There are new technologies being developed every day that we can use to get our message to customers. From webinars to social media live streams, it’s easier than ever. But just because we have new digital channels, doesn’t mean you should forget about the tried and true, email marketing.
Hubspot states that email generates $42 for every $1 spent. That incredible return on investment means email is one of the most effective marketing channels available.
What is email marketing?
As long as you properly target email recipients and provide content that is relevant and valuable, email should be part of your marketing plan. People spend nearly nine hours a day consuming digital content. They are responding to texts, browsing social media, Googling, and checking their emails. Like we always say, you must meet them where they are – in their inbox!
Email marketing is any promotional message you send your audience by email. It’s more than just newsletters and discount offers. It’s used as a tool to generate sales or leads, but also as a way to build relationships.
Your email might be a thank-you for a donation or a purchase, a friendly reminder about an upcoming appointment or an expiring subscription, an invitation to an event, or a personalized birthday message. You are building a relationship through their inbox. You can’t send one email and consider it done. Your email marketing should be an ongoing conversation with your audience. You’ll send emails regularly to stay in touch, inform, educate, enlighten and even entertain your audience. Email marketing creates and strengthens connections with customers.
Why we are fans of email marketing
A lot of people consider email marketing a way to level the playing field. A small investment can make a big impact.
That’s not to say that email marketing is free. It doesn’t require postage or printing, but it does require manpower. Someone to create and design the content and an email marketing software or an email marketing service to deliver the messages. These services typically charge a fee based on the number of emails sent. Costs vary by company, but compared to other forms of advertising and marketing, email marketing is fairly inexpensive.
So, while your business might not have thousands to spend on a giant billboard on the busiest street in town, chances are, it has a fraction of that to spend on an email marketing campaign. Plus, you’re likely to get a greater bang for your buck than you would with traditional advertising anyway. With email marketing, you target and reach people who are interested in your business or who need your services rather than anyone and everyone driving down the street.
While traditional advertising is static, email marketing is dynamic. Recipients can interact with and respond to your email. For example, recipients can make comments, sign up for offers and share your message with others. Another perk is that you can easily—and relatively inexpensively—change your email campaign to make it more effective as you go. Can you imagine trying to change up a billboard every few months? Neither can we.
And speaking of effectiveness, consider this. Research shows that 60 percent of consumers say they’ve made a purchase as the result of a marketing email they received.
Sounds great! So where do I start?
There are a number of things you’ll need to do to get your email campaign underway. As email marketing has grown over the years, quite a few legal requirements have been enacted. Here is a simple guide you can follow.
Make sure the back-end is ready
Meet with your technology experts and make sure these three issues are taken care of before you launch your campaign. Be sure you have:
- A secure email service provider
- Set up sender authentication
- Compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act
Look at the year ahead, and decide what kinds of messages you would like to send and when each message should be sent. Use this plan as your roadmap. It will help you and your team set deadlines for content, design, and delivery of each message.
Ready to create and design your first email? You need a hook that will grab your audience’s attention. You can bring up a common issue they might be facing, use a shocking statistic, ask a question or play on their emotions. Don’t go to extremes, though. To prevent your emails from being perceived as spam, avoid words that are known to trigger spam filters. Outfunnel has uploaded a list of over 200 words and phrases to avoid. Be sure to read over this list before confirming your subject line.
Let a few well-chosen, active words grab your readers’ attention. For example, if your company sells beauty products and you are sending an email, your subject line could be; “Hottest new beauty products on the market” or “Did you know 65% of men don’t have a skincare routine?”
Develop responsive emails
In 2021 nearly 55% of global website traffic was generated from mobile devices, according to Statista. You need to create an email design that is optimized for desktop, mobile, and tablet viewing. Imagine missing out on a sale because the buyer opened your email on their phone only to discover text that is too small to read, blurry images, and a call to action button that isn’t clickable. To avoid such scenarios, preview your email for all devices before sending it. If you aren’t sure how to make your emails responsive, then hire a professional.
Clean up your email list
Your email list is like your closet. You have to clean it out and straighten it up—and not just once a year. If you don’t, you’ll get customer complaints and bounces. About one in six emails sent by marketers fail to reach inboxes: some just go missing, others land in spam/junk folders. Even a small increase in bounce rates or customer complaints can have a big impact on your reputation. Review your email list at least once a quarter and look for these issues, all of which will damage your reputation as a sender. Remove addresses when:
- The email hard bounces. This means the address is invalid.
- The email isn’t being opened. If a recipient hasn’t opened your email for six months or more, they aren’t interested.
- The recipient labels your message as spam.
Also, make it easy and quick for subscribers to unsubscribe. It is the polite, professional, and legal thing to do. A simple unsubscribe button at the bottom of your email is all you need.
Did it work?
An email marketing platform will be the engine behind your campaign. Not only does this platform send your messages, but it also follows their path and gives you valuable feedback about what your audience did when your message was received. Email marketing platforms tell you who and how many people opened a message, what links they clicked on, whether they labeled it as spam or unsubscribed, how many forwarded the email to someone else, and many other valuable details. Campaign Monitor and Hubspot are two platforms that we use here at Bluegrass.
Hopefully, this post has given you some valuable insight into email marketing. If you are interested in outsourcing your email marketing, let us know. We can create a plan for your next email campaign together!
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