How to engage more personally with your audience using email
With the boom of social media advertising in the last few years, you might think, why do I still need email marketing? Here are some reasons why email is still essential as part of your marketing strategy, and some tips to success.
Email still holds a torch in people’s hearts as a personal medium in which you can communicate authentic information that is more likely to capture people’s attention. In Australia in 2016, a 32.9% mean open rate was reported by the 2016 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study (IBM Marketing cloud). This was the highest on the world, followed by Canada with 32.2%. Australia also reported the highest click through rates at 5.1% (mean).
Email reinforces the relationship you have with your customers.
It allows you to promote special offers, give access to bonus content, and keeps your product or service at the top of your customer’s mind. But remember there’s a fine line, cross that line and you’ll be lost in the ‘junk’ ether forever. And the junk folder is a far worse fate than the ‘unsubscribe list’ because it skews your stats and leaves you hanging.
Probably the most important thing to remember when marketing via email is to keep your communication relevant. First of all, study the data relating to your current customers – what’s their purchase history? What’s their demographic? What are their online actions? By doing this, you can identify up to five different customer profiles or personas, and then tailor your email content to meet their needs.
For example, if your business sells shoes, your male adult customers probably won’t want to be advertised women’s or children’s shoes. It’s as simple as that!
It’s also important to create a professional and consistent image. Make sure that you authenticate your sending ID – email service providers are getting better and better at filtering what actually ends up in people’s email inboxes, and you don’t want to be unread spam!
Write a great subject line
Writing a great email subject line will draw your customer’s attention, and encourage them to open the email – the next step is getting the customer to take action.
Set up who you are straight away, and let your customers know why you’re contacting them. Most email service providers will allow you to customise a ‘you are receiving this email because…’ at the top of your email template. Take advantage of this! It sets up trust with your customer.
Keep your emails short, accurate, and concise
Following your catchy, precise subject line, keep the content to short, declarative sentences. Let your customers move through the text to the desired outcome (action!). Be in control of this. Its like the first date; get, that, kiss!
Gain your customers’ trust
When they sign up to your mailing list, let your customers know exactly what kind of content to expect, and how often they will receive it. Once or twice a month at most. Don’t bore people. Don’t be too eager. Noone likes a keen-o.
Create visual appeal
Email service providers already have great existing email templates, as well as the ability to customise. Be sure to use small images, to avoid your emails being blocked, and include the alt text in images.
Don’t do too much
Your email send out should serve one main purpose, and should be tailored to the specific recipient. For example – you wouldn’t want to send the same email to a prospective customer as you would to an existing customer. While the prospect needs to be nurtured, the existing customer will need to be up sold.
Have a clear call to action
Finish off with a simple request for your customer to fulfill – read a blog, watch a video, or share something on a social network.
Email marketing is about establishing trust with your customer – make it clear, make it personal, and tailor your content to your customer’s specific needs. And remember, it’s definitely not either/or – there are plenty of great ways to incorporate your social media marketing with email marketing.