An email campaign seems like an easy choice for interacting with potential customers and gaining business. After all, the premise seems pretty easy: choose an email distribution program, plug in information about exciting products and services, click send, and wait for the customers to come flooding in.
This is, unfortunately, a very bare bones and basic ideation of the email marketing process, and there’s quite a bit more involved to really engage the readers of that email to ensure they become customers.
There’s good news, though: this process does not have to be expensive, tedious, or difficult in anyway. It just requires an eye for tracking and an eye for content!
First thing: the Design
When designing an email marketing campaign, first fully consider the type of campaign in mind. What are the main goals? Obviously, making a sale is the ultimate end goal, but first, it’s important to establish a relationship with those who are interested in a product or service.
For example, an email can be sent to new subscribers, thanking them for visiting, and giving them additional information about the company and its overall goals. Make them feel welcome and excited about buying something.
Establishing trust is a huge part of how clicks become conversions. To continue this trust, use emails to continue engagement and awareness. Even if the email recipient just sees the product name or company name in an email subject line, they will be reminded of what’s being offered, and will be more likely to read an email that seems familiar.
Take this one step further by offering subscribers something they want or value- whether that’s a discount or sale, or a tripwire to trigger a new sale, the goal is to inspire interaction.
One of the easiest ways to do this is through targeted emailing. Always segment the email list, because not every customer will want the same thing, or be in the same stage of a sale.
Squeeze pages are key for catching new subscribers, and exit-intent popups can help grab someone who otherwise might leave a webpage without thinking of it again. Many email programs, such as MailChimp, Sendinblue or Constant Contact, will allow users to filter the email addresses of new subscribers.
Contact them specifically to welcome them. For those who make purchases, send emails thanking them for their purchase, and providing them with additional details or products that might make their lives easier.
For those who have been subscribed for a long time without purchasing, perhaps a discount code might entice them to take the plunge. As a business owner, it is important to keep content relevant at every single stage, and emails are not a one-text-fits-all scenario.
Personalize the user experience
The next step is to personalize emails. Now that the content is addressing the subscriber’s level of interest, address them by name.
Many email programs filter first names and email addresses, so instead of writing emails to “Dear Subscriber,” the field can say something more personal, such as “Hi there, John!” If the squeeze page isn’t set up to capture names, think of a more personal, endearing way to address potential customers that is friendly, but not over-the-top.
Personalization isn’t just in a name, though- it means content, as well. Being a business owner means being in touch with the entire niche.
By conducting searches on Google and looking at online forums, it’s easy to gauge what current questions or problems in a specific market are at any given time. Look at trends and trending questions on Quora, for example.
Address that hot topic in an email campaign and demonstrate how a product or service can solve that problem. If consumers have a specific issue on their mind, tap into that concern to address how a specific product could alleviate that stress.
One way to do that is with a Call to Action. If an email is sent to address a specific hot topic, then give it a sense of urgency. Use words like “soon” or “act now” or include flashy buttons that link directly to a portion of a website that includes information on that hot topic and possible solutions.
People want to expect good things and a positive experience- by offering them something highly desireable and truly relevant to a problem or concern, they’ll feel like this email has read their mind and offered them exactly what they need, exactly when they need it.
Timing and Frequency
Speaking of “when they need it,” timing is crucial, and pretty much impossible to gauge at first. Every niche has a peak time, but there are no set rules saying that Health and Beauty subscribers open email at 10am on Tuesday, or Travel subscribers purchase products on Wednesday at noon.
When segmenting, consider time zones. Then continue tracking email performance using email software. Most offer analytics that will show how many unique clicks come through at various times of day.
The most activity takes place within 24 hours of receipt, so experiment a bit to determine what day of week and what time of day is most successful for gaining clicks.
Additionally, be considerate in the frequency of emails. While it might be tempting to send subscribers a daily reminder, that is a good way to encourage them to find the “unsubscribe” link. Instead, try emailing every two to three days, or extend the period for existing customers. The idea is to be memorable, not annoying.
Content is also key in being both memorable and not annoying. Subscribers will not want to see the same graphics and message over and over.
Repetition has its place in marketing, but it will not spark interest. Include visuals that are mobile-friendly, and content that people want to read. Whether it’s a snippet of a blog entry, or a link to a video on the main website, make sure content is clear and interesting, so the audience will be moved to click.
That click could be the first step in a major conversion! Keep subject lines engaging, and content interesting. Most of all, remember that most people do not like to read walls of text, so keep it short, and inspire them to click for more.
Lastly, it should come as no surprise that tracking is important. Always, always, always keep an eye on what people think. They will demonstrate this very simply by clicking or not clicking. Be flexible and ready to adjust. With some A/B testing, scope out which days and times perform best.
Do blog teasers perform better, or video links? How about sales before or after holidays?
Marketing is largely a guessing game, trying to find the sweet spot of a sale, but with the programs available today, some of that guessing can be tested by tracking.
Email marketing is cost effective, and it can be so tempting to repeatedly contact a list of subscribers to gain their attention. With a little bit of caution, some key content, and conscientious methodology, email marketing can also be a prime way to turn subscribers into customers.