If you have a stake in growing a business, you’re probably familiar with email marketing. But without a proper strategy, your communication can go unnoticed or, at worst, be an annoyance to the recipient.
Think about your inbox. How many messages do you send straight to the trash folder? And what about those you mark as spam or unsubscribe from? With the average person receiving over 100 emails daily, you need a well-developed email marketing strategy and proper customer relationship management (CRM) to cut through the noise.
Is Email Marketing Right for Your Business?
Email marketing is a way to market to potential customers using email. While email marketing is an effective tool that can benefit almost any business, it requires a well-defined approach to be successful.
Your email communication should align with your overall marketing plan, all leads should be legally obtained and opted in (do not buy emails!), and the content you’re sending should be relevant and high-quality.
If you can meet these standards, email marketing is an effective and affordable tool to communicate with leads and customers. Dozens of email service providers, such as MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, ConstantContact, Omnisend, and Growmatik, offer various plans to meet your business’s needs, regardless of its size.
The Benefits of Email Marketing
So, why exactly is email marketing so great? Let us count the ways!
- You Own the Channel & Message – Email is one of the few channels you own entirely. Other marketing platforms, such as social media, have restrictions. Whether it’s the number of characters, the type of content you can promote, or a tricky algorithm to contend with, you must operate within the confines of their platform. With email marketing, you can fully brand, customize, and share your message the way you want.
- Build Your Contact List – Building and managing an email database is essential for any business. With a properly maintained list, you can contact the right people at the right time.
- Helps You Build Brand Awareness with Leads Who Have Expressed Interest – If you have someone’s email address (remember, we’re not buying them), they have shown interest in what you do. That is a valuable lead! Do not miss the opportunity to build that relationship.
- Strengthens the Relationship & Creates Loyalty with Existing Customers – Email marketing isn’t just about new leads. It’s a great way to communicate and add value to past customers, so they keep coming back.
- Allows You to Test Messaging, Promos, & More – We love an A/B test, and email is a great way to deploy them affordably. You can tweak your message and send to different groups or at different times to see what resonates. Once you know what works, you can distribute that message through more expensive advertising channels, like Google Ads, to reach more people.
- Results are Measurable – Do you love data? If so, you’ll enjoy email marketing. You can track sends, opens, clicks, opt-outs, and more, giving you near immediate insight into each campaigns performance.
Speaking of data, you can expect $36 in return for every $1 spent, and that’s the highest ROI of any form of marketing. Not bad, huh?
Creating an Email Marketing Strategy
So, where should you begin creating an effective email strategy? The first thing the team at Square 205 considers is who the recipient is and how to get them into the database. Once we’re clear on the target, we determine the goal. Are we creating awareness or driving to an event, a consultation, a sale, or something else?
Once the audience has been targeted, we’ll determine how to organize the database so that contacts receive relevant content, then finalize which messaging and sending strategy will effectively achieve the defined goal.
Building Your Database
To deploy an email marketing strategy, you need emails. This means building your database is essential. As we mentioned before, we do not condone buying lead lists. Contacting these leads could violate compliance regulations. On top of that, these leads are usually unengaged, and sending to contacts that don’t open your emails, or worse, report you as spam, can damage your reputation.
Instead, build your database by providing something of value to potential leads. Some effective mechanisms for building a lead list include promotional offers, quizzes, one-pagers, newsletters, and other freebies. Most email service providers allow you to create forms or integrate your own so that lead information is automatically transmitted to your database.
Manage Leads with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System
While some businesses may be able to send the same email to their entire database, this isn’t the case for most. Creating segments, typically with tags or separate lists, allows you to send only relevant messages to your contacts.
To determine the segments you need, think through the communications you want to send. You may want to deliver separate emails to prospects and existing customers. Perhaps you have leads interested in different products or services you offer. For example, as a pet store, you could segment your list by type of pet owned, so an email about a sale on fish food would only go to leads interested in that item.
In addition to creating segments, regular list clean-up is an effective way to ensure your list is healthy. Start by purging emails that bounce (are undeliverable) and unengaged contacts. Spam accounts, indicated by uncommon domains or a string of numbers and letters in the name, should be actively removed or archived from your audience list. This will increase the amount of valuable leads and free up space for legitimate users to sign up.
Keeping your leads segmented and organized is the best way to increase relevancy, thus improving your open rates, click-through rates, and reputation.
While most email service providers allow you to create segments and conduct regular list clean-up, your business may require a more robust database. In these cases, you can implement a CRM, such as Salesforce, HubSpot, Zoho, or Pipedrive, to manage your sales pipeline, customer support, and more.
Elements of a Successful Email
Once you have thoughtfully segmented leads, it’s time to create your email. Since contacts aren’t afraid to delete, unsubscribe, or mark spam, it’s important to evaluate what will work for your target market.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, there are a few Do’s and Don’ts to abide by to increase deliverability and open rates.
- Do know your audience. What problem are you solving for them?
- Do have a compelling subject line. Here’s a free subject line tester to get you started.
- Do use beautiful HTML design.
- Do send relevant content.
- Do have a clear call to action.
- Don’t overwhelm your audience by sending too frequently. Twice a month is typically a good place to start.
- Don’t use too many images or too much text. 60% text and 40% images are the recommended ratio.
- Don’t buy lead lists. We mean it!
- Don’t get caught in spam filters. Here are five great tips to stay out of the junk folder.
Take Your Email Marketing & CRM Management to the Next Level
An effective email marketing strategy can nurture leads and foster relationships with existing customers, all while delivering the highest ROI of all digital marketing tactics.
Let Square 205 do the heavy lifting of setting up and integrating an email service provider or CRM, implementing a segmentation strategy, designing and developing a high-quality template, and crafting compelling content to drive engagement and sales.
Contact us today, and let’s discuss your project!.