There are endless possibilities today when it comes to marketing. The internet has opened doors to countless new marketing techniques for businesses to adopt and sell their products. Yet, the quest remains the same for most small businesses and online sellers, and it is to find cost-efficient marketing techniques.
This is where email marketing comes into the picture. A solid email marketing strategy is essential for promoting and growing your business, regardless of whether it’s a brand new company or an established one.
Email marketing has been around for the longest time and that is for a reason. It has been one of the most effective techniques for communication between a brand and its stakeholders.
It is the most direct and effective way of connecting with your leads, assisting them, and converting them into leads. You also don’t have to worry about any algorithm changes when you pick email marketing.
Not only do you not have to worry about algorithm changes, you also don’t need to spend time creating the content in your email campaigns, as it can be outsourced to an email marketing virtual assistant these days by doing so, you can work on other things as you acquire 10X more leads and grow your email list.
All of this points toward the fact that having a successful email marketing strategy is very important. However, most people don’t know how to build one.
This post will talk you through some highly effective tips, strategies, and tools that will help you execute high-performing email marketing campaigns.
What is email marketing?
Email marketing can be defined as a form of direct marketing that makes use of personalized, mass emails to inform and stimulate a certain lead to take a specific action towards your brand.
When you go for email marketing, think of yourself as a guest in your user’s inbox. That’s right, you will be entering your user’s email inbox with thousands of other players and your goal is to make your user feel comfortable and respect their mind space. Whenever you are in an email conversational exchange, you need to keep good manners intact. Now, let’s move to what email marketing comprises.
Elements of email marketing
As we mentioned, email marketing is one of the most popular and effective marketing strategies adopted by the masses. It is intuitive and often automated. In its most basic form, email marketing involves these three important elements:
- An email list
What is an email list? One would think. It is a database of all the email contacts that have expressed a certain inclination or interest in receiving marketing communications from your brand. You will need an active email list if you want to pull successful email campaigns. There are multiple ways to build one of course. One of the easiest ways to create a list would be to create a lead magnet that interests your target audience. This can be a coupon or any other offer that asks for their email address.
- An email service provider
An email service provider (ESP) is software that helps you manage your email list. It is also known as an email marketing platform from which you can design and execute automated email marketing campaigns.
When you use an ESP, you get a chance to automate all actions encouraged by your target audience’s behavioral patterns. This way you can personalize every interaction with your audience, increasing meaningful engagement and conversation rates.
- Well defined goals
There can be multiple business goals that you might want to achieve with your email marketing campaigns. You can use it to drive sales, increase brand awareness, keep customers engaged, boost customer loyalty, generate leads, etc.
If you want to have a successful email marketing campaign, your email list, ESP, and goals should be on the same track.
The first thing you should do is segment your email list as per the subscriber demographics or actions. After that, create an email or series of emails that are made to get consumers to take some action (towards your goal). The final step would be to use ESP to send your emails out and monitor your campaign.
Creating an email marketing plan
If you are a business owner, you probably have a lot on your plate, and setting aside time for devising the perfect email marketing plan can be demanding. But we have put together some best practices that you can follow while developing your email marketing plan to make all your efforts worthwhile.
- Define your audience
If you want to communicate effectively with your target group, you need to know who they are irrespective of what you sell. This might sound like an easy task but doing it manually can be a bit challenging. Social media schedulers can make your job easier by giving you deep insights into your audience’s behavior.
- Know the signup sources
If you are giving out signup forms, the most valuable data for you would be where did the subscribers sign up from. If you have an email list, knowing where your customers joined the list will help you communicate with them in a better way. Let’s say, the majority of signups coming from your forms were from Facebook and Twitter. Here you might want to concentrate on connecting with your customers through social media.
- Create segments or groups
After a certain amount of marketing time, you will have recognized small clusters of people within your larger audience group. You will then be able to create groups and segments that will help you send more relevant campaigns to your recipients.
With formed groups, you can easily organize your email list into categories so that there will be a need only for a single list in your account. So, what you do is divide your audience into segments based on their similar behaviors and create a targeted email list that is specific to their choices.
- Decide on what to write
Now that you have established who you are writing to, you must jump to the part where you think about your content. You need to decide what you want to say to your audience. Your emails should have a purpose that speaks directly to your subscribers. There are multiple content types that you can choose from for expressing your thoughts. Here are some examples:
- Latest events
- Snapshots from past events
- News excerpts
- Information on new products
- Well-performing posts from social media
- Holiday related content
The kind of content that you send out to your audience matters a lot. So, when you are designing your email, think if you already have pieces that your customers might like. At the same time, you should also think of content that you would want to create particularly for your audience or certain segments.
Top email marketing strategies for your brand
If you want to succeed with your email marketing, you need to be strategic about how you design your campaigns. Here are some strategies that you can use for designing the best email marketing campaigns:
- Always focus on a central objective
Whenever you work on designing an email campaign, make sure that you are trying to hit only one goal at a time with your content. If you aim at two to three things with a single campaign, your audience might get confused and even get put off by it.
- Use the correct list building techniques
The quality of your email list will determine how successful your campaigns are going to be. If you want to build an email list of this kind, you should follow list-building strategies specifically designed for your target audience. If you are a B2B brand that employs B2C tactics for building a list of subscribers, you might lose altogether.
- Form the right KPIs and track them
If you thought your job was done once you send out the emails to your subscribers, you are wrong. It’s not just about sending emails, it is also about tracking campaign performance once they go out. Therefore, you must define the right KPIs and track them to indicate your campaign performance,
- Keep your email list worked up
If you want your subscribers to remain engaged and active, you have to keep sending emails to them regularly. If you have a periodical pattern of sending emails, your subscribers could forget who you are and they could lose interest in your brand, leading to low conversion rates.
- Maintain the order of your email list
Another important email marketing practice is to keep your email list clean and tidy. What we mean to say here is that you should eliminate inactive subscribers and email addresses that are no longer useful to you. Doing this will make sure that you have a good sender reputation.
- Pick the right time for sending emails
Timing is extremely important for the success of your email marketing campaigns. You could have worked very hard on your content but if you fail to send it at the right time, your efforts might go in vain. You can use third-party tools to determine the best times to send your emails. These should ideally be when your audience is most active and likely to open your email.
Top free email marketing tools that you should know
We already looked at how you can devise a successful email marketing campaign. Now let us come to the part where you can execute it with perfection. For this, you will have to leverage email marketing tools. The entire process of email marketing can be optimized and automated with these tools.
This tool is a crowd favorite email marketing tool that has features with deliverability. You can create impressive newsletters with no HTML knowledge at all with this tool. The analytics features that come with Sender are also very strong. You can track who opened your emails when they opened them, who clicked on the links, and more. The sender also lets you create buyer profiles that are based on your subscriber actions.
This tool is a marketing communication platform that includes features for email marketing and customer relationship management. There are over 70 email design templates to choose from, that will make your email look great. Once you design your email, you can make use of features like A/B testing and segmented recipient lists. This will take the whole guesswork and manual effort out of the process.
The free plan offered by Omnisend offers only email services, but they are more than enough to support the email marketing efforts of small or medium businesses. Your email delivery can be automated based on the behavioral triggers and your conversations can be timed based on the customer’s convenience. The comprehensive audience insights feature can be used to gain an even deeper understanding of your audience and send out more relevant emails.
- Benchmark Email
This tool is a great option for designing responsive emails that will look good on any device that they are opened on. In case you want to add images to your email, you will be able to do so from within the platform. The email editor in this tool will let you add effects, stickers, and text to send your message across effectively. You will also have the option of choosing from a pool of pre-designed templates that will be based on the industry, type, and occasion. If you are comfortable with using HTML, you can also use the code editor to build emails from the ground up. Then there is a dual view feature that will let you see your email design when you are editing it. That would further simplify the email creation process.
MailerLite stands out in the market with its sophisticated features like the pop-up customizer and the page builder. There are basic email drafting features like the drag and drop email builder, along with a rich text editor and a photo editor that can be used from within the app. Awesome landing pages can be created to match the emails that you send to increase your chances of driving conversions.
In case you have ignored email marketing in the past, it is high time you reevaluate your strategy. Email marketing has never been complicated and it still does not have to be. Marketers who are willing to learn how to do it right can drive massive results from their email marketing efforts.
Also, whenever you are drafting emails, you should remind yourself that you are a guest in your audience’s inbox. You will have to maintain a certain level of respect, and politeness, and deliver value through your content.
Email automation is another thing that you must always keep in the pipeline. Your email automation tool should align with your company’s goals and values. When you automate the process of emailing your subscribers, you will eliminate room for errors and also sign yourself up for success. You will achieve consistency and efficiency in your work. Along with email automation, if you are thinking about social media automation, you should consider using RecurPost. It is a social media scheduler with repeating schedules that will help you manage all major social media networks from a single dashboard.