Email Marketing: Communicating with Impact
With the world of sales and marketing evolving daily, we see new modes and methods of marketing and experimental ways of getting the message out. Things like audio/video podcasts, webinars, and programmatic advertising are just some of the few examples of some of the newly evolved modes of marketing. But don’t let the new age modes of marketing distract you from one of the oldest but also one of the most effective strategies.
Email marketing has been in the game since the early 1970s when a guy named Gary Theurk sent out the first email blast to 400 recipients which eventually went on to fetch the company he was working for close to thirteen million dollars in sales. And ever since then email marketing has stood its ground as being one of the most effective ways to get a brand’s message across to the customer. Obviously, email marketing has grown and evolved since then, but the root cause of why it has survived all these years has been the same, it survived because of one simple reason: it works.
Once the marketing campaign and the key goals to be achieved are set up the organization can then can set an email strategy for the same accordingly to hit the relevant KPIs with the help of email marketing automation softwares. Although this sounds very straightforward there is much more to the process which we will be diving deep into and learning through this article. Let’s begin!
NOTE: Familiar with email marketing already? Get your personalized email marketing strategy here.
How do email campaigns work?
The concept of email marketing is simple, the strategy uses email as the medium to pass on information to a preselected targeted group of individuals. Once the goals of the campaigns are set you select the target audience. It’s more favorable in audience targeting as you’re allowed to have more than one set of audience, in fact, the larger the audience, the better it is. Once the target audience is set, then you can proceed with making a customized email marketing strategy.
The strategy, the content, and all the other variables are made in alignment with the campaign goals and the key performance indicators. And in the case of a large target audience, the strategy can be propagated further through automated email marketing software. There are a lot of softwares that are available that even offer free trial periods or free packages and the upgrade to a premium package for a considerably larger audience is fairly budget-friendly.
Tips to remember before sending out your first email
If you haven’t visited our previous article discussing the basics of email marketing where we explored the different types of emails, and basic tips to help you formulate your own email strategy, feel free to check it out here. Now let’s look at some commandments one needs to follow before one sends out their first email to the outer world:
1. Choose an Email Marketing Service
An email service provider(ESP) is a great tool to have in your arsenal if you are looking to fine-tune your email structure and strategy. They allow you to efficiently create, and customize marketing emails and help you to make them look professional without the intervention of professional designers or IT.
Additionally, these services help you analyze the post-performance data to measure the success of your email marketing which will also aid in sharing the data which matters the most with your team.
2. Create lists and email segmentation
Email segmentation is the act of breaking down your audience list into smaller segments, and subcategories that pertain to certain unique characteristics, preferences, or interests. Segmentation is a vital apt of your email marketing strategy as it helps you not send the wrong email content to the wrong people as doing so might put you at risk of losing subscribers.
The initial step in making your email segmentation would be to create lead magnets and opt-in forms for each step of your sales funnel. This way, you are already filtering your audience into separate buckets depending on what triggered them into subscribing to your marketing emails.
Apart from this, email marketing platforms allow you to segment your email contact list by contact data and behavior and aid you to send the right email to the right people thereby helping them get closer to being your brand advocates.
3. Choose a CRM with free marketing tools
An alternative to having an email service provider (ESP) is having CRM software which has free marketing tools. With a CRM, you get a full insight into the customer’s interaction journey with your brand. You’re able to see and ensure that your marketing intentions are not seen out of context and better understand the actions which customers take to walk further down your sales funnel.
Another advantage of CRM marketing tools is the free marketing templates which come in handy, especially for non-designers. Having a host of templates helps one design a professional-looking email in minutes. The functionalities in most CRM software are as easy as drag-and-drop options. CRMs have a range of functions to explore, everything from A/B testing of campaigns to audience segmentation hence will serve as a helpful tool in making a successful email campaign.
4. Test out with a dummy mail
After you have your mail template and content ready and the CTAs have been added and it’s ready to go, send out a dummy mail to check. It is always important to have a test run of all your mail campaigns before execution, this way you will know if any minor mistakes were overseen or if any content doesn’t look the way you wanted it to look as you would have seen the content only through the admin window. You can even enter your own personal email and see it from the point of view of the customer. Now that you have tested it out, it’s ready to meet the world.
Important email marketing metrics
To gauge the performance of your email campaign it is important to track certain key performance metrics. The selection of metrics you track will depend on the marketing goal which can vary from campaign to campaign.
Now let’s look at some of the most important metrics to be tracked in a campaign:
1. Clickthrough rate
Shown in percentage, the clickthrough rate of your campaign refers to the ratio of people who clicked one or more links to the total number of people who have opened your email. CTR directly shows how engaging your content is for your audience
2. Conversion rate
Also expressed in percentage, a conversion is recorded every time a reader takes action according to your email. Hence for example if the goal of your campaign was to get readers to sign up for an event and 500 out of the 10000 people you sent it to signed up for the event then the conversion rate would be 5%.
3. Bounce rate
An email bounce happens every time an email couldn’t be delivered. There are two types of bounces, a “hard” bounce, and a “soft” bounce.
A hard bounce is when the email doesn’t reach the audience may be due to the wrong email address or inactive email id, etc.
A soft bounce is a less permanent metric where the email wasn’t able to reach the receiver due to a non-serious reason like the receiver’s inbox being full, or their email server being down.
4. ROI (Return on investment)
The ROI for email marketing is not any different from any other business sector. How many opened the mail you sent? How many are clicking the CTAs designed? Are the KPIs being hit? These are the type of metrics that will help you pitch the success of your campaign performance to your boss and your team. You should be able to see a clear correlation between your metrics and the sales results right here in black and white.
You have now been equipped to try your hand at email marketing. With the basics of email marketing under your belt and the tips given in this article and the previous one, you will now be able to achieve the best ROIs on your email campaign. Next stop, to the top. Good luck.
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Image 1: Campaign creators on Unsplash