An email is described as a message distributed by electronic means to one or more recipients via a network. A product of the 1970s, emails have only grown from strength to strength.
The past couple of years have seen a serious overhaul in terms of communication techniques and marketing strategies. Even the audience has evolved. But one thing that continues to remain a game changer is none other than the email. It only stands to reason when there are over 200 billion emails sent out every single day!
Emails are an effective way of:
- Engaging, acquiring and retaining customers.
- Generating new leads.
- Driving traffic.
- Gaining returns.
- Influencing conversions.
However, as emails continue to be crowned the uncontested kings of B2B marketing, have you ever wondered how well your own email marketing strategy was faring? Frankly speaking, marketing emails tend to stir customer skepticism. They are often viewed as a blatant attempt to push stuff at them, even if it’s stuff they can very well do without.
So, how do you ensure that your message stands out? How do you engage your audience? How do you make sure that they receive your emails, read them, and become your customers?
It’s pretty simple really. All you have to do is make sure that certain rules are followed - rules that guarantee you an email marketing strategy that exceeds all expectations.
In this article, we’ve listed out 8 ways by which you can construct an email marketing strategy that could change things for you!
Let’s read on:
1.Time your emails
Timing is always a critical factor. There are so many moments where marketers send out a marketing email the minute it gets approved. That is the wrong move to make. When it comes to sending promotional emails, always make sure you time them to the T. There’s enough data that lets you know which days tend to have the most opening rates, what times see a higher click-through etc.
2.Pay close attention to the Subject Line
Coherent, compelling and categorical - your subject line needs to immediately draw people in. The de facto requirement for a great subject line is having the power to influence people into clicking your mail.
When drafting the subject line, here are a few rules for you to remember:
- Be frank about what you’re offering to your customers.
- Try framing your subject lines as questions - something that makes the recipient think, and fans their curiosity enough to make them check out the answer.
- Avoid gimmicky tactics.
- Avoid the use of clickbait content.
- Avoid words/phrases/sentences that are more likely to attract the spam filter.
3.The design matters
When you’re trying to sell anything, always remember that the packaging plays an important part. The same holds true for emails. With emails, it’s about making sure your design is on point. A good design is achievable only if you’ve got two factors down pat: How well it looks and how well it works.
Ask yourself questions like: Does my email reflect an emotion? Does it make the reader express an emotion? Is it aesthetically pleasing to the eye? etc.
When designing an email, always remember to:
- Keep it simple. Less is always more.
- Calculate the time it takes to engage the customer’s attention. If you’ve got too much going on then people won’t bother reading the email.
- Avoid incorporating too many images within one email. This way your email isn’t flagged for spam nor does it leave your audience dealing with problems like slow loading, excessive links etc.
- Inject a bit of personality by opting for a pop of color or some modish geometric patterns.
4.Focus on the content
With emails, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. One overstated cliché constantly floating across the marketing universe is: "Content is king". However, that doesn’t mean it's untrue. Creating quality content should always be your number one priority, especially when it happens to be in the form of an email.
With emails, it’s always important to:
- Provide recipients some value.
- Keep them informed with regard to your business.
- Notify them when something new gets launched across the market.
- Focus on content that is relevant, relatable and reliable.
- Keep it brief and stick to the point.
5.Highlight the actual benefit to the recipient
In our books, the prima facie mistake email marketers make is not thinking things through from a customer’s perspective. When you torpedo them with emails left, right, and center; that incidentally do nothing for them, then can you really expect them to reciprocate?
For example, let’s say you are a high-end cafe, and you send out an email that asks people to check out your Sunday specials. You may get a flock of the foodies, but what about the rest? Because that sort of email doesn't really highlight the benefit to the reader. On the other hand, let’s suppose you offered a 25% discount on the breakfast special between 10 a.m to 12 p.m. Now that would get everybody’s attention. You get our point?
6.Relatability is key
A good marketing strategy; offline or online, always takes into consideration the relatability factor. It’s important for businesses to think from the consumer’s POV when they market products at them. For example, ask yourself questions like What sort of email entices me to click on it and read through? What kind of emails do I relegate straight to the bin? Which were the emails that converted me into a customer? Etc.
Once you ask yourself such questions, you begin to answer them as consumers yourselves. Doing this will help you develop a marketing strategy that’s defined by what impacts your audience. In other words, do not underestimate the importance of being relatable to your customers out there.
7.Keep an eye out on the data
Hitting send does not mean job done. You also need to keep a track of everything that follows after the emails have been sent. Listed below are a few things you’ve got to remember:
- Use different tools to aid with different tasks like tracking links, setting up analytics etc
- Review and analyze every single bit of data that comes up after the emails have been sent.
- Try and identify the reasons behind differing open rates (Why some emails have a higher open rate than others?)
- Keep a schedule of all your send times.
- Evaluate strategies to pick one that works best for you.
8.Avoid getting flagged
We know that it’s a given, but stay well away from spammy practices. Customers these days tend to be a lot more suspicious and guarded than they were a few years ago. One whiff of emails that come with distorted, over exaggerated subject lines or from senders they don’t recognize, and out you go straight to the spam section.
Even Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have internal controls that allow the transference of an email from the inbox to the spam folder. Add to that government rules and regulations, and you’ve got yourself the need to be extremely careful when designing an email.
There are a few simple rules that ensure you don’t land yourself in hot water, and these include:
- Making sure the information listed out in the “from” and “to” fields is valid. Remember ISPs can trace emails that originate from dubious sources.
- Having a subject line that mirrors your email content.
- Avoiding the use of special characters.
- Always linking to legitimate websites.
- Avoiding creating emails in HTML.
- Clearly marking all your promotional emails as ads. Don’t try and cut corners when it comes to stating the purpose behind the email.
- Giving your recipients the chance to opt out. Not doing so in the hopes that they will come back is just bad business. Provide recipients the chance to unsubscribe if that is what they want.
And there you have it! 8 simple tips to find your success with email marketing. Some emails are super simple, some are brief but well-thought out, some are extremely witty etc. It all boils down to finding out what works best for you.
Never forget, emails are a way for you to reach out to an audience from anywhere to everywhere!