Email marketing has proved to be an effective marketing tool ever since its inception in 1978. Emails are a great tool marketers use to communicate with their prospects and customers. According to HubSpot, 73% of millennials prefer communications from businesses to come through emails. Also, 80% of business professionals say that email marketing increases customer retention. Today, email has become an important channel for brands to communicate with their audience in both B2B and B2C scenarios.
Along with engaging with customers, emails also help increase your overall revenue. Email marketing enables you to boost sales and increase conversions. Customers prefer receiving emails. In fact, for many people, online ads feel intrusive. But customers welcome receiving updates or information they are interested in via emails. They give brands permission to send marketing emails and also give out their emails for contact. If you are just starting with creating your email marketing strategy, this blog will help you do that.
First, let’s understand email marketing a little better and how it is important for your marketing efforts.
What is an email marketing strategy?
Email marketing is a digital marketing strategy that targets prospects and customers. Marketers communicate with their customers through emails and update them about products or services and also send engaging content. These marketing emails are effective in lead nurturing, driving conversions, and retaining customers
Why do you need email marketing?
Here are a few reasons why you need email marketing.
- It helps you build valuable relationships with your customers.
- You can personalize your content as per the interests of your target audience to engage them successfully.
- Emails can help you increase brand awareness by sending product or service details once your prospects are ready to engage.
- Drive more traffic to your website through your email marketing campaigns by adding CTAs that lead users to your website.
- It will allow you to promote your content like blogs. You can share this content with your prospects.
- Nurture your leads by sending content that educates them and keeps them interested.
- You can share emails about various promotions or offers to entice customers into purchasing.
- It can be a great medium through which you can provide customer service to your existing customers.
- Customers do not mind receiving emails; hence, you can stay in touch with them frequently.
- You own the contact list.
Find out more benefits of having an email marketing strategy here.
Key email marketing statistics
Let’s take a look at some key email marketing statistics for the year 2020.
How to create an email marketing strategy
An email marketing strategy is cost-effective. This is one of the best advantages of using emails. It is also not very time–consuming. However, you need to take some time when you are developing your strategy. Focus on important elements like building your contact list, segmenting audiences, designing your emails, testing them, and more. If you are creating an email marketing strategy for the first time, then you need to make sure you spend enough time analyzing each aspect of your email campaigns.
Here are some aspects of email marketing campaigns that you need to plan on creating an effective strategy.
Define your audience
Every marketing strategy starts with identifying the target audience. One of the main features of email marketing campaigns is personalization. You personalize your content as per the needs and interests of your audience. Hence, you need to know your audience before you start creating content or messaging for them. Start out by looking at your buyer personas. If you have not already created your buyer personas, then first you would want to spend time on this. Buyer personas are fictional representations of your target customers.
Research your audience and find out their hobbies, interests, and pain points. This will enable you to build content that is relevant to your target audience. Your campaigns will prove successful when it is focused on your audience’s needs.
Determine your goals
Map out the goals for your email marketing campaign. Look at what you want to achieve with your emails. How many conversions do you expect to get with your campaign? Or how will your campaigns contribute to increasing your overall ROI? By setting goals you will get a sense of direction to where your campaign is headed.
Build your email list
You will need to build your email list that includes prospects who are eager to know more about your brand. You can use lead magnets to do this. A Lead magnet is something that attracts prospects to your email list, which is usually a free offer. This offer can be in any format. But it should be valuable to your customers. You can keep this content free to download in exchange for their email address. Since you are expecting people to give out their personal information, you need to make sure that content is something valuable.
Here are some types of lead magnets you can create:
Lead magnets should provide your visitors with information that solves their problems. It should be practical and actionable. Create your lead magnets keeping in mind the content that you will send later in your email campaigns. You need to ensure that the content which follows later is relevant and quality content.
Create an opt-in form
An opt-in form is how your prospects will give their personal information to you. This form is important to get your prospects on your email list. Hence, you should make sure that your opt-in forms are enticing to your prospects. Create a simple format that is not too complex for your prospects. Make sure that it includes your brand colors and appeals to your audience. Use clear fonts and layout. Any information you ask for should be related to your offer. Don’t ask for a lot of information from your audience. Otherwise, they might just leave it halfway and decide that it’s not worth the effort. Asking for their name and email is good enough to get started.
Choose a platform for email marketing
Choose a platform that can help you build and optimize your email marketing strategy. This platform should allow you to store your contacts, segment your audience, create email workflows, and provide analytical reports. Tools like HubSpot and Mailchimp can allow you to design your email and make it look professional. These platforms also provide templates that you can use to design your emails. You can also automate your emails by setting up workflows so that you don’t have to send them manually. With these platforms, it becomes easier to analyze the performance of your email campaigns.
Segment your email list
Segmentation is dividing your email list into subcategories that relate to the various interests and preferences of your audience. It’s important to segment your audience as per their Lifecycle stage. All your audiences would not be in the same stage. Some might be new leads; others might be prospects who are close to converting. You need to nurture them through these different stages. Hence, the emails you create for these different audience groups will contain different content.
Your content should be relevant to the stages that your audiences are in. For example, if you are nurturing leads you will send them content that educates them, so they are encouraged to invest in your business. On the other hand, if you are sending emails to a customer who has already purchased from you, you can send an email asking them for their feedback. This is why segmentation is important. Other ways to segment your list can be based on location, industry, job title, language, previous engagement, etc.
Design your emails
Designing your emails should not be overwhelming. You can use templates that will allow you to design your emails without the help of a designer. You don’t have to create complex designs. Just use a simple layout and a color scheme that aligns with your brand. Use fonts that are clear, with an appropriate size, and easy to read on mobile devices. Add only one CTA button to your email copy and insert the correct URL. Ensure that your CTA button has an appropriate color and font. Include images that are clear and relevant. Don’t overcrowd your email copy by adding excess images or links.
Personalize your emails
Create emails that are personalized as per your audience. Including a user’s first name can make a big difference. People are more likely to open an email and engage when they see their first name. Create content that is based on the interests, hobbies, and pain points of your target audience. This can help you nurture your audience through different stages.
Automating your emails
The next step will be to automate your emails. You can do this by setting up email workflows. For example, if a visitor downloads some content from your website, you can create workflows for these leads. You can prepare emails with relevant content that will be sent out once the visitor downloads your content. Automating your emails saves you a lot of time. You don’t have to spend time on creating emails frequently. You can create a set of emails together and these will be sent out as per the trigger you have set. These will be sent out to the audience you choose, and you can also schedule them. This way your marketing or sales teams don’t have to spend time on tedious activities.
Test your emails
Run an A/B testing for your email campaigns. Create two or three different copies of the same email with different elements to see which one is performing better. You can test with elements like images, layout, CTA buttons, subject line, etc. This will show you which elements are appealing to your audience the most. You can keep using the one that is performing the best. A/B testing can help you ensure that your emails perform well.
Analyze your results
Once you launch your campaign keep monitoring it frequently. Look at various metrics like open rate, clickthrough rate, bounce rate, number of conversions, etc. These metrics can help you see how your email campaign is performing. Based on these reports you can improve and optimize your email campaigns. You also need to see how your email campaigns have contributed to your return on investment and overall revenue.
Building an email marketing strategy can seem overwhelming at first. Starting out simple is the best way to slowly understand this strategy and eventually using it to its full potential. Make sure to spend lots of time on research before you get started with your campaign. Build content based on what is relevant to your audience. This the key to creating a successful email marketing strategy.
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