By Michelle Hurley
If you aren’t using email in your marketing toolkit, you should be!
Even though it may feel like your inbox is at capacity with promotional emails, statistics show they are still a really effective marketing strategy.
According to a recent report by the Content Marketing Institute, a leader in marketing strategy training, 81% of business to business marketers consider email their most used form of content marketing!
Email is no longer a novel form of marketing so when diving into the world of email marketing, be sure to use best practices.
Consider Using an Email Manager
Sure, it is easy to send emails out yourself when your business is small but as you grow, managing your email distribution lists can become a challenge.
There are many platforms available for business owners. Some of the most popular are:
Each one offers different features and pricing plans based on how many emails you are sending. Some offer free plans with the hopes that you will need to upgrade as your audience grows.
Once you have your platform chosen, now you need an audience.
DATA, DATA, DATA
Consider how you will reach your customers and get their email address. If you are a business that collects emails at the point of purchase, be sure to regularly update your database. This can be as simple as providing an email for a digital receipt.
Once you have built a small audience, you can start sending out emails. The platforms mentioned above track important metrics for you, so you can see key statistics such as:
Open Rates: What percentage of recipients opened your email
Engagement: How many times did the customers click on a link inside of your email
Demographics: Who opened your email, where they are located geographically, and sometimes even a breakdown by age, gender, or other identifying characteristics
Bounce Rates: How many emails were not delivered, either because they were rejected by the recipient or the address is incorrect
Unsubscribe Rates: How many people chose to no longer receive emails from your company
You can use these metrics to notice patterns and inform what types of emails to send in the future, when to send them, and who to send them to.
Make it Worth Opening
Even if your customer doesn’t open your email, simply being in their inbox will remind them that you exist.
You definitely don’t want to form a negative association with your brand or become a nuisance, so only send content that matters to your customers.
Subject Lines Matter
The subject line of an email plus the short preview line are the only things your customers use when deciding to open your email or not. That’s a lot riding on just a few characters!
We could write a whole article just on this topic but some good tips here are:
Keep it short
Try a variety and see how your audience responds
One important tool you can use is called A/B testing. This is where you create 2 distinctly different subject lines for the same email.
The management platform sends both versions to a few contacts on your list and sees which performs better. Once it is determined which is most successful, the system sends the remainder using that subject line.
Promotions vs. Content
When you think of business emails, you might immediately think of sales or promotional emails. These are important and can drive sales, however, other types of emails can be used as well.
You can create a recurring newsletter with valuable content that your customers look forward to receiving. In this way, you are providing the information that is of value to them so they are eager to open it, but also reminds them of your presence.
For instance, if you are a plumber, you may create a weekly or bi-weekly newsletter that offers DIY plumbing tips like how to change an O-ring.
It may seem counterintuitive to give away ‘free’ knowledge, but all of this information is already available on YouTube. Your customers will still turn to a professional to do the job correctly in most cases.
By creating valuable content, you also avoid ‘salesy’ sounding emails which tend to turn people off.
Where Do I Start?
Creating an email marketing strategy can seem daunting, especially if you have never used any of the platforms before. Colwell Creative Content can help identify your marketing goals and design an email campaign strategy to help you achieve them.
The business of email marketing can become overwhelming but when implemented consistently, it is a low-cost, effective way to reach customers.
Ready to get started? Contact us!