iStock Image Credit: Astarot
Effective email marketing needs to tick four important boxes
Email is both an inexpensive and extremely effective means of marketing your business. But on any given day your customers could be inundated with hundreds of emails, in their inbox. In this blog I will outline 4 steps to ensure you are successfully using email marketing in your business.
So how do you make sure your email marketing is effective, is being opened and read? The answer lies in using a four-pronged approach with email marketing that is:
- Valuable to your customer.
- Relevant to their needs.
- Expected, and
- Integrated into your broader marketing plan.
1. Valuable content matters
The golden rule of email content is that it must be of interest to your customers. It’s a lot easier and quicker to send an email to the junk file than it is to open and read it. So it needs to be worth reading. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and ask yourself why they would want to read your email – what insights are you sharing? What are the benefits to them?
Do your research
A critical step is to do some market research with your existing customer base and your potential clients. Find out what they want to learn about. What are their big pain points? What do they need to know to make their life or business better? This is a critical step, without this step you are working to your own agenda.
Remember it’s important to “always be helping” so ask yourself is sending a salesy email to my email list really benefiting them to make a purchase decision?
As difficult as it may be, bear in mind that your recipients probably aren’t interested in your business or your product. What they are interested in is how you can them satisfy a need or solve a problem. Bottom line, make your email content interesting for your customers, base it on your research findings, deliver what your customers have asked for.
2. Keep your emails relevant through segmenting
Chances are your product isn’t one-size-fits-all across every customer. Segmenting your emails so that they are pitched at different customers based on demographics or behaviour is critical. If you are using an email platform such as MailChimp this is really easy to do, you have the option to create multiple lists and to segment your lists.
Not only does segmentation mean you’re sending the appropriate message to the appropriate person at the right time, it also avoids irritating your customers with emails that aren’t relevant to their needs – something that can see your emails marked as ‘spam’.
If you’re not convinced, according to Hubspot, studies show segmented emails get 50% more clicks than untargeted emails. So segmentation is definitely worth the effort.
3. Effective emails are expected
Only send emails where your customer has opted in to receive messages from your business (make this step easy but also make it simple to opt out of your emails).
But maintain a timely and consistent flow of emails so that they become a regular part of the Inbox landscape and are expected – and ultimately, anticipated by your customers.
So for example I sent the Vivacity Marketing Weekly Marketing Tip every Tuesday, so my subscribers know exactly when to expect it each week.
4. Ensure emails fit your broader marketing plan
This is a key aspect of optimising the content you promote via email – it needs to match your messaging across social media, paid ads and any video content that you are producing.
Ideally, your emails will be linked to a marketing goal. Don’t simply email customers for the sake of it. Think about which goal each email is aiming to achieve – be it education, regular communication or to nurture new leads.
Back this up by monitoring results, recording open rates, click through rates, and the rates of unsubscribe. This can also help you determine which emails were most successful, and allow your business to measure return on investment.
How to get started?
The starting point I’d recommend is to research and find out what kind of content, advice and tips your customers and ideal customers want. Then decide the frequency of your email marketing, and then start to plan your topics and content.