Marketing automation allows companies and brands to market more effectively across multiple channels by automating repetitive tasks. Hughes Media specializes in cross-channel marketing automation, using tools and workflows that allow us to work in a time-efficient manner and result in significantly high ROIs. Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing automation strategies we use to capture, nurture, and convert leads into customers.
Email Marketing Strategies That Work
These days, social media has firmly cemented its position as a vital digital marketing tool for B2B and B2C businesses, as well it should. But don’t forget about the other very important marketing tactic: email marketing.
The fact is, while social media may be more effective than email in some situations, one marketing medium can’t do it all. There are many times when email marketing is actually the best option. Consider some of the distinct advantages email has to offer:
Low cost and high ROI.
Email marketing is relatively inexpensive, and provides a better return on investment (ROI) than other forms of marketing. According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing brings in $40 for every $1 spent, outperforming search, display and social media marketing.
The vast majority—around 90 percent of all internet users between the ages of 18 and 64—access their emails every day. Communicating with existing and potential customers and clients is an excellent way to keep your brand in front of them.
Emails can be highly targeted and personalized.
Email allows you to greet, personalize and target specific segments of your audience with customized and tailored messages, addressing particular needs of recipients. Your customers and prospects will appreciate this personal touch and be much more inclined to interact with your brand.
Emails are easy to track and test.
Email marketing is flexible and can be started, stopped, tested and adjusted as much as you like. You can track open, click-through and conversion rates, allowing you to easily see where your campaign needs improvement.
But what exactly is email marketing? In its simplest terms, any email sent to a current or existing customer falls under the general heading of email marketing. This includes electronic newsletters, thank-you emails, welcome messages for new contacts, transaction confirmations, monthly company updates, special offer communications and event invitations—all of which can help increase brand awareness, engage potential leads, generate sales and build customer loyalty.
The key to closing a sale (or having the customer make a conversion) is nurturing the customer and building their trust in your brand. When a customer or prospect opts-in to receive your email newsletters, they have already shown interest in your brand. Now, it is your job to keep their interest and keep them engaged. Email automation is a great way to do this. By setting up drip email marketing campaigns, you can create an automated workflow that will help guide your customers through the sales funnel without you having to waste time manually following up and emailing each customer one at a time. Through a drip campaign, emails are automatically “dripped” out to your target audience with parameters you set, and they are a great way to close deals with great ROI.
Best practices for email marketing
Of course, while email marketing can be a great strategy, if your messages aren’t crafted properly, they won’t bring in the results you’re hoping for. You can’t just do anything and expect it to work. Successful email campaigns take planning and strategy. What follows are some tips to ensure your emails get opened, read and hopefully acted upon:
Optimize your subject lines.
Your goal with the subject line is to get your email opened. That’s most likely to happen when your subject lines are personalized and succinct, and use “non-salesy” language. Make the email personal by putting the customer’s first name in the subject line; most people are more inclined to open messages that seem specially-written for them. Don’t make the subject line any longer than necessary; no more than 50 characters is ideal. Use the kind of wording in your subject line that would be found in a “regular” email from a friend or acquaintance, so it doesn’t sound like a sales pitch.
Keep your message short and to the point.
This is not the time to wax eloquent. Most people lead busy, over-packed lives, and only have so much time to go through emails. If you want your emails to be read, keep them concise and quickly digested. Don’t try to say everything about your business or product in one email. Stick to one main point. If you want to share additional information in your email, include some links to your website where readers can go to learn more.
Include one clear and unmistakable CTA per email.
Don’t leave your readers hanging after they read your email. Present them with the next step: your CTA (call to action). Tell your readers what you want them to do, why they should do it, and how to do it. For instance, you might want them to download a free eBook, fill out a contact form, or call in for a free consultation. Be sure the CTA is obvious and easy to find; otherwise there is no point of even sending the email.
Let your visuals do the talking.
When it comes to emails, visuals often convey your message better than words, so make your text-to-image ratio lean in favor of images. The graphic design, images and charts you include often gets readers’ attention more quickly than the words you choose. Still, it’s important that your visual and written elements convey a cohesive message, so be sure your images complement and reinforce what you say in your written content.
Make sure your emails are easily viewed on a mobile phone.
Depending on the product and target audience, between 15 and 70 percent of emails are opened on a mobile device. This makes it extremely important that your emails are mobile-friendly. For starters, your CTA buttons should be large enough to be easily tapped, choose graphic elements that are not too busy or complex to be viewed at smaller sizes, and select fonts for your content that can be easily readable on any device.
Perform regular email list hygiene.
No one wants to waste time on bounced emails. The way to stay ahead is to maintain up-to-date contact information for all your customers and prospects. Email lists should be cleaned out regularly to improve inbox delivery and response rates. This is a matter of not only removing bounced or inactive subscribers, but also adding new names as well.
Determine the optimal frequency for sending your emails.
You don’t want to leave your customers hanging by making your emails too few and far between, but you also don’t want to overwhelm the people on your list with too many emails. For starters, select a frequency by assessing your specific business goals, and analyzing marketing trends for your industry. For instance, retailers may need to send newsletters a few times a week, whereas doctor clinics and more service-based industries should send newsletters once a month. Once you’ve determined a starting point, send out some emails and then test and review your results. Look at the open rates, click-through rates, responses, and unsubscribe requests to see if you need to make any adjustments in your frequency.
Time your delivery for optimal open rates.
Your subscribers may prefer to receive emails from you at certain times of the day, so sending messages within these windows can guarantee better results and cultivate good relationships with your customers. Exactly what times are optimal varies depending on the industry, consumer behavior, and the deployment times of other marketers. In general, though, emails sent between 8 p.m. and midnight stand out more and have the highest open rates. That’s a good place to start. After that, perform regular testing to see if these times are indeed when your customers check their emails.
How our digital agency can help
Let’s be honest: Not every business has its own staff to set up a great email marketing campaign, nor the digital marketing experience. Don’t worry! For the most effective email marketing tips and complete support services for all your online marketing efforts, turn to Hughes Media.
Our dedicated and experienced team will work within your budget to create a plan that will improve customer retention, customer engagement and ROI. We work with leading email marketing platforms—including MailChimp, Constant Contact, Silverpop and Pardot—to streamline your email marketing efforts.
Here are just some of the email marketing services we can provide:
- Campaign strategies and development.
- Email design and content creation.
- List management.
- E-newsletters, e-blasts and autoresponders.
- Drip marketing.
- CRM integration.
- Reporting and analytics.
- Database management.
- Social media and website integration.
Give us a call at 404-848-0487 to schedule a no-obligation marketing evaluation and strategy session, and learn how our hard-working team of digital marketing specialists can develop an effective email campaign for your business. Or fill out our online contact form, and a Hughes Media representative will get back with you shortly.