Social Media is awesome, isn't it? But in terms of growing your business, email marketing is even 'awesomer' ;)
Build an email list and it's yours. You can send your messages how and when you want to.
And when people open your emails, they're reading them in a far less cluttered environment than a tweet-filled Twitter timeline or ad-filled Facebook page.
Email is trackable, high-impact and cost effective. So, if you've not looked at your email marketing lately, here's ten ways in which to give it some love...
1. Think of email as a dialogue
Do not use the “fire and forget” method of email marketing. This approach achieves the goal of getting your emails sent, but not read! Instead, think of email as a form of conversation and a way to build long-term relationships with prospects and clients.
2. Obsess about quality data
Focus on growing your in-house lists. Bought email lists are often out-of-date and of poor quality.
Regularly cleanse any old data you have and invest in gathering the information you really need. For example, do you have enough data on those customers who have both the need and ability to buy from you?
3. Segment your database
The more you segment, the better targeted your email messages will be. Combine standard email criteria with customer and behavioural data to create sophisticated segmentation strategies.
Decide which are your most valuable customer groups. Identify which segments open your emails and which don't. This information will help you decide which customers to target and who might need a little more encouragement.
4. Send great content
The way you conduct your email campaigns says a lot about you. If you blast subscribers with boring, ego-centric newsletters, they will know that you are only interested in yourself and their wallets.
Focus instead, on sending information they find valuable and useful. Ask yourself the question about your emails, "Would I read this?'" Adopt a 'Give to Get' mentality, and the respect your subscribers have for you will grow and so will their interest in your products and services.
5. Design automated email programmes
Whenever possible, the customer's behaviour should trigger automated email messages.
For example, you could automatically send a 'Customer Satisfaction' email after an engineer has visited a customer's premises.
You could automate a subscription reminder email before a renewal is due. Email marketing automation saves you time and effort. It also makes you look smart in the customer’s eyes.
6. Vary your approach
Keep your subscriber's interest with a variety of email formats and styles. Experiment with HTML templates and plain text messages. Send your emails on different days and try out polls, surveys and competitions.
7. Avoid the spam filters
Make sure your emails arrive in their inboxes. Avoid spam filters by only using quality data. Proofread your messages and test them in as many email clients as possible before they go out.
8. Test, learn and improve
Establish a programme of A/B and Multi-Variant Testing (MVT). Learn what works and what doesn't. Experiment with your From Fields, Subject Lines, copy length, offers and 'Calls to Action'. Try your emails out on colleagues and ask them to give you honest feedback.
9. Make use of the data
As with all Digital Marketing, you can drown in data. When people are baffled by numbers, they start to ignore them. This is a pity. Your Open Rates, Click Through Rates, Bounce Rates, Click to Open Rates, Unsubscribe and other metrics provide valuable insights.
As with all data, keep asking the question, 'So what?' until you generate a list of improvements to make.
10. Share the results
Choose a few Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are essential and report on those. Create 'Email Marketing Dashboards' and share these with internal stakeholders. Celebrate your successes and educate colleagues on how they can play their part in improving your email marketing.
Need some help with your Email Marketing?
Drop me a line if you'd like help to exploit the power of email marketing. Or check out my digital marketing training services.