Successful email marketing requires careful targeting, testing and analysis. The companies who stand victorious are those who succeed in finding the perfectly constructed and balanced email messages.
The end goal is making sure your email stands out enough to peak the recipient’s interest and have them open it, read it and take the action you want them to.
So, how do you reach that goal?
The absolute basics of email marketing
Plan a clear strategy with an end goal/objective in mind. This will stop you from becoming distracted or losing focus over the course of your campaign.
Personalise your emails so the recipient knows that you understand them. Use their behaviour to drive the content you present them.
Give the reader value and something that is relevant to their industry and job function.
Your message should be apparent from the start (never assume they’ll read to the end to get to the punchline).
Keep your email concise and to the point. You don’t want to overcomplicate things or give the reader too many options – in this case, they may choose nothing at all.
Different audiences prefer to receive content in different guises. A Managing Director might want to receive an ‘outlook style’ email, where a Marketing Executive might like to see something more visual with lots of imagery.
Ensure your copy sounds human and approachable and is in line with your company tone of voice. If you come across as distant and robotic, your audience will feel alienated.
Ensure your email can be viewed correctly on all devices (mobiles, tablets, PCs etc). A study by Statista shows that mobile phones account for roughly half of all website traffic worldwide.
If your emails contain huge chunks of text that are difficult to read on small devices, then you’re just chipping away at your own chances of success.
Use a very obvious call to actions. This could be a button or a link that is blue and underlined. Make them as eye-catching and simple to follow as possible.
Use social media to boost your email marketing. Social media is a very effective way to build up a database of information on potential leads. If your prospects are on social media, you should be too.
Take a step closer to success
While these basic steps will help to get your shot on target, there’s still more work to be done if you actually want to score. Email marketing requires a multi-layered and complex marketing strategy which needs to be carefully crafted if it’s going to return results.
These steps below are slightly more advanced and will help you to really get to grips with producing engaging email marketing messages.
Choose the right email service provider
The key to choosing an Email Service Provider is reliability. Whether it’s uptime (remember, 99.5% uptime is two days’ annual downtime), helpdesk support, response time, back-up, monitoring or compatibility, it’s important to research first and be sure you are getting an ESP that can handle the demands your email marketing will put upon it.
Define your mailing lists
Segmented campaigns distinctly improve global email-newsletter opens, clicks and bounces.
“Batch and blast” email marketing is dead. Segmentation is the new way forward. Analyse your database and cross-reference with subscriber information. Hitting the right people at the right time in the customer cycle encourages the desired action and a sense of trust that can be achieved through personalisation, increasing brand awareness.
Content is king
Building awareness is essential. Align the content of your emails to the individual you are addressing, as per segmentation. Be different and avoid ‘push’ selling; offer value and don’t give cause to unsubscribe.
You might be tempted to add images, graphics and audio files, but there is no substitute for a carefully considered and well-written copy. Never distract your reader from your key message.
Choose compelling subject lines
A study by Nielson Norman Group shows that subject lines which draw user’s attention use:
Follow conventions for naming common features
Front-load user and action-oriented terms
Your subject line is the first thing a lead will see and can mean the difference between opening or ignoring an email. Make them powerful, make them compelling, arouse curiosity, test different wording and analyse response data. Keep them pointed.
Measure your results
Measure the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns. Use analytics to establish who clicked on what and when. Remain on top of all metrics*.
Valuable statistics can be drawn from:
Click-Through Rates (CTR) – The number of recipients who clicked on a link or links in the email.
Sharing Rates – The proportion sharing or forwarding the email to a friend.
Conversion Rates – The percentage of those who clicked on a link and went on to perform the desired action.
Revenue Per Email – A calculation of the ROI, dividing total revenue by the number of emails sent.
*Requires integration of your analytics platform and Email Service Provider.
ROI can never be guaranteed with email marketing as there are so many factors that must be taken into account, such as your budget, industry and audience. But if you manage to incorporate these tips into your next email marketing campaign, chances are you’ll increase your likelihood of succeeding.
At Marketscan, we have market-leading data for volume and quality. We’re able to use our industry knowledge to not just provide you with new data but also work with you to turn these contacts into sales qualifiable leads.