What Is Email Marketing?
It seems self-explanatory, but email marketing can be more complex than just the retail promotions that fill up your inbox. Recipients can always unsubscribe, but if they don’t, then they are willing to receive your communications. You can nurture and grow your lists by creating valuable content and utilizing best practices and segmentation.
The practice of sending promotional content to several recipients via email, usually in a branded HTML template
Here are some eye-opening stats:
- 78% of marketers have seen increased email engagement over the last 12 months (as of mid-2021).
- 4 out of 5 marketers said they’d rather give up social media than email marketing.
- 74% of Baby Boomers think email is the most personal channel to communicate with brands, followed by 72% of Gen X, 64% of Millennials, and 60% of Gen Z. ( Bluecore, 2021)
Email Marketing Best Practices
Email marketing has been with us for around four decades now. Very few things in the digital era have aged so gracefully. Email marketing is very much an integral tool in the marketer’s toolbox. According to Litmus, 78% of marketers said email is essential to overall company success in 2020.
The best time to send emails
The most common question we get about email marketing is, “When is the best time and day to send an email to get the greatest response?” The answer is not quite as simple as the question. Many studies have been conducted on this very question. While they have provided some revealing information, we still do not have a clear answer.
Regardless of the time, simply determining the best day to send your email campaign depends on your audience’s makeup. In the 2019 Campaign Monitor study of billions of emails sent, the data showed that the best open rate by day varied by the recipient’s industry.
So, when it comes to the best day and time to send your email marketing campaign, the answer is…test and optimize, then test and optimize again and again.
Email segmentation is the process of dividing your lists into targetable segments based on the data that you have about your audience. The more information you can obtain from each person during the sign-up process, the more data you’ll have to segment. However, you’ll want to be careful not to request so much information where it seems invasive or more trouble than it’s worth. You should continue to add data as it becomes available.
How effective is email segmentation?
According to Mailchimp, segmented campaigns get 64.78% more clicks than non-segmented blast emails.
Campaign Monitor found that segmented campaigns can increase revenue by a whopping 760%.
There are several advantages to mapping out email marketing automation. The result is a better experience for the customer and a hands-off delivery of your message at key points in the customer journey.
Key benefits of email marketing automation:
The customer, or potential customer, receives a message at the appropriate time rather than manually sending a late or unwarranted message.
- Triggered by action
A typical example would be if someone subscribes to your mailing list, they will receive an automatic welcome email within a few minutes. The more complex your campaign is, the more triggers and oaths you can create.
- A/B testing
A/B testing should be part of any automated campaign. You essentially create two separate emails. You can simply test different subject lines or have entirely different layouts. The email platform sends both emails to a portion of your list and monitors the results. Then it sends the “winning” email to the remainder of your list, giving you a better chance of engagement.
- Reminder emails
When set up properly, recipients that do not open or engage with your email can automatically receive a reminder email at a set interval.
With most automation platforms, a customer can only go through a campaign once— which is a good thing. However, in your mapping, you can set up Yes/No departure points that will circle the customer back to the journey’s beginning if they don’t make it to the end.
Build Your Lists the Right Way
Just as websites and social media benefit from quality content, the same goes for email marketing. It’s simple if your content is good, it’s more likely to be read and shared. Make it easy for your subscribers to forward your email or share on social media. The organic spread of your valuable content will likely lead to new subscribers signing up on your website.
As we’ve already mentioned, segmenting your list to deliver the right content to the right audience is vital to growing your audience within that niche.
Give People a Reason To Subscribe
You have a sign-up form on your website but no new subscribers. It’s time to run an opt-in campaign. One approach may be leveraging social media by posting about your most popular articles and providing an easy way to subscribe. If growing your contacts list is a key business goal, you can incentivize sign-ups with special offers. To take it a step further, run search, social, and display ads with the incentive to reach a broader audience.
Other techniques involve creating free resources like an ebook or online tool that requires a subscription to use. If you have quality content in a newsletter, post a preview online. Link the preview to a landing page or the actual with a tasteful pop-up that encourages subscription.