8 Tips for a Successful Email Marketing Strategy

According to eMarketer there will be around 236.8 million US email users by 2017!

With the average return rate of $44.25 for every dollar spent on email marketing, you better start implementing this in your marketing plan if you haven’t already. Let’s go over some do’s and don’ts of email marketing before you jump in and start creating your first newsletter.

  • DON’T buy an email list! First of all, you will probably be violating your Terms of Service (ToS) with your email service provider. If you go back and read over the ToS again, you will see most providers don’t want you spamming or using purchased lists. Using a purchased list can also hurt your IP address reputation as mentioned in one of my earlier blogs.
  • DO put a subscribe box on your website, as well as a Facebook tab, allowing people to sign up to receive your newsletters. Also, put a link in each email that brings people back to your website or Facebook.
  • DON’T overlook the importance of subject line. The shorter, the better. Email topics with 10 characters or less have over a 55% open rate. Frame the subject line as a question that your customers might have.  Avoid a subject line that reads as an advertisement. MailChimp says it perfectly: “When it comes to email marketing, the best subject lines tell what’s inside, and the worst subject lines sell what’s inside.”
  • DO make your emails mobile-friendly. No text-only newsletters. Make sure you have an eye-catching graphic to grab people’s attention. People are busier than ever these days. 66% of Gmail checks occur on mobile devices according to Litmus.

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  • DON’T think of this as a quick way to success. Building an email list with loyal followers takes time and patience. It might take months before you start getting higher open rates and better responses.
  • DO make a schedule of when you are sending out a newsletter each month. You don’t want to bombard your followers with too many emails, but you also want to regularly remind them of your brand. I recommend two a month. This gives you the freedom to add another on here or there for special occasions without overloading your subscribers.
  • DON’T make your newsletter a sales pitch. Just like in social media people will quickly tune you out or unsubscribe if you are constantly trying to sell them your products or services. Use these emails to educate and inform your email followers while giving a clear call-to-action.
  • DO pay attention to your analytics and track your links. Constantly testing out different strategies will help your open rate improveu over time.

What have you found works best when sending out newsletters?

Email Marketing Strategies You Often Overlook

Email marketing strategies usually lead to great debates among marketing teams. How often you send an email, how often you try and sell them something and what type of subject lines are a few of the discussions you will likely have along the way. Email marketing has an ROI of 4,300% (Direct Marketing Association).

In the past, almost every email contained some sort of sales pitch, but times are changing rapidly and so is your consumer’s tolerance. Developing a well-balanced email strategy is the key to building and maintaining a list that will drive sales in your business. Here are a few strategies that are often overlooked but are working well today.

Personal Email Campaign: Every company should have a campaign set up that sends out personal emails on birthdays, holidays and any other special day of the year. This is very easy to set up. Be sure to change the message every year to keep it fresh and current. Never sell on this campaign. For best results and maximum effectiveness, give them something valuable such as a coupon or discount.

Engagement Emails: Getting your customers to engage with you over emails can be a challenge. However, it is important to keep and encourage an open line of direct response communication between you and current and/or future customers. People love voicing their opinions and thoughts, so create email marketing campaigns that solely serve the purpose of customer involvement.

Coming out with a new product or celebrating an event? Whatever the reason, get your customers’ input. Ask them to participate in polls or actually respond to the email. This is very rarely used by most marketers today but can be very effective. If you want, you can throw in an incentive like a special discount on their next purchase to those who fill out the survey.

Consistency: None of the marketing that your business conducts should be too spontaneous. The only exception to this should be current events that affect your readers. To keep your email marketing scheduled and organized, add the blasts to your content calendar. Once you decide how often your company should send out an email, stick to that schedule so your audience has a sense of consistency. Over time, your readers and their reactions to your emails will help you to dictate the frequency of your emails.

Suppressing anyone in your list who hasn’t engaged with your emails in over a year increases your deliverability rate by 3-5% immediately. What do you think are some great email marketing strategies that people don’t use as often anymore? Let me know in the comments below.

Email Marketing Isn’t Dead, It’s Making a Comeback

Email isn’t dead, it’s making a comeback.

According to a 2012 Blue Kangaroo study, 7 in 10 people say they made use of a coupon or discount from a marketing email in the prior week. Also, 44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email.

Social media is a great tool for building your brand, generating a buzz and spreading the word about your product/service. This is at the top of the sales funnel to help spread your company’s mission to reach a large audience. This allows you to share broad topics and build a community around your brand. So what’s the next step?

When you’re ready to move your customers down the funnel through the path of purchase, it’s time to incorporate email marketing. Research shows that 90% of consumers report daily email use, with the largest group being Millennials. Email marketing goes beyond fans and followers, and is accessible to both mobile and desktop users. What is the point of having a large database of “customers” that have no value or won’t make a purchase when you can target high-value customers and drive them to opt in to your email list?

So how can you increase your email database to start reaching more customers? Here are five things you should be doing:

  • Create a contest. Use a third party app such as Wishpond to create a contest on Facebook and require customers to give you their email in order to enter. Make sure that the contest you create has a relevant prize to your company. For example, if you are a store that sells culinary equipment, have a contest to win a gift card or perhaps a free cooking class. This way, you know that the people who are entering (and giving you their email address) are valuable potential customers.
  • Inform your social media fans and followers when a newsletter is going to come out. Give them a sneak peek of what will be included in the newsletter along with with a link they can follow to sign up. the sneak peek should be a teaser into insider information a reader can only get by being subscribed to your email list.
  • Segment your list to personalize your message. Instead of sending out one mass email to your entire database, tailor your emails by looking at customer data such as browsing history, purchase history and click throughs. Create different variations of your email to send a more private and personal message to your customers.
  • Include a popover window on your website. One study has shown that 43 of all deal email sign ups come from popover email registration boxes.
  • Offer an incentive. Just as social media contests are popular due to the incentives offered, you can grow you email list by offering a discount or free sample. Maybe you give your customers a coupon code for 10% off their next purchase, or perhaps a free sample-sized product. Whatever the incentive is, make it worth your customers’ time to sign up.

Need help getting started? Contact us to get an email marketing plan put into place.