Everyone likes to use new and shiny methods. But in the process, the fundamentals often get ignored. Imagine you wanted to be a professional tennis player and instead of starting with the basics of the game, you tried to start with trick shots. It’s not likely that you would make it very far using this strategy.
Your marketing strategy is similar. To be successful, you need to have focus and start with what works. Email marketing is a time-tested marketing strategy. By starting with the fundamentals, you’ll give yourself a solid foundation to keep building your marketing efforts.
Email marketing is proven to work
So why should email be part of your core strategy? Because it works.
- For every $1 spent, $44 is the average return on email marketing investment. (Campaign Monitor)
- When it comes to customer acquisition, email is 40X more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined. (McKinsey&Company)
- In a 2013 study, The DMA found that 66 percent of online consumers made a purchase as a result of an email marketing message.
The numbers prove that email marketing is a low-cost method for obtaining customers. The best part is that you can get started by using the information you probably already have.
Start with analyzing your sign-up funnels
Before you can start email marketing, you need to have a capable system for capturing website visitor information. Audit the ways people can sign up for marketing emails or newsletters using these questions.
- Are they easy to use, or does the visitor have to work for it?
- Are your opt-in buttons surrounded by content that makes the reader want more?
- Are the sign-up buttons designed and positioned correctly?
Try asking these questions about the following sales funnel from Crazy Egg. I think you’ll find that its sales funnel holds up pretty well.
It’s hard enough to motivate website visitors to fill out forms and give you their information. If the UX around your sign-up funnels isn’t appealing, it’s likely that you’re missing out on valuable leads. Audit and test your email marketing regularly to build your list.
Use email segmentation to send the right content to the right people
Once you have an email list, you should pause and take some time to segment it before starting to send campaigns to users. Why? According to MailChimp, the email marketing expert, segmented email campaigns get a 14.31% higher open rate than non-segmented campaigns.
This makes sense since people who sign up for your email list are often at different stages in the buyer’s journey, and by segmenting you’ll be able to send them emails appropriate to their situation. But, how can you do this effectively?
Start with considering the purpose of your email campaign. Are you just updating your subscribers on the latest blog posts or are you sending a drip campaign around a lead magnet? While a newsletter update on the newest blog posts will likely go out to everyone, a campaign centered around a new lead magnet will have to target subscribers who’d likely be interested in the topic.
For example, when segmenting for B2B clients, segment by occupation. Understanding their job would help you understand which problems they’re in charge of fixing and help you target your emails more effectively.
Other metrics that you can use to segment your email list include demographics, the source of email sign-up, industry, and lead status. The more data you can gather on your email list, the better you can segment it. But, even some level of segmentation is better than nothing.
Use automation to put your email marketing on automatic
Think about the last time you received an email from someone you didn’t know. You likely thought it was spam or a sales email. When you’re consistent with the way you send emails, your subscribers are less likely to view you as spam mail and more likely to open.
With limited time it can be hard to be consistent with your email marketing. Using automation can help even when your team is too busy to keep up. Automation, as the name implies, is the process of making your email marketing automatic. MailChimp, who we mentioned before, likes to imagine little monkeys are doing the work for you.
Autoresponders: These are sequences of emails that get sent out automatically after a user takes a specific action. To illustrate, if you have a lead magnet and someone signs up for it, they might receive a series of three or more emails cultivating that interest.
Workflows: These are autoresponders on steroids. Instead of just being a static series of emails that get sent out automatically, workflows adjust to the actions of the user to personalize their email series. For example, viewing a pricing or product page could be set as a “trigger” to enroll a contact in a specific workflow and send a related email, or alert a sales rep. The branches can then be utilized to route people into one workflow vs another based on how they interact with your site or your email campaign. This essentially uses AI to instantly segment your list for better response rates.
Here are a few email automation service providers to help you get started.
Analyze your email marketing constantly to improve your ROI and increase MQLs
If you want to improve your email marketing, you need to do two things. Analyze and test constantly. A/B test your emails with different variables and measure the impact. You can literally test every element of your email including the subject line, images, voice, etc.
Pay attention to the overall design of the email. There are times where a simple text-based email performs the best, and instances where a more “newsletter” style template makes more sense. Any newsletter template should be composed in such a way that the preview text entices the reader to want to learn more and gives them clear, click-enticing links to get to longer-form content on your site. Smart design will not only improve readability but increase your CTR.
Finally, measure the metrics that prove email marketing success. These include:
- Open rate
Email marketing is not dead. If you build, segment, automate, and test your email list you’ll be taking advantage of one of the most cost-effective marketing methods. This will increase your company’s visibility, leads, and, ultimately, sales.