In today’s world, email is an essential part of any business’ marketing mix. The email marketing campaigns I conduct for my clients usually start with a bang (so to speak) and end with a whimper, which is why I consider them effective.
I define an effective email campaign as one that achieves its objectives without being too aggressive or annoying. To hone in on what these emails should deliver, let’s take a quick trip down memory lane.
The Birth of Email
Anyone old enough to remember the glory days of paper mail knows that email was originally conceived as a way to allow people to stay in touch when they were traveling. After the invention of the PDA (personal digital assistant) combined with the increased availability of WiFi, people began emailing one another while on the move. This convenience factor alone probably accounts for the 55% growth in email usage between 2011 and 2015.
PDAs, tablets, and smartphones have made emails even more essential for marketing and sales. It’s now possible to send out a tailored message to almost anyone with an email address, regardless of whether they’re physically located near your store or office.
Why You Need To Be Personal In Your Email Marketing
Although email is now a popular way to stay in touch with people, it’s not always the most effective. Studies show that email marketing efforts can be more effective when delivered personally versus being viewed as a mass communication.
You can use personalization in many ways, such as adjusting the emails to fit the recipient’s interests or hobbies as well as incorporating aspects of the person’s life or career into the message. If you want to personalize your emails without leaving the senders’ control, you can take advantage of the fact that most email clients allow users to preview what they’re going to receive before they click the send button. Doing this can help build credibility and trust with your potential customers. It also gives you a chance to practice your writing style and see how the message will come across.
Marketing By Email Is More Than Just Sending Out An Important Link
What you include in your email campaigns is just as important as what you exclude. Your message must consist of only the information your audience wants or needs to know about. For example, if you’re sending out a marketing email about the benefits of your product, you don’t need to throw in a bunch of other stuff that has nothing to do with the subject matter of the email.
As I mentioned above, the advantage of personalized email marketing is that you can take into account what the recipient wants and needs. If you meet the needs of your audience, you’ll find that they are more inclined to engage with your marketing emails and, subsequently, purchase your products or services.
The other vital thing you must do is measure the success of your email marketing campaign. You can use a variety of tactics to reach your goals, but the most effective method is by measuring the results of your campaign in a timely manner.
Direct, Personal, And Unique
When developing your email marketing strategy, you must decide how you want to personalize your messages. Do you want to use your company name in the email’s subject line or try for a more subtle approach and use the first name of the person you’re sending it to? There are pros and cons to both options, but in my experience, I’ve found that focusing on a single, unique approach – rather than merely duplicating what your competitors are doing – can help you stand out from the crowd.
For example, if you’ve used the company name in the subject line, you might receive a lot of spam complaints because people are mistaking your emails for spam. On the other hand, if you’ve used a more unique approach and decided to personalize with the recipient’s first name, you’ll find it much easier to build credibility and trust with your audience.
Personal Emails Work Best
According to HubSpot Blogs’ research, marketers across all industries are noticing a positive impact from using personal emails in their marketing. The blog’s 2017 Email Marketing Best Practices Guide states that although email marketing is a cheaper and more accessible method of marketing than most other traditional avenues, it can still be extremely effective when approached strategically.
The guide cites five areas of effectiveness that email marketing efforts can achieve:
- Attracting, engaging and retaining audiences;
- Generating revenue;
- Boosting brand loyalty;
- Reducing churn and increasing sales;
- and Establishing yourself as a thought leader
Many of these metrics can be tracked and measured, which makes email marketing a useful tool in developing a business case for increasing marketing activity.
How To Design A Successful Email Marketing Campaign
Now that you’re all caught up on the basics of email marketing, let’s talk about how to create a successful campaign.
As with any new marketing strategy, you must begin with a clear objective in mind – whether that’s increasing website traffic, boosting social media engagement, or drawing in new customers through email campaigns.
Once you’ve set your objective, you can map out a plan of action that leads to measurable results. Designing a winning email marketing strategy is no easy feat, and it takes a bit of thought and analysis to create a cohesive strategy that will drive results.
The Art of the Email
As I mentioned above, email marketing is, at its core, the exchange of information via digital communication. To effectively market your business via email, you must consider what makes your product or service special and how you intend to communicate that to your audience. You can also use the opportunity to gauge the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns by analyzing the response rates and opening pages of your emails.
The design of your email must be pleasant and approachable, although not overly simplistic. It should also incorporate several clear calls-to-action (CTAs) that will move the reader towards purchase – whether they’re interested in your product or service or not. If you want to gain the attention of your audience, you must offer value and ensure that your emails are creatively designed and built with quality content.
In the next section, I’ll describe a series of steps you can follow to plan and create an effective email marketing campaign.