Is your email marketing campaign ready to go?
Maybe you’ve got a great starter list and you’ve even sent out a holiday correspondence or two.
Then you stall.
Maybe you’re not sure what to do next or how to reap the most benefit from what you’ve started.
You’ve breached that initial hurdle of establishing your email list and now you’re ready to move on to getting the most from your email marketing campaign.
Before we dive too deep into the ins and outs of maintaining an email marketing campaign that works, make sure you’ve read the first article in the series where we talk about why email marketing is so important, how you can keep from spamming your customers, talk about some good software, and more!
Now that you’re up to speed, we can get down to business!
Get the most from your email list
The latest data shows that “Email has ranked highest in terms of ROI compared to other marketing strategies, and 78 percent of consumers rank email as the most preferred communication platform.”
What that tells us is that 78 percent of your target audience wants you to email them!
How do you capitalize on the interest your customers and potential customers have shown in your business?
- Keep working to add to your email list. Though you may feel like you have enough names on your list to begin your campaign, it’s important that it continues to grow. Here are some ways to make that happen:
- Require visitors to your website to register for each action they perform on the site.
- Giveaways and contests are good ways to collect information.
- Consider hosting a webinar. Require those interested to register in order to take part.
- Include a discussion board and require registration before commenting.
- Seize each opportunity to interact. When emails like shipping confirmations or welcome letters go out, take the opportunity to include information about other goods and services that may be of interest. This is also a good platform for plugging your social media sites! Think about it–people are most likely to open an email that contains shipping information, for example. Did you know that welcome emails are four times more likely to be opened, the click-thru rates are five times higher, and the revenue is nine times higher?
- Assess your efforts. If you don’t perform any tests, you have no idea if what you’re doing is working. Testing can help you zero in on which areas are successful and which are not. Use your employees as “testers” before the emails go out. They should try to open the emails via different programs, browsers, and devices.
- Keep the sales pitches to a minimum. Give your email subscribers something of value that will make them want to open the email and read it. If they know that all they’re going to get is repeated sales pitches they’ll simply unsubscribe. The 80/20 is a good guide. 80% of your content should be relevant, helpful information. The other twenty percent can be used for your sales offers. 17.2% of people unsubscribe because they view the content as spam. 15.8% unsubscribe because they don’t see the information as relevant to them.
- Don’t send too many! Research shows that 46.4% of the potential customers who unsubscribe do it because they receive too many emails. That’s a big chunk of your possible revenue! Don’t turn them off by inundating them with unnecessary correspondence.
- Separate your list by commonalities. This will help keep the information that each subscriber is getting relevant to what they are interested in. For example, if you offer coupons for seniors and coupons for students, don’t send both coupons to everyone. Segment your list!
Now that you have some idea as to how to successfully manage your email list for the greatest benefit, it’s time to think about the different kinds of email marketing.
Types of email marketing
We’re going to talk about four main types of email marketing. While each type can be advantageous on its own, a good program will involve the use a comprehensive blend of each of these types.
- Obtaining new prospects and producing sales. This is probably the type of email marketing that you’re the most familiar with. The purpose is to bring traffic to your business and to turn prospective customers into paying customers. This kind of email will usually contain general information about your business, products and services, and possibly coupons or other attractive offers.
- Encouraging customer loyalty. It’s always nice to receive an email for a free meal on your birthday or a coupon for having been a customer for a certain amount of time. That’s the purpose of customer loyalty emails. They are generally sent to the most active customers and/or those who have done business with you most recently. These special offers encourage your customers to continue doing business with you.
- Retaining customers. The aim of these type of emails is to encourage customers to continue purchasing from you. It’s different that a customer loyalty email in that it features a certain kind of product or service that will appeal to specific people, based on their prior purchases. It’s appropriate to send this type of email to anyone who has purchased something from your site or business.
- Winning back customers. While this is the type with the lowest return, it should still be a part of your overall email marketing program, albeit a smaller part than the other areas. The purpose is to get customers to return to your business for their purchases, so you’ll need to give them a good reason. Offer coupons, a percentage off, a free gift, or some other attractive incentive that will encourage them to return. The target of these emails would be anyone who has done business with you in the past and has “dropped off,” the exception being anyone who has unsubscribed, as that is unlawful. See the CAN-SPAM Act for more information.
Ideas to make your email campaign successful
It’s time to talk about some of the components that can make email marketing a great benefit and source of revenue for your small business.
- Add a little motivation to increase open rates. Use your subject line to introduce an incentive and you can increase open rates by 50%. Letting potential clients see something attractive upfront can encourage them to open the email and see what’s inside.
- Know where the logo goes. Your logo has the best chance of being noticed right away if it is placed in the upper left-hand corner of the email. Studies have shown that corner is the place the eye naturally goes to!
- Make the subject line pop. A great subject line should be the right length, between thirty and fifty characters. It should give the reader an idea of what the email is about, but do so in a way that compels them to open it up and find out!
- Give the CTA a front-row seat. The most important idea you want your reader to take away from the email should be above the fold, along with the Call to Action. A 2014 Google study showed that 73% of information above the fold was viewed, as compared to 44% that was below the fold. It’s also a good idea to repeat the CTA at least three times throughout the body of the email.
- Don’t underestimate the power of a first impression. Missouri University of Science and Technology did an eye-tracking study that showed users form a first impression after less than two-tenths of a second when viewing a website.
Email marketing success Q & A
If you have a question, chances are someone else is wondering the same thing! Let’s take a look at some of the most asked questions small business owners ask about their email campaigns.
Question: What email open rate is reasonable to shoot for?
- Fifteen to twenty-five percent is the standard open rate. Anything over thirty and you’re doing great! It’s worth noting that many businesses do fall below the twenty percent mark and are still doing well due to the fact that many variables come into play. To keep some perspective, open rate is one factor among many that determine success.
Question: What statistics should receive the most attention?
- You’ll want to keep an eye on a few different metrics. Keep track of the number of people who unsubscribe, how many times recipients marked your emails as spam or junk mail, how many of your emails actually made it to inboxes as opposed to junk folders, and bounce rates or the number of times emails were rejected by servers.
Question: What makes an email stand out?
- If your customers recognize your brand they’re more likely to open the email. Make sure to put your company’s name in the subject line.
Question: Does the length of the email make a difference?
- While it is generally assumed that a shorter email is more likely to be read, don’t forget to make the message long enough that you can include valuable links. Find the happy medium between giving your readers enough information and not getting too wordy.
Question: What is an acceptable unsubscribe rate?
- The succinct answer is that your unsubscribe rate should be under one percent. This can be achieved by making sure your correspondence is relevant, making sure your list is made up of people who have opted-in, and finding the right balance of how frequently to send out emails.
Getting the most out of your email marketing campaign isn’t out of reach if you follow some of the guidelines we’ve laid out for you!