Email marketing is the most effective and profitable way to connect with your audience.
There, we said it.
According to Marketo, checking email is the #1 activity on the internet. Using a search engine is #2. People are constantly scanning their inboxes, looking for the most relevant items to read. Email has grown and changed with the rise of social media marketing, pushing it to be even more dynamic. Studies have shown that thoughtful email campaigns produce an average 3800% return on investment (ROI) and average conversion rates are 3x higher than social media campaigns.
Using email is also a direct line to your customers. Making assumptions here, but your email list is probably full of people who requested more information about your company. In general, they are interested in and have opened the door for communication. This means you have a way to directly connect with your biggest fans. We’re talking about a group of people who asked you to send them information! This is a big deal, and there is a responsibility to maintain their trust by sending them relevant and timely communication.
Now that we’ve gotten the braggy statistics and the touchy-feely stuff out of the way, let’s talk about how to handle an email marketing campaign from start to finish.
Generally speaking, those outrageous ROI statistics don’t come by slapping together some graphics and copy before sending it off to your entire list of email addresses. Creating a clear strategy from the start will keep your communication on track and will likely serve your customers better.
For all of your emails, there are a few very important steps to work through before hitting “send.” We recommend going through this list for every email campaign.
Get your message straight. Are you reaching out to build a community with your subscribers? Are you trying to sell something? Maybe a little of both? Whatever it is, make sure the goal is clearly defined and written down so you can reference it throughout this process.
With your goal in mind, start gathering the necessary items. At minimum, you will need compelling copy and images. Remember that your email needs to look great on desktop and mobile. Start by sketching the layout to give yourself a roadmap. It doesn’t have to mention the specifics; just some boxes that indicate where you will put everything. Once the design is set and we have our copy ready, we get to start coding the email.
Wait a second—did you say code? Yes. Yes, we did. Learning how to code will absolutely help the email creation process and provide more flexibility. Coding allows our team to use more engaging elements and options in our email campaigns. If that’s not your jam, there are quite a few email marketing platforms out there that provide drag and drop functionality or companies (like us) with email marketing services.
Once your email is set up, take a moment to look at it from a zoomed-out view. Does it make sense? Does it support your original goal from Step 1? Would you be excited to get an email that looks like this? Now, try to put yourself in the shoes of your customer and ask those same questions. If it doesn’t line up, make adjustments.
Once your design is set, you’ll need to create an engaging subject line. This is one of the most important parts of an email because it will either inspire your customers to open the email or simply ignore it. It’s so essential and close to our hearts that we wrote a whole blog about how to write the perfect subject line.
Test. Make adjustments. Retest.
It is very important to test your email before hitting send. Your customers use a variety of email clients (Gmail, Apple Mail, Outlook, Samsung Mail, etc.) on an ever-changing number of devices (mobile phones, computers, tablets, etc.) and every email client has different quirks that can make your carefully constructed email look like an absolute disaster. We use a third-party service to make sure our emails look great across all platforms. At minimum, test your email by sending it to as many different clients and devices as possible. This step helps to greatly reinforce the trust you have been building all along.
Email marketing platforms generally offer data tracking, which is extremely useful to ensure you are reaching your customers in a meaningful way. The specifics of the data will vary among platforms, but they will include things like open rate, click rate, unsubscribes, bounces (when the email is undeliverable) and much more. Use this data to track what works and what doesn’t. As you learn more about your customers, you can make small adjustments to improve your emails. List segmentation is also incredibly helpful to create different channels within one large list. With a little extra information, you can send more relevant emails to your customers.
Taking this into consideration, create a strategy that will keep your fans engaged and happy while driving the metrics that are important to your company. Your strategy should include some general emails that show your customers you care about them. A little extra work goes a long way to deepen the relationship. The good news is that most email marketing platforms allow you to set up these types of emails to send automatically.
We recommend including these automated emails in your repertoire:
Welcome. Say thank you for joining the list. This is probably the most excited that they will be about your emails. Sending a quick “thanks” will go a long way in keeping them engaged until the next scheduled send.
Happy birthday. If you are selling a product or service, say Happy Birthday and offer a small discount or free item. It doesn’t need to be grand, it’s actually the thought that counts. Even if you don’t have anything to offer, sending a quick note can still create a deeper bond.
Confirmation. If a service or product has been purchased, a confirmation note is key. Make sure they have all the necessary details before they have to ask. Bonus points if you add a thank you note to show your gratitude.
Every email list is different, so what works for one list might not work for another. Keep tabs on the activity generated from your emails. With all of the data available for email behavior, it’s tempting to throw everything out the window if one email performs poorly. The best thing to do is analyze the email that bombed and see what could have been improved.
Now get out there and create great emails!
You’ve seen everything that goes into an email campaign and are primed to create your email. When you are ready to go deeper, we offer a variety of services from recommendations on strategic direction to comprehensive email campaigns. If you would like to partner with us, send us an email or drop us a line.