With the advent of alternatives such as social media marketing, PPC and banner advertising, many of us would think that Email Marketing has become obsolete.
This is far from the truth as there are 3.7 billion people using email in 2018 (Statista) and this number is poised to grow to 4.3 billion people by 2022 (statista).
Comparing this number to the users on the world’s most used social network, Facebook with nearly 2.5 billion people using it, Email marketing can effectively cover up to 1.5x more number of people than Facebook!
Marketers across the world rate Email marketing to be more effective than Social media marketing. And it constantly delivers higher volumes than PPC(9%) or display(8%)Going by this trend marketers who use Email will have better ROI than marketers who rely on PPC or Display Ads.
Still thinking that email marketing is obsolete?
Let’s get you started on your Email marketing journey.
Start with Basics
1. Set a goal
Even before you start out on your Email-marketing strategy, you need to set a clearly defined goal. A marketing strategy without a goal is akin to firing arrows blindly and expecting some of them to hit the bullseye. A goal will not only help you design your strategy but will also help when calculating Return on Investment.
Some examples of a Goal
- Increase engagement:
This goal typically involves bringing people back on your site, app or physical store. Facebook uses this tactic to tell people what they missed while they were away, enticing users to log in again. LinkedIn and Pinterest also send such emails.
Some people prefer selling their services or products directly using the email, they generally include a link to their E-comm site or store. Fast food chains do this to promote their products and increase sales.
A lot of brands send periodic reminders to their valued customers to retain them. These emails could also include some kind of discount coupons.
2. Create a dedicated account
Create a dedicated account for running your email campaigns.
There are a lot of services providing custom email services. If you are hosting your website online then contact your service provider for a customized email.
If you do not have a website then get a domain which resembles your companies name. It does not necessarily have to be a company’s name, you are free to experiment with it.
Tip: try not to make a norelpy@yourcompany email for regular updates.
3. Create an Email list
You cannot run an Email marketing campaign if you do not have a sizable email list. You need to offer something of value to users before they give you their email address.
This could be:
- An Email series
A good idea for an email series could be: bite-sized lessons on some topic such as Share trading or maybe personal healthcare. It could also be sending cooking lesson/recipes on email.
- White papers or e-books
People will happily share their id when offered a free white paper or E-book. Some people might prefer an E-book over an email series.
- Free downloads
This could include offering downloads of themes, wallpapers or ringtones or anything that could of certain value for the end user.
A lot of people including me like to have regular updates on things that I care about. This could be some new software to download on my I-pad or a new book by my favorite author. Getting people to sign up for emails is a great idea but it takes a lot of time. You could instead try a Lead generation tool to get a sizable email list
4. Writing a great subject line
By now you have an email account to send emails from and a list of people to send emails to. We are off to a great start, what next?
The next is to make people open the emails, and that’s not easy. An average person will on an average receive 3-7 emails daily and might delete them just by reading the subject line. A study found that 43% of emails are deleted or marked spam as soon as they are received.
A subject line will be the first thing anyone looks at in an inbox. Keep it short, simple and relevant.
You can make it funny, serious or completely straightforward.
For further tips on this read Best cold email subject line post.
Sending the emails
5. Write a compelling email
After figuring out the goal in step 1 above, you can work on writing a good email.
While writing a good email you need to be brief, to the point and very clear with what you are trying to achieve.
No one likes an email with poor formatting, so properly format the email with readable fonts. When using fonts remember to use only legible fonts and try to refrain from using highly stylized ones.
Keep the narrative interesting by using anecdotes or stories but don’t make them too long.
6. Segment lists
List segmentation allows you to send the email to right people at the right time.
List segmentation is achieved by dividing the users on the basis of a lot of data points. Segmentation also ensures that you Unsubscribe rate is minimum and CTR is maximum.
If you are a cosmetics or an apparel company, segmenting users by gender could be a good start. You do not expect women to buy a piece of clothing meant for men.
- Geographical area:
This applies to all multinational companies. Sending geographically irrelevant mails is not only a waste of resources but sometimes could lead to damages to brand. An alcohol company sending out coupon code to Middle east country could cause outrage since alcohol is banned in some of those countries.
- Purchase history :
Sending new offers or thank you mails could allow you to make a lasting relationship with your customers. You can up-sell or cross sell to customers who have already bought a product from you store or website.
- New subscribers:
A welcome email could work wonders as far as user engagement and sales are concerned. A service company could send instructions to use their services or a help desk contact to make the customer comfortable. It could also contain the username and password to use a service as a free trail.
- Recently Unsubscribed :
This list could allow you to retain some of the user who have unsubscribed. An email with “Sad to see you go” message would imply that you actually value the user. You can also include a list of features or services user would miss after unsubscribing. A link to resubscribe or Update email preference is also advisable to prevent users from leaving your list.
7. A/B testing
Create two different copies of the email or subject line and send them to a set of different users.
According to a survey, it was found out that emails with the first name of the recipient in the subject line had better click-through rates than emails without it.
Experiment with different subject lines some people are more likely to open a subject line that is funny or has a statistical value included.
Mails with a subject line that sound like “11 ways to grow your wealth in 2019” will have a better Open rate than “Grow your wealth”. Experimentation is the key.
Analyze and Improve
8. Bounce rate
Bounce rate is basically the number of emails sent that were returned undelivered due to some reasons. A bounce could be a hard bounce or soft bounce. You should not be worried by a soft bounce since it is caused by temporary reasons such as Server not available when the email was sent or the user has exhausted the maximum capacity of their mailbox.
A hard bounce should be more worrisome because it could be due to an invalid or non-existent email address. It could also be caused by typing in the wrong email or missing ‘@’ or ‘.Com’ while entering the data in a list.
Maintaining good list hygiene is important to keep hard bounces to a minimal. To counter a Soft bounce you could try re-sending the email at a later date or in a different campaign.
9. Unsubscribe rate
It is the number of people who want to left out from the lists that you maintain.
Do not freak out if people are unsubscribing. An unsubscribe rate of up to 0.5% is considered normal, but if your campaign sees a greater than 0.5% unsubscribe rate then you got some work to do.
Create an online form for people to ask them why are they leaving the mailing list.
Use double optins to make sure that the people agree to receive the emails that you will be sending.
You could ask the user of the frequency of updates that they prefer. A user like me would be overwhelmed with daily updates and might end up unsubscribing. Facebook received a lot of flak from people for sending unsolicited emails with updates.
10. Open rate
Open rate is the rate at which people opened the email you sent. It is generally done by uploading a transparent image with the email.
So the open rate would be the number of times the image was downloaded versus the number of emails sent. Some people may have the images turned off in their browser.
This may sometimes lead to a calculated open rate that is less than the actual open rate. So Open rates should be read with CTR in such cases
To increase open rates a great subject line is needed to entice users into opening the email.
11. Click through rate
Click through rate is defined by the number of clicks that people did on a link inside the mail.
A properly written email will have the best CTRs. To increase CTR you should refrain from “click here” buttons since it is not clear to the user what clicking the button would do.
Instead, try to include the whole link in the email to provide a clear idea of where the link would lead.
Having links at multiple locations with a single call to action work great with some users.
CTR should be read alongside Open rates to give a better picture of the success of the campaign.
As the number of people using Email increases every day and effective email marketing would yield increased returns over the period of time. Email marketing could result in higher ROI when used in conjunction with user behavior identification techniques. Email Marketing is not dead, in fact it is alive and kicking.