Email marketing is a fantastic, simple and efficient way for you to keep in touch with your clients and customers. You can keep them up to date with the latest innovations, target specific customers with offers or campaigns that will benefit them, and build a relationship of trust and loyalty.
On top of that, email is flexible. It can be planned so that your customers receive your message at a specific time and that message is delivered directly to a space they visit every day, many times a day – the inbox!
Few marketing activities are as cheap, quick and have immediate feedback with realistic metrics you can directly track and act upon. Having said this, email can be done badly wrong, and a poorly executed email marketing campaign can have a profoundly bad effect on your brand. To stop this from happening, and make sure you deliver the most effective email campaigns, here are some key tips to making email marketing work for you.
1. Build a relationship – don’t spam!
Get some good results, plenty of clicks or some sales, and it’s easy to get overexcited. Plenty of businesses fall into the trap of blasting out messages to all and sundry – non-stop.
Email marketing has developed a bad reputation because the real spammers out there have no shame at all. Every one of us has received irrelevant emails, phishing attempts to get our bank details, and we’ve unsubscribed from certain shops or brands who have thought it was perfectly acceptable to send you multiple emails a day.
Nobody likes this. So make sure you aren’t doing the same. Your emails should be relevant to the audience and should actually contain something that your clients and customers are interested in hearing, learning about or buying. Doing that, build a trusting customer relationship. Otherwise, it’s all just spam
2. Be human
Your emails are going to people. So, write like a human being and not a robot, pumping out the same tired sales phrases as everyone else.
This doesn’t mean you have to create the perfect headline and subject line every time, it’s only email, not a Saatchi and Saatchi advertising campaign. But you can gain engagement by asking questions, telling a story and being valuable to your audience.
Most of all, don’t be boring or long winded. Get to the point quickly and make sure your audience understands why you are emailing them and the advantage they will receive for reading on.
Our customer’s inbox is fiercely fought over territory. And while you might win the battle (get the email), you’ll lose the war (their attention) if you don’t continue to build and deepen the relationship.
3. Check the links
Asking people to click through, only to have a 404 error irritates people and makes you look unprofessional. Make use of the Link Checker facility on email tools. Five more minutes to check links before you send won’t make much difference to your click rate. But a link that goes nowhere … ?
4. Think Mobile
According to the latest research, more than half of all emails are now read on a mobile device and checking email has is the number 1 activity on smartphones. It’s vital then, that your emails are optimised for mobile, otherwise, you’ve lost half your audience before you start.
The same goes for landing pages or websites that are your target. You can send the most beautiful, targeted email campaign, but if it doesn’t render on the small screen of a smartphone, all your hard work will go to waste.
5. Make use of A/B testing
Test and learn is an vital cog in the marketing mix. Different offers, designs, landing pages and different copy ca all be tested to a sample group, before the winner is sent to the majority of your list. Email delivery tools like Mailchimp make this technique easy to use.
The key, though, is to make small changes and only one change at a time. Otherwise, how will you know which change was the effective one? Testing also allows you to find out what works best for your brand and your audience.
6. Learn From Your Results
Seeing the results of an email marketing campaign is the exciting and sometimes scary part.
Basic data, such as opens and clicks allows you to compare against each campaign to track its performance. But sometimes, seeing visually where people have clicked can inform you how to layout your email next time, and what type of content is proving most popular with your audience.
You can also drill down into the data for individuals so that you can build up a picture of their behaviours and preferences. This level of detail in the data often requires some working with an organisation that can support you and deliver more than just simple results.
7. Data is everything
Your emails are only as good as the people receiving them. Sending to an old list, or to the wrong people, won’t get you anywhere.
Collecting your own data is very important for any business. But be aware that any email address has a limited lifespan. People move jobs, move to new ISPs and change their emails accordingly, so keep up your data collection and remind people who engage with your emails to inform you of any changes.
Don’t be afraid to rent a list – if you know what you are doing!) Many marketers frown at renting a list from a provider. But as long as you use a reputable supplier, who has the permissions covered off, and has the right targeted data for your business, you can have fantastic success from a rented list.
Once again, though, buying a list can be precarious if the data isn’t properly researched, relevant, or has been obtained by nefarious means! If in doubt, ask an expert for advice before you go ahead with a send.
Talk to us for more information
If you are interested in making more use of email marketing for your business, talk to us at Search and More. We’d be more than happy to offer advice and help you set up a targeted marketing campaign for your clients.