Email may seem like an old-fashioned way of marketing. With social media, mobile, and other forms garnering the most interest, you might think that there is little need to focus on this type of marketing. This is not true. Recent findings indicate that investment in email as a channel continues to grow at a rapid pace; and why not? A relatively cheap way to market, email marketing gives you a return on investment of 38-1. However, it must be handled delicately. If you misuse it by bombarding a bad list of contacts with content they don’t care about, you can severely damage your chances of conversions.
Email is only one part of your integrated marketing experience, so you need to develop the tools to weave it all together as a single strategy. The following tools are crucial to creating emails that are relevant and remarkable, content that your readers want to hear and lead them to conversion:
There are only two ways to grow your list: the “bad” way and the “good” way. The bad way undermines your inbound strategy. It has been described as marketing with a sledgehammer, whereas good marketing is marketing with a magnet. Don’t alienate your recipients with stuff they didn’t ask for, or you might be blacklisted or marked as spam.
The “good” way to improve your list include things like remembering where readers came from, frequently asking recipients what matters to them in email communications, and segmenting your list based on contact behavior and interests. Consider what content they have viewed or what offers they have downloaded. A segmented list allows you to nurture your recipients, separating them based on what appeals to them as buyers.
Email Marketing Design
Good email marketing uses design to improve content. Design, including picking a primary goal, a no-nonsense subject line, attractive copy and proper use of images, creates a consistent experience and drives conversions. You want to compel your reader to take action, so the value should be clear. Your email layout helps readers get to the heart of the message without wasting time on unnecessary (and unengaging) information.
On the Go….
54% of emails are opened in mobile, so you must keep the mobile experience in mind when creating emails. Keys, like moving the call to action above the fold and putting navigation in the footer, makes it mobile-friendly. Always test your templates for mobile devices, offering both plain text and HTML versions. Your busy readers will appreciate the simplicity of an email which allows for a finger-size response, so don’t forget to optimize your landing pages too!
Social Media and Email Marketing as a Team
Today’s buyers are using a variety of social media outlets along with their email, and these can work together. Try adding social media sharing buttons to your emails, and placing a call to action on your Facebook page. Add those who mentioned you in social media to your email list, sending targeted information to them; social media followers now become email subscribers, who become customers!
Analytics—You Have Data!
We all want to know what works and what doesn’t. How can you improve your strategy without proof that something is (or isn’t) successful? A good database is the foundation of this part of your plan. By knowing details like who your contacts are, where they are in the buyer’s journey, their email engagement, form submissions, and social media activity, you can continue to improve your email marketing strategy. Data allows you to measure the direct business value of every action you take, helping you to refine and improve your entire marketing strategy, build trust, and provide good content.
With the combination of list segmentation and data, you are prepared to test your email. You cannot really optimize without removing assumptions and opinions about potential issues, and focus on data you have. Since you are integrating all marketing avenues, you need to collect data from all channels. This allows you to view your contacts’ navigation experience with you. You will be able to understand the effectiveness as well as increase your targeting in email sends. As a bonus, you will be able to segment your list even more. The whole picture is important to make good decisions regarding your strategy’s success.
There you have it. As you can see, email marketing is not an archaic way of marketing, but a useful part of a wider strategy. With a segmented (and ever-growing) list, appealing design, mobile optimization, real connection with social media, and a boatload of data to analyze, you are well on your way to successful conversions!
About Digital Impact Agency
Digital Impact Agency is a creative firm specializing in interactive media and inbound marketing strategies for manufacturing and technology companies, professional service firms (architectural, engineering, construction, legal and consulting), nonprofits and enterprise companies. We are a team of innovative entrepreneurs focused on creating the most strategic and effective communication channels for our clients.