18 Tips to Maximize Your Email Campaign
Email marketing is used by numerous companies to boost revenue, generate leads, build a customer base, advertise new products, and keep people informed on the company’s latest events.
Effectively used, email campaigns can generate a higher ROI than their initial investment, and can be a creative way of building relationships with people who are enthusiastic about your brand. When email campaigns are done correctly, many of your readers will forward them on, helping to market your brand.
The most effective email campaigns are personalized to consumer interests and conducted in a timely fashion. After search, email remains the 2nd most effective e-commerce marketing tactic accounting for 7% of all e-commerce transactions. There exist a number of email marketing softwares, such as MailChimp, Constant Contact, Robly, etc. Choosing the right email marketing software will be dependent on the objectives and budget of your business.
Once you have set up your own email marketing campaign you can conduct analytics software testing to decide which campaigns are the most effective at generating conversions, and which consumers your business should be targeting. While the benefits of email marketing exist for any company, they allow small businesses to build relationships and create brand awareness with consumers through direct contact, thus building loyalty and repeat business.
Now that we’ve described the benefits of email marketing, our trained team of experts will share with you the best tips in managing your audience, delivering content, and creating brand awareness, and how to manage and track your campaign.
Managing Your Audience
- Click to Subscribe: Utilize your social media account and native website to invite users to subscribe to your email campaign. Once prompted to fill out a sign-up field, make sure you collect the necessary information needed to personalize your business’s email campaign. Sign-up fields should only contain necessary contact information, present your company’s privacy policies as well as terms and conditions of use. Your sign-up field could also ask for birth date information to coordinate special birthday promotions. Always allow subscribers the option to unsubscribe at any point as leaving this option void will hurt your brand’s credibility.
- Segment Contacts: Be sure to organize your contact fields into different groups based on their relationship to your business. For customers who have participated in special promotions or bought in-store items, it’s ideal to target these contacts more aggressively than with someone who has not made a purchase as of yet. Segmenting contacts also allows for A/B market testing and allows you to personalize your email content more efficiently.
- Consider Customer Loyalty: Targeting customers who are more loyal to your brand, such as sharing your content frequently, making e-commerce purchases, or writing reviews will be your biggest source of revenue or conversions. It’s also reasonable to consider targeting dormant contacts with enticing content that will allow them to reinvest in your business. It’s ideal to send dormant contacts annual or semi-annual emails as they will most likely not even open your weekly email promotions.
- Managing Email Frequency: Depending on your business you will have to set up an efficient email schedule of how often you send emails to your contacts. For retail businesses this may be weekly or twice a week depending on inventory, promotions, and size. For smaller businesses, it’s ideal to send out an ezine, e-newsletter, or promotional email monthly to keep in constant contact with your consumer base. The key to an optimized email marketing campaign is managing relationships and the frequency in which you communicate news, promotions, special events, etc., with your contacts. This will determine your customer engagement with your business and the revenue stream you receive from your email marketing campaign.
Building Your Brand
- Optimizing Email Templates: Depending on the email marketing software your business chooses, you will be allowed to customize the email templates you send to your contact list. It’s important to optimize your emails to incorporate your business’s logo, name, colors, and slogans within the email in a way that doesn’t distract from the content itself. This will reinforce brand authority and gain brand visibility for any new subscribers.
- Write a Review: Follow up emails to consumers who conducted an in-store or e-commerce purchase and inviting them to write a review will reinforce your brand’s commitment to quality. Case-studies have shown that reviews result in higher conversions as most prospective buyers consult a review before making a purchase. 88% of online shoppers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Incorporating reviews and testimonial options into your email campaign will allow you to display these on your landing pages and will most likely appear in search results thus boosting your SEM campaign.
- Setting up an Email Calendar: While this is an effective tool for managing your contacts, it’s important to capitalize on retail and national holiday events to provide special promotions and deals for your customers. Not only will this boost conversions, but it will also allow you to compete with other businesses that will most likely undertake their own special promotions based on the holiday seasons and create brand awareness in the process. Much too often do businesses send out promotional emails for holidays too late in the year; setting up an email calendar allows you to plan for seasonal events and build a campaign or product push based on the products or services you wish to market during those times.
- Optimizing Conversion Emails: Every time you send an email to somebody based on a transaction or conversion, it’s important to create a sense of reward. Depending on your industry niche, congratulating or stressing the importance of a conversion within a follow up email will reinforce your brand’s commitment to its consumer base. Also invite subscribers to follow you on social media, include a clickable link to your website, suggest related items for more conversion opportunities, and invite them to rate or review your business or the product/service they’ve purchased.
- Insert Clickable Links into your Emails: It’s necessary that your emails come with clickable links to your native website or social media accounts for more conversion opportunities. This will also give customers a more in-depth look into your business brand and give them access to information about your brand they would have not otherwise known about.
- Optimizing Subject Lines: Like any written material, the headline or, in this case subject line, will be the hook that draws your contacts into opening your email in the first place. Subject lines must be enticing, but honest; all too often users do not open up emails because they think it’s spam. Avoid the word “free” and don’t bore people with subject lines that read like “LSEO November Newsletter.” Instead write subject lines such as, “LSEO Awarded Top 10 USA Management Company and More” or something relative to your industry niche and topical discussion. Subject lines should reflect what is actually contained within the email and should encourage users to forward emails within the subject lines.
- Personalize Content: Be sure to include a dear, (contact name) right at the start of the email so the content seems like it is reflective of the interest and hobbies of the recipient his/herself. Depending on how well you manage your contacts, it most likely will in the first place. Engage your consumer base based on their buying interests and relationship to the brand itself and target promotional content and behind-the-scene news/information based on this data. It’s also important to adjust the length of your emails based on the frequency in which you email specific contacts. If you email certain contacts daily or weekly, keep content short and thin as they will not enjoy opening a long scrolling email daily and will become fed up with your brand. If emails are sent much longer apart you can create longer form content that will keep consumers as up-to-date as possible on your business. Most importantly, create content that looks like it’s written by a real person and not sent through some automated process. This fosters brand integrity and encourages users to market your brand for you.
- Reward Consumers: Within e-commerce websites there exists an 80/20 principle of your revenue base. This means that about 20% of your consumer base will make up the majority of your revenue base. Segmenting consumers based on loyalty and other factors will allow you to market products and services to your most loyal consumer base more aggressively thus resulting in the majority of your conversions. Rewarding loyal consumers with free credit as well as conducting contests and giveaways is an effective means of creating content that will drive your most loyal contacts into engaging with your business and creating more conversions.
- Create Scannable and Organized Content: Insert subheadings and topic lines that divide blocks of content into easily scannable material. For the most part, your consumers don’t have the time to fully digest every email they receive and therefore it’s important to organize content with headings so that users can quickly gauge what material they want to consume. If your content contains a long story, provide a clickable link at the end that users can return to at any point.
- Birthday Promotions: This is probably one of the oldest marketing tactics in the book, but it’s incredibly effective for presenting your brand’s commitment to personalized service. Birthday emails with special content that change yearly are the perfect means to tailor content directly to users who choose to fill in their birthdate for sign-up.
Delivering the Right Format
- Device Optimization: Make sure the email marketing software you choose is equipped to render emails specifically for mobile devices. According to one study, 63% of Americans would close or not open an email that wasn’t optimized for mobile. Make sure the emails you send are mobile friendly and incorporate the right script to run on mobile devices.
- Consider Your Media: Emails that contain HTML and rich media scripts that run audio and video will generate higher engagement. The images and media you use should be relevant to your content, but it’s also ideal to include a text only version for users. Also include a table of contents and utilize white space to make media stand out and content more scannable.
- Software Analytics: Many of the paid software listed above provide free analytics tools which should be utilized for an email marketing campaign just the same as an SEO campaign. The analytics on most software can provide you with open rates and the amount of conversions generated from specific emails. Utilize this data to conduct A/B email testing. A/B software testing can be used to determine the efficiency of different subject lines as well as the efficacy of different content marketing campaigns. Use this data to find out which products sell and adjust your SEO campaign accordingly.
- Cart Abandonment Emails and Thank You Emails: Send an email to users who have abandoned a purchase to determine whether it was a technical issue or a product issue which forced a user to abandon a transaction. Also send a thank you email to users who have completed a conversion to reward them for their business with your company. This will help keep track of conversions and fix any technical errors affecting your website.