Most entrepreneurs face a similar set of challenges when starting out: it’s often difficult to know how to divvy up your time and resources to achieve the greatest ROI and accelerate your sales. If you are wary of wasting precious time and resources, yet understand the importance of generating lucrative marketing strategies, email marketing is for you.
Email marketing is a tried and true marketing strategy that works for new startups and established businesses, alike. Whether your aim is to increase sales or generate more traffic to your website, email marketing can help you do it.
1. Expand Your Email List
Step one for any email marketing campaign is invariably finding potential customers to market to. These will be the people you target to sign up for your email list aka “subscribers”. The more subscribers you obtain, the wider your audience base, the greater chance of generating traffic. The more traffic on your site, the greater your chance of sales. So, by the transitive property, the more subscribers to your email marketing list, the greater your chance of sales. There are three major steps when building an email marketing list:
Opting-in should be super easy
People have enough difficulties in their daily lives, so opting in to your email marketing campaign shouldn’t be a drain on their willpower. Offer a brightly colored, prominently-displayed button to opt in to your email marketing list. Have a popup appear with fields to take customer information as they scroll down the home page. When you take information at checkout, ask if they would like to create an account with this information. Offer a pre-checked box to opt in to your email marketing list at that point, as well. This information form should be basic – name, email address, and maybe birthday (for a coupon). Any longer is asking for too much investment, and people will avoid the hassle.
Be Honest & Transparent
Your company is only as strong as your brand recognition and goodwill. Don’t destroy the positive image your customers have of you by making them feel tricked into subscribing. Never sell the information they provide you with to data companies without their consent. Doing so is an unethical invasion of privacy outside of best practices for email marketing. Clearly communicate why it is in your customers’ best interests to sign up for your email newsletters. What benefits will be made available to them in exchange for trusting your with their information?
Divide and Conquer Subscribers
As you grow your email marketing subscription list, you will find ways to segment your subscribers using demographics, purchase history, desired frequency of email marketing communication, etc. This information will allow you to divide your subscription list into groups and create several marketing email types to best serve each segment’s wants and needs – without them ever having to explicitly tell you. This is the kind of convenience that leaves a lasting, positive impression in customers’ minds. In turn, the positive impressions will keep them coming back to your website time and time again.
2. Draft & Craft Your Marketing Emails
Your email marketing campaign must be more than a spammy splashing of product photos. This should go without saying, but you would be surprised how often this is the case. There is no way to lose a subscriber to the dreaded “unsubscribe” button than daily emails that provide no value.
In addition to providing value to each segment of customer, your emails should always be meticulously proofread. Email marketing is an extension of your brand, and sloppiness in the form of misspelled words and improper English reflects poorly on it.
Keep the following points in mind when crafting and drafting your email marketing messages:
Welcome your subscribers with a subscription confirmation email. In keeping with best practices, it is important to notify your customers that they have been added to your email list. Make sure they consent to receive information from you. This email will also be a touch point that keeps you top-of-mind as they go about their day.
Your emails should reflect your unique brand. Your email marketing campaign is likely only one of many your customer subscribes to. That being said, your messages must also be compelling. Picture your customers scrolling through their inbox while in a checkout line at the grocery store. You have a matter of seconds to make an impression before another email or miscellaneous distraction catches their attention. Use eye-catching photos and concise, colorful language to convey the value offered in each email marketing blast.
Test and optimize accordingly. After creating your email, send a test version to yourself and a few colleagues. Open it on every version your customers might – desktop, laptop, mobile, and tablet. Is the formatting compliant with responsive web design? Is your call to action clearly stated – and visible – on each device?
3. Ensure You’re Not Breaking Laws
Before sending any email marketing blast to the masses, it is paramount for you to review email marketing laws and ensure you’re not violating any – even on accident. Check out the Can-Spam Act for a continuously-updated list. It is worth repeating that all subscribers on your email marketing list must have previously opted in in order for you to legally message them.
Here are a few basic tenets to keep in mind:
- Any claims you make in your emails must be true.
- Any deals or discounts you offer must be honored.
- You must offer subscribers a clear way to “opt out” or “unsubscribe”. Having a user unsubscribe is much preferred to being reported as spam.
4. Measure Your Success
The power of email marketing comes not in the form of emails themselves, but in the response you receive from them. Data collection tools like HubSpot, MailChimp, and Streak are some favorites of email marketers. These tools can help you see whether when and where customers opened your email. They can also help you manage communication with a large number of sales prospects by funneling communication and reminding you when it is time to reach back out to an interested party.
In addition to data collected from customers’ behaviors, it is wise to offer people an email address to respond to with queries or feedback. Pay attention to the data, but be patient and give your email marketing campaign some time to deliver results. Each data point on its own doesn’t require a reaction, much less an overhaul of your campaign. In aggregate, however, pay close attention to the following.
- How many people open your email?
- What demographic or customer segment responds – either with an email or by clicking through to the site?
- How many people respond – either in email form or by clicking through to the site?
- What recurring questions and feedback do subscribers ask and offer, respectively?
Email marketing campaigns are well-worth investing time, energy, and resources. These campaigns are beneficial for small businesses and Fortune 100 companies, alike. If you’re just beginning to explore email marketing, put these four email marketing tips to use. Then, let us know how they worked for you, and what you did next to build upon the foundation they provided!
Contact KitelyTech today to discuss the details of how we can add value to you and your online business.