By: Matt Beauchamp, Owner of MRB Ink
With a future filled with tweets, Facebook posts, live web-casts, and snap chats the noise surrounding a brands marketing efforts can make the thought of e-mail marketing seem like bringing a cave man to a social media convention. But, as theses stats prove, e-mail marketing is not dead – in fact it’s thriving.
With this in mind, I’ve compiled an easy five step process to help you build a successful e-mail marketing campaign.
Step 1: Get permission/build a database
Build a database by offering an e-mail list sign up on your website and through your communication with customers. Since the enacting of CASL you need permission to contact the customer database you already have.
Be sure to include an incentive for why someone should sign up for your list. Depending on the product or service your company offers consider offering discount codes, insider tips, and more to entice people to read your e-mails.
Step 2: Create an e-mail marketing schedule
There’s nothing worse than signing up for an e-mail mailing list and then getting inundated with e-mails on a daily basis. You don’t want to abuse the list(s) that you work hard to cultivate. Create a plan and a schedule that will outline what e-mail campaigns you’re creating, why you’re creating them and when you will be executing them, making sure that there isn’t an overlap of databases, or periods of time where you are hitting your list on a daily basis. The last thing you want to do is take months and years to build a list, only to have it decimated by unsubscribes.
Step 3: Create compelling content
This is a multi-step process. First is to ensure you have a content writer in place. Whether this is someone on staff, or a freelance write your hire, make sure you have someone with a background in writing. The content you create needs to be compelling, but most importantly professional. A qualified writer will avoid making mistakes in language and grammar and will have the ability to focus messages on your brand and the message you’re trying to portray.
The second step is to create actionable subject lines. The subject line is the first thing the reader will see from you. Incorporating verbs like reserve, take, download, buy will tell readers exactly what they can do with the e-mail. But also using subject lines with a call to action like “Don’t miss this opportunity to ….” Will entice readers to open your e-mail and read what you have to say.
Next, create content that shows the personality of your business. Stiff, formal e-mails may be appropriate for certain types of businesses – IE: a law firm, or financial institution – but may be off putting for others. For example if you’re an events company, you can use your e-mails to show the customer what kind of a fun experience they’ll have at your events through the language you use in your e-mails. Ensure you e-mail content sticks to the strategy you have created in Step 2, and has some sort of call to action within it.
Lastly, personalize your e-mails when possible. Research has shown that personalized e-mails have a much better chance of being opened then generic e-mails. Research from E-marketer showed that highly segmented and personalized e-mails had an open rate 39% higher than other e-mails.
Step 4: Maximize mobile open rates
Mobile open rates can account for up to 70 per cent of your open rates. This is a massive part of your customer base, and one that cannot be ignored.
With Apple’s latest IOS system update in September of 2015 – IOS 9, users with the 6S and 6S Plus got introduced to the new 3D touch system which introduces pressure sensitive ‘peeking’ and ‘popping.’ This new system will allow users to ‘peek’ at an e-mail without actually opening it. Since the pictures still download in the ‘peek’ function, this still counts as an opened e-mail, however your content will need to be more eye catching than ever. With users potentially only giving you a couple seconds of thought, your subject line, initial paragraph and images will all need to maximize their space and engage your customer.
Step 5: Crunch the numbers
Most e-mail marketing service providers will have some sort of analytics built into their program. Analytics are great to have and can really allow you to focus your content to maximize your ultimate sales goals. While each provider may have a large number of analytic categories, the three I have found most important are open rate, click-through rate and unsubscribes.
Your open rate speaks most to your relationship with your customer. If they dread getting an e-mail from you, or have no interest in your communications, this is where you will see it the most. If you have a low open rate it means customers are deleting your e-mail upon receipt, or have directed your e-mails directly to their junk mail.
If your click-through rate is low, this is a reflection of your content. Look at revising and updating your content, and examining ways you can improve.
If you have high unsubscribe rates you’ve passed a point of no return with a lot of your subscribers – or should I say your past subscribers. Examine your analytics and your marketing plans to determine where the leaks are coming from and how you can plug them. Are you hitting your list too often? Not often enough? Is your content of value? The last thing you want to do is lose all of the subscribers on your list(s) you’ve worked so hard to acquire.