We have come a long way from using emails simply to communicate with each other.
Sure, we have more modern tools such as social media and messaging now, but has it really impacted the use of email? The reality is far from it. Nearly 4 billion people use email every day. That is more than half of the global population.
So, when people say email is dead — not quite true. Millions of businesses handle their daily operations on emails and use them as communication as well as a marketing tool. With that in mind, it is becoming increasingly important for marketers and managers to hone email marketing skills - for internal and external communication.
Before we even get into the dos and don’ts, and tricks of the trade, let us first get the basics out of the way.
The process of targeting your potential customers or clientele through emails is known as email marketing. There are multiple ways to go about email marketing, and companies use it to accomplish varied marketing objectives. Emails are known to be a proven tool to maximize conversions as well as revenues when used effectively.
Email marketing is a great way to generate leads and capture the attention of potential customers. In fact, email marketing is being used as a marketing tool by nearly 64% of small businesses today. More importantly, even using email marketing concepts to send regular updates and newsletters to your customers can work wonders in keeping them engaged and reminding them of your continued association.
Email marketing can be done in a lot of ways and while there is no one type of email marketing that works for businesses, the strategies can be broadly classified into the following types:
Whether you are a B2B SaaS company or an online store, the way you welcome your customers will pave the way for their journey forward with you.
Nearly 86% of people say that they are more likely to continue with a brand that welcomes and educates them post-purchase. So, it is clear that the most effective way to accentuate your service quality is to ensure that your customers feel welcomed and cared for — right off the bat.
Some companies prefer sending personalized emails welcoming and guiding the user through the onboarding process, while others attempt to provide information about the benefits that the customers are likely to attain now that they have purchased the product/service.
While there is no defined formula to go about drafting your welcome email, the best way to approach it is by tailoring the email based on the customer, and assuring them that you are there to help in case of any issues or questions.
When your motive behind email marketing is to connect with your audience without being directly promotional, newsletters can be ideal.
Email newsletters can be perfect for keeping your subscribers up to date with the recent developments and news related to your company. At the same time, if you are sending newsletters, you should proactively work on adding value to your subscribers’ lives. No wonder more than 81% of businesses state that newsletters are one of the most common types of email marketing used by them.
Moreover, newsletters can also be a great way to redirect potential customers and subscribers back to your website. Furthermore, email newsletters can be an ideal tool to increase sales despite taking a non-promotional tone. For instance, you can share a detailed case study of one of your recent successes with a client to attract more customers to avail of your services or buy your product.
Lead Nurturing Emails
One of the most common challenges that sales teams globally experience is keeping up with their leads and helping them navigate through the pipeline. This process can be expedited and be made more effective using an inbound tactic such as a lead nurturing email series.
The fact that you need to create buyer personas to effectively target customers is irrefutable. Doing this can also help you design your email marketing campaigns more effectively. The trick with creating lead nurturing email campaigns is that they need to follow a coherent purpose.
With that in mind, marketers and managers can explore different formats, designs, and forms of content for their email marketing campaigns.
Transactional emails are one of the most common forms of email marketing series sent by businesses. If you use emails for business purposes, there is a good chance that you would have come across transactional emails in multiple instances.
For example, if you are organizing a webinar or event for which a customer has registered, you will need to send them the itinerary and any forms that you may need them to fill. So, transactional emails are follow-up emails that you send to customers post any kind of transaction.
One of the major differences between transactional emails and other kinds of email market series is that the former has the potential to generate a higher CTR, primarily because such emails are highly anticipated by customers as they would need guidance or additional details to proceed further.
If you find your subscriber or customer base being increasingly inactive, it is the right time to use re-engagement emails to your advantage.
Re-engagement emails can help you establish goodwill and rekindle customer relationships even if they have been impacted negatively. For eCommerce companies, re-engagement emails are pivotal in attracting customers who have bounced off their website. Even for SaaS companies, re-engagement emails are great for guiding potential customers through the sales funnel.
Re-engagement emails can also be structured in the form of a feedback form through which you can seek actionable feedback from customers. You can use a review link generator tool to generate a direct link to your Google My Business page, which you can then embed in your email series.
As 2020 brought changes to the way the world communicated and worked, email marketing gained even more prominence. While 59% of marketers state that emails are one of the prominent channels that they use for revenue generation. In fact, for 89% of B2B marketers, email newsletters are one of the most common forms of content marketing.
What’s more, brands can generate higher engagement through emails, which is proven by the fact that brands generate nearly 3.9x more impressions on social media through their email marketing. Another study found that emails generate nearly 28.5% more ROI compared to direct mail. To put it into perspective, for every dollar that you spend on email marketing, you are likely to get an ROI of $42.
If you are not yet convinced then did you know that nearly 91% of consumers open their email every day. This includes your customers, and that of your competitors, so you will lose out on your customer’s interest if you do not invest in email marketing while your competitor does.
Sure, email marketing can feel cumbersome when compared to other forms of digital marketing which start showing direct results. But remember, that it does not always have to be manual, as nearly 86% of companies state that they use email marketing technology for running their email campaigns.
In fact, email marketing is considered to be the ideal marketing strategy for nurturing leads and driving sales through conversions. Just take a look at the picture below to understand how effective is email marketing for achieving various goals:
Email marketing works just as well and is similar to other prominent digital marketing tools that are prevalently used today. If you are one of those who think that email was a tool for the yesteryears, the population that uses emails the most is actually the ones born between 1981 and 1996.
Email marketing works on the philosophy of disseminating information to your target audience in a format that makes it easily accessible and digestible for them. You can schedule individual emails at regular intervals or even create a series of emails as a part of the campaign to achieve your goals.
So, if you are running a growing business, and your target demographic falls within this age range, you are going to have to ramp up your email marketing efforts. Not just that, emails are still considered to be one of the most preferred ways to share updates and news about your business right behind social media.
If you are running an online store, email marketing is an absolute must in your marketing ante. If you are running a SaaS business, you are going to need emails to drive your lead generation and nurturing process. If you have any other kinds of business that do not fall into this bracket, you are going to need email marketing to target customers who operate in these verticals.
The importance of email marketing can be described in many ways, as it is a tool that can be used to target varied marketing goals. For businesses of any kind, the benefits that can be reaped through email marketing are manifold.
Some of the most important ones include:
- Staying in touch with potential customers and customer base
- Engage with customers in real-time
- Send out timely updates and reminders to customers
- Informing customers about products, services, or offers
- Allows you to implement targeted marketing messages
The true potential of email marketing can be truly unlocked when businesses can implement the strategy effectively based on the goals that they want to achieve.
Now that we have established the importance and role of email marketing for businesses, it is time to round up the perfect way to strategize it. Email marketing strategy is the process of coming up with the right way to target your emails by aligning them with your marketing goals. Essentially, your email marketing strategy will be your plan of action for creating email marketing campaigns that are successful and beneficial for your business.
Again, when it comes to designing email marketing strategies, there is no one way to go about it. Based on your business, goals, and budget, your email marketing strategy can vary from a simple and scheduled email series, to carefully crafted campaigns for specific events and periods.
Creating an email marketing strategy will consist of the following steps:
- Create email marketing goals aside from your predefined marketing goals
- Define the target audience for your emails
- Decide the content forms you will use based on the resources that you have at hand
- Align your goals with the type of content that you want to send to your target audience
- Deploy any additional resources if necessary and leverage technology for automation
With these steps in place, businesses of all sizes and industries can take advantage of email marketing and all it has to offer.
With an email marketing strategy in place, the next step for any business is to sort out the audience that will receive these emails. This also brings us to the next subject of discussion in this guide.
For most marketers, sending out marketing emails is not the most difficult part of their email marketing strategy. For them, the real challenge is finding the right people to target and building an email list. Having a high-quality list in place will allow you to send out targeted emails and tailored offers which your target audience can make the most out of.
If you are curious why building an email list is so high up on the priority list, here is a breakdown of the top reasons why email marketing campaigns fail:
With that in mind, here are a few proven ways to build an email list that is high-quality and goal-oriented:
Create High-Quality, Compelling Lead Magnets
All the traffic that you can generate using SEO efforts will be wasted if you do not have the right lead magnets in place to convert them. Lead magnets have been an essential marketing tool for decades but of course, like all things, they work only if you implement them effectively.
Lead magnets essentially entail providing customers something in return for their email address or registration on your website. Many websites accomplish this by providing free detailed guides, access to limited material on the website, and in some cases, even e-books. However, the key trick in designing compelling lead magnets is in the text that should make users want to share their email addresses with you.
Figure out what your audience seeks the most within your scope of expertise, then create and provide a useful freebie in return for their email address. The popular Zero Price Effect suggests that the word free automatically triggers people to take action, making your lead magnet that much powerful.
Optimize Your Opt-in Forms
One of the biggest blunders that businesses make while building an email list is not having a proper mechanism for the opt-in forms. Highly successful and professional email marketers realize that opt-in forms can be effective only if they are presented and optimized properly.
You can not have opt-in forms popping up at random pages and times when the user is on your website. At the same time, making your opt-in form easily visible is also highly crucial. An efficient way to do this is to integrate the signup form within the navigation. Hiring an SEO agency might be a good idea to carry this out, as they have the required expertise to accomplish this easily.
The next consideration while optimizing your opt-in form should be to balance the lucrativeness of what you are offering, with what you are asking of your users. If you have a lengthy sign-up form and all you are offering is a $5 cashback, chances are that the uses might not take you upon it. Lastly, ensure that you provide your credentials and establish your legitimacy before you ask users to give out their information. Your users need to know that they can trust you and that their information will not be misused in any form or manner.
Create Squeeze Pages
A list that talks about the various ways in which you can get users to share their email addresses, just would not be complete without including squeeze pages. Squeeze pages are a type of landing page that is designed to get users to share their opt-in email addresses. Needless to say, it is one of the proven ways to ensure that your email list is growing.
An ideal squeeze page will contain an offer that proves irresistible and irrefutable to your users. It has to be black and white in the sense that it should let users know that you are offering a useful resource in return for their email address. This should suggest that the offer will be invalidated if the user does not take the action or skips it.
Here is an awesome example of a powerful Squeeze page:
You can create Squeeze pages manually on your own, or choose to opt for a plugin or specialized page builder. While many companies still use pop-up squeeze pages, it is known to annoy the reader who is trying to access your content, which makes the creation of a splash page much more effective.
Use Exit-Intent Pop-Ups
Exit-Intent pop-ups are exactly what they sound like. They are pop-ups that are designed to appear on the screen and prompt the user who has indicated an intent to exit the webpage or website. A good exit intent pop-up should adapt to the user experience that the website has delivered so far, and strive to collect email addresses.
One such example is Mic.com, wherein every time a reader would come across a Trump-related article and attempt to exit the page, the exit pop-up was designed to be contextually accurate. Take a look here:
The bottom line? Tailor your exit-intent pop-ups to adapt according to the user’s behavior and actions on your website. This will make your website seem much more intuitive and raise the odds of customers providing their email addresses to you.
Strategically Place Content Upgrades
Content upgrades are by far one of the breakthrough tools that have proven effective for growing email lists. But like every other tool, content upgrades can offer you a lot of benefits only if you use them effectively. Content upgrades are lead magnets that are added to your blog posts or content resources.
Content upgrades can be in the form of a PDF version that users can download for reading later or additional resources that would be valuable for readers upon reading your blog posts. It can also be in the form of additional podcasts or checklists that can help customers take action.
Such content upgrades should be placed at a point where the reader will absolutely need the content upgrade. Offering it too soon or too late can result in the reader skipping it entirely.
Optimize Your Website Pages For Email Signups
Optimizing web pages to increase the number of email signups is an aspect that theoretically sounds simple, and yet is the one part that most websites get wrong. With that in mind, businesses need to ensure that every webpage has a business goal associated with it, and is designed to accomplish that goal.
For instance, homepages should be used to establish the credibility and authority of the business. Once you do this, asking for email signups becomes easier. Similarly for blog sections on the website, having a pop-up or slide-in form is absolutely essential to prompt users to sign up at the right time.
But remember, optimizing the information and design of web pages is important for your prompt to be actually effective.
Offer Enticing Incentives For Email Signups
Similar to offering content upgrades or placing high-quality lead magnets, a highly effective way to grow your email list is by offering attractive incentives. Email signups become easier when you offer the right incentives to your website visitors — the kind that they would not be able to ignore.
One of the most common occurrences of this can be seen in the eCommerce industry, wherein brands offer discounts and cashback offers in return for email signups. This helps the brand retarget customers in case they bounce off the website, and also to keep sending them updates aimed at redirecting them to the website.
Create Competitions and Giveaways
Another great way to grow your email list is by having competitions and giveaways for customers. Let’s face it: hosting giveaways or competitions can cost you much less than other methods such as Facebook or Google Ads.
Giveaways can be beneficial in promoting your products to customers, and in getting email signups. Refer to the earlier discussion that we had about Zero Price Effect, which is also the underlying principle for giveaways. Users and website visitors find it easier and more comfortable sharing their email addresses with you when they know that the reward would include free products.
Similarly, think about every time you have participated in a competition in your life. You would have shared your email address with the organizers without a second thought. Thus, it can produce great results while expanding your email list.
Offer Exclusive Content
In addition to offering premium advantages, discounts, or offers that can influence the growth of your email list, brands should consider multiple forms of content to effectively target customers. For instance, how about giving away a highly informative course to a reader who has been browsing through your website for educational content.
The key factor behind offering exclusive content is that you can make it accessible in return for email signups and grow your email list in a highly effective way. Moreover, when you pitch content as exclusive, it automatically triggers a psychological response that makes people want access to it.
Use Quizzes and Surveys
If you are an agency or a company that thrives on research reports and whitepapers, conducting surveys is the perfect way to kill two birds with one stone. You can use the survey to add value to your content, and at the same time, collect email addresses from people who show interest in participating.
What’s more, you can also have quizzes to understand your audience better, and then prompt email signup. This essentially piques the customers’ interest and motivates them to provide their email so that they can access more of such content.
Email marketing can be implemented in many different ways and several technologies and tools can help you go about it effectively. With that in mind, there is a need to implement effective strategies so that your email marketing services can achieve the goals that you want to achieve for your business.
Now that you know how to curate a high-quality email list, here are few other considerations that you should keep in mind:
How to Choose the Best Email Marketing Service
At the outset, an email marketing service can seem like an add-on to your traditional email marketing strategies, but that is not the case. Many professional digital marketing agencies offer services that can make your email marketing efforts easier. Email marketing software is designed with the aim to align your business goals with the approach that you take towards email marketing. Such software can be quite effective when you want to run your email marketing campaigns, and more importantly, automate them.
Most email marketing services have features such as segmentation of email lists, A/B testing, contact management, and other robust marketing automation tools. Some of the best email marketing services include ConvertKit, HubSpot, and MailChimp.
How to Boost Email Open Rates
Email open rate refers to the percentage of people who open your email out of the total subscribers in your email list. It is one of the most important metrics that showcases the performance of your email marketing campaigns and the reach they can achieve.
One of the most important steps that you can take to boost your email open rate is to keep refreshing your email list. By ensuring that your list does not go stale, you can consistently filter inactive emails. You can do this by sending regular emails to all subscribers and refreshing the list based on how many people engage with their email inboxes.
Another key factor that you should consider is the segmentation of your email list and ensuring that the emails that you are sending out are actually relevant to your subscribers. Segment your parent list into multiple segments and send tailored emails to increase the email open rate.
How to Write a Marketing Email That Boosts Conversion Rates
Marketing emails can be weaponized to accomplish your business goals if designed carefully. Conversion rates can substantially increase as a result of highly creative marketing emails. Creating marketing emails requires you to consider multiple factors, and can be designed in several formats. Some of them are:
Newsletters are marketing emails that are designed to offer updates and news about the brand to subscribers. Newsletters can use a combination of text, image, or video elements giving you a lot of creative freedom to communicate your message. You can even repurpose these newsletters and blogs to attain better SEO performance.
You can assess your website’s current SEO performance by conducting a comprehensive SEO Audit.
- Lead Nurturing Emails:
Lead nurturing emails are important as they offer an opportunity for businesses to connect with potential customers and maintain communication with them.
For some companies, especially large enterprises, putting out frequent announcements can be quite important. Announcements emails can be as creative as you want and even be converted into high-conversion campaigns.
- Marketing Offers:
Marketing offers are one of the most common forms of marketing emails. These emails can help companies in re-engaging customers, and even in bringing back lost customers through tailored offers and discounts.
- eCommerce Emails:
eCommerce emails are a staple for businesses that operate in the industry, as these emails can range from welcome emails to transaction emails, and even post-transactions. eCommerce companies usually invest a lot in tailoring these emails as they can serve varied purposes.
Email Content Best Practices
Once you have understood the kind of emails that can aid you in the process of increasing your conversions, the next step would be to take a look at the best practices that should be followed for creating highly effective email content. Here are a few that you should consider for your next email campaign:
- Email Subject Line:
The subject lines in emails generally render the first impression for any email, making it one of the most crucial parts of your email content. The subject lines should be highly impactful, detailed, and communicate the idea within limited characters. Personalizing the subject line can also add an extra layer of credibility to your emails.
- Content Relevance:
This is probably one of the most important precursory tasks that you would need to carry out while drafting your email content. Research extensively on the users that you are targeting and tailor your content to meet their needs or add value to the segment. Irrelevant emails contribute to a lower email open rate and can even render your email campaigns worthless.
- Content Quality:
Your marketing email is only as good as the quality of the content that you are able to integrate into your email. With that said, you need to proofread and edit your content till it meets the required standards. Moreover, you may also need to proactively add images and videos to accentuate the quality of your content and its impact on the targeted audience.
- Test Content:
Like every other online marketing effort that you plan to undertake or are currently investing in, you would need to run tests before you even start sending out the emails to your subscribers. Always ensure that you run a comprehensive test on the emails by sending them to yourself before distributing them to a wider audience.
Email Design Best Practices
Creating a stellar design for your emails is just as important as creating great content. It requires you to integrate the right elements into your email that can elevate the aesthetic as well as the quality of messaging in your email. Here are some of the best practices that can be followed by email marketers to take the design to the next level:
- Incorporate Visual Content:
A highly effective way to upgrade your email design is to integrate visual elements within it. This can include custom graphics, colorful icons, or even videos based on what goes well with the context of your email.
- A/B Test your Design:
Running tests on whether your email design works, and to what extent it works is essential to ensuring the quality of your email. In this phase, you should evaluate the colors, placement of CTA, fonts, and images among other elements that you have included in your email.
- Have a Responsive Design:
When you are designing an email to cater to modern audiences, you would need to have a responsive design. It essentially means that your email design adapts to the screen on which it is being viewed. For example, if your email is image-heavy but they do not load properly on a mobile device screen, you are going to lose out on a lot of potential engagement.
Implement Email Segmentation
While we discussed the importance of email segmentation in brief earlier, it is time to delve deeper. The process of segmenting your list of subscribers so that you can share specifically tailored messages with sections of your target audience is known as email segmentation.
To do this effectively, you need to have set criteria for the different segments of subscribers, and then strategize the specific types of content that you should use to target each of the segments. By doing so, you eliminate the possibility of sending irrelevant messages to your audience which can reduce the number of unsubscribers as well as increase your email engagement rate.
Personalize Your Email Marketing
Email marketing is surely one of the greatest marketing tools that have become a part of online marketing strategies campaigns undertaken by businesses. However, email marketing relies heavily on the way you structure and present your message. Personalization is one such aspect that every email marketer should strive to integrate into their campaigns.
Nearly 82% of marketers state that there is a noticeable increase in email open rates in their personalized emails when compared to generic emails. What’s more, such personalized emails are also known to deliver at least 6 times higher transactional rates.
Not just this, personalized emails can also impact your customer acquisition costs significantly by lowering them by as much as 50%. This means you would be spending a lot less, and gaining a lot more by simply ensuring that the emails you send out are personalized and tailored to your recipients.
For starters, even simple steps such as adding the recipient’s name in the subject line can help in considerably increasing the impact of your marketing campaigns. Moreover, you can also go a step further by personalizing the email content based on the recipient’s transaction history and association with your business.
Email Marketing Templates
By now, you have a detailed understanding of how to approach your email marketing efforts and the things you should consider while designing a winning email marketing strategy. And yes, it is definitely a lot of hard work. But worry not, as not all things have to be manual and cumbersome.
With the advent of email marketing came the need for automation and templates that can be repurposed by businesses. So if you are stuck wondering what your next step should be, opting for an email marketing template can help you navigate the process in a hassle-free manner and efficiently. For context, take a look at this email template:
Such email marketing templates include holistic designs to meet the needs of different kinds of marketing emails and sample content, which you can then replace with your own high-quality content and elements.
How to Improve Email Deliverability
Even without this guide, you should be able to gauge the importance of ensuring email deliverability. It can be assessed in three steps:
This step entails identifying the frameworks and norms that you need to follow when you are assuring your subscribers about your identity. These protocols include verification by Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC), and Sender Policy Framework (SPF).
You need to score higher when it comes to reputation to signal that you are a trustworthy email sender. While different organizations and internet service providers can have varied approaches to measuring this, one of the best ways to score higher is by creating positive subscriber behavior through emails.
The third parameter is understandably the quality of the content and elements that you are integrating into your emails. This would include ensuring that you are not providing poor quality content or poor formatting in emails.
Through tests, you should ensure that the emails are delivered properly to all recipients. One of the assured ways to do so is by refreshing the email lists, and ensuring that the email addresses of all subscribers are active.
Another effective way to achieve increased email deliverability is by providing effective unsubscribe options. By giving your subscribers the option to unsubscribe, you will be able to narrow down your email list to only the ones who would like to receive such communication.
Email Marketing Tools
One of the most efficient ways to approach your email marketing campaigns and strategy is by deploying the right technologies and tools to assist you with it. The features offered by some of these tools are so advanced and user-friendly that designing email campaigns can become easier and hassle-free to a much higher extent than you think.
ActiveCampaign is a great email marketing software that can potentially automate all your email marketing campaigns and processes. The software offers features to assist you in every step of the way including segmentation of email list, creating and designing the email marketing copy, personalization of emails, and finally, automation of all the steps included in the email marketing campaigns.
The company promotes the salient features that can assist different kinds of companies including B2B, B2C, and eCommerce companies. ActiveCampaign offers four pricing plans for businesses to choose from — Lite ($15/month), Plus ($70/month), Professional ($159/month), and Enterprise ($279/month).
ConvertKit is a great tool for businesses and individual brands as it offers features that can help you create landing pages, email signup forms, and even implement integrations and automation that you would like to add to your business website. The email marketing module is just an addition to these features making it a great tool for holistic online marketing strategies.
The versatility and quality offered by this comprehensive toolkit make it a great choice for all kinds of businesses, brands, and even celebrities and artists. ConvertKit offers three pricing plans: Free (with limited features and access), Creator ($29/month), and CreatorPro ($59/month).
For most marketers, HubSpot is synonymous with digital marketing automation. The company has been providing a wide range of tools to facilitate various online and digital marketing efforts for businesses of all sizes and types. HubSpot offers an all-in-one comprehensive software for all kinds of inbound marketing activities. This includes the creation of landing pages, SEO, social media, lead management, marketing automation, and email marketing among others.
In terms of email marketing, businesses can personalize emails, choose from ready templates, and run A/B testing to ensure the effectiveness of their campaigns. HubSpot offers three primary plans for marketers which include Starter ($45/month), Professional ($800/month), Enterprise ($3200/month).
Omnisend offers a comprehensive platform that allows businesses and individual brands to automate their online communication including SMS, and emails. Omnisend aims to automate all the processes that lead to seamless communication between businesses and their customers.
Trusted by some of the most popular brands such as Inglot, Hallmark, and Samsung, Omnisend is a great tool to automate and manage your communications effortlessly. Omnisend offers four pricing plans including a Free plan and three paid ones. The paid plans include Standard ($16/month), Pro ($99/month), and Enterprise (Custom Pricing).
Email Octopus is a tool that is specially designed for managing the email marketing strategies and campaigns of your business. With Email Octopus, most of the common marketing emails can be automated saving a lot of time and costs for businesses. In addition to designing and curating emails, Email Octopus also offers options to create landing pages that can increase the number of your subscribers.
Email Octopus offers two primary plans — Free and Pro ($24/month). The pricing of the Pro plan can be adjusted based on the email marketing goals of the business.
So far, we have discussed the various ways in which you can strategize and plan out your email marketing campaigns. Email marketing is as easy or difficult as you make it, and for it to be implemented efficiently, automation is crucial. By automating emails, marketers can send timed or triggered emails to their clients with minimal effort.
Automation of emails requires businesses to invest in email marketing platforms or tools that can automate all of the steps included in the process. Even so, you would need to have a predefined email marketing strategy according to which you can then automate the frequency, schedule, content, and design to be followed for your email marketing campaigns. Some of these automation tools also offer detailed insights and analytics that can help businesses in strategizing and optimizing their campaigns for maximum results. On that note, we will now look at how the analysis and testing of email marketing campaigns work.
Conducting analysis and testing of your email marketing strategies are key to creating highly impactful and successful campaigns. This process essentially allows you to compare and contrast the various elements and metrics associated with the email marketing efforts. These analyses and testing processes can be carried out in the following ways:
Understanding Email Analytics
So, what’s Email Analytics and what does it entail?
To put it simply, it is the process of tracking the way in which subscribers in your email list are interacting or engaging with your emails. By monitoring and analyzing the analytics associated with your email marketing campaigns, you can ensure that they are generating the results that you set out to achieve.
Some of the common email analytic metrics that are used by businesses to track their email marketing performance are:
- Open Rate:
This metric refers to the number of emails that are actually opened out of the total emails that were delivered. Marketers should strive to add intriguing subject lines to their emails to improve the open rate.
- Unsubscribe Rate:
This metric points out the number of people who are unsubscribing or opting out of your email campaigns. While the average unsubscription rate is 0.05%, marketers should proactively reevaluate the quality and frequency of emails if it exceeds it.
- Conversion Rate:
The conversion rate refers to the percentage of subscribers who convert into customers. This metric is calculated by assessing the actions that your subscribers take on your email. For instance, clicking a registration link for an event provided in your email.
- Email Deliverability:
This metric defines the number of emails that are delivered to designated recipients out of the ones that you sent out. This is important as it tells you who your active subscribers are.
- Click-through Rate:
This metric is important in understanding how your customers are engaging with your content. To be exact, the click-through rate actually suggests the number of people who clicked links in your email.
- Bounce Rate:
This metric suggests the number of emails that were not delivered. Bounce rate can be categorized into hard or soft bounces based on the reason for it.
These metrics can be monitored and managed using tools or platforms that offer email analytics, such as Google Analytics or other popular email marketing software.
Set and Track Email Marketing KPIs
Email Marketing KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are the ones that would align your team with the business goals that you want to achieve as well as for improving your performance on the aforementioned metrics.
Setting Email Marketing KPIs can be a strategic activity and should be carried out in the initial stages of your email marketing campaigns. From the above metrics, the open rate, the click-through rate, and unsubscribe rate can be set as KPIs so that they can be managed to deliver optimal results for your email marketing campaigns.
Use A/B Testing to Achieve Better Results
Every marketer targets specific goals with their email marketing campaigns and aims to achieve them by consistently improving their quality and performance. In the context of email marketing, A/B testing requires you to create two versions of an email and send one each to a subset of your subscribers.
Once you do this, you would need to monitor and analyze which version works better for your campaign. Doing this would also give you insights on what elements or design works better to accomplish your email marketing goals. A/B tests can of course vary, based on the aspects that you want to focus on. Using email automation tools makes it easier for you to run A/B tests as you can build two different versions of the same email easily and automate the process of sending it to the two segments of subscribers.
Email marketing strategies can vary in the amount of complexity and purpose that you want to integrate into your campaigns. While some email marketing strategies are quite simple, logical, and easy to implement within your email marketing campaigns, some are advanced. Such strategies may be advanced in terms of scope or in some cases, even the detailing that is required for getting better results.
Use the Right Font
When it comes to email marketing, first impressions do matter quite a bit. While many experts suggest that brands should go with fonts that align with their branding and organizational ethos, others say that readability is the most important factor to be considered.
Remember, when you send plain-text emails, they will appear in the default font set by the recipient. So, it is always advisable to use web-safe fonts which are fonts that you can be assured will appear the way you designed them. Fonts like Times New Roman, Verdana, Georgia, Garamond, or Arial are great for emails and ensure neutrality as well as readability.
Optimize the CTA For Maximum Conversions
CTA or Call-To-Action elements are perhaps one of the most important ones that you add to your marketing emails. The general rule of thumb when it comes to CTA buttons is that they should be placed based on the progression of the narrative.
When it comes to emails, most people will read it starting at the top left, and all the way down to the right. So it makes sense to place the CTAs on the bottom right of your email. Keep in mind that buttons tend to be more effective as compared to links or images. Moreover, having a responsive design and having a powerful copy is instrumental in determining the effectiveness of the CTAs.
Reduce Unsubscribes Through User Surveys
When subscribers start opting out of your email campaigns, and your unsubscription rate rises, it is understandably difficult to recover. But as a brand, you should try and leverage each and every point of contact that your subscribers have with you.
So, even if they are unsubscribing from your email list, create a user survey to understand the problem and identify the areas that you can improve on. This would also help you understand if you need to adjust the frequency or quality of your content to bring your unsubscribe rate in control.
Experiment With Designs and Layouts
While some marketers thrive on innovation, some stick to what has worked in the past and repeat it till it continues to offer results. While there is nothing wrong with sticking to a proven approach, it is always a good idea to experiment with designs and layouts so that your emails are always fresh and unique.
Doing so will also help you garner the right attention towards your emails, and have a more engaging impact on your email marketing campaigns. By tweaking your layouts and designs, you will also come across multiple options that might work best for generating positive results for your email campaign.
Get as Personal as You Can
Noone likes mail addressed to a John or Jane Doe. Try as you may, but a predefined email template that is not personalized will not have the desired impact.
Moreover, personalization is key to building successful campaigns with a defined business goal. While it is a good practice to include personalization in your subject line, your email copy should reflect the same principle. Personalization in emails has been a phenomenon for a while, and emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened by the recipients.
Additionally, a study by Salesforce revealed that more than 52% of customers are likely to go somewhere else if emails are not personalized. So personalization really is the key to improved open rate and engagement.
So far in this detailed guide, you would have gotten a comprehensive overview of email marketing and the approaches you can towards it. There are proven ways to ensure that your email marketing campaigns are not only effective in providing information but highly impactful in generating organizational sales and revenue.
On that note, here are a few bonus tips that can help you build the most successful email marketing campaign for your business:
How to Get Email Addresses For Marketing
Getting email addresses to build a high-quality email list is at the heart of successful email marketing campaigns. Making a list of subscribers who would be interested in receiving your emails is the first step towards designing email marketing campaigns that would work. One of the easiest ways to get access to email addresses is by having highly impactful lead magnets.
You can also accomplish this by having opt-in forms supported by content that prompts users to enter their email addresses. Moreover, offering content upgrades as well as offers and discounts is also a great way to get a higher number of email addresses for your campaigns.
How to Maintain a Clean Email List
One of the biggest challenges for email marketers is maintaining a clean email list more than anything else. To do this effectively, marketers must constantly and regularly send emails to their subscribers and monitor email deliverability. They should also evaluate the bounce rate to ensure that the subscribers on the list are active on addresses that they shared.
Another way to ensure a clean email list is to have opt-out forms so that the number of unsubscribers can be managed and controlled.
Best Time to Send Emails
While people use emails every day, it is understandable that they might not open and engage with marketing emails that frequently. Finding ideal times and days to send out emails ensures that you can enjoy an increased open and click-through rate.
According to many studies, the ideal days to send emails are Tuesday and Thursday. Moreover, the ideal time for sending emails is 10 AM on Tuesday or 8 PM on Thursday. If you plan to send your emails on any other day, the ideal timings are late mornings or early to late evenings as these are timings where people are likely to engage with your email the most.
Optimize Emails For Higher Click-Through Rates
One of the most proven ways to ensure that you are getting the kind of click-through rates you are targeting on your email campaigns is to optimize the emails. Whether it is on a CTA button that you have placed in the email or a link that will redirect the users for getting further information, increased click-through rates define the success of your email campaigns.
Some of the proven ways to improve your click-through rate include segmenting your email list efficiently, constantly refreshing your email templates, highlighting scarcity thus increasing urgency, and finally, defining personalization and effective messaging. Higher click-through rates can increase the organic traffic that you direct towards your website.
Plain Text Emails Vs Stylized Emails
Plain text emails are exactly how they sound. They contain just plain text and are devoid of any additional images or graphics. The benefit of plain text emails is that they would load easily and exactly the way you want them on any browser and email platform. The drawback is a fairly clear one — lack of images or graphics to grab attention or keep users engaged.
On the other hand, stylized emails are HTML-heavy and contain visual and graphic elements to guide the reader through the email content. The benefit of stylizing your emails is that they are more impactful and engage the audience to a much larger extent. The only disadvantage of stylized emails is that they can often take longer to load or appear differently on mobile devices.
How to Manage Email Replies
Your responsiveness to emails can often define how proactively and professionally you conduct your communication with your audience. Needless to say, email responsiveness can be definitive in reflecting your service quality.
A recent study by HubSpot even found that more than 90% of customers expect to receive a response for their emails within 10 minutes or less, which they define as an “immediate” response.
If your business experiences a large email volume, the best way is to automate the initial response so that the customer can be assured that their email has been received and actions will be taken on it. However, to ensure that your customers are happy with the response, try to personalize the emails as much as possible and maintain communication till the issue is duly addressed.
Email Regulations and Compliance
Just like every other segment of digital marketing, emails are governed by regulations and compliance requirements. Compliance as you know is the need for email client providers to adhere to specific rules and regulations. These regulations have a lot to do with ensuring the security and privacy of the users, as well as moderating the nature of the content that is being disseminated through the emails.
Email providers need to ensure compliance with the national regulations, industry-specific laws that have been set accordingly. Some examples of such regulations are SOX (Sarbanes Oxley Act) for companies in the USA.
The other considerations that need to be considered include international provisions which include regulations such as EU directives, or GDPR. The third layer of compliance happens on a company level, where adherence to internal policies needs to be ensured. Lastly, compliance with laws on data and consumer privacy has to be carried out.
How to Integrate Email Marketing and Social Media
The combination of email marketing and social media can truly take your online marketing to the next level. With that in mind, integrating both platforms should be considered by every marketer.
Integrate social media buttons in your emails, so that recipients can directly and easily navigate to your social media channels. Many prefer to do this by adding the social buttons in their email signatures. Additionally, you can also add your email address on social media channels so that visitors know where to contact you.
Pro tip: You can also add a Facebook Messenger Widget to your website, to redirect subscribers from emails, and solve some of their detailed queries effectively. This would essentially link your Facebook Messenger as a chatbox on your website allowing you to service customers effectively.
How to Keep Your Email Subscribers Happy
There are multiple ways to ensure that your email subscribers are happy and satisfied with your marketing campaigns. One of the proven ways is to once again, segment your email list so that your subscribers receive emails that are useful to them. Another way is to clean your mailing list regularly and write highly concise and targeted subject lines.
To go a step further, you can also allow your users to decide the frequency and kind of content that they would like to receive. That way they would have control over the email content that they receive, and be more engaged with the emails that you send their way.
Also, always think mobile and optimize your emails to load and display correctly on mobile devices.
How to Make Money With Email Marketing
All email marketing campaigns are designed to make money in some form or other — whether you are an individual or a business. One of the most effective ways to monetize your marketing emails is by placing your CTAs carefully, to prompt purchases. Another great way to do this is by automating your email campaigns, which can help you actively communicate with your subscribers and generate sales.
You can also leverage email marketing to promote your products and services, which can then lead to better performance.
How Often Should I Send Marketing Emails?
The frequency of your marketing emails depends on the industry you operate in. For most industries, starting by sending a couple of emails in a month and then increasing the frequency to once every week can work great. For eCommerce companies, emails need to be much more often and should range between 2-4 emails every week.
What is a Hard Bounce in Email Marketing?
Bounce rate is defined as the number of emails that did not get delivered to the intended subscribers. In this context, a hard bounce is when your email can not be delivered to a recipient due to a permanent reason. This can happen if the recipient’s email address no longer exists, or if the recipient has permanently blocked delivery of your emails.
How Much Does an Email Marketing Campaign Cost?
Email marketing can cost as low as $9 per month and go up to $1000 per month for small to midsize businesses. For enterprises, the cost can go much higher as the email volume tends to be higher.
What is a Good Open Rate For Email Marketing?
According to a study, the average email open rate across industries is 21.33%. The open rate for your email marketing campaigns should be higher than this industry average to be considered ideal.
How can Email Marketing Fuel Your Overall Inbound Strategy?
Email marketing can be carried out in multiple forms including email newsletters or lead nurturing emails. Such marketing emails tend to generate higher engagement and conversions, which can strengthen your inbound strategy.
How to Charge For Email Marketing Services?
To know how much you need to charge for providing email marketing services, you must research the email marketing automation platforms and tools, and the pricing plans that they provide. Based on these rates, and the scope of work that you would be undertaking, you can then come up with a good rate that can vary from $8 to $250 for a campaign.
How to Get Email Lists For Marketing?
Email lists can be created by getting email addresses from lead magnets on your website or by optimizing your web pages to have a higher number of email signups. You can also offer freebies, content upgrades, and other incentives to website visitors in return for their email addresses.
When Should I Send Marketing Emails?
Once you have a highly segmented email list with a considerable number of subscribers, you can start sending marketing emails frequently. For most businesses, sending emails a few times a month can do the trick, and for others, it can be higher, based on their business goals.
When it Comes to Email Marketing, What do you mean by A/B Testing?
A/B testing for email marketing entails creating two different versions of the same email and sending each to different segments of subscribers. Based on this experiment, you will be able to identify the version that performs better and send it to the rest of your email list.
What are the Rules For Email Marketing?
Email marketing follows a simple set of rules. Some of the basic ones include creating impactful subject lines, personalizing the content for your recipients, and designing the emails creatively to keep the reader engaged. You must also place CTAs and links smartly so that you can generate traction accordingly.
How To Avoid My Newsletter Landing Up In The Gmail Promotions Tab?
To avoid your newsletters from landing in the Gmail Promotions Tab, you must ensure that your emails do not use overly promotional language. To do this effectively, avoid integrating dollar signs or trigger words in the subject line as well as the body of your email content.
How To Avoid Newsletter Going To Spam?
If your emails experience low engagement rates, and your frequency is too high, your newsletters can often end up in the spam folder of your recipient’s inbox. You can avoid this by authenticating your email with the required protocols (DMARC, SPF, etc.) and by utilizing spam checkers. You should also ensure that your content is relevant to the recipients by effectively segmenting your email lists.
By now, you should have a detailed understanding of how email marketing works, and how you can leverage it for achieving your business goals. Email marketing was and remains one of the most effective mediums to conduct inbound marketing and can make it easier for you to optimize your marketing strategies for consistent success. Ensure to follow the prescribed best practices while designing and carrying out your email marketing campaigns, so that you can generate the desired results from them.
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