At a time when individuals rarely communicate with one another via email anymore, it may seem a bit surprising that marketers are still finding this to be an effective tool.
And yet, it is.
In fact, in a comprehensive survey, 86% of customers stated that they want to receive monthly promotional emails from companies they do business with.
Given the current consumer preferences, the newer technologies that allow for segmentation, automation and personalization, email is still a powerful marketing tool, if used correctly.
Email marketing can no longer just be throwing enough stuff out there and hoping some of it “sticks.”
The newest buzzword in email marketing is “targeted.”
And this means many things to marketers.
A targeted email marketing campaign can be created by developing specific strategies so that the right people get the right emails and that no one feels “spammed” or harassed.
In this article I will talk about 22 effective tips for making your email strategy work and generate the ROI you are looking for.
- 1 Strategies for Getting Started
- 2 Let’s Talk About Content
- 3 Subject Line – Nothing is More Important
- 4 Sending
- 5 Managing Your Subscribers
Strategies for Getting Started
Before you begin to look at all of the technology you can use, and the content that you should be creating, there are some important start points.
1. Your Audience Controls Everything
If you have done the research and the analytics, you know who your audience is.
You know what your targets value, their sense of humor, and what inspires them.
And this should drive any content you produce for your email campaign.
2. Segment Your Recipients
You have several groups among your email recipients.
You have those who:
- are your regular customers
- have purchased at least once but have not made additional buys
- have visited your site, provided their email address, but have never purchased anything
- have registered their email address from other sources (blog posts or social media platforms), but have never actually visited your site
Each of these groups must be separated out for different email content.
3. Use Multiple Methods for Opt-Ins
You can ask during the checkout process, in every blog post or your social media platforms.
Using the right template at the right place, is the key.
OptinMonster provides multiple features for creating an effective subscription box.
You can try various fonts, colors and texts to create a template that works. Also A/B test your templates to find the optimum one.
You can read this review to find out how it can help you to build your email list.
You can even have optin forms for different things, like subscription to your special offer emails, subscription to your blog posts and more.
4. Offer Something for Opt-Ins
You can offer a number of things – anything from a download of special information to great discounts to other freebies.
You need to make it attractive for visitors and readers to sign up.
5. Avoid Buying Email Lists
This does not generally work well. You will be contacting people you have never even had an initial touchpoint with, and they are likely to spam you.
Rather try to build your email list.
You can also place an ad on social media and see what kind of response you can get.
Let’s Talk About Content
You will have to develop different content for each segment of your audience.
And that content has to be creatively written and engaging, if you expect to get good open rates.
Lots of marketers are not creative writers. They can develop great strategies however, crafting the content is a different “ball game.”
They will need to find professional writers who are skilled in creative content. Many turn to online writing websites for students, because lots of those have creative copywriters too.
The key is to find a genuine service that has experienced and reputable copywriting writers.
There is a big difference between pro essay writers who produce pieces for academic assignments and journalistic creatives who focus on writing to engage consumers.
Make sure you are connected with some great copywriters.
6. Make Emails Personal
Whenever possible, use the subscriber’s name in the subject line.
On top of that, make the content as personal as possible for the different segments of your list, based upon where they are in your touchpoint or sales funnel.
7. Make Yourself Human
Don’t approach customers and potential customers as a business. You don’t want to sound like an impersonal robot.
Use casual language and even some humor. It’s a good thing to entertain your targets as much as possible.
8. Always Include CTA
You are not sending an email just for fun.
You want your recipient to do something as a result of that email.
E.g. take advantage of a discount, checkout your new product, read an informative blog post etc.
So don’t forget to include those call to action (CTAs)
9. Use Visuals
Emails with visuals have a greater chance of being read than those without.
Even a quick video can be extremely effective.
These are the things that engage customers – far more than long text that people are trying to read from their mobile devices.
According to NeoMam,
9. Make Them Scannable
Emails, like blog posts, should be scannable.
You can do this by using headings and bullet points (and visuals).
11. Include Contact Information
This should go without saying.
If a recipient has any questions about an email you sent, you must respond to those immediately.
12. Link to Your Social Profiles
Always invite readers to your social media platforms placing links.
Also invite them to share an email with their communities.
Give them the ability to do this with a simple click.
This is how you spread and promote your brand.
Subject Line – Nothing is More Important
Think about it.
When you go through your own emails, you look at the sender, and then you look at the subject line.
You are prone to open those emails that have an interesting subject line.
Some of the best writing you have to do will be those subject lines.
13. Different Subject Lines for Different Segments
If you have a customer who has not visited or purchased in a long time, you will want a subject line that creatively invites him back for another look at your products or services.
Maybe you have a new product that is related to or an improvement on a previous product he purchased. Put an announcement in the subject line.
You may want to offer a big discount to your most loyal customers, and you can even let them offer that discount to some of their friends.
14. Questions Are Good
People like to answer questions or give their opinions.
A subject line with a question can be intriguing and increase open rates.
15. Keep them Punchy
Subject lines are a lot like headlines. They should engage and intrigue immediately.
If you struggle with subject lines, check out some of the writing software that has been developed specifically to get catchy titles and headlines.
Many of these sites let you put in a few keywords and will generate hundreds of potential headlines – these can be really helpful and give you great ideas.
16. Use Urgency when You Can
This is a good emotional ploy.
People don’t want to miss out on great deals.
So it’s good if you can put an urgent deadline in your subject line.
When you send and how often you send is the key to a targeted email marketing campaign.
If you are analyzing your analytics reports, you should know who is opening your emails and at what time.
Use this information to determine your sending schedule.
17. When are Your Audiences Online
Use data to find this out.
The different segments in your email list may check their emails at different times.
Make sure you send your emails out at the optimal times for opening.
You will need to experiment a bit.
Send to different segments at times you believe are best, and then check out the open rates with your analytics and revise accordingly.
18. They Must be Mobile Friendly
You know by now that the majority of consumers are using mobile devices for everything from searches to purchases.
And these activities include checking their emails too.
According to Email Monday, mobile email open rate has grown by 180% in the last three years.
And, 67.2% of consumers use a smartphone to check their email.
So make sure your email are mobile friendly.
19. Be Consistent
Certainly, you do not want to harass the recipients.
Otherwise, they will drop you like a hot potato.
At the same time, you want to remind them that they are important to you and that you have not forgotten them.
Again, testing the best practice is important. You can do this by looking at open rates in proportion to how often you are contacting each segment of your audience.
20. Welcomes and Thank-You’s
An email should go out to welcome every new subscriber.
Likewise, as soon as a purchase is made, a thank-you email should be there in order.
You can couple that “thank-you” with information on shipping and emails that will be coming regarding the progress of order fulfilment.
Customers do want to know that you are working on their orders and staying on top of progress.
Managing Your Subscribers
You have to regularly evaluate your email list.
You will need to move subscribers from one segment to another and monitor the activity of the recipients.
21. Make Unsubscribing Easy
Every email should hold the method by which a recipient can unsubscribe.
There is no point in irritating those who just don’t want to subscribe right now.
If you allow them to unsubscribe with a click, they will appreciate you and may very well come back when they are looking for your product or service again.
22. Purge Your List Regularly
You don’t want to gain a reputation as a harassing spammer.
If you do not get responses from your recipients over a sustained period of time, remove them.
You can always send an email asking if they want to remain or not.
But, if you have not received any response in six or more months, then take that recipient off your list and place him/ her in an inactive file.
You can always go back later, at holiday time, for example, and ask them to come and take a look at your products and discounts.
How targeted are your email marketing campaigns?
So, these are some effective tips for a targeted email campaign campaigns. Certainly, there may be some that have been overlooked.
However, if you take the time to segment out your audiences, to craft targeted email content for each segment, craft catchy and intriguing subject lines, and provide your recipients easy ways to share, to link to your other presence online, to share great content you provide, you will have gone a long way toward making email marketing work for your company.
Author Bio: This article is contributed by Angela Baker. She is a self-driven specialist who is currently working as a freelance writer and trying to improve herself in the blogging career. She is always seeking to discover new ways for personal and professional growth and is convinced that it’s always important to broaden horizons. That`s why Angela develops and
improves her skills throughout the writing process to help and inspire people.