of ways to segment your email list, but the most important are to segment them based on where the customer opted-in. Pretty much keeping track of the different places and reasons why customers decided to say “yes” to your email list.
For example, say you’re a company that offers services to consumers and sells t-shirts online. If a customer participates with your company on the services side and never buys a t-shirt, do you think they opted into the email list to receive information about your t-shirts? By segmenting email lists based on where consumers signup, a business can target the content to customers based on what they previously engaged in.
There are two parts to consistency in a business’s email marketing efforts. Firstly, it’s important that a business remains consistent in why they are collecting a customer’s email address. Is it to push marketing promotions, sales, coupons, or news? Remaining consistent allows customers to know what to expect when they opt-in and engage with the emails they receive. Being wishy-washy, can confuse a customer and result in unsubscribes because the content isn’t relevant to what they want or need.
Secondly, consistency in branding is important. Even if customers are not interested in the content of a particular email, a consistent use of typography, color palate, and voice will reinforce the business’s brand.
How can you tell success if you don’t measure results? Understanding metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) is extremely important in determining whether your email list is working and obtaining the results you hoped for. Every email campaign should have a purpose. If a business is running a flash sale on their e-commerce website, they can measure the performance of the email by analyzing the click-through-rate which provides information on how many users clicked on links within the email.
Analytics do more than tell if email lists are appropriate for the content provided, they also provide valuable information on what products sell well, how consumers prefer to receive their information, and what prompts more conversion.
The final step in ensuring you have a successful email list and email marketing campaign is to be flexible and able to adjust regularly. If after analyzing the results of a campaign a business notices a trend, they should adjust their efforts to account for it. If more customers on the email list click on images than buttons, adjusting how you call consumers to action may be needed.
Additionally, adjusting regularly also means cleaning your email list by respecting unsubscribes and opt-outs. If a customer no longer wants to receive your emails, don’t take it personally. Think like a consumer who is constantly bombarded with emails, sometimes you need a break. Having an easy unsubscribe process helps show the customer that you respect their wishes, and although you’re sad to see them go, you know they haven’t left with a negative feeling towards your brand.
Email marketing is a great way to engage and retain customers. The bottom-line, treat your email list as you would customers right in front of you. You wouldn’t bombard them or talk to them about something they aren’t interested in. So, if you wouldn’t do it then, you shouldn’t do it through email.