According to a 2015 report, email marketing is the most common type of digital marketing. With so many emails coming in from all directions, getting your campaign to stand out is a difficult task. But if you do it right, email marketing delivers exceptional ROI and is an excellent way too trigger customer behavior.
Do it wrong however, and all your efforts could end up in the trash folder.
There are countless online resources about how to improve the effectiveness of your emails in terms of getting people to open or click them. But before all of that happens you need to have a detailed plan in place.
Here are 4 things to remember when starting an email marketing campaign.
1)Email needs to be part of a larger strategy
Email marketing is only effective if you have the materials to support it. You need to have enough content to send emails over a period of time, and you consistently need to be introducing new pieces of content or new offers to replace the messages that have gone stale.
You also need a way to get people into your contact list so that you can start sending them emails in the first place. Gated pieces of content that collect information are an effective way to do this, as long as the content you’re giving out is enough to convince someone to turn over their email address.
2)Content must add value to your audience
Your message will be one of many in your recipient’s inbox. You need to think carefully about what types of content you will send and how it will add value to them. Take the time to layout the order of your messages. In B2B companies for example, high level, educational pieces of content should be sent well before in-depth, product centric pieces of content. Consider these paths as part of the buying process and align your streams to the process that fits your audience.
It’s very important to understand your audience before starting out. Do you have different customers who need their own messaging? Are your products different enough that they have their own content? Set up the different paths your audience can take, and determine how you will place customers into each path. Here is a possible email nurture path with 2 vertical markets and 3 separate products. Each product stream would have emails that are relevant to that particular audience.
3)Getting started takes time
It will take some time to get the plan in place and the emails themselves created. But being prepared means you can focus on improving your results rather than constantly trying to determine what comes next. Once you have some early baselines you can make changes and run A/B tests to continuously improve.
Similarly, you shouldn’t expect to get the best results right away, especially if you’re using an old database of contacts. It will take time to warm up those contacts again, and some may no longer be valid or may not be interested in what you have to offer. Starting from scratch will take even longer as you build up a list of contacts over time. Be prepared for the long haul, as regular contact is key to a successful campaign.
Sure, it’s “email marketing” to you, but it can quickly become “spam” to your customers. This is something that’s important to remember every step of the way. People are busy and they have hundreds of emails coming in each day. Even if they initially wanted your updates they can become annoyed and simply ignore your messages, or ultimately unsubscribe from your list, if you aren’t sending what they want.
That’s why it’s critical to get email marketing right. Don’t send emails too often. Send them at regular intervals so that your audience begins to look for them, or at least aren’t surprised when they arrive. And make sure every email you send has a purpose for your customers. Otherwise, all of your hard work could go to waste.
Plan for the future
Email marketing is a powerful tool and one that can be used to nurture leads, educate customers, or provide incentives to purchase. Making sure the right plan is in place will save you countless headaches down the road and let you focus on improving your results and growing your business rather than reacting to unforeseen problems.
Bridge the Gap offers email marketing consulting services to help you get your campaign off the ground. We also provide high quality email copy that drives engagements and grows your business. Send us a message to discuss your project today!