With the evolution of social media came its many platforms – email being one of them. The email platform has changed to match the ever-changing social media world!
The definition of email marketing is simple: the communication of marketing messages to individuals via email.
But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to do. A lot goes into successful email marketing, and it’s often considered one of the most effective forms of marketing. A study from HubSpot found that even when adjusted for frequency and efficacy of the emails, the performance of each individual email sent is still very significant.
In the last couple years, email performance has taken a hit due to the prevalence of auto-responders and spam, causing a lot of businesses to suffer. Luckily, there are ways to get back on track and make the most of your email marketing efforts!
Let’s take a look at how you can optimize your email marketing for sales & marketing so you can produce results and grow your business.
Set Up Auto-Responders & Use CTA’s (Call To Actions)
The first step to making effective use of email is to set up auto-responders. A 2014 HubSpot study found that only about 41% of businesses have accurate email analytics, and a third of those respondents reported an ‘overwhelming’ amount of spam. Having accurate email analytics is important because it gives you a complete picture of what’s working and what’s not, and when you make changes, you can easily monitor the results.
The best practice for setting up auto-responders is to select a single email address (either a general one for your business or one that’s specific to the marketing department), and then set up filters so that all emails with unsubscribe in the subject line are automatically deleted without having to read the message.
The benefit of this is that you don’t have to think about what message you want to send to your customers or potential customers. The computer does that for you. All you need to do is set the filters and let the software take care of the rest.
You can also set a default text with the message, but allowing the software to put the ‘Hi, xxx here…’ gets you off to a good start and makes it easy for the recipient to know who is sending them emails.
After you’ve set up your auto-responders, you need to use ‘call to actions’ (CTA’s). A CTA is a word, phrase, or set of words and phrases that encourages the reader to take a specific action, such as purchasing a product, making a call, or engaging with the content in some way. When an individual is on your site, looking at a product, and then sees a pop up asking them to take the next step, that’s considered good mobile usability and good design.
The key is to make sure that your CTA’s are actionable. In other words, visitors must be able to clearly understand what you’re asking of them, and there must be a clear next step.
The simplest and most effective way to do this is with a button that allows the user to easily understand what will happen next.
Create Personas, Split Testing, & Use Online A/B Testing
While it’s important to recognize that everyone isn’t going to be best suited for every single type of marketing strategy, it’s also important to acknowledge that not every strategy will work for every business. You need to find what works for you and stick with it.
To that end, you should consider using A/B testing. This is where you try out different marketing approaches (such as the various forms of email marketing discussed above) and see which performs the best. Split testing is a similar strategy, except instead of trying out different approaches, you test out the same approach with a varying set of parameters (for example, changing the subject line or the copy in the email).
So, with A/B testing and split testing, you identify the strategies that perform best for your business and use them more often.
One other strategy worth mentioning is persona-based testing. With persona-based testing, you try out different marketing approaches with different ‘personas’ (which are basically fictitious characters that you can imagine) to see which one performs the best. This is a way to ensure that your marketing strategy is going to be effective for the particular audience you’re trying to reach, and it helps you avoid wasting time and effort promoting your website to people that your product isn’t suited for.
The key takeaway from this section is that not every form of email marketing is created equal, and it’s worth considering what works best for your business instead of just using your favorite tool. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each form of email marketing.
Pros&Cons Of Traditional Offline Marketing
Although the evolution of social media has changed the definition of ‘traditional marketing’, the form itself hasn’t changed. That means that, for the most part, you’re going to want to stick with what you know and use the tactics that have served you well in the past.
One major pro of traditional marketing is that it can be controlled. You can target the audience that you want to reach with the strategy that you plan on using, and you have a chance at making an impact. Even if you only want to target local customers, you can still use printed advertisements and flyers to get the word out there. You can also work with a local business to sponsor a festival or festival event to get the word out about your business.
The major con of traditional marketing is that it doesn’t work as well when compared to newer marketing platforms. This is largely due to the fact that not everyone has the time to sift through digital clutter and actively engage with content when they have so many other things to do. Additionally, some people believe that the information is ‘out there’ and that they don’t need your help finding it, which cuts down on the effectiveness of traditional marketing.
Pros&Cons Of Offline Interactive Marketing
Similar to traditional marketing, offline interactive marketing focuses on the promotion of products and services through various channels, such as radio, TV, and newspapers. The difference is that with offline interactive marketing, you have an opportunity to engage with potential customers through various activities, such as contests, quizzes, and petitions, and you can use direct mail, phone calls, and email interactions to provide more value to your audience.
The benefit of doing this is that you can target individuals based on their interests and demographics. For example, you can use an email marketing platform to target individuals based on their interests. Then, you can use a direct mail marketing program to target specific demographics, such as wealthy women between the ages of 30 and 49 who live in San Francisco and own a business.
The major con of offline interactive marketing is that it requires a lot of effort. You have to reach out to potential customers through various means and then try to convince them to do business with you. Additionally, some people believe that the information is ‘out there’ and that they don’t need your help finding it, which cuts down on the effectiveness of offline interactive marketing.
Pros And Cons Of Traditional Website Marketing
Website marketing is simply the practice of getting customers to click on your website’s hyperlinks and visit other websites in the ‘basket of links’ (also known as ‘organic traffic’) or the websites that you’ve ‘linked to’ on your own website (known as ‘inbound links’).
One major pro of traditional website marketing is that you can target the right audience. You can use tools like Google Analytics to find out who your visitors are, where they’re coming from, and what they’re doing on your site. With this information, you can then tailor your strategy to target these individuals.
The major con of traditional website marketing is that it doesn’t generate as much income as some of the other platforms discussed above. This is largely because not enough people understand the concept of ‘organic traffic’ or think that they need help finding information online, which cuts down on the effectiveness of the strategy.
Pros And Cons Of Video Marketing
Video marketing is all the buzz these days, and for good reason! The line between television and YouTube is blurring, and people are using video to learn about products and services, to find entertainment, and to build communities.
One major pro of video marketing is that it’s easy to measure. You can use HubSpot’s video review tool to see how people are interacting with your videos and use that information to find out which videos are performing well and which ones need to be altered or removed.