Six Basics to Start Your Beginner Email Marketing Strategy
Like everything else, email marketing has its ups and downs. But no other digital marketing strategy gives you direct access to current and potential clients like email marketing.
According to studies, email marketing produces 175% more conversions than social media, and for every $1 a brand spends on email marketing, it receives a whopping $44 in return, delivering the highest ROI of all digital marketing methods. Email marketing definitely earns two thumbs up emojis.
The proof is in the payout, and all brands can benefit from a successful email marketing campaign. But email marketing requires some know-how, so before you jump in, check out our six basics for creating a killer email marketing strategy that every business owner needs to know.
1. Set your email marketing goals
Before you can hit send, you need to know what you’re aiming for. What do you want your customers to do as a result of your emails? Do you want to drive sales? Boost brand awareness? Generate and nurture leads? Increase customer loyalty?
Whatever your goal is, it should be clear, and it should guide your email marketing strategy.
2. Have permission to use the recipient’s email address
A houseguest is better received when the host is expecting him in the first place. Sending out emails without the recipient’s permission is the social equivalent to appearing at an acquaintance’s home with a sleeping bag in hand—they won’t be welcome, and you’re going to lose their good graces entirely.
Not only is it a faux-pas, but using someone’s email without their consent could be breaking privacy laws, depending on your state or country. To avoid privacy issues, always make sure you give your potential clients an easy “opt-in” where they can willingly provide their email if interested, rather than going the sketchy, third-party data vendor route.
3. Email marketing must set clear expectations
Are your emails going to be monthly, weekly, or daily? Your clients need to know what they’re signing up for, otherwise they may hit the unsubscribe button, even if they have to search for it.
Also let them know what type of content you’ll be providing. Will your emails have coupons or exclusive member discounts? Helpful tips and insight? Blog post notifications? Or information for exclusive events?
Whatever it may be, let your future-subscribers know what they’ll be getting beforehand. You can clearly set those expectations by giving a short explanation in the landing page email pop-up, in the first welcome email, or on the email sign-up form (or all three!).
4. Provide significant value with your email marketing
If your emails don’t provide value, you can be sure your subscribers will never open another email from you.
Low-value content often occurs when brands feel constrained to a strict email schedule. However, if you already planned high-value content, by all means, stick with a schedule! But if you’re cranking out mediocre information because you feel like you have to produce an email every day, reconsider your strategy. Think back to your goals and how you can best achieve them.
Quality is much better than quantity when it comes to email strategy. Plus, with the amount of emails most people receive daily, how many people will notice if you follow a strict email schedule? Probably very few. Plan your content in advance and aim to provide high-value emails to your subscribers.
After all, they’re taking time out of their day to read what you have to say. The least you can do is make it worth their time.
5. Personalized emails increase user engagement
Consider customizing your “opt-in” page or email subscription pop-up to learn more about your subscribers. Some common information includes name, age, and sex, but feel free to go beyond those basics. For example, a children’s clothing company may ask for the children’s ages and sex to more directly target the consumer. A pet supplies company may ask for the pet’s name.
With that information, you could personalize the emails starting with the subject line, which can increase opening rates by 50%, according to surveys. When brands use an individual’s name in the subject line, they foster a sense of trust and personability that would otherwise be missing. Check out some of these personalized subject lines:
Check it out, Rachel! Our 5 favorite beach-ready looks
Looking for the purrfect cat carrier Oscar will love?
Hey, Charlie! You still have 3 items waiting in your cart!
You could also use that information to segment your subscribers into demographics and send out modified emails to each group. According to Campaign Monitor, brands that use segmented marketing campaigns see up to a 760% revenue increase.
6. Get your recipient to open the email
Though we’ve laid out the basics, you still need the recipient to make the first push—opening the email. To create within your recipients an irresistible urge to open your email, you must include the following parts:
As stated above, personalization is key. Before you can hit them with your high-value content, you’ve got to get your subscriber to open the email. Strategically using their name in the subject line is one of the best ways.
Make your email irresistible with the most clickable subject line. Knowing what will compel your subscriber to click “open” depends on demographics and research, but overall, we all typically gravitate to click-bait-y headlines.
Don’t go overboard, of course. We’ve all seen the over-the-top headlines like, “You’ll DIE when you learn this 100-year old woman’s skin care routine!”
But there are some proven tricks of the trade that will attract clicks, like numbers (the 5 best ways...), deals (don’t miss our exclusive 50% discount code), holiday specials (Gear up on our hockey equipment this holiday season), and FOMO-inducing lines (don’t miss, expiring soon, before it’s too late).
Like the subject line, preview text convinces your subscriber to open the email, or at least it should. Keep it snappy and no longer than a sentence. Consider it the side dish to the subject line’s main course—they should pair well. Include action words, discounts, and urgency to make opening the email irresistible.
Subject line: Our 8 favorite gifts for dads
Preview Text: Find the gift he’ll love for under $20 before the holidays.
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