Even just a few years ago, email marketing had a bad reputation for flooding inboxes with spam messages that everyone tossed into their delete folder without even bothering to open them. Recently, however, it’s undergone a renaissance.
“Newsletters are clicking because readers have grown tired of the endless stream of information on the Internet, and having something finite and recognizable show up in your inbox can impose order on all that chaos,” writes the New York Times’ David Carr.
So why has email has re-emerged as an important pillar in any business’s marketing campaign?
While not everyone is on social media, everyone has an email account.
There are 3x as many email accounts as there are Facebook and Twitter accounts combined.
Unlike social networks, there are no algorithms that filter content—emails have a 90% delivery rate to their intended recipients.
The most important part? Unlike social media networks that may come and go (remember Friendster?), email is here to stay.
What’s important, however, is to have the right strategy for your marketing campaign. Otherwise, it will just end up, unread, in spam folders. You also have to temper your expectations: a successful email campaign would have, at best, only 10% of their intended recipients actually opening them.
When Should You Begin An Email Campaign?
While email campaigns suit a wide variety of businesses (especially in the B2B and e-commerce sphere), you must know when to launch it. Ideally, it should begin only when you have enough of a customer database to support wide-scale distribution. Also, it should go hand-in-hand with content marketing—where you push out relevant content for your recipients—or to support a social media campaign.
What Are the Goals of Your Email?
You can’t just send content out the door and into inboxes. You have to tailor what’s inside to your marketing plan. In general, email campaigns follow a four-phase sequence. (We suggest doing it by months).
Address pain points of your customers
Establish the expertise of your firm
Get them to buy your product
Reinforce the product experience
What Are the Effective Strategies to Get Your Customers to Open Your Email?
When it comes to email campaigns, here are the best practices you need to nail right away: a great subject line, relevant content, the right timing, the proper incentives, a call-to-action, and integration with social media. Let’s tackle these one by one.
1. SUBJECT LINE
Remember, great subject lines are personalized and interesting. Compare these three:
This is a bad subject line. It’s cold and boring.
This is a good subject line. It grabs your attention and makes you want to find out more.
This is a great subject line! It’s personalized and it offers tangible benefits to your consumer.
In general, the best times to send e-mails are near lunch break or near the end of office hours, as that’s when their attention isn’t so focused on work. Also consider sending emails out near pay day cut-offs, especially when you’re offering sales and promos.
Never use the word FREE or PROMO on your subject lines, as these are guaranteed turn-offs! Instead, consider offering incentives within the body of your email through vouchers. For example, you can offer exclusive in-store freebies that your customers can claim when they show your email to store personnel.
4. CALL TO ACTION
Design your emails in such a way that there’s a clear call to action within the body. For example, add bright “CLICK HERE” buttons if you want them to perform an action, like availing of a promo or liking your Facebook page.
5. INTEGRATION WITH SOCIAL MEDIA
Use social media and an email campaign together for a two-in-one marketing punch. Add subscribe buttons straight in your email so they can quickly follow you on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Also consider adding social share buttons so they can share the info on your email direct to their friends!
These are just some of the few strategies you can use for your own email campaigns. We hope you continue to find our content useful. Until the next blog post!