This year email marketing grew in importance to digital marketers, growing 77% year-over-year according to Radicati. Marketers who were involved in email marketing noted that the format still has plenty of potential, despite some of the perceived challenges (e.g., constant spam, rising costs, and lack of segmentation). But with digital marketing shifting to performance-based advertising, email marketing will always be an important part of the strategy.
The Rise of Email Marketing
Despite its importance, the way we interact with digital messages has changed over the years. The advent of the internet and social media has led to a shift in the way we receive information, with many preferring to learn about a business or brand via email marketing rather than traditional advertising. According to HubSpot Blogs research, 49% of consumers have purchased a product or service after reading an online review, while 34% have contacted the company directly via email.
Traditional print publications, which thrive on attracting paying customers, have also noticed the shift and are implementing new business models to survive. While some are moving towards a digital-first strategy, seeking to expand their reach to as many potential customers as possible, others are seeking to pivot and become more agile.
Why Are Marketers Embracing Email Marketing?
In a survey conducted by HubSpot Blogs, respondents from all around the world cited email marketing as one of the most effective digital marketing platforms, even though its effectiveness decreases as the email is opened more than once.
According to HubSpot Blogs research, 55% of consumers have opened an email once and 45% have opened multiple times. So it’s clear that while some prefer to read their emails on their phones, many are reading these messages on desktops and laptops, making them accessible on any device.
What Are Marketers Doing To Improve Their Email Marketing Success?
Based on our survey, respondents identified the topics that deserve the most attention within their email marketing strategies. Below we’ve compiled a list of the most important email marketing best practices to help you improve your success rate.
1. Targeted Audiences Are Key
Having a clear idea of who your customers are and what they want is the key to effective email marketing. The fact is that everyone’s needs and wants are different, so tailoring your marketing to meet customer needs is the best approach. That’s why we recommend creating buyer personas and using them when developing your strategy. Better yet, find out what stage of the buyer’s journey you’re currently at, and use that to define your marketing efforts. That way, you’ll be sure to reach the right audience and gain meaningful results.
The more you know about your audience’s needs and wants, the more you can tailor your strategy to be effective. Your email marketing campaigns should always have a clear objective, and you should track the results of your campaign to determine if you’re achieving it. For instance, if you’re wondering if your latest email campaign has increased your sales, you can measure the results of your campaign in several ways, including:
- The click-through rate of your newsletter
- The number of leads generated by your email marketing campaign
- The conversion rate of your email campaigns
- The amount of times your email is opened
- The amount of revenue generated from email marketing
2. Measure & Analyze
You need to be able to measure the success of your email marketing strategy to determine its effectiveness. In addition to measuring the results of your email marketing efforts, you should also analyze the results and determine what’s working and what isn’t. That way, you’ll be able to make further improvements to your strategy and ultimately increase your conversions.
3. Test, Test, & Test
Every strategy, marketing campaign, and marketing channel requires constant evaluation and testing to determine its effectiveness. As we mentioned above, tailored audiences are key, and having a clear idea of who your customers are and what they want is crucial to the process of determining whether or not your marketing efforts are meeting your goals. That’s why we recommend testing everything from your email design and subject lines to your social media campaigns and website.
In today’s world, it’s nearly impossible to be completely unbiased and honest when evaluating the effectiveness of a brand or marketing program. In other words, no matter how hard you try, you’re probably going to find something you don’t like about an entity or brand you’re evaluating. That’s why we recommend testing everything and being consistent in your approach. By continually testing and analyzing the results of your strategies, you’ll easily be able to determine their effectiveness and make necessary improvements to your efforts. Ultimately, this approach will improve your odds of achieving your goals and exceeding your expectations.
To take our own research a step further, we examined the email marketing strategies of 500 businesses around the world, ranging from small businesses to brands featured on the cover of national magazines. Below we’ve compiled a list of the most effective email marketing strategies for each stage of the buyer’s journey. Review this list and feel free to adopt what you know will work for you.
Buyer’s Journey Theory
Every buyer’s journey is different, which is one of the main reasons why tailored strategies work so well. However, knowing how customers generally behave and which stage you’re currently at can give you a good idea of what works best. According to the buyer’s journey theory, a customer will typically pass through four stages before buying a product or service:
- First, the discovery stage. In this stage, the customer is looking for a need or problem that your product or service can solve. During this time, your product or service should provide value and attract the customer’s attention.
- Second, the exploration stage. In this stage, the customer is learning more about the need or problem your product or service can meet. During this phase, your product or service must prove that it can solve the need or problem.
- Third, the decision-making stage. In this stage, the customer is weighing all of the pros and cons of various products or services and deciding which one to purchase.
- Finally, the installation stage. In this stage, the customer is using your product or service and getting used to it. During this time, you can up-sale or cross-sell additional products or services.
Each stage of the buyer’s journey has its own set of best practices, as we mentioned above. So, you can use these stages to create a roadmap to follow in your quest to become a more effective marketer.
Email Marketing Best Practices For The Discovery Stage
The discovery stage is the stage at the beginning of the buyer’s journey. During this stage, the customer is looking for a problem that your product or service can solve. As a marketer, your job is to identify that need and provide valuable information that will draw the customer into taking further action (e.g., subscribing to your blog, following your on social media, etc.).
The more you know about your target audience’s needs and wants, the more you can craft the perfect message to drive action. Since the goal is to attract as many clicks to your website or blog as possible, you can use clickbait headlines, tempting words, and images to capture the reader’s attention.
Once the customer clicks on your website or opens your email, you’ve successfully driven action and gained their attention. To encourage them to take further action and turn into paying customers, you can use an email marketing strategy that focuses on providing useful information about your product or service. In addition to providing insight into the problem your product or service can solve, you can pitch yourself as the solution to the problem and outline your plans for helping customers achieve their goals. For example, HubSpot Blogs research found that 59% of customers gained interest after reading an email pitch about a brand’s mission statement.
Email Marketing Best Practices For The Exploration Stage
The exploration stage is the stage at the beginning of the buyer’s journey. In this stage, the customer is exploring various options and deciding which one to purchase. As a marketer, your job is to identify the problem that your product or service can solve and provide solutions for that problem. During this stage, you can also get familiar with the different types of customers and learn more about their needs.