How to Empower Your Business with a Successful Email Marketing Strategy

Email has become a wonderful tool for communication. These days though, it is overshadowed by tweeting, sharing status updates, and other means of imparting messages through different social media platforms. But emails and email marketing are far from obsolete. In fact, as an entrepreneur, there has never been a more critical time to take advantage of email marketing campaigns than it is now.

Studies and surveys have shown that email marketing consistently outperforms social media. It reaches its intended audience 90% of the time and has a higher click-through rate (CTR) than social media promotions. These benefits and a lot more can entice you to start an email marketing campaign. But there is one problem: not everyone knows how to do it right.

Why Bother with Email Marketing?

Email marketing should always be a part of your marketing strategy. It is a cost-effective way to endorse your products or services. On average, you can spend a dollar on email marketing, and you can get $48 back. That’s not bad. Additionally, it is a way for you to communicate with your customers, while you reach your goals for your business.

How to Create an Effective Email Marketing Strategy

You can begin with a compelling headline, interesting content, and a call to action in the end. But there is one thing most entrepreneurs forget. The first step to a successful strategy is to make sure the recipients have permitted you to contact them.

Getting into your existing or potential customers’ inboxes is similar to being invited to dinner at their homes. Therefore, if they ask you to remove your shoes, you should respectfully follow the instruction. For your email marketing strategy to work, you should always remember that you are in your customer’s “house.”

The first step is to build a sizeable list is to get permission from the possible recipients. You can choose your own way, such as giving something for free such as an eBook or you can offer product updates. You can also provide newsletters. Whichever method you choose, the purpose should be clear. The recipients should understand…

  • What will happen after they give you their email address
  • You are not out to spam them
  • The frequency of the emails
  • Whether or not they will get discounts
  • If they will have the chance to test your products
  • Whether they will receive relevant offers or you are just going to give them more junk

Let us say that you have built your email list. It is time now to focus on your email marketing strategies. Here are tactics that will surely help you turn to email marketing as an important communication channel that can help increase conversion rates:

Always Personalize

It does not mean you should send an individual email to each of your 100 subscribers. Personalization is simply about using customer data:

Dear Mark instead of Dear valued customer

You might like these (after inspecting the buying or “liking” history) not about a randomly generated list

Using personalized subject lines increases open rates by 16%. Plus, 70% of the brands do not practice personalization, so you easily stand out from the rest.

Segmentation

For example, if you are hosting an event and you want small business owners from within a 20-mile radius to participate, segmentation is important. Create a segment of these small business owners who live within 20 miles and then send them an email to invite them. You can use CRM software to segment your email recipient list. Segmentation is vital in email marketing because no one would want to receive an email that has nothing to do with their current location, industry, interests, and other factors.

Mobile-Friendly

In 2012, almost 30% of marketing recipients opened their emails through a mobile device. Two years later, the number became 42%. This year, 54% of emails were opened on mobile. These are really huge numbers and are expected to keep growing each year. It is only right that you make sure your emails are optimized for their handheld devices; otherwise, they will delete the email or even unsubscribe.

Test

When you create a website, you make sure that you test all the buttons, designs, and links to make sure they all work properly. You should do the same with email marketing. The following elements of your email should all be tested

  • Subject line
  • Call to action
  • Content
  • Design

It also helps to test what actually works for the sender name since research shows that it is the main reason why customers open their email. You can also test whether your subscribers open your longer emails more or they like it short and sweet. The best way to find out the results is to keep testing.

Automation

You can create trigger based emails, such as those that welcome or thank your customers. These emails are based on the behavior of the readers. This website and for my clients, I prefer to use Drip as this tool is very powerful fore marketing automation. For example, the customer made a purchase. You should have a trigger email ready, including an order confirmation and a receipt.

Whenever you send an email to your target audience, it should always be valuable, interesting, and timely. There are ways to know whether your email marketing strategy is finally working. You can measure it through:

  • Click-through rate or CTR which refers to the number of people who clicked on the links
  • Open rate or the percentage of people who opened the email you sent to them
  • Unsubscribe rate or the percentage of those who decided to stop getting your emails after receiving one from you
  • Conversion rate or the percentage of people who did the task or action described in the email

Of these four, you should always measure CTR and conversion rate. While the number of people who unsubscribed and those who opened your email will also help you determine whether or not your email marketing strategy is working, they are not as useful as CTR and conversion rate.

CTR will tell you if the emails you send to your subscribers are engaging and are valuable to them. If the CTR is low, it is time to change your strategy. Start with your call to action that should create a sense of urgency, so that the reader will feel the need to click that link.

As for the conversion rate, this metric tells you whether or not email marketing is helping you realize your business goals. If it is low, make sure that you are telling your subscriber what to do in a plain and simple yet compelling manner.

Examples of Email Marketing Strategies that Worked – and are Still Working

All kinds of businesses need to reach out to their customers. Even the big companies today use email marketing to maintain their customers and convert readers into buyers. Most of the time, the emails are useless that people simply mark them as read (without really reading them) and even unsubscribing.

However, there are also times when the email is so good that the subscriber does not just read it but also clicks on the link and shares it with their friends. Here are some of the email marketing strategies that can inspire you to create one that really works for you and your business:

BuzzFeed

Subscribers like how BuzzFeed uses attention-grabbing subject lines. They also have preview texts that compel most of their subscribers to open the email. They are simple and short but come with a punch. Often, they will present a question on their subject line, and the preview text will provide an answer. There are also emails where their subject line is like an instruction, and the preview text is to strengthen that command.

Example: “Get up! Get Up Now!” as the subject line, and the preview text says, “It’s time to get out of bed, people.”

BuzzFeed does not just rely on the subject and the previews. They also make sure that the copy is engaging and contains images that will surely hold the interest of the reader.

Charity: water

We have mentioned trigger emails, which you may have also known as transactional emails. These automated emails just go to the recipient’s inbox after taking a specific action. They could be anything from an email about a person filling out a form to purchasing a product. Often, these emails are made of plain texts and marketers simply set them and later, forget about them.

Charity: water, however, took a different route. Subscribers who decide to donate money to the charity: water project, they will receive an automated email to show where the money is and how it will make an impact in the future. There are a timeline and a table to know where the project is going and its progress.

Obviously, people will not read the emails through and through. However, they send emails that are clear and designed well for the purpose that the donor knows exactly where to read to check his or her status.

Uber

Most businesses use email marketing to promote their products and services. Uber is not an exception. The company emails their subscribers about deals and promotions so that people will click and buy their services. But what sets Uber’s email marketing strategy apart from other companies is that they make sure the emails are simple and straight to the point. The initial description is brief, and there is a very clear call to action that prompts the customer to do exactly what it says.

Subscribers these days are on the go, so they do not have the time or the patience to browse through the email. When they skim the email, they want to know exactly what it is about or they will leave it opened yet unread. Uber uses short emails, but they also put a link in the copy for those who want a detailed explanation about the deal.

Uber’s emails also work effectively because they are consistent with the branding of the company. From the app to the website, the emails come in geometric patterns and bright colors known to Uber. Additionally, the brand uses marketing assets and communications that tell a story. As an entrepreneur, you should also nail consistency to gain brand loyalty, just like what Uber continues to do.

TheSkimm

TheSkimm sends out daily newsletters to the subscribers. While not everyone may be reading them every day, the design is clean and comes with short paragraphs. Aside from newsletters, the company also sends emails triggered by certain milestones, such as anniversaries and birthdays. A lot of people appreciate these kinds of emails on a special occasion.

You can also try this kind of triggered email. The beauty of such emails is that they do not require extra data from the subscribers. You do not have to ask them to input information about themselves, and the emails can work for various recipients.

Other Email Marketing Strategies

You still have several techniques to try as you improve on your email marketing strategies. One example is by attempting to know the people who are reading your emails. The best way to do this is through surveys, market research, and interviews among others.

Another strategy you can try is to use pictures or even GIFs. These images capture the eye of the reader, so make sure they are delightful, colorful, and of course, related to your email and brand. It also helps to add some brief, clever content that will allow the reader to scan the email easily.

You can also offer something but do not put it inside the email. For instance, if you offer beauty products, you can say that you are giving away something in the subject line. In the content of the email, add the link where the subscribers can click to get that free offer.

Final Thoughts

For many marketers, email marketing is old-fashioned. However, if you know what you are doing, you can create a strategy that will deliver results and will continue to do so. Email marketing will keep on evolving. Therefore, it is important that you update your strategy from time to time to benefit from an improved campaign performance and of course, a bigger and better business.

I’m the Software Nerd who loves to grow online businesses. Unlike the typical marketer, I run experiments and bend computers to my will to achieve my results. Learn from my successes and failures.