Email marketing is a powerful tool. You can reach a wide audience effectively when used properly and within guidelines. Used properly and your business ROI will see the results. When used improperly your emails will end up in a spam folder or just not delivered at all.
Email marketing campaigns must be part of a holistic approach and complemented with other techniques like SEO, content creation, social media engagement, and nurturing leads.
For a successful email marketing campaign, consider these five important email marketing tips:
Integrate email data into your main data collection system
Build your email marketing data base with reliable marketing software and integrate your email marketing with other data systems. When you combine different marketing databases, you can segment the data and produce and overlap that will effectively target potential prospects with relevant email messages.
Traits previously discussed like the buyer persona and marketing journey should be and integral part of the established marketing system, so you'll have an opportunity to target the right audience with the right email message. Also develop more content (if needed) to ensure your email campaigns are focused. Most importantly, remember to address your prospective customers’ needs and desires in the content of your message.
Crafting and monitoring your email list
Email Marketing begins with the email list and is only as effective as the list is accurate, up-to-date and relevant to your message. One of the challenges that marketers face with email marketing is improving the deliverability rate. The deliverability rate is the percentage of emails delivered to the target email in box versus the total number of messages sent. If most of your emails result in messages such as undeliverable or unopened this is an indication your email list is ineffective. When an email is unopened or not deliverable it is called a bounce. If the number of emails that bounced back is high, it's a sign of inactivity. Your mail server will also track your bounce rate and adjust your email capabilities unfavourably if the bounce rate is too high.
As a side bar - most email marketing experts identify 2 types of email campaigns, “White Hat” and “Black Hat.” White Hat campaigns are emails sent to customers that have demonstrated they want to receive the email either through visiting the site or direct inquiry on the website. Black Hat email marketing refers to email blast campaigns that send junk mail and crowd the in box. Both have a place but most email marketer suggest a White Hat campaign as it avoids disciplinary action from the mail server. But that is a subject for another blog.
To improve your deliverability rate, refine your email list as you receive feedback from the mail server. Disregard email addresses that are no longer active or engaged; this can be tracked using metrics like opens, clicks, or website inactivity. Remember this is an ongoing process that takes time and dedication.
If after cleaning up your email list, you’re still having problems, redefine your opt-in process. This will prevent inactive or invalid emails from getting included in your list; ask people to enter their email twice or you could use the double opt-in.
Earn your email list
Many marketers buy their email lists. This is discouraged as the information on most lists is old and outdated and results in a very high bounce rate. Instead, focus on building your own list. One terrific way to accomplish this is to attend trade shows or conventions where people in your industry will directly give you their email address. The bounce rate from this form of marketing is almost zero.
To retain your subscribers, it helps to email them with the right message and demonstrate a value add situation for them directly catering to their needs. In email marketing, a working campaign requires testing and optimisation as the process is ongoing. Don’t focus too much on your subject lines; instead, test different elements in your email marketing focusing on those that maximise your performance.
Practice closed-loop marketing
Another challenge that marketers face in email marketing is achieving measurable ROI. Closed-loop marketing can provide this answer. When using closed-loop marketing, you track leads from the initial channel, through the first conversion, and finally to becoming a paying customer. This is called conversion and is critical to your business.
Nurture leads for your business
Though powerful, mail marketing campaigns must be part of your holistic marketing approach. Emails can help strengthen your message but are most effective when combined with other techniques as well to make your campaign more effective.
Avoid sending email blasts to gain new subscribers. This practice doesn’t help the process and won't convert leads into paying customers.
Email marketing is powerful when it's done the right way and used with other marketing techniques. Follow the five important email marketing tips above to avoid the challenges involved in every email marketing campaign.