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4 Email Marketing Best Practices

Alejandra Melara
Jul 11, 2019 2:32:29 PM

If you think that email marketing is dead or close to being dead, think again!

Nowadays, brands and marketers are putting much of their efforts into social media, influencer marketing and personalized conversation tools like chatbots to reach out to their target audience and build engagement with them.

All of these marketing tactics are great, specially because people look for personal communication and real engagement with brands, they want to feel understood \ and answers in real time. 

Chatbots and social media are great tools to fulfill those expectations from customers.

Email Marketing Effectiveness

According to Hubspot, email isn’t the newest channel, in fact the first email was sent in 1978 and resulted in $13 million sales. Email may not be new but it sure is an effective way to build an owned audience that gets results.

Think of the possibilities and greater outcome you could get from combining all of those tools with a proper campaign in email marketing.

Let’s do a fun poll to see where your thoughts are, read the following statistic and guess to which marketing tactic this statistic refers to:

“___________________ generates $38 for every $1 spent which represents an outstanding 3,800% ROI”

  1. Email marketing
  2. Social media
  3. Influencer marketing
  4. SEM
  5. Blogging

The answer to this is: Blogging.

Just kidding,

This statistic actually talks about Email Marketing.

If you’re actively looking for ways to generate more revenue and ROI, and aren’t already doing email marketing, well, it’s time to start.

Or maybe, you are already doing email marketing but are getting no results from it.

That’s why today, I decided to talk about 4 email marketing best practices that will probably not get you $13 million in sales like that first email did but will surely bring a higher ROI to your business.web-hosting-3Mhgvrk4tjM-unsplash

Before I dive into these 4 email marketing best practices I want to:

  • Talk about how to get started with email marketing and
  • How to analyze your email marketing efforts

So far, I’ve given you one statistic that proves how powerful email marketing still is, but you might still be a little hesitant.

If that’s the case, take a look at the following stats:

93% of B2B marketers use email to distribute content.

Active email accounts are expected to hit 5.6 billion by 2019.

It's estimated that the U.S. will spend over 350 million dollars on email advertising in 2019.

73 percent of millennials prefer communications from businesses to come via email.

More than 50 percent of U.S. respondents check their personal email account more than 10 times a day, and it is by far their preferred way to receive updates from brands.

 

Given how powerful email marketing is, you must understand that one of the biggest purposes of using email marketing is to create meaningful and personal relationships with your current clients and with potential customers.

Here are a few ways in which you should be using email marketing:

Build Relationships: You can build relationships through personalized conversations leading to engagement.

Create Brand Awareness: Keep your customers and potential clients engaged and have your business positioned as top of mind in your industry.

Promote Content: Email is a great tool to educate you customers and show them that you care. Promote your blog or any other content offer through email

Generate Leads: You can use email to ask for personal information in return for you offering people some sort of gift (guide, e-book, tutorials, webinars, etc).

Nurture Leads: The purpose of nurturing leads is to help them, keep them engaged with your brand by providing them with useful and relevant content.

Market your Products: Email is also great if you want to promote your product or service. Even, the launching of a new product or website.

Now, you might be wondering,

Where do I start with email marketing?

1. Create an email marketing strategy

How many emails do you receive per day? Probably more than 100 if you count your personal and your work email.

If you don’t have an email marketing in place that’ll make you stand out, chances are your emails won’t be clicked on or will be sent to the trash without even finishing the subject line. Yikes!

An email marketing strategy is a plan, a set of steps to follow that will help you build engaging emails.

I’m going to outline the basic steps for you to follow:

-Define your audience or buyer persona

Like every other marketing tactic you must understand who you are directing your messages to. Understand what your audience wants to hear, read and learn about. Understand what they like and what they don’t and even when they like to be contacted.

-Establish your goals

Setting up goals can be a little confusing, especially if you are doing it for the first time. Do some research and see what are the average email stats on your industry and use them as a benchmark for your own goals.

-Create a path for people to sign up

Before you start sending out your emails, you need to make sure you are targeting people who actually want to receive your emails. This is when you create lists. It might take awhile for you to see a robust list but in the meantime take advantage of each and every one of the subscribers and leads you can get.thought-catalog-YSZS_nDU8js-unsplash

-Choose an email campaign type

There are several types of email campaigns. Learn and research about each of them and then decide which one best fits your audience and their specific wants and needs.

Here are a few awesome and very successful email marketing campaigns for you to get inspired. 

-Make a schedule

Decide the schedule that best suits your audience to send out the emails, it’s important that you let them know in advance if you’ll be sending weekly or monthly emails so that they are aware and most importantly, make sure you stick to that schedule.

-Measure your results

As with anything else in marketing, you should measure your email marketing efforts. Why? Because this metric will tell you if you’re going on the right path and actually achieving something or not.

How else would you improve if you don’t know what’s wrong?

2. Build an Email list

This is the part where you select the group of people that will be receiving your emails and you segment them into groups.

You create these lists with leads and/or email subscribers (newsletter subscribers for example).There are two ways in which you can gather leads for your list: lead magnets and opt-in forms.

Lead Magnets

A lead magnet is exactly that, something that attracts people and makes them want to sign up to your list. A great lead magnet example are free content offers.

These offers are given to people in exchange for some personal information and obviously their email.

Keep in mind that people don’t give out their personal information easily so those content offers must be something that your audience truly values and would want to give their email for.

Examples of lead magnets:

  • Ebook
  • Checklist
  • Whitepaper
  • Template
  • Webinar

Opt-in Forms

The opt-in forms are precisely that, forms. They are the tool we use to gather the lead information.

Make sure your forms have the following characteristics:

  • Has an attractive design
  • Has an attention grabbing headline
  • The copy is relevant to the offer
  • The form is simple
  • It provides a double confirmation
  • The flow works

Now that you know where to start with email marketing, another important piece that it’ll ensure you that you are doing a great job is knowing how to measure and track its performance.

How do you measure your email marketing efforts?charles-ODCh8XHHsgo-unsplash

Analysing your marketing efforts is the best way to keep you and your team informed and gives you a backbone to support your future decisions

Here are the best ways to measure the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns:

A/B Test:

You have to keep in mind that not all audiences are the same, some might like personalized content, some might like a bit more spammy content. Some enjoy colourful CTA’s and some don’t.

That is why you should a/b test several items inside your email and stick with works best.

Here are examples of items you can a/b test:

  • Subject lines
  • CTA’s
  • Images/Videos

KPI’s:

Now, which KPI’s should you be paying more attention to?

There are four main key metrics to measure in email marketing:

-Deliverability: This refers to measuring the rate at which emails reach your intended audience inbox.

How to improve it?

You should ensure that you are following best practices to avoid spam filters, remove inactive people from your list, check which emails hard-bounced and remove those emails from your list.

-Open Rate: It refers to the percentage of people that open up your email as soon as it reaches their inbox.

How to improve it?

Create engaging subject lines, adjust and play with the time and date you send out emails to see which one works best.

-Click Through Rates: Refers to the percentage of people that actually click on the CTA’s inside the emails you send.

How to improve it?

Write engaging copy and content, make sure that your offer provides some sort of value to your audience, A/B test different CTA’s (images, graphic vs in-line copy)

-Unsubscribers: This will measure the percentage of people who opt-out of your email list once they receive an email from you.

How to improve it?

Make sure your email is aligned with your brand and buyer persona, it will help you check if your promising one thing and delivering another.

Okay, so far, we’ve discussed how to get started with email marketing and how to measure your email marketing efforts once you’re done with them.

Let’s ensure that once you measure those email efforts you see positive results from them

These 4 email marketing best practices will help you do that:

1.Email Marketing Tips

Crafting an email that will entice a high open rate and that will increase your click-through rates takes a lot more than you think, a good email that keeps your customers engaged should have the following characteristics and components:

Copy: copy should have consistency with your brand’s voice and stick to specifically one topic.

Images: Make sure that if you use images, they are high-end, eye-catching, elevant to the topic and double check that they can be viewed through different devices.

CTA: Make sure your call to action stands out and catches your reader’s attention with great copy, the cta must also be relevant to the main message of the email.

Timing: Make sure you are sending out your emails at the time that your customers usually open their emails.

Fun fact: A study revealed that Tuesday at 11 am ET is the best day and time to send emails.

Responsiveness: Most people check their emails on their phones, make sure they are optimized for mobile devices as well.neonbrand-LUgHXvLe_kM-unsplash

Personalization: You can use personalization tokens to get more familiar with your audience, always remember to use a friendly tone.

Subject line: Use a clear statement that is in alignment with the main message and content of the email. Try to be as captivating as possible with subject lines, this is the first thing your audience will see when they get your email so make sure you write an attractive line to your audience. You can even add emojis to your subject lines and make it look a little less serious and a lot more friendlier. 

Visual Elements: If you really want to make your emails stand out you can also include visual elements that actually have movement. Adding a moving element to your emails is attention grabbing. 

2. Email Segmentation

Segmentation refers to breaking up your email list into sub categories or groups. This will allow you to be even more specific and create even more attractive emails to particular individuals.

Email segmentation and the creation of an email list is the best way to avoid those obnoxious generic and spammy emails.

We talked briefly about email list segmentation above but I wanted to go a bit more in depth as to why segmentation is so important and how you can make this process easier.

Every person that signs up to your emails are at different stages of their buyers journey, some may be a bit closer and ready to buy from you but some might just be looking out for options

You have to craft different emails depending on the stage of the buyer’s journey they’re at.Inbound-Methodology

The best way to segment an email list is to create separate lead magnets and opt-in forms for the different stages of the buyer’s journey.

You can segment your list any way you want basically, here are a few ways in which your could break them up:

  • geographical location
  • industry
  • lifecycle stage
  • language
  • job title
  • industry

3. Personalization

Having those lists will help you get even more personal with your emails.

Whatever email marketing platform you use it’ll help you gather and store information about a contact and create personalization tokens with it.

What do personalization tokens allow you to do?neonbrand-mRl17InnAi4-unsplash

-Add a first name in your subject line

-Include region-specific content

-Talk about relevant or personal events, specific holidays

-Use a personal signature to end your emails and not just a company logo

4. Automation

Now, here comes the part where you save most of the time and money. It’s illogical to be sending emails manually, although believe it or not, there are still some people and companies that do it.

Automation happens once you’ve segmented your list. With automation you’ll be able to send automated emails to each specific group or category and have a consistent email frequency.

How do you automate? There are two main ways:

Autoresponders:

These can be simply described as a series of emails that are immediately sent out from a mailing list once triggered by a certain action. For example when someone downloads a guide or ebook.

Workflows:

The word workflow might sound a bit scary, but trust me they’re easy to set up once you get the hang of it.

A workflow is basically a flow with yes/no branches and it will execute certain actions based on the criteria you set.

Workflows are smart, they understand when email recipients have opened an email and it will set off a series of actions based on that behavior.

Both autoresponders and Workflows will help you will help you send the right email, to the right people at the right time!campaign-creators-8F4EX4Nw1yY-unsplash

Actually, companies see a 20% revenue increase when they send emails based on lifecycle stages.

The discussed above email marketing best practices will have you generating a higher ROI through email marketing. Make sure you follow those and track your performance regularly to ensure a better outcome.

If you’re still unsure on where to start or need help setting up an email marketing software you can always reach out to us, we are happy to help businesses like yours grow through digital marketing.   

 

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