Every business has goals to meet, and yours is no different. The goal could be generating more leads, building a stronger brand, getting more sales or all of the above. Digital marketing can help you meet your business goals, as long as you choose the right channels. Today, we’re specifically going to focus on giving you techniques you can use so you have the best email marketing campaign possible. You may be thinking, why email?
The thing is, while you may have the clarity on your business goals, you may not be clear on what digital marketing channels to use to reach your objectives. Which is important in order to consistently grow your business and achieve a positive return on investment
However, regardless of what stage your business is in, there is one channel that is proven to work if you focus on it. Yes, we’re talking about email marketing.
Let’s face it, email isn’t a new phenomenon. It has been around for a long time, and still continues to be a popular mode of communication. It was there when MySpace lost its popularity, and it is here even after Facebook became the biggest social network. In short, it is here to stay.
This just goes on to show that email holds it position and its usage is increasing rapidly. It is one of the most budget-friendly ways to send out a message to your customers and get a high return on investment.
Here are a few more eye-opening stats to show you why your business needs to take email seriously:
- As of 2017, there were 3.7 billion email users across the globe. And this figure is predicted to reach a whopping 4.1 billion email users by the year 2021.
- According to Marketing Week, 73% of marketers see email as the top digital marketing channel to achieve a high ROI.
- Ascend2 reports that 51% of marketers use email list segmentation and see is as one of the most useful personalization tactics.
- Looking at how B2B executives keep themselves updated, it has been found that email is the third most influential way to consume and share information.
The #1 reason why you should focus on email marketing is it allows you to reach out and connect to your audience like no other method. While it is true that your target audience hangs out on popular social media sites like Facebook, you still need email to truly reach out to them and grab their attention.
Your Facebook or Twitter followers may miss your message, but your email subscribers have a higher chance of seeing it. If people grant you the permission to reach their email inbox, you’ve got the ticket the impress them, given that you have the right message.
It doesn’t matter what kind of business you run or how long you’ve been running it, our best email marketing techniques can and will work for you. However, in order to see real world results, it’s important that you focus on applying these best email marketing methods that will actually help you grow, rather than trying out anything and everything else.
If you are eager to make the most out of your email campaigns, then here are some of the best email marketing techniques that will help you get your emails opened, read and ultimately convert.
Technique #1: Optimize Email Messages for Mobile
More and more people are accessing their email through their mobile devices. Since the mobile revolution is in full swing, it’s important to formulate the best email marketing strategy for your business that lets you tap into mobile.
Optimizing your emails only for the desktop users may not be the best email marketing strategy. In fact, you may never have your emails read.
If your business is not adopting the “mobile-first” mentality, you are not only losing the opportunity to build a relationship with your subscribers, but also the opportunity to increase your conversions and sales.
In a lengthy study, Campaign Monitor found that emails opened on mobile devices increased by 30% over a period of 5 years, which has pushed them beyond webmail and desktop clients.
Today, over 55% of emails are opened on mobile devices. And on desktop? Only 19% opens. Also, according to a study done by Bluehornet, if you do not optimize your emails for mobile, a staggering 80% of users will delete them.
Here are a few things you can do to ensure your emails are ready to be read and liked on mobile devices:
- Increase open rates and click through rates of your email campaign by making it look the same in different environments with the help mobile-ready templates.
- Catch the attention of your email subscribers and stop them from deleting your emails with short, attractive subject lines.
- Write an informative and enticing preheader text, which is the short summary that comes after the subject line.
- Optimize your ‘From’ name by matching it with the expectations of your email subscribers.
- Take advantage of mobile-friendly landing pages so that your audience has a great experience after clicking through your emails.
Keep in mind that a large percentage of your email subscribers will see your emails on their mobile device. So the effort you put into optimizing your emails will help you run the best email marketing campaigns that get results.
Technique #2: Go Beyond Personalizing the ‘First Name’
People love to feel special, and one of the best email marketing techniques to make them feel so is personalization. If your emails are generic and impersonal, you may be losing customers as effective personalization helps you improve your open rates and click-through rates. In short, creating the right kind of personalized emails can prove to be a game changer for your business.
A common way to personalize emails is to use the customer’s first name in the subject line and email copy. However, today you have the opportunity to access much more data that can help you improve your personalization tactics and go beyond the ‘first name’. Which can improve your chances of making your email campaign profitable.
Here’s how you can gather more data about your subscribers so that you can personalize your emails better.
- Ask Appropriate Questions During Sign-Up
When people are filling out your sign-up form, they’re ready to give away vital details, as long as your offer is enticing. So leverage your sign-up forms to ask appropriate questions that can throw light on what your target audience is looking for.
The questions should be as simple and relevant as possible. The idea is to go deeper and understand the preferences of your audience so that you can tailor your content and offers according to them.
- Run Surveys and Get More Information
When someone subscribes to your email list, they have already shown interest in your content. Once they have joined your list, it’s time to give them an opportunity to engage with you. Getting your subscribers to respond to your emails and divulge more information about them is something that you should always be aiming for.
Once someone signs up and opts-in to your offer, you can send them a survey along with a thank you note. However, simply asking them won’t work. You need to motivate them into taking action. Depending on your business, you can offer them a certain incentive that is appealing to them. Make sure it is relevant and valuable.
- Develop Customer Personas
Creating the best email marketing campaigns is simple when you have enough data on hand as it helps you create the most personalized experiences. However, having mere data on hand is not enough. Collecting the right data and then using it effectively is what makes it worthwhile.
By creating customer personas, you know exactly who your customers are and what kind of emails would be appealing to them. It lets you send out information that is relevant and valuable at the same time. Which in turn improves your click through rate and your bottom line.
- Segment Your Email List
Sending out the same email to all your email subscribers is the opposite of personalization. Taking a generic approach to your email marketing campaign will not get you the kind of results you are looking for. The solution? Email list segmentation.
If you want to create the best email marketing campaigns that help you get a return on your investment, you need to segment your email subscribers according to various data points. For example, if you are running a local business and want to send out a special offer to your local customers, you may want to segregate them from the rest of the list. The more segmentation areas you focus on, the better it is. You can take the time to do this on your own or check out our email marketing services where we offer email segmentation as a part of our packages.
- Take Time Zones Into Consideration
Have you ever tried scheduling your emails based on your subscribers’ time zones? When you have people signing up on your opt-in page, your email software should know their geographical location. Based on this information, you can send out special, time-sensitive offers to your list so that your emails reach subscribers on time. Any offer that has a deadline should be sent based on your subscribers’ time zone so that they can open it before the offer expires.
Technique #3: Send Out ‘Exclusive’ Email Content
Every successful brand knows the power of making customers feel exclusive. They do it in different ways, but it works all the time. By sending out exclusive, subscribers only content, your subscribers feel special. Because they know anybody and everybody doesn’t have access to it. It makes them feel privileged. This can lead to more sales and growth in revenue. Also, this exclusivity can help you create a stronger relationship with your subscribers.
Just the way it is important to get people on your email list, it’s also important to make them stay there. If your subscribers don’t feel special enough or if they feel like they are not getting real value by being on your list, it won’t take them long to hit the unsubscribe button.
Sending exclusive content to your list doesn’t mean you have to spend hours or days creating unique content. The content can be something as simple as a 3 page research report, but it gives your subscribers something they can learn from, they’ll be happy. So it’s more quality than quantity.
If you use an auto-responder to send out emails, then you can create a series of exclusive content and add it to your email sequence. If you aren’t already leveraging this tactic, we have email marketing automation services that will help you do so.
Remember, keeping your list from going cold is all about consistently delivering value. And you can count this technique as one of the best email marketing techniques to keep your subscribers loyal to you.
Technique #4: Choose the Right Subject Line Length
Your email subject line is like the heading of a newspaper article. If people don’t get enticed by it, they will not open and read your emails. While a lot of has been written about creating effective subject lines, you can always start with the basics, such as avoiding the “dead zone” when it comes to your subject line length. Which refers to subject lines that fall in the 60 to 70 characters bracket.
Adestra researched and found that subject lines that are 60 to 70 characters in length don’t help the email campaign. After tracking over 900 million emails they discovered no change in either click through rate or even the open rate.
They also found that subject lines that were longer than 70 characters lead to more clicks and subject lines that had 49 characters or less fetched a higher open rate. What about even shorter subject lines? They discovered subject lines with ten characters or less had a close to 60% open rate.
So how long your subject line should be depends on what you want to gain from your campaign. If you want more of your subscribers to respond to your emails in terms of taking action, then go for a longer subject line as it helps get more clicks. And if you want more people to simply open and read your email messages, then practice brevity and keep it short. The idea is to focus your subject line on your email marketing goals and try to stay out of the dead zone.
Technique #5: Give Away Something Valuable
Keeping your email audience engaged and connected gets easy when you give stuff away from time to time. Giving away something for free that is relevant to the interests your subscribers’ is a great way to improve your overall relationship and get them to take action on future emails.
For instance, when Bluewire Media ran a test by sending different types of free email goodies to their list, they discovered that free tools/templates worked best for them in terms of open rate and click through rate. Your business is different, so a different freebie could work for you. But it doesn’t change the fact that sending free stuff can make a difference.
One of the best techniques to get more quality emails leads and at the same time improve your open rate is to leverage contests. For example, Incentivibe used it to boost their email subscription rate by almost 200%.
Use the following few tips to make your contest successful:
- Choose a giveaway that is appropriate and in demand in your niche so that your email subscribers find it appealing.
- Give people a reason to share the details of your contest so that they are motivated to spread the word. For example, you could give your subscribers higher number of entries into the contest based on how much they shared info about it.
- Follow up with subscribers who have participated and encourage them to get more people to join the contest.
Here’s an example of such contest…The idea is to get the following three things right:
- The item that you want to give away to the winner
- The pitch that you send them to get them to join the contest
- The way you promote the contest and have more people join it
Initially, you may not see huge results from your contest, especially if your list is small. However, if you keep running relevant contests from time and time, you should be able to tap into the real power of giving away free stuff.
Technique #6: Re-Engage & Address Inactive Subscribers
Your inactive subscribers are costing you, in terms of money you’re paying to your email service provider and also your profits. Studies show that on an average 63% subscribers on an email list are not active. In order to wake them up and re-engage with them, you need to take the necessary steps. Leveraging your existing subscribers to increase sales has to be the best email marketing technique that doesn’t cost you extra money.
Let’s now look into each step that you should take to re-connect and engage with your inactive email subscribers.
Step 1: Identify
The most obvious step is to know which of your email subscribers are inactive based on the metrics provided to you by your email marketing platform. There might be emails that have bounced back for some valid reason, which should be removed and not counted as inactive.
Step 2: Segment
Once you have a list of inactive email subscribers, it’s time to segment them based on the data you have on file. You want to see if a certain group of subscribers are inactive or a percentage of them share commonalities. For example, let’s say you find that subscribers who got on your list by downloading your free eBook are no longer opening your emails. This could be because you are not sending them relevant emails or they were expecting more.
Step 3: Ask
Don’t assume or carry out guesswork when it comes to understanding the behavior of your inactive subscribers. Instead, ask them why they aren’t opening your emails. Find out what’s stopping them. The people who respond to your query will naturally be low. But even if you get some response, it could help you change your strategy for the better. If the response is close to none, then you may want to tap into your social media channels.
Step 4: Listen
By now you should come across some type of data. You’ll also see various patterns in your study. It’s time to analyze what you have on hand and at the same time carefully listen to what your inactive subscribers have to say. Take their input seriously because the ones that responded did take out the time to reach out to you.
Step 5: Change
When you have a clear idea of what’s wrong and if there is some considerable feedback from a percentage of your inactive subscribers, you need to focus on the changes to make. Don’t be hasty in making any big changes to your email marketing efforts.
Before you implement any change, analyze what it is going to cost you and if the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. However, if you find that the change is simple and can be beneficial to all subscribers, then do it. For instance, if the content you’re sending is not relevant, then work on it.
Step 6: Test
Sometimes what your inactive email subscribers tell you may not match with what they actually need. Even after making the asked changes you may not see a big difference in your open rate. So take the feedback you get with a pinch of salt. And test things on your own. Test everything from headlines to copy to call to action to emailing frequencies.
Step 7: Adjust
Testing doesn’t mean you make every possible change on day one. Rather, you need to take a calculated approach when it comes to adjusting your campaign. So test, analyze and adjust as needed. Repeat the process for best results.
Step 8: Monitor
Your list keeps changing as new subscribers come and old leave. Which is why you consistently add new subscribers to keep your list from stagnating. So why re-engage inactive subscribers only once? Make it a regular activity. Monitor your list and see what you can do to ensure more people are active in the future.
What we discussed above are some of the best email marketing techniques that are proven to get results. You could see a real change in your email marketing activity once you apply them. Maintaining a healthy level of email marketing to your customers can be a lot to handle. Consider using our email marketing services such as newsletters, automations, or maintenance to help take some of the burden off of you. Leave the best email marketing stuff to us, and you can do the stuff you really love to do with your business. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you create the best email marketing campaign to date for your business!