Email marketing still has the potential to offer one of the best marketing ROIs out there, but success doesn’t happen accidentally, or haphazardly. It requires keen insight and attention to detail. Follow the below 5 steps and you’ll be well on your way to achieving email marketing success.
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Step 1: Understand Your Audience
How well do you know your audience? It pays, literally, to know what they want, and how they want it. Have you segmented your list into multiple subgroups? The more information you have on your customers and their interests, the more targeted you can be in your communication and offers.
Carefully consider your offer and call to action with each email you prepare to send. It’s easy to fall back on “Sign Up”, “Buy Now” and “Learn More”, but these CTAs might not be as effective as “Start Free Trial”, “Download Whitepaper” or “Read the Blog Post”.
Also, it can often help to have more than one offer, particularly if you haven’t segmented your list due to a lack of information. For example, “Download Whitepaper” could be your primary CTA, but you could follow it up with “Start Free Trial”, or vice versa. Once they’ve clicked through, you’ve established interest and can follow up on the lead.
Step 2: Sweat the Executional Details
Email is a game of elimination that starts with a list and ends with a click – to your site, or to the trash. Step 1 is getting your email to the right inbox. Step two is intriguing them enough to learn more. This happens in their email program, and begins with your subject line.
So, what’s it going to be? Start by reviewing your subject matter, put yourself in their shoes, and do your best to be interesting and honest. Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve communicated anything and you’re looking to get the ball rolling again, “Coming in ice cold but hoping to help.” If you’re offering content for your blog, try inserting a number to drive interest, “X tips for [pain point]”, or maybe you’re working on segmenting your list and want to cut the fat, “Should we stay or should we go?”
Now that you’ve got that subject line that’s so great you just have to hit send, stop, take a deep breath, and consider where you’re sending these prospects. Is your landing page a lean, mean, lead generating machine? Most people don’t actually read web content these days, they scan it, so having the right mixture of headlines and quick, get-to-the-point content is essential. Need help there? Check out sites like Unbounce and Optimizely, which are all about it.
Step 3: Set Clear Goals
You can’t succeed if you don’t know what success looks like. You also need to know how to measure it. So, it’s time to identify your goal. Want to increase awareness for your new line of monitor arms? Great, start by driving X number of clickthroughs to your monitor arms page. Want to straight up drive revenue? Install a unique code to your email and track clicks from email, to landing page, to shopping cart.
A good strategy can actually be starting with these steps and backward engineering your campaign to achieve it. With clear direction, it’s far easier to move forward with confidence.
Step 4: Establish a Timeframe for Your Program
Email can be an extremely effective lead nurturing tool, and one of the ways to use it as such is with a series of automated welcome emails that fire over the course of a week or two.
Here’s a scenario. Someone comes to your site for the first time and clicks on a few pages. They like what they see, but aren’t ready to take action. Luckily you’ve strategically placed your newsletter signup form. They click on it and enter their email address, name, and perhaps their zip code.
Success! They’ve just given you permission to have a conversation with them. Now, how will you go about doing that? My suggestion: set up a series of automated emails that fire over the course of a week, hipping your list newbies to all the wonderful aspects that make your company unique, and worth doing business with. (Need some inspiration? Opt in to the signup form at the bottom of this page. Don’t worry, you can opt out at any time.)
Step 5: Integrate Email with Other Tactics
To keep your email ROI high you need to keep it fresh. By that I mean not only the information you impart, but also your list itself. It can be tempting to lean heavily on email, hitting the same list over and over again with offers to buy buy buy. But you’re better than that, right?
To keep a steady stream of fresh signups feeding into the burgeoning reservoir that is your master email list, open up new channels with other tactics. Those tactics might include a paid a variety of Adwords campaigns, social media offers, regular blogging, coupons and introductory offers, all of which are housed on optimized landing pages with capture forms in place.
Sending uninspired emails to a stale list leads to poor results. To improve the chances of success for your next campaign, follow the above 5 steps. We think you’ll be glad you did.