In a world obsessed by Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, many businesses focus their marketing tactics on social media to build their client base and maximise their sales.
However, whilst this can be effective, it’s vital to invest in an amazing email marketing campaign as well. Research has shown that email has the largest ROI than any other marketing channel, with three times more email accounts than Facebook and Twitter accounts combined. Email also has six times more click-throughs than social media, meaning you need to get on board the email train.
But, how exactly do you go about building a successful email marketing campaign? Here, we’ve put together this handy guide full of tips and tricks.
What tools to use
With so many tools out there for email marketing, it can be hard to recognise which ones are the best to go for.
However, there are lots of specialist ones out there that are both cheap and easy to use, making them the perfect option for those just starting out. Litmus, Mail Chimp and Campaign Monitor are some of the post popular ones on the market, all of which offer different price plans and easy to use features. This post has some more suggestions too.
Establish your goals
Before you start firing out emails, it’s important to establish your goals going into your campaign. According to Liquid Bubble, the key to success with email marketing is targeted messaging.
They said: “Email marketing is a great way to reach your desired audience, but it needs to be targeted to be effective. Don’t just send out generic emails. Think about what you want to achieve, whether it’s more traffic to your website, more sign-ups to a new product, or general product updates. Then you can build your content around your goals.”
It’s also important to decide what type of campaign you want to send. If you have a larger budget, you can send multiple campaigns such as newsletters, marketing offers, and announcements, whereas smaller budgets may want to stick to a newsletter which can incorporate parts of each.
Define your expectations
When it comes to getting people to subscribe to an email campaign, you need to be honest and straightforward with how you’re going to use their emails. As Nathan Hangen over at Kissmetrics says, being invited into someone’s emails is like being invited over to dinner.
You need to make sure they know exactly what they’re signing up for with a clear purpose for your emails. On your sign-up form, give specifics, such as how often they will be emailed, what sort of content they will be receiving, and that they can opt-out if they wish. Subscribers will only sign-up if they’re sure they won’t be spammed and will only receive relevant information.
Similarly, give subscribers a choice of what content to receive, as not everyone will be interested in all you have to offer. Giving people the choice to subscribe to just the content they’re interested in will make them more likely to sign-up and also allow you to really target the right audiences with each type of content email.
The sign-up form
As this post suggests, a valuable incentive and a simple subscription tool equals a large email list. Make sure your sign-up form has a clear call to action and makes it easy for people to sign up, asking for no more than a first name and email. Similarly, it needs to have a clear incentive for people to join, whether it’s the latest content, discounts, free shipping or free downloads. This sign-up form needs to make people want to join in order to receive these freebies and get excited.
It’s also vital to get the layout of the form just right. It needs an enticing headline, a helpful description, attractive visuals and a subscribe button that stands out. It’s placement on the page also determines conversions: headers, exit pop-ups, and slider boxes work particularly well.
This post has more tips for sign-ups.
You don’t want to spend all your time building up your email list and crafting your content for the emails to never reach the recipients. Whilst most providers will try their best to have your emails reach their inboxes, there are some ways to help them do so.
Sending your emails from good IP addresses that haven’t sent spam in the past and through verified domains will help, as will keeping your email template code clean. However, the most effective way is ‘whitelisting’, which essentially has recipients add your email address to their contact list. The best way to do this is to provide easy instructions on each email you send out.
The email itself
When sending emails, it’s always key to ask yourself whether your messaging is adding value to your readers, following the expectations set out at the start, and engaging your subscribers.
Good content is the best way to keep people subscribing, so make sure it’s insightful, targeted, and informative. It’s best to mix up your sales pitches with more friendly messages and updates, with the 80/20 formula working best (80% informative emails, 20% sales emails). It’s also best to avoid spam trigger words like “buy”, “clearance”, “discount” or “cash."
It also needs to be structured for easy reading. Research shows that the adult attention span is around eight seconds, so providing readers with concise, informative content with a clear and easy call to action will produce better results. Using consistent fonts, colours and branding with other sites will also produce a better user experience, whilst a succinct headline will draw people’s attention.
Your emails will also need to optimised to read on mobiles, as most adults now use smartphones for their email needs. Without optimisation, it makes it much more difficult for readers to read and understand, consequently affecting conversions.
Use an autoresponder
This can help to build relationships with subscribers. You can set up an autoresponder through most email marketing tools to send a thank-you email to subscribers when they first join up or make their first purchase, as well as to schedule regular email content. This consistency will build trust with readers and establish expectations.
The final stage of a great email marketing campaign is the analytics. This is vital to make sure you’re hitting your goals and getting those conversions from subscribers.
There are many aspects you can analyse such as bounce rate, open rate, click-through rate, unsubscribe rate and spam complaints, all of which will help to improve your targeting and conversions, with most email providers having inbuilt analytics tools.