“Whatever you do, do not buy an email list”, everyone said. “Send out emails often; you don’t want them to forget you”, they reiterated. So you played by the ‘rules’, but after another month of pouring out your heart to your audience, your insights are still heartbreaking; no one seems to be impressed with your well-crafted marketing emails.
As a brand or product marketer with an incredible offering, we imagine you’ve put in the work by building your email subscribers list over time and that you have a solution to the unique problems of your target audience. But if you can tell that your emails are still underperforming, that’s a sign that there’s some improvement to be done; we’re here to help!
Email marketing as a digital media strategy suited for brands and business owners is one that we strongly believe should never be taken for granted, not if you’re intentional about doing Direct Marketing right. Email marketing isn’t the only form of digital marketing you can adopt; there are Social Media Marketing, Influencer Marketing, Display Advertising, Affiliate Marketing, Search Engine Marketing, and more. However, if there’s one reason email marketing is a preferred medium, it’s because it allows brands and business owners to reach a vast (and unlimited) number of their target audience simultaneously, with the same message, and for a little cost.
What makes email marketing such an effective strategy? Firstly, you’ll have full control as your subscriber list is yours, which means your emails can be personalized in multiple ways, and you can determine your user demographic. Secondly, it’s affordable compared to other digital marketing strategies, making it a great avenue for building a solid relationship with potential customers. In addition, there is little to no competition with other brands in your niche (or the algorithm) with email marketing; you can drive traffic directly to your website, and it is one of the digital marketing strategies from which you can enjoy some of the highest ROI.
Email marketing involves using customized mass emails to get your clients/potential customers/email subscribers to take a measurable action, which could be sales or purchases, lead generation, engagement/conversations. Especially for small businesses, email marketing can be worth your time and investment. Here are six concrete tips for implementing if you’re looking to boost your email marketing performance:
Tell a great story: You’re writing for humans; make sure it sounds like it. Whether you’re sharing a customer satisfaction review or success story, an interview feature with a returning customer, a little behind-the-scenes or showing just how great your product or service performs, humanizing your brand with real-life events in story form can awaken interest, keeping your readers fully invested and engaged in your emails. More than writing valuable content that people can relate to, using a narrative to connect your brand to your email subscribers is a great strategy for leaving a convincing and memorable effect. This strategy can also motivate your readers to take a particular action, foster a deeper connection and encourage conversations from their end. To infuse storytelling in your email marketing, adopt a copywriting formula; this could be writing formula AIDA — Attention-Interest-Desire-Action, PAD — Problem-Agitate-Solution, or the 4Ps — Picture, Promise, Prove, Push; any formula you’re most familiar with. The idea is to be sure to pull in and sustain attention long enough to sell a problem or a promise and then push a solution that proves it.
Use a simple but compelling subject line: The best subject lines are usually brief but powerful; you want to leave a great first impression — as this is the first thing your subscriber sees when you send a mail — and catch their attention by saying just enough. Start by deciding on the central theme of your email. What are you hoping to achieve with the email crafted? Be sure to put your best offering out there; if there’s a limited-time discount, a new product, a cool feature or an exciting addition to your service, be sure to hint at it/show it in your subject line. While it’s a good idea to avoid making false promises, as tempting as that might be, you can play with cliffhangers, use teaser statements or infuse some suspense occasionally to get even better results (higher click-through rates, for example!). As best as you can, avoid spammy words, and if you’re looking to generate some buzz (responses to your email), go ahead and ask an open-ended question or make an interesting announcement in your subject line!
Use advanced email segmentation: According to marketing reports, email segmentation is one powerful marketing strategy that can increase your email open rates by over 200%. Segmenting your email subscribers into groups and tailoring your messages to fit these different segments can be very beneficial for your brand and your subscribers too. To do this, you’d need to understand your target audience, their pain points and why they’ve subscribed to your mailing list in the first place. You can personalize your emails to suit these segmented needs more effectively. You can divide your email subscribers based on their geographical location, purchasing history, gender, interest(s), age, industry or web behaviour, and then customize your emails accordingly so that it’s relevant.
Split-test your campaigns to see which performs better: One effective method of improving opening or click rates and seeing what email works best for your subscribers is by testing; this is known as A/B testing – split testing marketing tactic works for emails. It is done by setting up two variations of an email campaign (they may differ based on design, wording, and layout) and putting together two small groups drawn from your email subscribers list. Afterwards, send one email variation to the first testing group and the other variation to the second testing group. Whichever email performs best is the “winning variation” and is then sent to the rest of your email subscribers. Asides from providing general insight on what email performs best, this test can also show the best time to send emails, the subject line that works better, what design/layout performs better, what CTAs convert etc.
Use CTAs to drive actions: Want to get your subscribers to do more than just read through and close your emails? Enhance your Call-To-Action game and see an instant improvement in your email marketing results! Consider using a contrasting colour for your CTA button to stand out from the rest of your email design, ensure your click-through links are as legible as possible and keep your text brief and punchy. Stick to using the first-person narrative for CTAs (“sign me up”, “reserve my seat”, “send me this freebie”, etc.) and create a general sense of urgency with your offer and tone.
Optimize for mobile: Chances are that the majority of your email subscribers read their emails on a mobile device – statistics say about 42%. Mobile-friendly emails are also said to be the second most widely-used tactic by marketers to increase their email marketing performance. It’s important to optimize your emails for mobile viewing. Do this by keeping your subject lines concise so that it fits a mobile screen – about 40 characters if possible, consider the ease of navigating through your email’s body (the use of email templates with single-column is advised), and break your sentences into paragraphs that are adequately spaced out. When using multimedia (GIFs, Images etc.), ensure that they’re compressed and optimized for mobile.
There’s no doubt about it; as a marketing and communications tool, billions of emails are sent out daily worldwide, and that’s because of its efficiency. However, it’s not enough to reach a large number of people through a medium they visit every day — their mail inbox — what happens after your email lands matter too. Not many businesses and brands are truly reaping the rewards that can come from email marketing, whether it’s customer acquisition, retention or engagement. Ready to change that for yourself and your brand?
Be sure that you’ve set up an effective email marketing strategy that you’re implementing in line with your marketing goals, and watch the results roll in!