The best email marketing campaigns are the ones that grab your attention as soon as you open your inbox: the emails are informative, easy to read and leave you with a brilliant image of the brand.
Email marketing is all about establishing and maintaining a link to your customers. Through email marketing, you can help customers learn more about your brand and encourage them to delve deeper into your website and engage with your social media profiles.
Why Use Email Marketing?
As a result of recent events, we’ve seen many big name brands forgo their usual sales talk in favour of warm and heartfelt messages that check in with their customers. Like social media, email marketing has shifted towards a more authentic message, rather than the typical sell sell sell it was once known for. This has helped to establish email marketing as a really valuable tool for connecting with your customers on a deeper and more personal level.
You can’t meet your customers in person at the moment, but you can still communicate with them thanks to email. Using well-timed messages, you can keep customers updated on new products and exciting developments in the life of your business, as well as keeping a channel open for future business. Email marketing allows you to maintain a direct connection with your customers long after a sale has been made.
Read on for our 8 steps to help you create an effective email marketing campaign that subscribers can’t help but open!
1. Define your goals
Many brands we work with are reluctant to start email marketing because they don’t want to spam their customers with constant contact, but email marketing doesn’t have to be an overload of offers or words. The best way to avoid this is to plan your email marketing strategy in advance. A clear strategy helps make sure you stay focussed and that every one of your emails hits its mark.
To get started, you'll need to define your email marketing goals. Your goals could include:
• Improving communication with existing customers
• Boosting sales
• Increasing website traffic
• Generating new leads
• Growing your audience
The goal(s) you choose will influence the kind of message you want to send, so don’t skip this step! The aim here is to have a clear set of objectives to base each and every email around.
2. Plan your content
Next up you’ll want to plan your email marketing content. After you’ve decided on your goals, try not to get tempted into sending the first email in a hurry! The best email marketing campaigns are the ones that follow a clear step-by-step progression and offer varied, unique information to subscribers with every email.
By planning your content, you’ll be able to see clearly how your emails should link with one another. You’ll also avoid using up all your best stuff in the first email! Pre-planning enables you to build in space for product launches and upcoming events, so you can write relevant emails that correspond with those all-important milestones. If your campaign is aimed at encouraging repeat sales, you can also work out how you will guide your customers to that action.
3. Decide how you’ll send your emails
Once you’ve established your goals and thoroughly planned your content, you’ll need to select an email marketing tool. Rather than sending all your emails manually, you can use a program to schedule them and send them automatically. This is so much easier in so many ways! You don’t need to remember to send your emails at a particular time or on a particular day, you can save your templates and you can see what actions people take after you’ve sent your email (more on this in point 8!).
We use Mailchimp for the majority of our clients but there are many different email marketing tools to choose from. The best tool for you will vary according to your needs so don’t be afraid to shop around!
4. Craft a subject line they can’t resist!
The only way your message will be read is if people decide to open your email. This means that you need to give them a reason to open it! Enter your subject line…
In most inboxes, the subject line is the only part of the email that people can see and let’s face it, it’s not a lot! If your subscribers are viewing your email on a mobile device, the space gets even smaller. With this in mind, you’ll need to use your words wisely. The best subject lines are eye catching and enticing but try to avoid caps-lock, too many exclamation marks and the words ‘urgent’ or ‘free’. These common choices tend to turn people off as they can seem a bit too extreme!
Instead, think about asking a question or using a play on words in your subject line. Alternatively, you could also opt for a short, informative statement that helps your contacts know what they’ll find inside your email. Use your brand voice to help guide the kind of subject line that’s right for you, whether that’s more professional or more playful!
5. Use your brand voice!
Which leads us on to our next point - the importance of brand voice! When you’re writing your email content, you should be aiming to be consistent with your overall brand voice. Your website, social media, blogs and emails should all fit seamlessly together to make your digital marketing a nice, cohesive whole. In the best email marketing campaigns, readers can recognise instantly who is emailing them simply from the way the copy is written.
This could mean using a pleasant, conversational voice in your emails or keeping it quick and minimalistic with lots of short sentences or dotting lots of familiar phrases and slang through your copy. The idea is to write your emails as a continuation of all of your branding so far. Remember though, just because you’re being professional doesn’t mean you have to be bland! You can still write snappy, entertaining emails without taking away from the reputation of your brand!
6. Add in all the frills!
As well as penning an incredible email, you’ll also need to think about the design and layout you want to use. Try to build a template that’s attractive and interesting, including your logo, images and your brand typeface. Add a call to action that will guide readers to where you want them to go - whether that’s your website, a new blog post or directly to a product page. It’s also a good idea to include social media buttons that link straight to your social media profiles to help boost your follower numbers at the same time!
Top Tip: When you’re working out the formatting for your email, make sure that it’s mobile compatible. Many of us use our phones for checking our emails on a daily basis so anything you send out needs to be easily readable on a mobile too!
7. Think about your SEO
As well as keeping in contact with new and existing customers, email marketing offers a really handy way to boost your website’s SEO. This is especially important for small and medium sized businesses as you might be struggling to rank in search engines at the moment. Every time you can encourage someone to click through from your email to your site, you’ll get a little boost for your site’s SEO. This makes email marketing a great thing to have in your toolkit.
However, any visitors you encourage to your site should ideally count as ‘qualified traffic’, meaning they make some sort of conversion once they’re there. The easiest way to do this is by categorising your subscribers according to what you think they’ll want to see. For instance, if you’re emailing customers who have just bought a particular product, you’ll want to send them similar, related products that they might also want to buy. These targeted, personalised emails are much more effective than a blanket approach and it will also result in happier customers!
8. Monitor your progress
Once you’ve gone through all the steps of crafting the perfect email marketing campaign, it’s also a good idea to find a way to measure how well your emails are performing. The easiest way to do this is through open rates and click-through rates. Open rates are the number of people who see your email in their inbox and choose to open it. Similarly, click-through rates are the number of people who click through from your email to the link you’ve sent them.
By tracking these rates (the higher the better), you can track how effective your individual emails are. In turn, this can inform the kind of emails you send out. To give an example, if the open rates are much higher on an email where you asked a question in your subject line, you could start doing this for all your future emails.
Monitoring the performance of your email marketing campaign helps you know what works and allows you to adjust your approach along the way. On top of that, your most popular emails can also help inform what you put on your site by telling you what your customers are most interested in reading about.
Start Up Marketeer’s guide to email marketing
Here at Start Up Marketeer, we’re big believers in the strength of email marketing when it’s done right. The power of email is that it delivers your brand message direct to your customers in a way that feels more personal than other channels.
A good email can be a joy to receive - you learn something new, you’re introduced to products you like without having to search for them, and you feel more valued as a customer. These are the kinds of emails your brand can and should be sending out. Thankfully, getting there is simpler than you think, so give email marketing a go and see the results!
For help with crafting an effective email marketing campaign for your brand, contact us for a one-to-one consultation.