There was a brief period in the past decade where email marketing went from being new and exciting to old-fashioned and abruptly less effective. But it’s important to note that the tool has come full-circle, and email marketing is once again not only useful, but necessary. In fact, recent data from McKinsey shows that email marketing is 40 times more likely to lead to customer acquisition than the shiny new strategies available on social media.
It’s also a time when there are more tools than ever for accomplishing the most efficient email marketing campaign you could hope for. You can customize emails to look excellent on various screens, track user behavior, manage multiple mailing lists and fill in all of your fields automatically with pertinent, changing information. That’s just standard. It’s as easy as it is effective for marketers to implement email strategies in their marketing campaigns.
So what are you waiting for?
Here are the three top tips you need to know for launching your next email marketing campaign:
1. Always fall back on your data. In recent weeks, we’ve been talking on this blog about how important data analysis and implementation is when it comes to all marketing. This couldn’t be more true than for email marketing. The most obvious route for acquiring accurate data for your email lists is by asking the recipient themselves what they’d like to see from you and how often they’d like to hear from you, which can easily be completed upon sign-up. There are plenty of other ways that gathering information about your customer base will help you tailor emails to them. For example, a report from Experian tells us that personalized emails, such as those with names in the subject lines, are 26% more likely to be opened than those without.
2. Make it as easy to Unsubscribe as to Sign Up. People are quite clever with technology these days, and they don’t want to feel like they’re being spammed or taken advantage of. That’s why it’s important — and ethical — to provide an easy-to-find Unsubscribe link within your emails. Even loyal readers will appreciate the transparency. The process should also be fairly uncomplicated; the smoother it goes for the user, the better chance you have at getting them to complete an Exit Survey. This should be just one or two easy-to-select options explaining why they are leaving that will help you retain future customers on your mailing list. Furthermore, this is an excellent time to offer an incentive to sweeten the deal if your would-be unsubscriber decides to stay engaged, such as a giveaway, discount or other sign of appreciation for their brand loyalty.
3. Be prepared to adapt. The best and worst thing about every kind of digital marketing is that it can change quickly. As fast as the tides are changing in the way that people interact with digital content, and as fast as their expectations raise, you do have the power to keep up with them when it comes to email marketing. You can check in weekly or even daily to see how your recipients are interacting with their content and change it to reflect their desires and behaviors. DMA data tells us that campaign broken down into very specific categories and catering to what segments of your audience want are an astounding 760% more effective. With email marketing, you can absolutely fragment your approach to focus on niche subsets of your customers. And, as we mentioned earlier, this can be done instantly with auto-fill fields — and not just content, but pictures, links and more! Whether it’s an intern or a professional analyst, you’ll make the most of email marketing by regularly checking your results, analyzing the causality and promptly enhancing the specificity of your email marketing.
Of course, there are many broad marketing rules that must be applied to email marketing, as well. As with all visual marketing, your eye-catching graphics are 90% of the battle. As with all print marketing, you want someone to carefully edit, proof and fact-check your text (and this should include checking images and links, as well). As with all marketing, you obviously want a strong call to action that will turn general interest into positive results.
And no matter what else you do, be sure that your brand is represented first and foremost. After all, what’s the point of a beautiful, on-point, well-received, unique email if your user ultimately closes it without remembering you? There are plenty of techniques for engaging email readers, but as with all of your marketing endeavors, you have to be sure chiefly to stay true to your brand: from subject line to sign-off.