Don’t drive the nail in the coffin just yet. Email still is not dead. I know, I know, email has been “dying” for years not — just like print and TV ads, social media, websites, apps, direct mail, and radio.
See any similarities there? Every one of those mediums has had one guru or another declare them as “dead.” And yet, they are still here and still being put to use by brands across the spectrum of business types.
Email marketing, like every other medium listed above, is evolving — some would say for the better.
The truth is, email marketing is still effective today and the marketers that are deploying smart email strategies are seeing favorable results.
According to Campaign Monitor, the average email open rate is between 15-25%. Not great, but when you consider the massive amount of email going out each and every week by marketers that is still a lot of email being opened.
Make the most out of your email marketing campaigns by following some of these best practices. You’ll thank me, and your audience will thank you!
Develop a Schedule
As with everything in marketing, having a plan will help you to see success with email marketing. Your plan should cover things like the topics of your email, what you want the user to “take away” from the email (or what actions you want them to take) and a schedule that you’ll follow for when to send your email.
Consistency is key. By planning a schedule and consistently following it, your audience will learn to expect (and hopefully look forward to) your emails.
If you’re not using email automation, you’re missing out. Plain and simple.
Email automoation is essentially when a marketer strategically sends email based on a user’s behavior. This could be:
– Downloading a white paper/case study/etc
– Viewing a specific page or piece of content on your website
– Purchases a product (online or offline/in-person)
– Opening a specific email or clicking on a specific link in an email
Email automation allows marketer to be more targeted and strategic with your email campaigns. This way you can ensure that the right type of customer gets the right type of information in front of them at the time that it will be the most beneficial to them. For example, if you have a customer in a specific industry that is already on your email list and they just viewed a page on your site about a product you sell specifically for that industry, you may want to begin an automated email sequence to educate and nurture that customer about your offering.
Quick Tip: many email marketing and marketing automation products offer website tracking and analytics that you can install on your website to help you track how email campaigns are working and what your audience is doing on your site — useful for initiating automations!
Segment Your Lists
List segmentation is a great way to send specific email messaging to specific audience types. If you are serving a wide array of industries or types of customers, the last thing you want to do is send an industry-specific email to your whole list — like sending something relevant to people in the retail industry to a list that contains industrial, tech, etc.
Most email marketing software will let you segment your email lists based on any number of criteria. It’s can be temping to overdo it and create a ton of segmentation for your list, but we recommend that you keep it simple.
Most email marketing services will allow you to personalize your message based on information you have stored about your recipient, such as their name, company, industry, etc. It’s a great idea to make use of these personalization capabilities in your email.
This means you can inject your customer information right into the email copy and subject lines which will catch a customer’s attention when scanning their inbox and may influence better engagement with your email. Want more insight on email personalization? Check out this article from Campaign Monitor for some great stats about email personalization.
Choose The Right Software
There are tons of email marketing/marketing automation/CRM tools available for any budget. Here are a few that we use with our customers and internally:
- Campaign Monitor
- Constant Contact
When it comes to choosing the right email marketing software, we recommend that you take a look at the bigger marketing picture and make your decision based on your overall marketing strategy and marketing toolbox, so that you can pick a software that plays well with other tools and that will not hinder your plans.
Features that I look for in choosing a software are:
- Integrations: what other tools plug right in to the email tool? It’s important, for example, that your email software integrates nicely with your website CMS and your CRM
- Deliverability: plain and simple — you need your email to actually be sent!
- Ease of Use: Any software that isn’t put to use is a waste. If your software is powerful, but too cumbersome to actually use and get value out of then how much is that actually worth to you?
Need Some Help?
Whether you’re a seasoned email marketing pro or just getting started, or somewhere in between, we can help you create a marketing strategy that communicates your brand story and engages with your customers. Need to talk it through? Fill out the form below and we can set up a time to chat.