An email marketing campaign is an essential part of any successful marketing strategy. They nurture relationships with prospects, collect invaluable information regarding your customers, and enhance marketing ROI potential. While most email campaigns revolve around “blasting” large batches of emails, the process can easily degrade into something impersonal and annoying for your customers.
Taking the time to develop a thoughtful, engaging, and empathetic email marketing campaign can help ensure your emails are being opened—and read—instead of getting trashed.
A well designed email marketing strategy plays out like theater. First the stage has to be set—your opt-ins, contact gathering, and email marketing strategy development are taken care of first. Next comes the play itself, which includes writing a descriptive subject line, concise copy, and a strong call-to-action. Once you’ve performed, you can analyze the metrics—everything from testing, measuring, and tracking the performance of your email marketing campaign.
Set the stage for your email campaign
Before you can start sending any emails, you have to have a database of contacts to send them to. When you create your opt-in list—the initial exchange of their email and info for a promise of future emails from your company—keep things easy and transparent. You want to ‘set the stage’ for their expectations. Letting them know what you want from them and what they’ll get in return is a good place to start.
Create your objective
Without an objective, how will you know what your emails will be about? This determines the course of your campaign as well as the purpose of your emails. You should know what content you’ll provide your customers with, which will help you develop the content copy and subject line.
Only ask for relevant details
Only ask for the information you absolutely need to conduct your email campaign. This is usually at minimum, a name and an email address—and a business name if you’re a B2B business. Avoid asking for too much information or too many questions as this can easily annoy customers. Don’t worry about extra unnecessary information that you can find out later.
Tell them what they’ll get
Tell the customer why you want their information and what they’ll be getting in return, and make sure it’s something of value, such as a free webinar, eBook, video seminar, or a newsletter. Let them know when or how often they can expect to hear from you, and include information on how they can unsubscribe/opt-out in the future.
You have to offer them a reason to sign up for your email marketing list. What is it that you can bring them that has value to their business that will make them want to hand over their email address to get your emails? Whether it is a downloadable asset like an eBook or whitepaper, or the value of the information from a webinar or seminar, if you show them the value that they will get from signing up you will get more subscribers.
Empathizing with your customer’s needs helps you engage them in a meaningful way as opposed to the other emails they get that range from the overly demanding, to the cheesy and useless.
Develop a strong series of emails
The biggest challenge of email marketing campaigns is getting your customers to open and read the emails, and then following the calls-to-action you provide. How each email performs will dictate the course the rest of your campaign takes. The goal should be to make your email stand out, so avoid overused words in the subject line. Use different compelling subject lines for every email you send.
Entice them to open the message
If you don’t include a strong subject line, something that entices the customer to open it, then your emails will go unread. Ideal subject lines are clear and concise. A good subject line should tell readers what they can expect to see inside, or describe the content and its benefit to them.
Try to evoke immediate emotions such as urgency and curiosity, and frame subject lines as questions for best rests. Subject lines should be a maximum of 50 characters to avoid losing a reader’s attention.
Provide content that benefits reader
Following a great subject line should be copy that provides value—whether it’s an offer, more information, or marketing material to encourage further opt-ins. Write in a casual, conversational tone. Building relationships is a huge part of email marketing and personalizing your signoff lends each email a personal touch customers respond to.
Consider the length of your emails as well. We recommend decreasing length as you increase email frequency. Customers are less likely to read longer emails every single day, but a weekly or monthly email that’s a bit longer is fine.
Finish your copy with an objective-focused call-to-action
The call-to-action should urge customers towards making another purchase, booking an appointment, making a phone call, or visiting your website for more details. The objective of your email marketing should align with your call-to-action. If you want to boost site traffic or generate new leads, then your call-to-action should tell the customer how to help you do that.
An effective call-to-action describes an action to the reader and shows them how to perform it.
Test, measure, and track the success of your email marketing campaign
Metrics to consider are the Opens to Send Ratio and Click to Open Rate. These can tell you whether people are opening messages and following the calls-to-action. What you really want to track are the results of these opens—are you getting leads, making sales, and getting more form fills. The goal with any email campaign is to generate more sales. It’s important to ensure people are opening the email and then following your instructions, thereby moving further down the sales funnel.
Email marketing campaigns are great for recapturing leads your website previously generated but those that never exited the sales funnel. Email campaigns are designed to foster and grow the relationship between you and prospects, to guide them through the rest of the sales funnel.
As you develop and restructure your email marketing strategy, remember that it’s always beneficial to test what you’re working on. It will save you time and money in the long term, and present you with a stronger chance of turning your readers into leads.
If you don’t have the time to design and manage an email marketing campaign, we can take care of the leg work while you reap the benefits. Contact EZMarketing today to see how we can help grow your business through better email marketing practices.