Emails have been the lifeblood of business since the internet became widely-used in the mid-90s. Although things have changed within that time, with the introduction of tweets and status updates as alternative marketing means, email remains the best tool for marketing and lead generation available to marketers today.
However, most people don’t have the time, energy or understanding to run successful email campaigns. Here, we take a look at the basics of email marketing campaigns and how to build a strategy that works, with measurable results.
Emails hit the ‘Doormat’- Think about the Subject Line
There’s something special about sending an email to someone’s inbox and almost akin to being invited around for dinner. That’s why it’s best to use the opportunity to announce your presence in the best way to encourage further interest from your prospect.
Rather than having a subject line that contains all the relevant offer information in it, hoping that you will get someone to read your email after being tempted in, make it concise and to the point, and most of all, make a statement that refers directly to your customers’ pain points.
For example, ‘Are you Bored with your Kitchen?’, ‘Are you Considering Buying a New Car?’ etc.
Don’t Arrive Uninvited
As you’re ‘in the home’ of your prospect or customer, make sure you have been invited. In other words, only email those addresses that have been given to you specifically by the recipient. Perhaps they downloaded a price list or brochure and left their details.
Don’t send an unsolicited email or you will almost certainly end up in the spam folder.
To build your database of opted-in email recipients, gate your content as shown in our previous article detailing how to use content for lead generation. Always have an aim behind your prospects leaving their data and you won’t go wrong. The kind of content people are most likely to download after leaving their personal information is:
- An email series like ‘How to become a Millionaire Property Developer’
- Free downloads of either software, apps or documents
- Industry white papers and specialist eBooks
- Product updates and new releases
Make sure you get Whitelisted
While most reputable email service providers work very hard to make sure your emails are not blocked by major ISP’s, they have no control over whether your emails hit the inbox or the spam folder. Getting whitelisted is the most effective way to ensure that your emails get delivered properly.
Being whitelisted is essentially the same as being identified as a friend of the recipient, and the best way to achieve this is to have your email address on your prospects address book. With every email you send out, provide instructions as to how the recipient can do this or offer them a chance to subscribe to your newsletter or blog.
Manage your Expectations and Follow-Up on your Efforts
Email marketing is all about managing expectations and it’s up to you to set out what they are. If your call to action is strong enough and you consistently follow-up on any responses, then you’re more likely to have a positive campaign.
Remember to fulfil any promises made in your initial email campaign. If you have set an expectation for weekly or monthly updates and fail to deliver, it speaks volumes about the quality of service you would potentially provide to that prospective customer.
A follow-up email is crucial to the success of your email marketing campaign and almost all email providers allow for an auto-respond message which presents you professionally to those on the receiving end.
To Pitch or not to Pitch?
It’s important to avoid pitching for business as much as possible in your email marketing. That’s because the principal aim is to open a dialogue with your prospects that will ensure not only a likely sale, but also goes a long way to developing a long-term and valuable relationship with them.
If you bombard prospects with offers and deals via your emails, you will quickly alienate your audience and they will be more likely to withdraw their permission for you to contact them. You could also find your emails being directed straight to the junk folder and then you’ll be wasting your efforts.
Use your email campaign as a tool for finding out more about your target market and what their buying habits are. Send consistent messages that don’t read like sales pitches and have a strong and concise call to action and you’ll almost certainly garner more engagement that will lead to converting your prospects into customers.
Get into Segmentation
Firstly, what is segmentation?
It’s basically the practice of splitting your email list into different categories or groups. You can keep your newsletter subscribers separate from your price list downloaders, for example. That way you can be more targeted with your email marketing and you can also use the opportunity for a little A/B testing to see how your campaign is being received.
You can do that by sending one group one email and another group another version of the same email, with the same call to action. You can use your analytics to check out the responses in terms of click-throughs for each segment of your email list. This is a great way to find out quickly what works, and what doesn’t with email marketing.
Don’t lose sight of the Value of your Email List
Finally, it’s crucial that you remember that your email list is one of your most valuable resources when it comes to growing your business. Learn how to nurture your customers and prospects with your regular, informative and relevant emails and you’ll find that the cost of your efforts will pay for itself.
As you become more familiar with the demographic of your target market through regularly checking your analytics, you can become more targeted in your approach. When email marketing is managed methodically and consistently, it goes some way to garnering successful relationships with those you currently do business with and those you would very much like to have on board.