Regardless of the type of business, email marketing can be an excellent way to build customer relationships and generate sales. Indeed, many sources cite email marketing as the most lucrative form of online marketing.
Despite the proven effectiveness of email marketing though, some small businesses feel that it is not for them. Often, this lack of faith in this type of marketing is due to not achieving results from previous attempts at sending marketing emails.
Getting email marketing right is not a monumental challenge. Still, some fundamental rules need following to hit the right note and avoid being classed as spam. So, if you have tried and failed at email marketing, read on. Here are ten easy-to-implement tips to help small businesses get the most out of their email marketing campaigns.
1. Segment Mailing Lists
The first mistake to avoid is sending the same email to everyone on the mailing list. If you do this, there is a good chance that the email you send will be irrelevant to a sizeable proportion of the recipients. You will achieve far better results if you segment your mailing list according to demographics, behaviors such as past purchases, and email preferences. Then, you can send targeted emails that will be of immediate interest to a particular segment of your mailing list.
2. Personalize Emails
It is best to avoid sending generic emails. Instead, address emails to individuals, and write as though you are talking to a person rather than a crowd. The simplest form of personalization is using the individual’s name. You can further personalize a marketing message based on the segmentation of the mailing list mentioned above. A small amount of effort in this respect can significantly affect conversions.
3. Aim to Build a Relationship
Email marketing is not about firing off one advertisement after another. An email marketing list is something that needs to be nurtured. Consequently, it is advisable to consider the impact of every email you send on the long-term relationship. Will the email help build trust with the recipient, for example? Is there any value to the recipient? It only takes one or two worthless spam-like emails to make a subscriber unsubscribe.
4. Quality Over Quantity
You want to keep your mailing list warm, so staying connected with subscribers is crucial. However, you also don’t want to bombard people with too many messages and clutter up their inboxes. So, send emails that people want to read and avoid repeating yourself too often. And focus on quality and value rather than quantity.
5. Ask Subscribers to Confirm Opt-in
A mailing list of thousands of people not interested in your products is worthless. For that reason, quality over quantity also applies to subscribers. The best way to ensure subscribers have a genuine interest in your business is to ask subscribers to confirm their opt-in. This second opt-in is usually acquired by sending a welcome email with an opt-in confirmation link. Periodically asking subscribers to confirm opt-in will also help maintain quality and eliminate inactive subscribers.
6. Make Emails Mobile-Friendly
More people read their emails on mobile devices than desktop computers. Indeed, it has been estimated that up to 78% of emails are opened on a mobile device. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that your messages are easy to read on a mobile phone. Keep subject lines short, for example, and get important points across in the first paragraph. It is also best not to have clickable elements too close together.
7. Automate Emails
Automation makes email marketing easier to manage and more effective. You can start with an automated welcome message sent to new subscribers. A predetermined sequence of marketing emails could follow the welcome. Emails could also be triggered by customer actions, such as opening an account, buying a product, or abandoning a cart.
8. Deliver on Signup Promises
If you promised a weekly, fact-filled newsletter to encourage people to subscribe, make sure you deliver on that promise. Likewise, if you use a lead magnet to generate subscribers, ensure that the lead magnet has genuine value. It only takes one click to unsubscribe, and people will do that if they feel cheated or misled.
9. A/B Test Emails
Invariably some types of emails you send will be more successful than others. However, it can be challenging to determine why one email achieves better results than others. The best way to determine what types of emails resonate best with your subscribers is to conduct A/B split testing. Split testing involves sending two versions of the same email to two groups and assessing the results. Check which version generated the highest open rate, for example. And analyze conversions and opt-outs.
10. Track Results
It is also advisable to monitor the results of marketing emails on an ongoing basis. Tracking results will further help you identify what works and what does not. So, track delivery rates, open rates, clickthrough rates, and conversions to assess the effectiveness of each email sent. Then, you can focus your efforts on the most productive types of emails.
Email marketing requires more thought and care than some people realize. Nevertheless, implementing the above tips is relatively easy to do with email marketing software. Segmenting mailing lists, for example, is a standard feature of most packages. And creating high-quality, mobile-friendly emails comes down to nothing more than taking time composing messages. So, if you have had disappointing results in the past, don’t give up. Focus on quality and personalization, monitor the results, and refine your emails accordingly. In time, you will see an increase in conversions that will make your efforts worthwhile.