This complete guide will show you how a winning email marketing strategy:
- Gives your small business the best return on investment
- Connects your small business with more potential customers
- Works for your small business to promote your brand
- Moves your small business forward through the latest trends and best practices
The first email was sent in 1971 by Ray Tomlinson. Since then, email has been a relevant and prominent force in marketing. These days, we use emails for much of our communication. It is an essential medium that businesses use to connect and engage with their customer base.
An email marketing strategy helps small businesses communicate effectively with customers. Business owners also see a terrific return-on-investment through email marketing. For every dollar they invest, on average, they see a $38 return.
How much do you know about creating a successful email marketing campaign? Read on to find out how small business owners use an email marketing strategy to their advantage!
Email marketing is the act of promoting a business through emails. Businesses often use emails to bring in new customers or reach out to existing customers. They do this by showcasing new offers, products, or services for their business.
Therefore, your email marketing strategy should focus on how to most effectively communicate with your customers.
How many emails do you receive a day? Of those, how many do you open? Probably the ones with something of value to you, right?
For this reason, your email marketing strategy focus on providing value to your customers. If they open your email, they don’t want to feel as if they’ve wasted their time. Otherwise, you could be marked as spam or sent to the junk folder.
Here are a few things you can use email marketing for:
- Links to articles or blog posts
- New offers
- Information about services or products
- Current events and their relation to your business
- Loyalty rewards for existing customers
Remember, you want to not only entice the reader to open your email, but to act on it as well. Providing them with a valuable opportunity helps increase the chances that they will act.
Crafting the perfect email for your campaign might seem daunting at first. But all it takes is a little time and preparation. And like any other method of digital marketing, there are best practices to follow.
Savvy email marketers know how to implement these guidelines to reach more customers. If you follow these best practices, you’ll be writing emails that convert in no time!
The customer always comes first. When you write an email, remember to ask, “What value does this bring my customer?”
You may struggle to find something of value for your customers. It happens. In that case, you should think about what you, as a customer, not as a business owner, would want to see in an email.
Emails should enhance the customer experience. That is a basic rule to follow for all digital marketing areas. If the customer or user isn’t happy with your marketing, then that’s a bad practice to follow.
It might seem tempting to go and buy an email list, but that won’t do you any favors. Instead, you should build an email list of contacts organically.
Cultivate your list through social media, your website, and other methods. The customers who sign up for your email list through those channels are the ones you want. After all, they are the ones who are most interested in your business.
Users don’t want to be bombarded with an avalanche of emails every day. But they also don’t want to be left out in the cold, either.
The amount of emails you should send depends on who your customers are. Some clients may like receiving a daily email, while others may prefer a monthly schedule. The best way to find out what your audience likes is by asking them. You can do this in person or through an online poll.
Once you decide the frequency at which you’re going to be sending emails out, stick to it. Consistency is a key part of an email marketing strategy. As they become familiar with your schedule, your customers will start to expect your emails, and hopefully look forward to them.
When customers sign up for your emails, they do so with the expectation they are receiving something in return. You’ve convinced them to sign up for a specific purpose. What is that purpose? Are they signing up for deals? Or maybe they want more information from blogs or articles. Whatever the reason was, make sure you are delivering on that promise of value with your emails.
What are the best ways to build up an email list? We mentioned social media and website channels before. But there are other ways to build up your list.
Here are a few of the best practices we use:
Your call-to-action (CTA) is what gets customers to sign up. Personalizing your CTA has enormous benefits. It can dramatically increase your view-to-submission rate by 202% in some cases.
A personalized CTA also lets your voice shine through. People want to know the company and the people behind it. If your CTA is personalized, then the customer will feel more connected to you.
Pop-ups, in general, can be viewed as an annoyance. Therefore, timing is crucial when using pop-ups.
The best way to time pop-ups is by having them appear after a visitor has spent a significant amount of time on the site. This way, you know they already have some interest in what you’re offering.
Furthermore, you should make the pop-up interactive for the user. A well-timed pop-up with an interactive component, such as a survey or poll, is a very effective tool.
The number of places you can put your personalized CTA is endless. A strategically placed CTA offers more opportunities for customers to sign-up.
A good place to have it is your email signature. When you reach out to new customers, it provides them with the option to click on it.
You can also place your CTA on the footer of your website. That way, readers will see it after they have finished reading a blog or webpage.
You can also build your email list organically through social media. If you have an established small business, then you probably have a following on one of your channels. Use those channels to tell everyone about your emails! You can do this by dedicating at least one post a month to promoting your email campaigns.
So, you’re following the best practices of email marketing and building your list organically. The next step is to know what is currently captivating audiences.
Despite popular belief, email marketing is not a relic of the past. Instead, it stays relevant because it keeps up with the latest trends.
Here are some trends to follow for your email marketing campaign!
By designing your site with your company’s main goals in mind, you will set your business up for success.
Just like a personalized CTA brought you users, personalization will keep them. You can personalize everything from the name of the recipient to your own email address.
No one wants to see an email sent to a vague title like “Customer” or “Valued Customer.” They want to see their name.
Furthermore, they want to see the email came from a person. Therefore, using the standard “Do Not Reply” name no longer cuts it. So, we’d recommend getting personal with your addresses for your email marketing strategy, even if it’s simply the name of your business.
Segmented and targeted emails account for 58% of the revenue brought in by email marketing. Why? It helps give people information that is relevant to them. They feel a connection with a business when it offers them something they want.
Did you know that 61% of all emails are opened and read on mobile devices? Did you also know that 79% of mobile users purchase online through a mobile device?
A large demographic for small business owners are people who check emails on their phones. Consequently, mobile-friendly emails decrease the chance that the customer will exit out before reading the email. You can achieve this through faster loading times and more interactive content for the user as well.
Video is becoming more and more popular. It is taking social media by storm and is a powerful force in email marketing as well.
Using video into your campaigns enables you to give more information to your customers. After all, you can pack more information into a 15-second video than in two sentences. Video is also much more entertaining than text.
Videos can be anything from a quick testimonial to showcasing a product or service. You can even use short videos to tease longer videos for things like tutorials.
Social media helped build your list; now, let your list return the favor. You can do this by adding links to your social media channels. That’s part of the interactive content users crave so much as well.
You’ve seen the latest trends, and you’re ready to start creating your own emails. But what content works better than most?
The best way to answer this question is to keep your readers in mind. Is the content you’re displaying valuable to them? If it is, you’re on the right track!
One way to keep it valuable to them is to go with the clear first, catchy second approach. We’ve heard of the saying, “All flash, but no substance.” You can write the most poetically and captivating copy, but it will fail if it doesn’t provide value to the customer. So, make sure you are getting right to the point.
The point also needs to be relevant. What does that mean? It means you need to decide on a goal and stick to it. If your email is for a new service, then the copy needs to reflect that. If it’s about current events, make sure the events are still current and relate to your business.
Above all, write for people, not machines. People have a great capacity to understand and see through automated and routine writing. If your writing is unique, clear, and concise, it works a lot better.
For email marketing, design matters a lot. There are a lot of different ways to design your campaign. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you do:
It might be tempting to go with flashy colors and overpowering images. But trust us, plain text emails with strategic visuals work better. They appear more authentic, for one thing. For another, it is easier to get your point across in a clear fashion. If the user wades through a dozen images or irrelevant content to get to the point, they won’t be happy.
It also optimizes your email load time. No one wants to wait around for an email to load if they don’t have to. Your bounce rate will decrease if users can quickly get to your content.
Going minimalistic doesn’t have to mean forgoing all colors for a plain-looking email. Instead, you should use colors wisely throughout your email. For example, you shouldn’t use colors that are hard to read together, such as red and green. But complementary colors, like blue and yellow, create a great look for your emails.
Your brand colors are also probably well-coordinated, too. When someone opens an email, and the colors they see are yours, that increases brand awareness.
Interactive content is a trend we’ll be seeing more and more of. Implementing this kind of content in your emails engages with the user and keeps them interested. Some examples of interactive content are hamburger-style menus and search options.
Successful email campaigns also use carousels, especially when promoting multiple products or services. Carousels don’t force the user to scroll endlessly for the copy. Instead, they can click or swipe through easily.
You can also use offer reveals. Offer reveals allow the visitor to click or swipe on something to reveal a discount, sale, or promotion. This action increases user enjoyment because it makes them feel like they won something.
When you’re ready to launch your campaign, knowing the optimal time to send is crucial.
Studies have shown that most people open their emails around 10 a.m. on Tuesdays. However, this has begun to fall out of fashion. Why? Because if everyone is sending emails at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays, then it increases the chance that yours will be lost in that mad shuffle.
Instead, more small businesses are sending emails out between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. on Thursdays. 10 a.m. Tuesdays comes in second and should still be an option.
But, really, the best time to post comes down to who your audience is. For example, if your target customer works second or third shift, they might be opening their emails at a different time.
The best way to figure out the optimal time is to test it out. Send your first few campaigns out at different times and track what works best.
When you’re ready to start creating terrific emails, keep these last-minute tips in mind!
Keeping track of how your email campaigns perform will be important. After the first few rounds, you will want to see what works and what doesn’t. Check and see who is opening your emails and if they are taking action. If you’re not getting the response you want, you might need to change up your email marketing strategy.
After you’ve segmented and targeted your email list, you can experiment with subject lines. Subjects are the hook to get users to open your emails. You want to keep your subjects between 17 and 24 characters. It’s not a lot of space to convince someone to open your email, so use it wisely.
You should take two different sections of your email list and try out two different subject lines. Track which one is more successful, and adjust your strategy based on that. When writing the two different subject lines, remember to keep them both relevant to the content of the email.
Power words in emails entice and encourage readers to keep reading. They also evoke emotion in the reader. Words like “Unforgettable,” “Bold,” and “Effortless” capture readers’ attention. Therefore, using power words in your subject line increases the chances they’ll open your email.
Preview text is what first appears in a user’s email. It’s generally the first few words of the email content and should tease what’s inside the email.
Because the preview text is 40-130 characters long, you don’t have a lot of space. A good tip is to put whatever you think is most important at the start of the sentence. That way, it’ll be the first thing they see after the subject line.
Email marketing can be the life of your small business if you use it correctly. But we know it can be daunting or hard to manage on top of running your business. That’s why Frontier Marketing makes it easier for you! We have years of experience working with successful email marketing campaigns and can help connect your business with more customers!