When people think of email marketing, they unfortunately often think of spam. Email marketing can actually be an impressively reliable and profitable way to keep in touch with prospects, engage them, and lead them to conversion.
There are more than 3.6 billion email accounts worldwide, and 91 percent of your prospects check their email daily. It's very common now as they use their email to communicate. To be successful, however, email marketing must be done correctly.
Why email matters
When it comes to receiving information and communication from companies, customers actually prefer email. Nearly 3/4 of consumers have reported that they want companies to use email to communicate with them.
All email platforms regularly tracks open rates, bounce rates, click through rates, and opt-out rates for email marketing campaigns across a variety of different industries. They have found that open rates can be over 30 percent for certain industries. Nonprofit religious organizations can see open rates as high as 40.24 percent on average. Click through rates can also be impressively high, with industries such as the transportation, publishing, crafts, and communication industries easily exceeding 10 percent on average. Even the lowest performers, however, still saw click-through rates over 4 percent.
Email marketing campaigns can have excellent ROI, be very helpful for encouraging engagement with customers and generating more leads. Here is how to build a successful one.
Building and segmenting an email list
Developing a high quality email list is essential for getting emails in front of people who can use them. Never purchase an email list because those email addresses belong to people who have never showed any interest in the company and any emails sent out will be regarded as spam.
Build an email list from communication with customers and website visitors. Use landing pages and encourage people to leave email addresses in exchange for various white papers, newsletters, ebooks, and similar materials of value. To make the email list even more secure, use a double opt-in feature. Once someone gives you their email address, send them an email confirming their interest in receiving communications from the company by asking them to click a link.
As the email list grows, develop ways to segment it to better identify the recipients’ pain points and interests. Email lists can be segmented according to criteria such as:
- geographic location
- role within the company
- company budget
- company size
By segmenting the email list, email marketing campaigns can be sent out that will better match what the reader will be looking for. A CEO of a multimillion dollar company will respond to different content than an office assistant of a nonprofit.
Make the email look appealing and personal
Prospects are not very interested in opening emails when they do not know the sender or have any idea about why they should be opening the email. The key to overcoming this hurdle is personalization.
Make sure that the email does not come from a generic company email address. Instead, it should come from a specific person at the company, such as ‘Shannon from Maven Media’. This will give the customer a specific person with whom they are communicating.
The headline of the email should be eye-catching and appealing. Develop headlines that encourage immediate action and hook the reader into wanting to read more. Shocking statistics, references to industry secrets, and similarly engaging headlines work well. It is important, however, to avoid any semblance of spam. According to Constant Contact, the following headline characteristics look too much like spam to receive good open rates.
- Using words like free or guarantee
- Using phrases such as, “be amazed”, “check or money order”, or “call now”
- Writing in all capital letters
- Using excessive punctuation or symbols
- Saying “click here” too often
Make the actual email engaging and individual
The email itself should be a few lines of engaging content with a strong call to action. Companies should have their emails automatically filled in with the recipient’s name, company, and any other information they might have. This will help the email speak directly to the potential customer.
The email should be signed by the same person who appeared in the sender box, with clear contact information.
The sending process
Customers respond best to emails when they know to expect them. Have a regular schedule of communication with recipients and keep it consistent. Every email campaign should also be carefully monitored for open rates and click through rates. Watch the day of the week and the time that emails were sent with the most success. Adjust email marketing schedules to take advantage of this information.
Email marketing can be a valuable tool in the hands of organizations. The majority of the population uses their email daily, making it a wonderful way to keep in touch with people. Following the above guidelines can help make every email a success.