When it comes to staying in touch with people, email is the most popular way to go. It’s not just for nerds and business types, either. Around 94% of adults use it, and nearly half of them check their email on their phones.
Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing channels for building a following and customer base. But it’s not easy. Building effective email marketing campaigns takes work and strategy. If you want your email to stand out, it needs to be something special. Learn how to build a successful email marketing campaign with our step-by-step email marketing guide.
How email marketing works
It’s simple really. Email offers so much more than other platforms. It’s the most personal way to communicate, and it delivers results! In fact, research shows that email is 40X better at converting prospects into customers than social media (Source: McKinsey & Company). More than half of us check our email on a smartphone or tablet.
What is an email marketing campaign?
An email marketing campaign is a coordinated set of individual email messages that are sent to a targeted audience, across a specific period of time and with a specific purpose.
How to start an email marketing campaign
Before unleashing your next email marketing campaign, ask yourself: Does my marketing email add value or address a problem that my audience will care about? Does it offer a solution to the problem, with my brand as the answer? Is it simple, personal, and well written? Will people think “this was hand-crafted for me!” when they open it?
An effective email marketing campaign requires 5 things:
- Email List
- Email marketing platform
- Clear goals
- Great Content
- Active Monitoring
How to build an email list for marketing
The best way to build an email marketing list is to create “lead magnets”. These are offers of value that would appeal to your niche. You provide that value free of charge in exchange for their contact details. The trick to strategize on a lead magnet that would be of interest, otherwise results can be low. A good lead magnet shared across multiple relevant channels can generate hundreds of leads within a week. At Scrape Inc. we don’t believe in guessing, your marketing decision must be data driven – understanding your niche, their interests, and their pain points as well as the best channels to reach them is key to creating successful email lists from lead magnet. The best part is – contacts generated through lead magnets are qualified to be the right niche, have legally opted into your list, have some awareness of your brand and are more likely to enjoy the content you share in your campaigns. We never recommend buying lists – it is against most policy for most email marketing platforms (the law requires that permission-based marketing).
Email Marketing Platform
An email marketing tool should do more than just send out your campaign emails. It should help you manage your list, including subscription and unsubscribe requests, as well as deliverability issues. An email marketing tool also helps you design and execute automated email marketing campaigns such as autoresponders or upsells to increase conversions, or even a simple thank you for subscribing. HubSpot is a great email marketing tool; however, start-ups and small businesses can find them pricey. Cheaper options are of course Mailchimp or ConstantContact. We have some great strategic partner discounts with many of these providers, contact us to discuss your requirements.
You can use email marketing to achieve different business goals. For example, you can use email marketing to boost brand awareness, generate or nurture leads, keep customers engaged, drive sales or increase loyalty. To run effective email marketing campaigns, your goals must align with your email marketing list and what your email marketing platform will provide. Remember, you can run multiple campaigns, the trick is to make sure you correctly segment your audience and match each contact to the most strategic (and realistic) business goals. For example, if a contact has just downloaded your lead magnet, it may not be a good idea to add them to a campaign aimed at driving sales – you should try to build some trust first. We help our clients with their targeted email marketing campaigns – click here for more info.
Once you have set the goal for each of your campaigns, it becomes easier to carefully craft purposeful emails (remember you cant achieve everything with one email – you have to strategically lead your prospect towards the main goal). Ensure you are generating content that adds value to your audience – this could be through raising awareness, sharing industry updates, or most importantly educating them. Your content must be grammatically well written, purposeful, useful, timely and engaging.
Although its a small part of your email, the subject line is a vital element. Your email subject line is the gate keeper of the rest of your message. The wrong subject line will send your email straight to the trash with an unsubscribe/ spam click, but the right subject line will increase your open rate, click-through rate and ensure your call-to-action (CTA) is not ignored.
Also, remember no one wants to read an email that is all text. Visuals can help your audience quickly understand the purpose of your email. Research has found that well placed visuals drive up click through rates and decrease unsubscription.
Finally, don’t forget to include CTA. This informs the recipient of what you want them to do next. If you have strategically crafted a purpose for each email, you will be clear on this. The CTA varies based on the recipient’s stage in the buying journey and you don’t want to confuse them. Your CTA should be timely and may include download, visit a page for more info, schedule a demo or even visit the store.
It’s important to automate your email marketing so that you can have more time to focus on other tasks, such as monitoring success, creating new content or adding products to your store. Most email marketing platforms allow you to monitor success, set triggers for your salespeople to follow up and run A/B testing.
How to improve click rate in email marketing
Perhaps the best way to improve your click rate in email marketing is to be strategic about your content. Start with a subject line that grabs the attention or sparks curiosity. Then ensure your content is relevant, useful, and well written. More importantly the more you can personalize aspects of your email the better, that’s why segmentation is important – this shows the recipient that you understand them and helps you build trust faster. They must trust you, before they can click on anything in your email.
When is the best time to send a marketing email?
This is a tough question to answer – the best times to send marketing emails vary based on your niche. That’s why its important to understand your buyer persona. For example, an email campaign sent out to an ecommerce list of recipients may be more successful on a Monday at 10am (when they are less busy); but it probably wouldn’t yield the same results if sent to a business owner in the technology space during that set time. Audience behaviour really does vary. However, generally speaking, Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8am and 10am have been found to be effective weekdays to send B2B marketing emails and generate high open rates. We work with our clients to ensure a/b testing in email marketing – that allows us to identify the best time for them to send their marketing emails.
What is a/b testing in email marketing?
A/B testing or split testing, is a method of identifying which of your emails are working best to meet your goals. By doing more of what is working, you can ultimately increase click-through rate, conversion-rate and revenue. A/B testing involves creating two versions of an email to monitor which performs better.
In conclusion, here’s your step-by-step guide to getting started if you already have a good list:
Step 1 – Segment your email list. Segmentation allows you to deliver targeted messages to the right consumers at the right time, with the right product or offer.
Step 2 – Create a series of emails designed to get consumers to do something (your goal).
Step 3 – Use your email marketing tool to send emails and monitor the campaign’s success.
At Scrape Inc. we love creating content – our clients have found much success in outsourcing their email marketing and lead nurturing campaigns to us. This provides them more time to focus on engaging with the hot leads that are ready to buy from the campaigns we create. Click Here to schedule time to discuss your email marketing campaigns.