Email marketing remains one of the most cost-effective ways to market your product or service. In fact, according to HubSpot Blogs research, subscribers spend an average of $5.12 per day on products and services related to their interests from email marketing platforms.
To ensure you’re maximizing your investment in email marketing, it’s important to consider which features your target audience will value most and which ones you should avoid.
Here are some of the top considerations when selecting a feature set for your email marketing campaign:
Length Of Each Message
This refers to the length of each email. Your goal is to maintain a steady rhythm and avoid going over or under 12 sentences per email. (For simplicity, we will assume that your audience is composed of largely Gen-Z and millennials here. You can adapt this guideline to fit other demographic groups.)
Too many emails can decrease the engagement you’re able to generate. On the other hand, if your emails are too short, you’ll struggle to maintain reader interest.
Generally speaking, you want to avoid sending emails that are too short and not frequent enough. An email that’s too short and lacks frequent enough updates will deter your readers because it doesn’t provide enough value.
This refers to the extent to which you customize the content of your email communications. When you personalize your emails, you’re able to deliver a more relevant message to your audience and increase the likelihood of engagement. For example, if you’re sending emails regarding products for sale in your store, you might want to include a personalized message such as, “Hey, XXXXX here. Thanks for considering our store when shopping for YYYYY product. We hope you find what you’re looking for and that we were able to help!”
The main benefit of personalization is that it makes your emails more relevant to each individual recipient. If your email contains a lot of generic messages as opposed to personalized ones, you’re losing out on a major opportunity to connect with your audience.
This refers to the capability of your email software or plugin to adapt the look and feel of your message to different email clients and devices. For example, if you’re using the Free version of Constant Contact, you will need to set up the basics of your email campaign (subject line, preview, design). Once this is done, you can customize the content and design of your email to look the same regardless of the device your reader is using.
Many companies still use antiquated methods to send emails. If you’re a business that’s stuck in the past and needs to send out numerous emails with varying content, consider an automated email service that can generate pre-made emails based on the contents of your website. This is also known as content-driven email marketing or website content syndication.
This refers to the capability of your email software or plugin to provide you with feedback regarding the performance of your campaigns. You can set up automated email campaigns and analyze the results of each email to determine its effectiveness. For example, you might choose to test a new email subject line or a welcome message and observe the results. (You can also choose to manually run a campaign and analyze the results yourself.)
The main benefit of feedback is that you can determine the performance of each email and course of action you take based on the results. You can use this information to make future decisions regarding your marketing efforts and the performance of your product or service.
Let’s say you try out an experiment regarding the content of your emails. You can set up a feedback loop so that you receive periodic reports regarding the results of your experiment.
Segmenting And Targeting
This refers to the capability of your email software or plugin to allow you to target specific groups of people within your audience. For example, you can choose to send out an email message to male or female subscribers, or subscribers who live in certain states vs. others. (You can also choose to target people who visit a certain URL or page on your site, or who have purchased a certain product.)
This is a major evolution from the one-size-fits-all approach of pre-2012 email marketing. The key advantage to segmenting and targeting is that you can send a relevant message to each group. (And as a bonus, you’re also increasing the likelihood of making a sale.)
Single- or Double-Opt In
This refers to the capability of your email software or plugin to enable or disable the ability of your audience members to unsubscribe from your email communications. You might want to consider implementing a double opt-in process where your audience must affirmatively accept your invitation to subscribe.
If you’re using email software that doesn’t offer this feature, you can download a double opt-in plugin that will give you this capability. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to set how your audience should receive emails from you (single-opt in vs. double-opt in).
The main benefit of a double opt-in process is that it increases the likelihood of keeping your audience engaged over time. When a business or individual unsubscribes from an email list, the sender usually has no idea why they were removed from the contact list. (And sometimes they’ll even wonder why they were ever added in the first place.)
However, implementing a double opt-in process comes with challenges. For example, if you send out a lot of emails, you may end up with a list full of subscribers who haven’t really given you their consent to email them. (You’ll want to implement some sort of confirmation process to ensure they’ve actually gone through with the double opt-in process.)
This refers to the capability of your email software or plugin to track the life-cycle of each individual email communication. You can use this to determine the number of emails a particular subscriber has received, as well as how many of those emails were opened and acted upon. (For example, if you use email marketing software, you can set up automated email campaigns and track the results of each campaign to learn more about your audience’s behavior and the performance of your product or service.)
The main benefit of lifecycle management is that you can determine the performance of each individual email and have complete access to the results of each campaign. This way, you can get a better idea of whether or not you’re reaching your target audience and the extent of any gaps in your knowledge.
This refers to the capability of your email software or plugin to allow you to download and analyze the results of each individual communication you generate. For example, you can use the results of a contact form to determine the topic people are most interested in and whether or not you should focus your efforts on webinars or face-to-face meetings to generate the most effective results.
The main benefit of data downloading is that you can have a complete picture of the performance of each individual email you send out. This, in turn, can help you determine the effectiveness of your overall marketing campaign and the results you’re able to generate from your product or service.
Let’s say you set up a lead magnet for your email campaign. (A lead magnet is a piece of content, such as a free downloadable eBook, that you use to attract potential customers to your site with the promise of offering them value in exchange for their email address.) You can use tools like Google Analytics to track the results of this particular initiative and choose to take any necessary next steps based on the analysis you perform.
This refers to the capability of your email software or plugin to target messages to users based on their physical location. If you’re using Google Analytics, you can set up geographical targeting to segment your results by state or country. (You can also choose to target people within a specific distance of a specific location.)
Depending on your needs, you can choose to target people in a radius of up to 100 miles from you. For example, if you run a bed and breakfast in Nashville, you might want to choose to target those located in the city and the surrounding areas. (You can also choose to target people within a 50-mile radius in case you need to send out messages on a regional level.)
The main advantage of geo-targeting is that you can choose to target specific groups of people based on their location. If you’re trying to target men in the South and women in the North for your email marketing efforts, this is a great way to do so. (And as a bonus, you’re also increasing the likelihood of making a sale!)