Having a sound email marketing strategy that works for you is critical for the success of your email marketing business.
Email marketing strategy
The central strategic approach to an email marketing business involves engaging with buyers and potential buyers via emails to build and nurture your relationship with them and boost your sales. Relationship with buyers starts when they subscribe to one of your email lists. As a business you would then welcome them with an email. Nest step would be to take the relationship to next level by providing them something valuable for example a webinar or a discount etc. and make an initial sale. After that you need to continue to engage and re-engage with them via emails to sell again and again. This is just one strategy as an example.
Email marketing strategy depends on your niche, target audience and email marketing business goals. Once you start email marketing business, you need to have few strategies that fit your email marketing business. You need try and check which strategy works the best for you. If a strategy does not work, you can either give up that strategy and go for a new strategy or make necessary changes and try the strategy again. There is no point in continuing to use an email marketing strategy that does not work for you. You can use your experience, observation and creativity to come up with new and better strategies as you progress.
Some popular tactics have been proved to work well with email marketing. So when you design your email marketing strategy, you may consider these tactics. You can test if these work for you and then make changes to these email marketing tactics and strategies as you wish.
Email marketing tips and tactics
There are many tips, tricks and tactics that can help grow your email marketing business.
Know your audience
It is really important that you have a clear idea of who your ideal buyers are. The more knowledge you have about your audience, the better will be your targeting. You can use common sense to define your buyer avatar in the beginning in addition to social media insights to gain a good idea about your buyer profiles. Facebook, Google analytics etc. give you helpful insights about your buyers’ location, demographics, interests etc. With such detailed idea about your buyers and potential buyers, you can create more effective email campaigns.
It is a good idea to seek feedback from email subscribers periodically. You can gather subscriber feedback and preferences via a poll or a survey. Topics you need to cover can be on email quality, email frequency, email relevance etc. Once you have feedback from subscribers, you can consider making changes to your email strategy to suit subscribers’ expectations.
Clear opt in form and easy sign up
Your opt in form needs to be clear for the readers to understand and respond. The reader must be able to understand what information you are asking from him. The opt in form needs to be easy and quick to fill in. At the minimum you need to ask for first name and email address on the opt in form. If you ask for more information, your readers may be put off and skip the opt in form. Also, offering a freebie improves opt in rate in general.
Offer something special
Often customers make that decision to buy something the moment they feel special. By offering special deals in emails, you can trigger that sale from a customer who just opened your email. Special deals like a discount coupon or some freebies often boost sales in email marketing business. It is important not to come across as pushy in email marketing as pushing hard for a sale can turn off many people. Free content related to the subject of your business may be very helpful for your customers. So by providing them free content you can improve their trust in you.
Use interesting header and subject line
Researches have proved that most marketing emails go unopened. Most people make that decision whether to open an email or not in a fraction of a second. And how do they decide whether to open an email or not? People decide to open an email if the subject line draws their attention and they find the subject line appealing. Email subject line plays an important role in email open rate and email marketing success. So it is important that you use email subject lines that many people find appealing. It is important to keep the length of the subject line suitable for all types of screens. For example, if the subject line is too long, it may look awkward on a smart phone.
The first thing your potential buyers see about your email is the subject line. You can create a great first impression if you have a great subject line. So don’t rush through quickly writing subject lines and headers. You need to take your time to craft nice and impressive subject lines and headlines for your emails. Subject lines and headers of your emails are very valuable so you need to invest time and energy into them.
Subject line of your emails need to be clear and convey the right message to people. You can write simple and clear subject lines by being clever and straight. Email subject line should say exactly what readers can expect in the email. There is no point in being flashy and complicated. Many email inboxes have spam filters and they filter out emails with certain spammy words in the subject line. You need to avoid such spammy words in the header, subject as well as body of your emails. Research the internet to find tried and tested high converting subject lines and adapt them to your business.
In many countries, law requires that the header or subject line of an email cannot be false, misleading or deceptive.
Punchy preview text
Preview text is the next thing that can influence the decision of your customer whether to open and read your email or not. A preview text that is short, clear and punchy is great with many people. so until the moment that the customer makes a decision to open your email, email subject line and preview text play all the crucial role. Preview text and the beginning of your email make one of the first impressions on your readers. So they need to be designed in such a away that they make it clear what the email is about, right in the beginning. The appeal of preview text and the beginning of your email need to encourage the reader to read the email further. Preview text and beginning of the email can be punchy and appealing but pitching hard for a sale at the star of your email may put off many readers. So the beginning of your email needs to be gentle yet appealing.
Experts say addressing your email readers by name helps establish that connection right in the beginning of the email. So you need not be afraid to address your buyers by the first name. Such personal approach boosts email open rates and conversion rates. The best way to grab attention is to address your subscriber by first name in the very beginning of the email. It is also important to keep your email lists up to date so that you always address your subscribers correctly. It is very important to spell the subscribers’ names and titles accurately in emails.
Another way to show that you care for your subscribers’ opinions is to send emails as per their preferences. This means you need to segment your subscribers based on their expectations, behaviour and preferences and send them emails that are right for them. Such tailored emails help you target your potential buyers more accurately and increase your email conversion rates.
Email marketing is one part of your business. You may be having a website, social media profiles, hoardings and other assets too for your business. If you want your email marketing to be a success, you need to integrate your email marketing with other facets of your business. This means your email marketing must carry similar message to the people as other facets of your business. The timing of your emails needs to be in agreement with what’s happening in other areas of your business. The themes, imagery, etc also must make your brand recognisible as one entity whether someone looks at your emails, website or social media etc. They all should belong to one business.
Educate your potential buyers
Sometimes providing information about your products and services makes your email marketing more successful. This means you need to educate your customer as part of your email marketing strategy. One point to note here is that you need to educate your potential buyers as per their current levels of awareness. You may want to segment your customers into beginner, intermediate and expert levels in terms of awareness and then provide them with free education material to make them more aware of your business area.
Rich content or text or html | email design
Images and videos embedded in marketing emails have proved to improve click through rates of marketing emails. Some companies have an option where the customers can choose between plain text and rich text or html. This is a good way to present your marketing message in a format that your audience likes.
You need to be creative in designing your emails to make them very appealing and encouraging to read. The email layout , text and images need to be chosen with care. Many successful emails have some text and some image. Normally more text than images works better. Also, your email must be formatted well and must be good to read on any screen size. This means your email design needs to be responsive to the screen size. It is a good idea to offer an option to the readers to disable images in the emails if they wish so. Having meaningful alt tags and descriptions for images is important.
The body of your email plays a vital role in conversions. It is important that you write clean, concise and connecting content for your email body. Using short sentences and bullet pointers makes your email copy easy to scan and follow.
If your email has a side column, you need to use it wisely. The contents of your side column need to be aligned with rest of the email and its purpose. You can use the side column to strengthen the message you are trying to convey with the email.
It is important you choose your font for your email wisely. You need to choose a font that is easy to read. Crafty and stylish fonts may not be so easy to read. So go for simple and common font for your email body. If you use a rare font, it may not display correctly on some devices. So keep it simple and sweet.
Clarity and call to action
It is important that your email design scheme makes it obvious for the subscribers what the email is about. The purpose and context of your email must be clear right from the start of your email. You should also make sure your email readers can figure out easily what action they need to take. For this you need to use persuasive call to action (CTA) buttons or obvious links in your emails where you want the subscribers to click. A short and clear CTA will give best results. CTA or call to action normally appears few times in an email. It is a good practice to have a CTA at the beginning, one in the middle and one at the end of your email.
It is a good idea to keep your emails short and to the point. You do not want to frustrate your readers with long stories in emails. If you think longer emails make sense in your area of business, you need to make the emails scannable with high lights. The reader must be able to make sense of the purpose and context of your email with a quick scan.
It is important to direct the users to appropriate web page when they click on the call to action button. It cannot be to your home page always. Sometimes, depending on the context and content of the specific email carrying that call to action button, you may need to direct the readers to a product page or some other page.
It is important that one email focuses on one action from the subscriber. There is no point in offering few options to your readers. If you give too many options for the subscribers they may find it overwhelming to think and decide. Instead, you need to provide compelling reasons for the reader to take that single action to convert.
Also pre-filling forms will make the subscriber’s job easier as most of the form gets filled automatically. Having clear and short forms with minimum number of fields is also important to make the customer experience easier.
Any business that takes special care to build strong relationship with customers has a much higher chance of being successful. So with email marketing too, that extra effort to build strong relationship with customers is important. Some companies send emails to customers with great offers on their special days like birthdays etc. Some companies encourage subscribers to forward marketing emails to their friends and family for a favour. There can be many more creative ways you can build great relationship with your customers.
Send regular emails but do not annoy
To keep in touch with your buyers, you need to keep sending them regular emails. These emails need to be interesting and appealing to the buyers. At the same time you cannot send emails too frequently as too many emails can easily annoy your subscribers and they may never read your emails. Some subscribers can delete your emails without reading them or even worse, some can unsubscribe from your email lists too.
How frequently you send your emails may depend on your niche, audience profiles, nature of products or services and the type of email campaign etc. You need to run some experiments to figure out how frequently you need to send emails to your subscribers. You need to make sure you have a purpose with every email you send and that email serves that purpose and offers something helpful. Sending an email just like that for no specific reason, with no particular purpose may annoy your subscribers.
Send emails at right time
The timing of your emails may impact your email marketing business success. Send the emails on days when your subscribers are busy, your emails may remain in the inbox long time unread. Sometimes they may never be read. So it is important that you send your emails at times when your subscribers are more likely to read your emails and have some time to take action.
Researches have proved that Monday, Friday, Early morning and Late evening are not very good times for emails. This is because those days and times are when people are busy getting started or finished for the day or the week.
Instead if you send your emails Tuesday to Thiursday around mid morning, you will have higher chances of email conversions.
Scale your email marketing business
You may start your email marketing business small. But if you want to make big money, you need to scale your email marketing business. Scaling your business involves doing more of what works and less of wheat does not work.
To grow your email marketing business over time, you need to track the performance of your emails and test various combinations of subject lines, email designs, call to action, customer segments etc. So you need to collect analytics data from your email marketing system to identify which tactics are working and which are not working. You can apply more of tactics that are working and less of what is not working. If certain tactics, email layout etc. are not working, you sometimes need to totally discard them and spend more time and effort with those that are working.
Monitoring your sender reputation by means of sender score is a really good idea. Having good sender score means more of your emails will indeed reach your target audience.
It is also important that you keep your email lists up to date. You need to continue to segment your email lists and may even have to delete any emails that have been inactive over long time.