Email marketing has long been one of the most effective ways of connecting with an audience, with the very first marketing email ever sent out resulting in over $13 million dollars’ worth of sales (if you’re interested, it was sent by a computer manufacturer in 1978).
But while email marketing has grown in usage and popularity, so too has the complexity which exists around using it – with the need for permission and GDPR policies making it more challenging for businesses to actually send marketing resources out to the email addresses that they collect.
In this article, we’re taking you through the basics of email marketing from a business point of view – how to use it, what you need to know about it, and how to achieve the best results.
What do you need to know about email marketing?
Email marketing is an approach to marketing which is both direct and broad – in that it encompasses messages sent out to large groups of consumers, direct to their inbox. Of course, there are a number of different ways of making your emails stand out within even the busiest of consumer inboxes; however, one very important thing that businesses need to understand is that email marketing is traditionally a long term marketing strategy which will not necessarily heed immediate results.
The success of an email marketing campaign depends on a number of factors explored later in this article – and must always stay within the boundaries of GDPR (meaning that consumers must agree to receive your emails and must always have access to unsubscribe functions should they wish to use them).
The power of email as part of a broader campaign
One of the most effective ways in which businesses and service providers use email marketing is as part of what we call a nurture campaign or funnel, whereby they use a very soft approach which combines valuable content with soft sales techniques.
Generally kickstarted once a user or prospective customer passes over their email address in exchange for information or a specific resource, these funnels are designed to keep the business front of mind (and at the top of the consumers’ inbox), so that if and when they have a need for what that business is selling or offering, they know where to go.
Tips for optimising your email marketing
The following tips are designed to make email marketing work for you, regardless of what you’re selling or offering.
1. Don’t always try to sell in your emails
The first and most important thing to remember about email marketing is that if you go in too heavy with your sales copy, your emails will be left unread, deleted, and may even result in an unsubscribe.
The number one focus of your email marketing should be to establish a sense of reliability in your expertise and in your brand, using storytelling, sharing tips, and offering guidance which consumers will remember, can call upon when required, and will think of as and when they need services or products like yours.
2. Stay human in your email copy
The best emails are those which feel and read like they were written directly to the consumer. That is, they contain terminology like “you” and “we”, and they introduce the human side of the brand which exudes personality and understanding.
One effective way of instilling a more human voice in your email marketing is to use reviews and case studies to tell stories, creating a compelling and concealed approach to marketing.
3. Include CTAs
Yes, you need to avoid being sales-y in your email marketing if you want to avoid annoying consumers – however, you do still need to factor in a light CTA if you want your emails to mean something and result in a trickle of consumer action.
Rather than “buy now” messaging, use this as a chance to encourage consumers to visit your social media, follow you on Instagram, book a call, or simply visit your website.
4. Optimise your email marketing
If you want to make your emails very design-focussed and visual, then make sure that you follow the guidelines for email optimisation. Consumers today are just as likely to open an email on their smartphone as on a laptop, tablet, or desktop, so your email needs to be optimised for all different screen sizes and layouts.
Is email marketing right for your business?
Email marketing forms just one step in the overarching marketing campaigns of many businesses. However, it remains the most popular touchpoint for a reason – with virtually all online users having access to at least one email address.
Using email marketing to your advantage means first deciding what you want to achieve and then designing templates which facilitate your ideal consumer action – bringing great copy and some compelling imagery in too for good measure.
Here at Social Loop, email marketing is just one of the areas that we can help you with – offering hands-on support and advice for all campaigns and plans. For more information on this service, get in touch with us today.