The world of digital marketing has expanded beyond just digital ads and emails to include social media and instant messaging bots, etc. and while the technology continues to expand to newer and smarter methods of online communication, studies show the value of email marketing. A staggering 269 billion emails are sent every day, and there are over 3.7 billion email users around the world making emails and email marketing an effective way to build an audience.
However – you need to be careful. With so many emails sent in a day, it is a fine line between a well-executed campaign and spam. If used correctly, e-marketing can be a relationship-building tool and result in new business leads and profits for your business.
E-mail is one of the few marketing channels that we can use to build an authentic connection with our audience – and here’s how you can start:
Know Your Audience
Who is your target recipient? Know everything you can about the target of your email, from their occupation and goals to their preferred device to view emails on. If you’re sending an email to a foreman on a construction site, it’s probably best to keep the HTML as to the point and mobile-friendly as possible. An email to an executive assistant, however, could include more information and images as they are likely opening on a desktop and need as much information as possible before passing on a recommendation. You should also keep in mind their ages and the types of emails they are already receiving, because a millennial who already sees 500 emails a day about the latest trends will respond differently than a Gen-X. Know who you are sending to, and work that into the materials to increase your chances of a high CTR.
What’s the Goal?
An email without a goal is about as useful as a fishing line without bait. What do you need this campaign to achieve – is it about lead generation; raising awareness for a new product or service; survey answers; so-on and so-forth? Work that into your HTML with a call-to-action (CTA) enticing your audience to continue listening to your message and take the next step towards meeting your goals. Beyond the goal of the CTA, set a goal for your analytics. Look at industry averages for Click-through-rates and open-rates to set a key performance indicator (KPI) for your email; if you send to 100,000 people and only 50 open it but 100% of those 50 people clicked through to your CTA – will you consider that a successful email?
Schedule & Monitor
You don’t want to fatigue your audience with too many emails, or not send enough that they get lost in their inbox, so think about your campaign strategy and create a schedule that will work for your goals. Decide how often you plan to contact your list and monitor the results of each email to determine if you are sending at the right frequency. If you’re sending too often, you might see your open-rate drop off and you can adjust your sending schedule accordingly. Likewise, analytics will tell you how many of your emails are bouncing or ending up in spam unopened.
Not only should you schedule your campaign’s frequency, but the time of day for those emails to be sent. Try to schedule them at off-times, so they do not get lost in the noon influx of spam mail or other popular times. Studies show, that Tuesday at 11a.m. EST is the best time of day to send marketing campaign emails.
First Impressions Matter
A subject line is your first chance at being noticed by your target audience, so use it wisely. For the most part, when receiving an email from a new domain name the recipient will not open it unless the subject lines give a clear indication of what they can gain by doing so. This is where the subject line can make or break an email marketing campaign. The majority of subject lines are 41-50 characters long, but something that is between 61-70 characters long tends to have the best average read rate. However, the device the recipient uses should also be taken into account when writing a subject line as mobile device inboxes show fewer characters. Capturing the reader’s attention can be difficult; consider sending test emails to see how subject lines render, or A/B testing with the length of the subject line.
If you’re going to be sending multiple emails as part of a campaign, try using a different subject line for each email. This will avoid any confusion that the recipient has already seen this email and could be used to further entice them. Something that plays with the idea that ‘you liked our last offer, this one’s even better’. Consider using personalization right in the subject line; people love the sound of their own names and it creates a familiar, friendly tone right from the get-go.
While there are many, many more things that go into the creation and execution of a successful e-marketing campaign, these four steps can help you get started. Learn from analytics, use trial and error or A/B testing, and make sure not to spam your audience and you’re well on the way to building your business through email!