What is effective email marketing?
Despite the prevalence of newer digital marketing methods, effective email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to reach your target audience and generate conversions. 94% of Internet users use email, while only 61% use social media.
In addition, a larger portion of your audience is more likely to see your message via email. It is quite literally the modern mailbox, which is why making emails feel more personal is critical to your effective email marketing campaign’s success.
Email marketing provides small business owners the opportunity to build lasting relationships with both potential and existing customers. Effective email marketing transforms potential customers into new customers and existing customers into loyal, repeat customers.
Now that you understand the importance of email marketing, we will provide you with the key components you need to create an effective email marketing campaign.
Know Your Strategy
A common strategy in email marketing is A/B testing, which means that each aspect of your marketing strategy can and should be tested for open and conversion rates. No two email marketing campaigns are identical, so it is imperative to test what works for your brand and your audience.
Promotional emails vs. transactional emails
As far as e-commerce goes, there are two types of emails your audience can expect to receive: promotional and transactional. As the name entails, promotional emails push a product, service, event, or piece of content. You want to make sure the content you push is valuable to the recipient because that helps build the foundation for a long-lasting relationship between brand and customer.
On the other hand, transactional emails serve more utility and are directed towards specific people who have conducted a transaction or otherwise interacted with your company. These emails are the result of actions prompted by your customers. For e-commerce, these would include purchase receipts, shipping/tracking notifications, and welcome emails from users signing up to receive them.
Because these emails are directly relevant to the recipient, they aren’t subconsciously marked as spam and have nearly double the open rate when compared with visibly promotional emails. Transactional emails still give you the opportunity to promote your brand, and they can sometimes be even more effective than promotional emails.
Although they serve subtly different purposes, each type of email is an opportunity to develop a lasting relationship with the recipient. Subsequently, from the recipient’s point of view, it is another experience with your brand.
What should I put in the subject line?
At the forefront of your campaign, and the first thing your audience sees, is the subject line of an email. The subject line is one of the most crucial aspects to an email, yet it can be the most mishandled element of effective email marketing.
A subject line needs to be eye-catching and appealing, without setting off the human spam filter. In practice, the subject line is highly dependent on your audience and the intention of the email.
For example, it has been shown that using the recipient’s name in the subject line of promotional emails actually leads to a lower open rate. While using their name in a transactional email is pretty standard, to give the atmosphere of personalization.
A strong subject line needs to be the right length. Try to keep it under 50 characters, and be as specific as possible. The subject line needs to communicate significance and relevance to the recipient, to separate your email from the rest. Some ideas to test out include subject lines that convey urgency, curiosity, or best of all, a special offer to the recipient, such as the examples below.
What is email list segmentation?
Segmentation is one of the best practices to personalize your emails. Think of email list segmentation as taking a fine-toothed comb through your entire mailing list and dividing them into prioritized sub-groups.
Effective segmentation can be accomplished with a little bit of knowledge and minor data mining. This results in better targeting and valuable content relevant to each individual recipient, which ultimately leads to higher conversion rates for your company.
For e-commerce, one of the primary methods of email segmentation is simply dividing your email list into potential customers and existing customers. Just by simply dividing a list into these two groups, you can already imagine endless possibilities for different types of “personalized” emails.
The types of email segmentation you can implement with your own business varies greatly. It ultimately depends on the data you have on your customers and how you’d like to apply it to your effective email marketing campaign.
How do I make my emails feel more personal?
As stated earlier, email list segmentation plays an important role in the success of your email marketing campaign. An effective strategy for email segmentation is to make your emails even more personal by creating buyer personas and directing emails accordingly. For example, you could segment your list into four groups, including: potential customers, new/first-time customers, loyal/repeat customers, and inactive customers. A few other ways to segment your emails include: your customers’ geography, age, gender, and even their behavior when browsing your website. An email that is specific and relevant to the individual recipient will feel much more personal than a mass email with simply their name on it.
How often should I send out emails for my business?
How often you should send emails is a game of balance. Of course you don’t want to send so few emails that your audience forgets about you, but you also don’t want to send so many that people stop reading them. You have to tread the fine line between being assertive and being marked as spam.
As we all know from experience, no one wants to spend their free time filtering their inbox, deleting emails every day – especially if the emails don’t bear any importance or call to action. Oftentimes, an infrequent email is seen as more valuable in the eyes of the customer.
This pertains mostly with promotional emails, since transactional emails are triggered by an action of the user. Clearly, your customers do not want to be bombarded with countless emails saying they left something in their cart (transactional), but one or even two reminders is healthy.
As far as promotional emails go, you don’t want to oversell your brand. Too many emails from the same business is the leading reason for high unsubscribe rates. You worked hard for that email list, and the last thing you want is to lose potential customers from being too pushy.
So what frequency for sending emails is appropriate? This goes back to A/B testing with your specific audience. Start conservatively, and practice email segmentation to generate the best results. An increase in frequency of promotional emails might get one group to buy more, but might also get another group to block you out, resulting in a higher unsubscribe rate.
On average, 20% of marketers send one email a month, and 40% of marketers send emails two to three times a month. Finding the sweet spot for your business is crucial to maintaining your effective email marketing campaign.
When crafting your emails, keep in mind the statistic that it takes near seven times for a product to be put in front of someone before they realistically consider buying it. This should be a healthy seven times, and at minimum, you should at least be sending one email a month to stay relevant in your customers’ mind. Consider creating an email marketing calendar to help you stay organized.
When is the best time to send out emails that will lead to sales?
Even time of the day is a significant element in the success of an effective email marketing campaign. It is one of those components rooted in human psychology, and the optimal time to send emails to your audience can be discovered through A/B testing.
A psychology people adopt when timing their emails is to get it into your customer’s inbox when the volume is low. This means early mornings and late nights tend to have better response rates. People are not working and more likely to engage with their personal email at these times. This can also be extended to reaching out to people on weekends.
Again, this is speculative psychology, and with all components, do what works best for your business. Test out sending your emails early morning vs. late evening, weekday vs. weekend, and then compile the analytics to find your sweet spot.
What does an appealing email design look like?
In design and in emails, less is more. Every element of your email needs to have purpose and provide value to your customer. You also need to keep in mind that more than half of all emails are read on a mobile device, so be sure to make your email appealing for all audiences and mobile-optimized.
Impactful, large, and appealing visuals play a primary role in email design.
Take a look at some of these emails we found that have fantastic design elements:
To see more examples of great email design, visit the email marketing portion of our blog, and check out this article.
Calls to Action
What are some necessities to include in my emails?
When developing an effective email marketing campaign, there are a few standard elements you should always include. The first, and most important element, is making your brand/logo front and center. This is what you are ultimately trying to push, and it should always link back to your website. Potential customers do not want to take the time to open and view your email, only to find that they must dig to find your website.
The usage of icons and links also applies to your social media accounts. Make sure to implement easily clickable and highly visible buttons that link to each of your business’s social media accounts, typically located at the bottom of the email.
A vital element of your email to present with ease is your call to action. Examples of great call to actions are: “Join Now,” “Activate Free Trial,” or “Shop This Look.” The sole purpose of your email is to generate a response to that call to action. This means that it needs to be very visible; the highlight of your email. Be sensible when deciding on the placement.
As with all elements discussed, always test to find out what works best for your business. The main idea is to create a smooth user experience, where the recipient has all the tools needed to accomplish what you want them to do, and with ease.
How do I analyze the performance of my email campaigns?
Of course, the most important part of an effective email marketing campaign is its results. Regardless of which email software you are using, whether it be MailChimp, Constant Contact, or Active Campaign, you have all the tools you need at your disposal.
You are able to track and analyze your specific efforts, translating into clicks and conversions, and make decisions for future emails based off these results. Just like how you can track user behavior on a website, you can compile similar analytics from your effective email marketing campaign as well.
One of the frontline analytics, that is arguably the most important, is the open rate. When performing your A/B testing, this is the first analytic you should measure. The next most important piece of data should be the click rate, and building upon that, how many clicks lead to a conversion. The final metric you should focus on is your unsubscribe rate, and think of ways to lower it by using some of the ideas mentioned above.
What does an effective email look like when it’s complete?
This blog contains some of our favorite examples of what an appealing, effective email looks like! Learn more about the details of great emails with examples of how to improve your own email marketing campaign!
Hopefully after reading this, you have a good idea and aesthetic in mind to construct your own effective email marketing campaign. Remember: the best type of goal is a well defined goal, so make sure that all efforts to optimize your emails’ conversions are thoroughly tested. Don’t apply too many changes at once, or you’ll never be able to keep track of what is working and what isn’t.
If you’re ready to launch an effective email marketing campaign for your business, but need a little assistance, we can help! We are experts at crafting the perfect email marketing campaign for each client and their specific needs, so we’ll take the work off your hands!