Email Marketing Strategy for Beginners
Email marketing may seem old school, but it is still a great way to reach 4 billion people. Add to it a certain level of customization, personalization based on where the consumer is in the customer journey and you have a sure shot way of getting across your message.
Pre-requisites for Email Marketing
So how do you get started with email marketing? What do you really need? In the simplest form, an email marketing campaign has three components -
An Email List
An email list is a comprehensive database or even simply a prospective list of customers who have expressed interest in receiving marketing communications from your brand. One of the easiest email marketing best practices to acquire a database of customers is to get your website visitors to subscribe to your emails.
Email Service Provider
An email service provider is like an assistant who helps you maintain your email list as well as automate your email marketing campaign. It also helps improve personalization based on preset parameters to ensure better engagement and conversions.
Marketing channels work together to help improve the customer experience with the objective of acquiring and retaining new customers. As such, your email marketing campaign too has to have a clearly defined goal to be aligned with your overall marketing. Your email marketing strategy may revolve around driving sales or assisting with one of the below parameters -
- Improving brand awareness
- Boosting brand consideration
- Generating and nurturing leads
- Keeping customers engaged
- Creating a feedback loop
- Increase brand loyalty or boosting customer lifetime value
These three prerequisites work together to create effective email marketing strategies. If you are worried about how this compares to other channels check out the metrics below.
Email Marketing Tips
Now that you know the basics of email marketing, let's focus on how to craft a compelling email marketing campaign that delivers results.
When they said that first impressions are last impressions they weren’t kidding. Sending an introductory email not only helps manage customer expectations but also prepares them for what is to come. While the introductory email should tentatively be concise, it also has to manage a helpful level of detail that educates customers. Take for example a Spotify subscription confirmation email.
The Subject Line
Did you know that the average email open rate for all industries is about 21%?
Open rates are one of the better ways to assess whether your email strategy is working. Hence cracking a great email strategy is also dependent on creating a subject line that entices customers to open the email.
A CTA or call to action is a button or link on the email prompting readers to complete an action. It could be as simple as rerouting them to your new website, as complex as sharing a last minute promotion to close a deal and finalize the purchase or even something as simple as sharing a customer review to improve product consideration. What makes the CTA super important is that it pushes customers through the sales funnel by serving as the transitional phases of the buyer's journey.
6 Types of CTAs
While CTAs can be of many types here are a few of them and how you can use them -
This is the sort where you ask the customer to get in touch to discuss a deal or schedule a meeting to discuss customization
Want to know what features customers like or what features they want more of? The form submissions allow you that
This helps redirect customers to pages that help improve brand consideration by nurturing leads with more information
Product or Service Discovery
Have you already sold a great product and are trying to get customers to buy into the extended warranty to not only improve customer lifetime value but also product perceived value? Use a service discovery CTA.
Not all your earlier customers are going to be following you on social media and tracking the deals and coupons you are sharing. However, sharing an event promotion with your complete subscriber base can ensure max improvement of your top line.
Some products and services take time to convert. Take for example a refrigerator. It is a home appliance that requires thorough consideration. A well timed email with a focus on calling out customer benefits can thoroughly help improve conversions.
There can be other objective related CTAs such as sharing a discount coupon on an abandoned cart to close the sale or social sharing of shorts but these are the central CTAs used on emails.
No matter the marketing platform, content is king. While a subject line can help improve email open rates and a timely discount coupon can sweeten the deal, no sale happens without compelling content. So engage with your customers, help them understand how you add value to their lives and close with CTAs.
Would you send an old customer and a prospective customer the same email? Of course not; which is where customer segmentation comes into play. The first step to creating great content copy is knowing your audience and dividing them into lists. Use the data you have on your subscribers to create separate email lists and cater to their different needs. While an old customer may need more information on servicing and updates, a prospective customer would be more interested in what makes you a better fit than your competitors.
Did you know that personalized emails deliver 6x higher conversion rates? Use demographic, geographic or any other data you have on your subscribers to create hyper-targeted campaigns.
Are your emails being opened? How much time is being spent reading emails? What percentage of email CTAs get clicked? These are KPIs which will tell you exactly how well your email marketing campaign is doing. Test and track to find out what works best for you and then automate for scale. Some important metrics that you should track are - open rate, clickthrough rate, conversion rate, bounce rate, number of unsubscribes, spam complaints, forwards and resharing.