The age of messengers has come – WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram, social media messengers. They seem to have completely supplanted e-mail. Why communicate with customers via email in the 21st century? Is the emergence of instant messengers a reason to abandon email marketing?
The fact is that, at the end of 2019, 3.9 billion email addresses were used worldwide. And according to experts, by 2023 this figure will grow to 4.3 billion. What’s more, popular IT support companies prefer to communicate with their customers via email rather than with social media messengers. Email is the perfect place to add a personalized touch, including a personalized subject line, and, even better, making sure that the email is tailored to the recipient’s requirements and interests.
However, email marketing does not lose ground. At the beginning of 2020, the average email marketing ROI was 4200%, which means that every dollar invested brought in $42 in profit!
How email marketing provides more sales: 5 tips on email marketing
Letters should warm up, motivate the audience and sell the company’s products or services.
All senders want their email to be noticed and opened. Only knowledge about the target audience, and a strategy developed on the basis of this knowledge will help you stand out in this crazy information noise. Additionally, you should not miss out on good preparation in advance. With specific add-ons, like email calendars, you can easily move around your due dates and different types of emails you need to send out. You might’ve heard about the Trello app for email marketing, but as those add-ons are not free, you might also consider some worthy Trello alternatives. And now – tips on how to build effective email marketing step by step which will bring sales, audience loyalty, and reputational benefits for your company.
Decide if you are writing for B2C or B2B
If your customers are individuals, it’s B2C or Business-to-consumer.
And if your target is companies, whether they are large-scale or local, that means B2B or Business-to-business. So, the strategy depends on the audience.
B2C email marketing strategy:
+ The client is a separate consumer.
+ The recipient is the same.
+ The decision-making process is short, often spontaneous.
+ Messages – about the product and its capabilities that satisfy the needs of the buyer.
+ Values - savings, prestige, ease of purchase / use.
+ The tone of the letters is emotional. Everything is about benefits – lively, brightly, figuratively.
+ The predominant types of letters are:
- gratitude for registering,
- acknowledgment for your purchase,
- abandoned cart reminder,
- discounts, promotions, bonuses,
- product recommendations,
- birthday greetings,
- request for a review,
- order information.
+ The main tasks of email marketing are to increase subscriber engagement and increase sales.
B2B email marketing strategy:
+ Client — company/corporation (legal entity).
+ The recipient is a top manager, owner, head of a specialized area (for example, an IT department or a supply department), a technologist, a chief engineer.
+ The decision-making process is lengthy. Often the decision is made collectively; approvals are required.
+ Messages – about the tasks of the company that the offered product will help to solve.
+ Values that are important for corporate clients – time, money, resources.
+ B2B responds to numbers, facts, and social proof, but not to emotions.
+ The prevailing types of emails are only about the benefits! And these are:
- the emergence of new products / the announcement of a future novelty,
- changes in the terms of service,
- other company news of interest to related businesses / customers,
- commercial offers,
- thematic life hacks like “How to extend the life of printing equipment”,
- event invitations.
+ The main tasks of email marketing are to create and maintain the company’s reputation as an expert in its field, gaining the trust of the audience and sales as a result.
Knowing all the characteristics of the audience, you decide what, to whom and in what form you will write emails.
Customization is crucial
Anywhere you can, try to include a personal touch in your communications. Call out the names of your subscribers. Create your message to go in-depth and speak to their needs and interests. These actions are not just becoming more typical; they are also beginning to be taken as expected.
Let’s say you are a photographer. You can send out the recipes for the meals you capture if you are a food photographer. Make simple-to-follow tutorials if post-processing is your interest. Are you a travel photographer? Some behind-the-scenes images and stories will be greatly appreciated by your subscribers. In short, to succeed in your future marketing endeavors, you need to start mastering the art and science of email marketing for photographers.
There are many ways to add a personal touch to an email, including using short-codes with contemporary email tools, which are replaced by the recipient’s name once the message is sent, creating unique subject lines, blending and matching the email content based on location, and, of course, segmenting your list based on behavior.
However, according to user research, only using a name is insufficient personalisation. Automated campaigns don’t have to be broad, specifically if you’re sending emails to a lot of people. Instead, you can utilize pre-made custom templates that you can customize with names, colors, and information like birthdays. Market success depends on personalization based on the stage in the purchasing process or specific products of interest to individual subscribers.
You can use VoIP to incorporate in your email marketing. What is VoIP in general? This technology enables you to make calls directly from a computer, a VoIP phone, or other data-driven devices by converting your voice into a digital signal. It is just phone service that is supplied online.
Based on their most recent interactions with your business, you can leverage your VoIP database in email marketing to target particular client groups on particular dates. You may further customize your email content with the information from those exchanges, which makes each message more interesting.
Collect the base!
To establish a constant collection of email addresses, the B2C sector uses:
- Lead magnets (useful free materials that a person receives by leaving his email address).
- Subscription forms on the site.
- Collection of information when placing an order on the site.
- Links to the subscription form in posts, statuses, menus in company groups in social
- Polls asking you to subscribe to the newsletter at the end.
- Authorization on the company’s website through social networks (if the user gives permission, social networks will share his mailing address).
- Collection of business cards at offline events.
- Tooltip windows in your YouTube videos.
Bases in the B2B sector are collected manually or from open sources.
The main sources are thematic catalogs and websites of the potential client companies themselves.
Check and clean your base
Any bases of the hottest subscribers lose their relevance over time. A person can lose/forget the password from his mail, change his job and access to corporate mail, with which he subscribed to your newsletter once.
On average, the database of email addresses becomes outdated by 10-15% per year – this figure is considered normal.
It is very important to clear the database of non-existent, outdated addresses, misspelled, duplicate contacts.
If mail systems record a large number of such addresses during distribution, then letters can be automatically sent to spam. Speaking of spam, don’t forget to use anti-virus software to protect your device from viruses and attacks.
If there are few contacts, then you can clear them manually, for example, using the e-mail existence check. For large-scale databases, it is optimal to use digital validators. They check the database automatically.
Some services provide a trial period – for example, 10 addresses can be checked for free even without registration, and another 100-200 after registration and confirmation of the phone number.
Choose the right time to send emails
It is logical if the mailing in the B2B sector will take place on working days and during working hours.
It is believed that the most successful time for sending letters is at the beginning of the working day, before 10-11 am.
If we are talking about the B2C sector, then marketing letters can be sent both during the day and in the evening and even at night.
But not on Monday, when a person returns to the working rhythm with effort, and not on Friday when he is already preparing for the weekend.
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday is the time for light entertainment content.
Regarding the planning side of the matter, we believe you gather all the info regarding the time and type of the emails. Time is money, and if Google Calendar seems to be slow-moving and confusing, you might consider some Google Calendar alternatives. We all share the same 24 hours in a day, yet it’s significant to remember that success and time management are frequently associated. Apps for calendars will play a crucial role in your organizational strategy.
The most successful marketing tactics are continuously improved based on customer input. Maintaining the correct set of email marketing KPIs for your email marketing is almost as beneficial as conducting endless focus groups.
You can keep track of what works and what doesn’t, and you can also identify your mistakes.
Several significant KPIs include:
- Open rates – People are more likely to open your emails if they are more engaged in the content. However, this does not always imply that your method is working. Open rates often only reveal the effectiveness of your subject lines.
- Unsubscribe rates – they might help you identify where you are making mistakes. You should review your entire approach if you see an increase in your unsubscribe percentages.
- Click-through rates – You should monitor the level of engagement you’re getting in order to develop an appropriate success metric. The click-through rates will demonstrate this. The click-through rate will show you how well you are framing the specifics surrounding your products or services as your call to action prompts a click from a subscriber.
Take care of the design
Design affects not only the readability of letters – layout errors can lead to spam mailings.
Pay attention to errors such as:
- Non-adaptive layout. No one knows what a letter from a mobile phone will look like.
- No alt tag for images.
- Letter size is too large.
- Non-responsive images.
- Reduce the number of images used.
Always remember that email is not a printed letter. Many (if not most) of your recipients won’t see the images included in your email, which means that every picture is a wasted place. So be sure to use high-quality images by adding high-resolution pictures. Use good html code instead of image-cluttered design.
In addition, use the best data visualization tools to make your content seem more aesthetically pleasant and understandable to your audience.
Never send email as one big picture and don’t use text in the picture that the user must read to go from the email to the desired page of the site (i.e. “click here” or “order now” messages).
If this was not enough for you, you might consider getting help from an expert business plan consultant, or hiring a virtual assistant. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll also be able to share the knowledge you obtain about email marketing and earn money by teaching online as a side hustle!
Email marketing is quite a working tool even in the era of instant messengers and social networks. Of course, email marketing is not your only choice: you have social media marketing, SMS marketing, content marketing, SEO and many more. However, to compare email marketing with any other digital marketing strategy will turn out to be something like deciding whether cardio is better than weightlifting. In fact, email marketing is nothing less important than other types of digital marketing – it needs to be integrated in the overall marketing strategy.
Customer interest is effectively raised through email marketing. When executed properly, a newsletter is an affordable, quick, and easy way to inform and excite clients about new product launches or specials. It is extremely important to know the audience well and segment the base as narrowly as possible. This way you can prepare mailing lists that will receive the best response, thereby ensuring more sales.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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