Simply sending emails to your subscribers with an isolated email marketing strategy isn’t enough. With so many tools available, why not integrate your email marketing with your broader digital marketing strategy? By optimizing your email marketing integration strategy, you can make the most of your relationship with every subscriber. How to Integrate AWeber and Leadpages – Step-By-Step Tutorial. Sales Funnel Blog.
10 Steps to Create a Successful Email Marketing Campaign It’s easy to underestimate email. While no longer the newest or fanciest communication channel on the block, good email marketing is still one of the most effective tactics for activating, retaining, and engaging your audience. Learn How To Use Mailchimp From Start To Finish In This Complete Mailchimp tutorial for beginners! Start email marketing with mailchimp. Get Your Mailchimp T.
Email marketing is a digital marketing strategy based on sending emails and developing relationships with prospects and customers. An effective email marketing strategy convert prospects into customers, and turn first time buyers into recurring customers. One advantage of email marketing is that you can automate the entire process.
Is email marketing dead?
With all the talk of video, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and chatbots, it sometimes seems like email is long past its prime.
But if you think email is dead, you’re missing out on the real metrics. The truth? Email marketing is still going strong today, and is possibly the best possible strategy for your business.
Based on 2018 data, email marketing is still ranked as the most effective marketing channel, beating out social media, SEO, and affiliate marketing.
Why is that? With all the hype over new channels, why is decades-old technology still one of the most effective marketing strategies?
I think the answer has something to do with the fact that people use email more than other platforms. After all, what’s the good of marketing to someone if they’re not there?
Data from 2017 shows that most people are on email—85% of adult internet users in the US.
That beats out search engines by 15% and social media by 22%—not small numbers in an industry that gets excited over single-digit conversion rate improvements.
That’s why building a successful email marketing campaign is more important than ever for entrepreneurs. But there’s a problem—most people don’t know how to do it right.
Today, you’ll learn exactly how to start an email marketing campaign from scratch.
Remember—you’re a guest in their inbox
People are inundated with interruptions, pitches, and advertisements everywhere they look.
Though you might think your email is special, there’s a high probability that to the reader, it looks the same as the rest.
This is why it’s important to remember where you are, and use your good manners as a result.
Getting into someone’s inbox is like being invited to their home for dinner. If they ask you to take your shoes off, you respectfully do so.
It’s the same with email marketing, so before we begin I’d simply like to remind you to be on your best behavior at all times and remember… you’re a guest in their inbox.
Phase I: Get permission
Of course, no email campaign was ever built without getting permission to get started, so first, we’ll need to focus on building a sizable email list.
There are many ways you can do this, of course. Some prefer to give something away for free while others simply offer a newsletter or product updates.
For example, business newsletter Morning Brew offers readers a simple benefit—their fun, interesting updates every morning.
I can’t tell you which is the right or wrong answer for your incentive, but I can tell you that it’s important to have a clear purpose when asking for an address.
This is where a strong call to action comes into play, and copywriting is super important.
Establish your credibility, explain what the emails are for, and get people interested in receiving them.
Simply posting “enter your email for updates” isn’t going to get anyone excited. Instead, consider sharing specifics.
By sharing a specific call to action or benefit to giving your email address, you can get more people to subscribe.
Some common ways to entice people to sign up include:
- Email series
- Free downloads
- Free white papers or eBooks
- Update lists, like new releases and product updates
Whatever that incentive is, make it clear and enticing, and don’t be afraid to promote it.
Phase II: Follow through with great content
Email marketing is all about expectations, and it’s up to you to set them.
If your call to action is strong, and your follow-up is consistent, then you can count on a positive campaign.
However, if you promise to send one email per week and instead send them daily, then you’re setting yourself up for failure.
On the contrary, if someone is expecting daily updates or critical product updates and you don’t’ deliver, then they are likely to be just as upset in that case too.
This is why the first follow-up email is so crucial to the success of your email marketing efforts.
For example, here’s a basic welcome email from Airbnb to a new host. It explains the basics of the process and what you can expect to receive from Airbnb.
Almost all email service providers give you the option to create an autoresponder sequence, and it’s imperative that you take advantage of it.
The initial follow-up email should be sent immediately as a way to introduce yourself and detail what you plan on doing with your new subscriber’s email address.
It’s better to be long-winded and detailed than it is to be quick and unobtrusive, but if you can pull off quick and concise, then more power to you.
From here, it’s simply a matter of living up to their expectations.
When to pitch a product
You’re not running an email list just for the fun of it—you’re there to engage customers and make sales.
But transitioning from an email list that provides tons of free value into a list that pitches a product for money can be a tricky switch to make.
To do it effectively, it’s a good idea to think in advance about your pitching. You don’t want to surprise everyone with a pitch all of the sudden.
You’ll have a much more successful campaign if people expect sales pitches every once in a while.
If you’re going to get in the habit of selling often, try to put yourself in the reader’s shoes.
Ask yourself if your messaging is consistent with the expectations you’ve set. If possible, understand what the customer has shown interest in before, and send similar offers down the line.
Those that send blind offers are far more likely to lose permission to keep doing so.
Again, each business has different needs, and there aren’t any hard and fast rules as to how often you can pitch or provide content.
Just remember that an email list is a permission asset and it’s better to err on the side of caution than to play it loose and reckless.
How to write a great email newsletter
While we’re on the topic of content, let’s talk about the difference between a good newsletter and a bad newsletter.
The first sign that you’ve received a bad newsletter is that you don’t recall ever asking to receive it.
Typically, this happens when a business either fails to maintain a regular email routine or uses poor form and manually adds someone to their list after receiving a business card or personal email.
Make sure everyone remembers you—the best way to do this is not to let your emails lapse for too long. Try to send at least one a month, with one a week being closer to ideal.
I find that the most compelling newsletters are those that do a great job of mixing messaging and updates.
For example, while the email might contain a list of product updates and images, it’s balanced by a personal message or friendly memo.
As a rule of thumb, try to use your newsletter as a way to further your relationship with the reader/customer rather than to pitch them.
Save the pitch for unique updates, offers, and announcements.
Using the autoresponder
If you’re just starting out with an email list, it’s easy to imagine you’ll have time to personally respond to every new subscriber.
But once you start getting more than a handful of subscribers every day, it becomes next to impossible to keep this up.
You’ll start to get more and more complex campaigns, and following through with everyone all the time is impossible.
Yet top marketers seem to do this exact thing. How?
Their secret is autoresponders.
An autoresponder does just that—it automatically sends out emails that you schedule in advance.
By scheduling a set of emails to send in advance, you can prevent “going dark” for any length of time.
Oftentimes, companies will plan out a series of emails—ranging from a few days to a few months—that automatically deliver, warming up anyone who signs up for your list.
That way, when you do need to announce a new product or sale, you can count on the fact that you’ve already been in touch.
Since you’ve built up a relationship over several weeks or months, you’re much less likely to annoy your readers.
Phase III: Analytics and segmentation
Now that you understand the basics behind an effective email campaign, let’s talk about how to take things to the next level.
Specifically, that involves using segmentation and analytics to start refining your broadcasts and generating even better results than you would with a basic campaign.
How to understand your email analytics
We’ve talked before about the importance of analytics in web copy, and email is no different.
Every service provider I’ve ever worked with provides complimentary analytics.
Though they’re all important, the 3 most important to me are open rate, click-through rate, and unsubscribes. Let’s break down each one and see what there is to learn from it.
First, your open rate explains how many people open your emails. It’s based on a single invisible tracking pixel that loads when someone clicks on your message.
When looking at open rates, it’ll usually tell you how well you’ve built your relationship with readers. Ideally, people are excited to read your emails and open them quickly.
If your open rate is low, it usually means you have a lot of unengaged subscribers. You need to work harder on providing value and managing expectations.
Next, your click-through rate, or CTR, shows how many people clicked on a link (if any) in your email.
If your CTR is low, it means that your message is either not targeted enough, or simply not getting through. In this case, focus on improving your copy.
Finally, your unsubscribe rate tells you how many people have clicked the “unsubscribe” button at the bottom of your email.
If your unsubscribe rate is high in relation to your opt-in rate, then you’ve passed the point of building value and writing good copy… you’ve got some serious work to do.
Essentially you’ve built a sieve and people that sign up eventually leave. If this is you, try to examine when people are leaving and take action based on those leaks.
If they’re leaving after a certain autoresponder email, then re-work it. If they’re leaving after marketing messages, then re-work the way you present offers.
If they’re leaving early on in your funnel, then you need to fix your original call to action so that it’s in harmony with what you’re sending.
Email analytics are critical in that if you’re paying attention, they’ll give you very specific clues as to what you’re doing wrong.
Of course, the key variable here is “paying attention.”
How to segment your list
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, segmentation is the practice of splitting up your email list into more targeted groups.
For example, the following are ways to segment a larger, more unified list:
- Customer list (in comparison to leads who haven’t bought)
- Newsletter subscribers
- Daily email list (in comparison to weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc)
In dividing your list in this manner, you give yourself the ability to send more targeted communication.
For example, some customers want both product and sales updates, while others might only want to hear about new versions.
Plus, you can even send specific emails to buyers thanking them for their purchase, like this example from Ales Nesetril.
If you don’t give them the chance to choose, you risk losing them altogether. Since customers are more likely to buy again, it’s fairly obvious why you want to keep them subscribed to your customer email list.
With segmentation, you can send a broadcast only to those that didn’t open your last message (ask them why), or to those that showed interest (a second pitch).
You can also split test messaging amongst different groups in order to refine your best practices.
4 Steps To Making Email Integral To Your Marketing In 2018 Tax Return
As you can see, segmentation isn’t rocket science, but it is work, which is why most don’t take the time to do it right.
If you do, you’ll immediately separate yourself from the pack.
How much is your list worth?
Your email list is one of your most valuable resources, and if you learn how to treat it right, the cost of doing so will pay for itself.
Over time, you can start tracking how much money people on your list spend on average. This will tell you how much your list is worth.
If a list of 10,000 people usually spends $50,000 on a campaign, and you run two of those campaigns each year, you could average it out and say that each subscriber is worth $10 a year.
When you do the math like that, you can understand immediately how losing several hundred subscribers could be dangerous to your bottom line.
If you’ve been ignoring email marketing, it might be time to reevaluate your strategy.
Today, email marketing is delivering huge returns for marketers willing to get started with it. It doesn’t have to be too complicated.
First, remember you’re a guest in the inboxes of your subscribers. Your emails are always just one click away from losing their interest forever. Be polite, respectful, and deliver value.
As you get started, you’ll need to ask permission. Of course, it’s the right thing to do. But in the era of new data protections, like the EU’s GDPR, it’s also a legal requirement.
You’ll want to follow through with the promises you make. Provide people what they’ve asked for and email on a regular basis that lines up with their expectations.
There’s no formula for this—it’s all about what works best for you and your company’s voice and style.
And finally, you can move on to segmentation and analytics once you’ve mastered the basics. Start sending separate types of emails to different groups of people and always be improving.
What email marketing practices keep your readers engaged?
About the Author: Nathan Hangen is the co-founder of Virtuous Giant, creator of IgnitionDeck, a crowdfunding plugin for WordPress. You can follow him on Twitter via @nhangen.
Updated December 2017
Have you determined all the priorities for your email marketing strategy for the year ahead? Now is a good time to review the success of past marketing efforts and look for areas that need to be improved. Here are some tips and great marketing strategies for developing effective email marketing campaigns.
How to Market with Email and Implement an Effective Email Marketing Strategy—Begin by Setting Goals
How effective is your email marketing program? To answer that question, you would need to evaluate your email campaign performance metrics that indicate subscriber engagement, such as open and click rates, conversion rates, revenue generated from your email marketing campaigns, and unsubscribe rates. This will then help you establish where you are today and where you want to be within a certain period time (e.g., within one year).
Then, determine your email marketing goals. To help you do this, be sure to check out FulcrumTech’s ROI Goalsetter®— a great tool for seeing the impact such improvements as higher email open and click-through rates, list growth, and increased landing-page conversion rates can have on the success of your email marketing planning. As you plan your email marketing strategy, you’ll find this financial-modeling calculator is a quick, easy, and free way to discover opportunities for increasing your email marketing return on investment (ROI) and set email marketing goals.
You simply enter information that you already know about your email program and ROI Goalsetter will let you see where your program is today and what results are possible in the future. Then, you can adjust key metrics with easy-to-use sliders to quickly test different initiatives and determine which changes in your email marketing strategies will have the biggest positive impact on your sales and return on investment (ROI).
12 Tips for Developing Effective Email Marketing Strategies
Once you’ve established your email marketing goals, determining where you should focus your time and resources is the next step. Taking into account current industry trends, here are some prime tips and marketing tactics examples for developing your email strategy:
4 Steps To Making Email Integral To Your Marketing In 2018 Free
- Make mobile a top priority in your email strategy. Considering the already large and rapidly growing number of people using mobile devices, a significant portion of your prospects and customers are likely using smartphones and tablets to read your emails. A recent study by Litmus, for example, looked at more 17 billion emails opened during 2016 and found that mobile devices accounted for more than half of the opens. And if your emails aren’t mobile-friendly, you’re likely frustrating your mobile subscribers and at risk of losing their business. In fact, in another study more than 70% of respondents reported that they would delete an email if it didn’t render well and look good on their mobile device.
So to make sure your emails both look great and are easy to interact with – whether your subscribers are using desktops, laptops, or mobile devices to read your emails – use responsive design. This dynamic display technology automatically adjusts content and image sizes based on a user’s screen. Check out this previous NewsLever article for best practices and other key ways to help ensure your emails are mobile-friendly.
- Use automation to create an email campaign strategy that nurtures prospects and customers. Marketing automation is a combination of strategy and software that work together to create the most effective email campaigns that are both personalized and relevant. With the availability of today’s automation tools, setting up email drip campaigns is an easy and highly efficient way to nurture prospects and customers, build customer relationships and loyalty, increase subscriber engagement, and ultimately drive more sales. When done right, automatic drip email campaigns send the right offers and content at the right time to effectively convert prospects to leads and leads to customers. If you’re not already using drip marketing, be sure to read our series of automation and drip-marketing articles:
- Combine content marketing with strong lead-generation tactics. Each year, typical email lists experience attrition as high as 25% due to bounces, unsubscribes, and inactive users. That’s why it’s essential to counter attrition with a strong lead-generation program and a compelling content marketing strategy. Begin by using demographic data and market research collected on your current customers to create marketing personas, which show the character attributes of your company’s ideal customers. Then, based on these personas, craft content that can be used to effectively capture new leads (content provided in return for contact information), as well as nurture prospects through the sales funnel. For example, this content can include email newsletters, blog posts, videos, webinars, and white papers.
- Be sure to get explicit permission from new email marketing subscribers and make it easy to unsubscribe. Begin by creating opt-in forms that make it clear to prospects that they’re signing up for your email list. Then, help let them know what to expect from you with a confirmation page and welcome email series that inform new subscribers about what they’ll be getting (discount coupons, product information, sales announcements, etc.) and how often they’ll be seeing your email campaigns in their inboxes. For information on how to craft opt-in forms that build an email list of engaged and loyal customers, read the recent FulcrumTech NewsLever feature: “Email List-Building Best Practices—How to Create E-Commerce Opt-in Forms That Convert.”
Making it easy for your subscribers to unsubscribe from your email list is also an essential email marketing strategy. According to a recent survey, 50% of consumers reported that they marked an email as spam because they couldn’t easily figure out how to unsubscribe. So, in addition to including a prominent unsubscribe link in the footers of all your email marketing campaigns, be sure to promptly process unsubscribe requests. In this way, people who unsubscribe from your email list won’t get annoyed by continuing to receive your company’s email campaigns and, in turn, mark your emails as spam.
- Personalize your email subject lines to increase engagement. Personalized subject lines have 50% higher open rates, 58% higher click-to-open rates, and more than twice the unique click rates, when compared with subject lines that were not personalized, according to a recent study by Yes Lifecycle Marketing. In addition to using the recipient’s name in the subject line, types of personalization also included items abandoned in online shopping carts, loyalty program details, membership milestones, and products that were previously purchased or browsed online. Be sure to test various types of personalization to see what works best with your specific audience.
- Make optimizing your email preheaders one of your email marketing strategies.Preheaders—that snippet of text that appears below or next to the subject line on most mobile devices and email clients—can have a huge impact on whether or not a subscriber opens your emails. Yet, many emails still display a default preheader that includes the first readable text in the HTML email (e.g., “If you are unable to see the message below, click here to view.”). This is a waste of that valuable piece of real estate in the inbox and does nothing to motivate a recipient to open the email.
What should you include in an email preheader to make the most effective email campaigns? A few marketing strategy examples include: more information to expand on the email’s primary benefit to supplement what’s already been presented in the subject line, a coupon code, a deadline to create a sense of urgency, a call to action, and your company’s value proposition. For more information about how to create strong preheaders that help drive up your email open rates, check out the following NewsLever feature article: “Email Preheader Best Practices.”
- Use a strong email segmentation strategy to help personalize your email content. Segmentation is one of the most important email marketing success factors that result in the best email campaigns. In other words, use micro-targeting to 1) identify smaller segments of your subscriber list, and 2) use personalization and customization tactics to provide highly relevant marketing communications to each segment. As we pointed out in a previous article, personalization pays off – generating as much as six times higher transaction rates.
In addition, email list segmentation increased email opens by 14.31%, increased clicks by 100.95%, decreased bounces by 4.65%, and decreased unsubscribes by 9.37%, according to a recent study by MailChimp. How does email marketing segmentation impact revenue? Compared to sending one-size-fits all email marketing campaigns, for example, the Direct Marketing Association found that segmentation increased email campaign revenue by 760%!
Email marketing segmentation can be based on various data; however, some major segmentation data categories include demographic, geographic, and behavioral. So for a smarter, more effective spend on email marketing, email list segmentation combined with content that is both personalized and customized for the different segments should be a high priority in your email strategy. For some email segmentation tips and best practices, check out the following NewsLever article: “Email-Marketing List Segmentation—Give a Lift to Your ROI With These 5 Best Practices.”
- Integrate your website with email campaign strategies. If customers begin shopping at your website but abandon their shopping carts, do you have a triggered email campaign in place to reach out and reengage them? If not, you’re missing a huge opportunity to recover the sale. The shopping-cart recovery email is just one example of how you can integrate your website with email marketing to help drive conversions. You can also set up triggered emails based on website visits and browsing activity. For additional examples, check out this NewsLever article on triggered emails.
- Integrate your email strategies with your social media marketing.This is an important way to help grow your email list, extend the reach of your email marketing campaigns, and strengthen your brand. Including “connect with” social media icons in the email campaigns you send, promoting your email marketing newsletter on your social media networks, and offering an option to follow your company on social networking sites (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) on your unsubscribe page are just a few great ways you can harness the power of cross channel marketing. For more social media and email marketing strategies, see the previous FulcrumTech NewsLever article: “7 Tips for Integrating Email and Social Media Marketing.”
- Implement an email-optimization process. To drive great results from each of your email campaigns requires continuous improvement of all email elements, such as copy, design, calls to action, subject lines, headlines, landing pages, frequency, and time sent. So set up and analyze email optimization tests for each campaign to determine what works best for your target audience. And then be prepared to implement appropriate changes for future email campaigns to help increase the overall performance of your email marketing program.
Email send frequency and cadence (i.e., the timing and patterns of emails sent) are two important email marketing success factors that you should optimize. Often brands will continue to increase their send volume in attempt to increase revenue. However, that practice often backfires with customers unsubscribing, or possibly even marking your emails as spam. In fact, getting too many emails from a company is the top reason why subscribers both unsubscribe and mark their emails as spam. Although you don’t want to miss an opportunity of increasing your sales and revenue by sending too few emails, you also don’t want to hurt your email deliverability by getting too many emails marked as spam.
How can you determine the “sweet spot” for both your email marketing send frequency and cadence? Here are two articles to help you do just that:
- Optimize the calls to action in your email marketing campaigns. The calls to action in your emails are the entrance to your sales funnel. Can your recipients find them easily? Does the text motivate them to click? Do you design your emails to include one primary call to action? If the marketing strategy for your email campaigns includes providing too many calls to action, you are likely distracting and confusing recipients, which may result in them taking no action at all. Click here for eight best practices to help you design powerful calls to action that convert.
- Develop an effective quality assurance process as part of your email marketing strategy to avoid sending email campaigns with mistakes.</strong> Grammatical errors, typos, and broken links can look spammy and unprofessional to your subscribers. So be sure take the time and have a process in place to proofread every email before you hit send. For quality assurance insights and best practices that can help you develop an effective email marketing quality assurance process, be sure to read this previous FulcrumTech NewsLever article: “Quality Assurance—Does Your QA Process Empower Email-Marketing Success?”
Where to Find Some of the Best Marketing Strategy Examples
For some of the best marketing strategies examples and sample email campaigns, as well as for email campaign ideas and inspiration, be sure to check out our Get the Click series where FulcrumTech’s email experts review real emails from real marketers.
Feeling overwhelmed with trying to figure out how to do email marketing right and creating a great email marketing campaign strategy? FulcrumTech can help. We’re a data-driven email marketing firm with a proven process for and implementing winning email campaign strategies. Email us or give us a call at 215-489-9336 and learn more about how our award-winning team of certified email marketing specialists will help get your company off to a strong, successful start in the year ahead.