While there is no doubt that an integrated approach offers the most value, email marketing strategies show no sign of becoming redundant any time soon. In fact, studies continue to show that email still has a high ROI compared to other digital strategies.
A recent Email Marketing Industry Report published by Campaign Monitor in August 2018 shows that email marketing made up a whopping 59% of ROI for most organisations, beating social media, display ads, video, and mobile. Despite these numbers, the same study shows that just 25% of companies plan to increase spending on email marketing this year.
The Campaign Monitor report suggests that B2B companies have plenty of benefits on offer from email marketing, with 30% aiming to increase their email spend in the year ahead, 68% stating that email was their primary channel for results, 82% stating that leads and sales are the biggest measures of their success, and just 47% stating that they use email automation.
It, therefore, goes without saying that you cannot afford to overlook the impact that email marketing delivers. With that said, simply sending out the same old emails to the same old email lists without doing anything else is the total opposite of effective email marketing. In order to see genuine and consistent results, it is important to first focus on the best practices approaches that deliver tried and tested results. From there, you can begin to delve into more advanced strategies that help you increase your open rates and clicks.
Without a solid foundation, you will find it far harder to get anywhere. That can be dangerous for your open rates, read rates and click rates, it goes without saying.[embed]https://grapevinegroup.co.za/tipsheets/2018-marketing-benchmark-report-by-ibm-watson/[/embed]
Simple, Proven Email Marketing Strategies
Often, businesses start email marketing strategies because they have a general idea that email is good. While this is, of course, true, it takes a lot more than a tired newsletter sent out each month to see the true power of email. In order to get off on the right track, you need to go back to basics so that you are able to develop a campaign that is reliable, tested and designed to convert right from the very start.
Here are a few things to keep in mind to get more from your email marketing strategies.
Focus on the data.
One of the biggest email marketing mistakes made by even seasoned markets is not focusing on the data. You could have the most incredible campaign idea, a flawless template, and world-class content, only to get minimal opens and little to no clicks. Like many other digital marketing areas, email is becoming hugely data-driven. In order to reach your target audience, you need to know a great deal about your audience – their age, location and where they are in their purchasing journey. Ignoring the data and trying to guess what your audience wants to see in your emails is akin to shooting in the dark.
You need to look at your data to determine how frequently they visit you online, how much money they spend, how often they shop, which items they have viewed without purchasing, whether they have items abandoned in their carts, and where they are in the purchasing process. This will allow you to craft relevant, engaging campaigns that add real value. When you are able to integrate your email data and campaigns within your broader marketing efforts, you will have even more of an ability to gain critical insight into your audience.
Automate your campaigns
If you are not automating already, you are missing out. Marketing automation is one of the most powerful tools, allowing you to create highly engaging, relevant campaigns that can be personalised and scheduled. Look for platforms that offer tools such as segmentation, lead scoring and other ways to create personalised emails. That will allow you to do A/B testing, sending campaigns to specific groups and reaping the rewards of segmented email marketing.
A good platform also gives you full control over your lists and emails, while doing all the hard work on your behalf. You can also define when your emails are sent and view insights to help you plan future campaigns. For more advice on finding the right partner for your campaigns, speak to the Grapevine team today.
Personalise your campaigns
Emails that are personalised are generally more likely to be opened, with links being more likely to be clicked, too. This makes a lot of sense... people respond well to any communication that feels as though their concerns are being heard. The trick here is to be careful about how you personalise. Using name only can be tricky if anything goes wrong. A miss-spelt name or a backend error that does not complete the personalised name can end up doing far more harm than good. Rather than using names, you could use behaviour such as purchasing history, starred items, items left in carts, average spend or order size, season, gender or even interests if this can be determined and used without coming across as creepy.
Optimise your lead magnets
How much thought do you put into your lead magnets? Everyone loves freebies, but not all freebies are created equal. A badly designed freebie can do your brand more harm than you realise. Rather than simply throwing together something to offer for free, focus on how you can add real value to your readers' lives. You could have an exclusive worksheet, tipsheet, video, download, free image, free webinar or something else that has some value. If the download does not really offer value, it is worthless as a lead magnet. When you have something to offer that people will genuinely find useful, they are far more likely to return to your site or sign up to find out more. They will also want to get more resources, which is where you can begin to add your leads to your lead funnels and offer incentives along the way.
Implement video wisely
Video is a great tool – in email and on websites. Just be careful that you do not go overboard. Make sure that your videos are chosen carefully and that they align with your email content. If you have a YouTube channel or vlog on your website, you could share short videos via email. Avoid very long videos that may be harder to load. Do not set videos to play automatically, which may backfire for those who have not set HTML to automatically load on emails. Don't forget to connect your calls to action so that you take views to relevant pages after they have watched videos. Linking to videos can be a far more effective way to utilise video than having video load in the email itself.
Connect social media
Email works well with other channels as part of an omnichannel strategy. You can tie in your social media campaigns by linking these in your emails. Share stories or updates from your social media pages or groups, offer exclusive deals that can only be accessed by email or social followers, include social follow links in all your emails, and use your social channels to promote your email lists. This will help to connect on a far deeper level.
Remember the small details
Finally, it's worth remembering that often, it is all in the details. Make sure that your headlines are strong, take time in researching send times for your industry, get to the point, keep presentation in order, provide clear takeaways and CTAs, test, test, and test again. How can you take your email marketing to the next level?