Email Marketing: Less Bounce, More Bucks
Email marketing feels like it has been around a long time but it still proves to have the highest ROI of any digital marketing strategy. What specific strategies do you need to employ to gain that ROI and email success?
The List – You need to build a great list. Start with your current customers, then add in any business cards you collect and members of associations you belong to. Move from there. By building your list internally, you will gain the people who will want to read your emails and then your list will grow organically.
The Platform – Next you need a platform to send the emails. Using services like MailChimp, Constant Contact, ReachMail, etc. will provide an easy to use design tool, making the emails themselves mobile friendly. The services also makelist organization a snap, enhance security, and give you the all-important reports for each email campaign.
The Goal – Now comes the creativity! What is this email campaign’s focus? Who is the intended audience? What is the desired outcome? Ask these questions and carefully consider the answers. Do not just send out an email. Always have a strategy with clearly defined goals.
The Subject Line – This is what makes recipients open your email. It needs to be clear, it needs to be powerful, and it needs to reflect the message of your email. Keep it short, simple and relevant.
The Timing – Know your audience. Will an email be opened the day before Thanksgiving if most of their offices are closed? Does the email have time sensitive data? Organize and plan your email to go out at the best possible time for the people on your list.
The Schedule – Make a schedule for regular emails to not overwhelm or underwhelm your audience. Too many emails can be more harmful than not enough. Consistency is key, but spam is bad.
The Testing – It may take a couple email blasts to get the right formula for your subject line, content and timing. Try a couple different subject lines for one email campaign and then measure your open rates, click through rate and opt out rates.
The Measurement – This is fun to watch as your email blast is launched. The open rate, bounce rate, spam rate, etc. This is where your ROI is most easily analyzed and is a strong tool for your next campaign. Spend time in those reports.
Email marketing is still one of the most effective channels for building brand awareness, increasing your customer base and maintaining retention across demographics and devices. As you may understand, this cannot be the ONLY marketing tool in the shed. Digital marketing takes a village to get the word out. And that village is continually changing. We need to be constantly looking at our client base and audience. What worked 5 years ago, may not work today. What worked 30 years ago looks completely different to the marketing of today.
Three-quarters of companies agree that email offers “excellent” to “good” ROI. (Econsultancy, 2016) Email use worldwide will top 3 billion users by 2020. (The Radicati Group, 2016) (Source: http://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)
As we approach 2017, here are a couple of trends.
- Visual Impact – it must grab attention visually and can be cross marketed on Instagram or Pinterest.
- Integration- make it connect to your social media and gain that further measurement and proven ROI across your platforms.
- And the important Mobile Optimization – go mobile or go home! We carry our computers around in our hands. If it can’t be read easily on a mobile device, 42 percent of the people receiving could delete immediately.
Like it or not, we rely on emails for daily communication, deals, promotions and success in business. We need to harness the power of this marketing platform as we move onto a new year and beyond.