Email Marketing: What You Need to Know
Email marketing. We’ve said it before and we are going to repeat it: email is not dead. It remains one of the most effective ways to communicate to your customers and target customers. In fact, according to Snov.io, 89% of marketers use email as the primary channel for generating leads.
The graph below shows B2B content distribution channels (Image source: contentmarketinginstitute.com), with email in second at 87%!
With the prevalence of social media and other digital marketing tactics, some business owners tend to think that it’s better to focus their attention and resources on other channels and ignore email marketing.
But, As We Will Show In This Article, Email Marketing Is Powerful
It continues to show an amazing ROI, with the latest statistics showing $36-$42 for every $1 spent. (https://www.litmus.com/blog/infographic-the-roi-of-email-marketing/)
Email marketing programs can be used by any business owner, small businesses, larger companies, a marketing team, or sales personnel to increase their traffic, exposure, and reach. Like most things, the success of your email program is directly related to what you put into it.
Here are all the basics you need to know about email marketing and why it’s important for your business.
Is Email Marketing Still Relevant?
Yes. People use emails to stay connected to others, receive information about topics they are interested in and stay in touch with the brands they like. When an email reaches someone’s inbox, it is an opportunity to directly connect with them.
It’s one of the many reasons why email marketing still works – because it goes directly to them. When you do email marketing correctly, results from the email marketing campaigns will pleasantly surprise you.
How To Get Started With An Email Marketing Program
- Choose an email marketing platform (email service provider). We use Hubspot and we are a Hubspot partner. They do have a free starter package and we highly recommend them. Other platforms include MailChimp and Constant Contact (no affiliation). At the very core you can use your email client as your email software. Email marketing platforms, however, are best because they track important metrics such as click throughs to help you understand how your emails are performing.
- Build your email list. Your list should include customers and prospects, with proper segmentation. The most important thing here is you need to start somewhere. Even if you are starting with just 5 or 10 contacts, get started.
- Start writing. Write your Welcome Email welcoming new customers to your company after a purchase. Write a welcome email to new subscribers or opt-ins to your list. After you write your welcome emails, make sure they are named and saved so you don’t have to go looking for them next time.
- Write your first newsletter. It doesn’t have to be great. Make sure someone proofreads it though, and that they pay attention to spelling errors and basic grammar. The important thing is to do it and get it sent out. There is always time for improvement as you go along. Copywriting is a specialty, so if you are stuck and having trouble, hire someone. The $$ spent will be well worth it.
- Schedule time weekly on your calendar for your email work. If you don’t schedule it, it won’t get done. You MUST make time for this or it will FAIL. If you absolutely don’t have time, hire someone to do it. It is that important. You will establish a good workflow for yourself or your team along the way.
How to Build an Email List
Building an email list is an ongoing task, as your target audience keeps growing and changing. Make sure you have an email database, with email addresses and relevant information like customer behavior and demographics. We highly recommend using a CRM tool like Hubspot for list building. It will help you organize your email lists, help you with list segmentation, and introduce marketing automation to your email efforts when you are ready.
Many other email marketing tools are available. MailChimp (no affiliation) is a good email marketing service if you haven’t chosen one already or don’t like the one you are currently using. An important side note here to make sure you offer an unsubscribe feature in case your email subscribers want to unsubscribe.
There are several ways to convince people to join your email list, including:
- Offering relevant and insightful content about your industry on your website
- Adding attractive sign-up forms or opt-in forms on the homepage of your website to increase new subscribers
- Networking at events and trade shows
- Becoming a member of industry-specific organizations with membership lists
- Create a lead-generating PDF (also called a lead magnet)
- Keep your content updated and engaging, offering your subscribers value so they want to hear from you. For example, one of our goals here at Grey Matter is to offer valuable marketing tips that can be used to improve marketing efforts and ROI for anyone who subscribes to our list.
What Do Statistics Say About Email Marketing?
Recent statistics show that email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to advertise and increase your conversion rate. According to Hubspot, 59% of people state that their purchasing decisions are influenced by email marketing, either positively or negatively.
The return on investment is also impressive in email marketing, as DMA Marketer Email Tracker shows. For every dollar you spend on email marketing, the average return is a staggering $42. The same report shows that two-thirds of customers made a purchase as a direct result of email marketing communication.
As to email usage in 2020, surprising stats from Mailer Lite show that the average sign-ups per account have increased by almost 35% from March 2020. The pandemic surely played a role in this dramatic increase, leading to a rise in eCommerce activities and consumer engagement.
As you can see, email marketing is still very much alive in 2021 and beyond.
However, if you want to reap all these benefits, you need to do it right.
Start with a Welcome Email
Two basic emails that you can start with are the welcome email to new customers and a welcome email to new subscribers to your email newsletter program.
For new customers, build a system that sends an automated email through your email marketing software, welcoming them as a customer or to your community. This email content should be warm and welcoming. Be sure to include all of your social channels and contact info so your new customer has easy access to information about how to reach out to you.
For new subscribers (your potential customers), use an auto-response email that welcomes them to your email newsletter program and explain the value they will receive from being a subscriber.
How to Write Good Email Subject Lines
The subject line of a marketing email should be carefully considered. It has to maximize the open rate, communicate the key information you’re about to provide in the email and be interesting enough to stand out in your customer’s inbox. Click-through rates are also important, it means that your email was engaging and informative.
Some great tools are out there to assist with writing subject lines, one of our favorites is Portent.
Personalizing the subject line is a good tactic, as well as using a language that’s in sync with your brand’s personality and the body of the email. To get a good open rate, you have to tease the audience enough to get your email open. A/B testing is paramount for finding the right combination of words for your subject line. Don’t forget to create some eye-catching graphics or images to go with your words to increase the visual interest.
The best way to find out what works is to look at what performed well in your past campaigns, and how your audience responds to different variants in real-time.
Use Email Templates
Most email software providers offer email templates to make the actual building of the email easier for you. You can optimize your time by using one of the pre-made email templates that they offer. There are many email marketing best practices, and learning to be efficient is definitely one of them!
The Value of Content Marketing
Part of a good email marketing strategy is to engage your customers and prospects and get them to a landing page or piece of content on your website.
We recommend starting with an email newsletter monthly if you are not currently emailing your customers and prospects. Your email newsletter can offer:
- Previews of the great content on your website
- Product updates
- New product announcements or promotional emails
- Specials or volume pricing to increase customer loyalty
- Increases brand awareness
- Case studies make excellent content for an email newsletter
- Analysis and A/B Testing
A/B Testing is an advanced technique once you have your email marketing campaigns running well.A/B testing can be used to improve your email marketing strategy and adjust it to the needs of your audience. It involves more effort and time, as you have to constantly check the results of your campaigns. Testing your email strategy before doing a full launch is also very important, as it prevents easy mistakes and maximizes the potential of your campaign.
You can’t know from the start what your audience will prefer when it comes to subject lines, design, or personalization. Creating two or more versions of a newsletter or email and testing them prior to the full launch is really helpful. Test several variables and analyze the results to decide which version is the best.
Increase Your Customer Acquisition with Grey Matter
If you want to use email marketing to get more customers, Grey Matter will help you achieve stellar results with bullet-proof tactics and expert advice. We have been able to create successful email marketing programs for many of our customers with a significant ROI. We focus on metrics that show the performance of your campaigns in terms of revenue, conversions, and ROI.
Our marketing strategies are science-based and never fail to deliver results that outperform your competition. If you want to have a clear advantage over them, work with one of the best marketing agencies out there. Contact us for more information.
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