How to Develop an Awesome Email Marketing Strategy

20-02-2018

Email marketing has been around for quite some time. This channel has seen the rise of several other major channels, such as social media and messaging apps, and withstood countless predictions of its demise. Throughout the years, it has managed to remain one of the most effective methods of getting your message to your customers. Being very cost-effective, email also boasts a very attractive ROI when used as a B2C marketing tool. A well planned email marketing strategy can be one of the most useful items in a marketer’s tool box.

email marketing strategy

Still need some convincing as to why email marketing is extremely important? Here are a few benefits that should be more than enough to get you developing an email marketing strategy as soon as possible:

  • Email is the third most influential source of information for B2B marketing communications.
  • Email is far more personalisable and targeted than any other form of marketing
  • It’s also extremely cost-effective, with many email marketing service providers offering basic packages for free.
  • It has a staggering ROI with many sources stating that for every €1 spent on email marketing, you will receive €40 in revenue.
  • In B2C circles, consumers who receive promotional emails about products tend to spend more than those who don’t.

The bottom line is that email marketing is a must if you’re looking to increase your revenue. So how exactly can you develop an email marketing strategy that will increase customer retention and drive higher levels of sales? Simply follow these 5 key techniques!

Make it Personal

Personalisation is everything in email marketing and people really appreciate when you include a personal touch. This is built into most email marketing tools, meaning it’s just waiting to be used. It may sound difficult, especially if you have hundreds or maybe even thousands of email address in your database. However, it’s far easier than you think. Something as simple as using the receivers first name in the opening sentence can significantly improve your click-through rates.

All you need for this is the receivers name and a handy piece of code, known as a merge tag, that will do the rest. For example, in MailChimp including the merge tag *|FNAME|* will automatically include each recipient’s first name. The tag *|LNAME|* will also include their last name. But what if some of your subscribers didn’t include their first names when they were signing up? There’s a merge tag for that too. The tag *|IF:FNAME|*Hi *|TITLE:FNAME|*,*|ELSE:|*Hello,*|END:IF|* should do the trick. Basically, this tag is telling the tool to include the first name when it’s available and just say “Hello” when it’s missing.

email marketing personalisation

 

Segment, Segment, Segment

Segmentation is your best friend in email marketing. It’s the best way of sending out multiple, targeted messages, at the same time, to a selection of different subscriber groups. Nowadays, people only want to see promotions, news topics and advertisements related to what interests them. This is exactly why segmented email marketing campaigns tend to do far better than generic, unsegmented ones. In fact, global studies on email segmentation show that it can increase your email open rates by over 14%, increase your click-through rate (CTR) by an astonishing 100.95% and even reduce unsubscribe rates by almost 10%.

The most important thing when segmenting is to think very carefully about how you want to segment your email subscribers. There are an unlimited amount of different ways this can be done. For example, you can segment based on users’ interests, location, open rate and inactivity to name but a few. Each of these segments will then require an email strategy that targets them with a specific message to them.

Keep it Short and Sweet

When you’re writing the text for your email it’s best to keep it a short as you possibly can, while still getting the main message across. In the words of Mark Zuckerburg: “The trick isn’t adding stuff, it’s taking away”. This is very relevant when it comes to formulating your email content. This is mainly due to the fact that you only have a limited amount of time to catch the readers attention and encourage them to click on any links in your email. According to Litmus Email Analytics, people will spend an average of 11.1 seconds reading an email. Although this time is steadily on the rise, it’s still very important to get your message across in as few words as possible.

email marketing

It’s also important to optimise this text with the recipient in mind. Make the text all about them and how buying your product or clicking on your blog post will be beneficial to their lives. As well as that, using time-sensitive words such as “now”, “today” and “fast” can give your text a sense of urgency that will encourage people to buy or click. At the bottom of your text, make sure you always include a very clear call-to-action (CTA) button that stands out from the text. Exciting action words such as “Discover”, “Explore” and “Experience” are all great to use in your CTA.

Mobile Friendly is User-Friendly

Mobile device usage has been on the rise for a number of years now. In fact, the majority of traffic to most websites now comes from mobile. When it comes to email open rates, there’s about a 50:50 split between mobile and desktop. With this fact in mind, it’s important that you consider mobile users when you’re creating your email template. Using responsive email templates will allow you to create an email that will look good on both mobile and on a desktop.  You can also further optimise for mobile by reducing image file sizes. This will ensure that emails will load faster, especially when the user has poor mobile internet connection.

email marketing

Many email marketing tools will allow you to preview how your email looks on a desktop and on mobile. Make sure you always preview an email before you send it out, as poor design can be as detrimental to your CTR as poor text or unclear CTAs.

If in Doubt, Test

Once you have finally put together the perfect email campaign, you’re going to need to test it before you send it out. This is an absolutely essential part of your email marketing strategy and should become common practice. Sending a test email to yourself will give you an idea of how the layout of the email looks. It also gives you the opportunity to test all the links on your email. Make sure that all the links are working, and more importantly, that they are leading your recipients to the correct landing pages.

Sometimes you may find yourself with several versions of content for an email. If this happens and you’re unsure of which version to use, test it out. You can A/B test your email, meaning each version will be sent out to a portion of your database. You can then compare the open-rates and CTR to see which version is performing the best. That way you’ll be able to produce the most engaging email every time.

Following these 5 techniques will ensure your success in formulating an awesome email marketing strategy that works. Want to learn more about email marketing and how it can be used to disseminate your message? Contact ICON today and find out more.