You’ve heard it over and over – email marketing is an essential part of any online business. If you’re not doing it now, or only occasionally, it’s time to ramp up your efforts. But did you know that implementing email marketing the wrong way could actually hurt your business instead of helping it?
Despite the many marketing channels available today, businesses rely on email marketing to engage customers in a personal way. It’s still the best channel to reach people and offer them value.
But there is a right way and a wrong way of doing it. If you’re engaging your audience on autopilot, without a good email marketing strategy in place, you could be hurting your brand and driving customers away.
It’s not enough to deliver ‘just okay’ email marketing. Here are the 5 reasons why:
If you aren’t including email marketing in your digital marketing toolkit, you’re missing out on incredible opportunities and leaving money on the table. While there are new methods available, email marketing is still an essential part of any marketing strategy.
It’s estimated that around 300 billion emails are sent per day, and this number is climbing. Look at any major brand and you’ll see that they’re actively building lists and engaging with their subscribers.
But you can’t leave it to chance. If you just build a list and blast out random messages, you won’t get the results you’re looking for.
If you approach it this way, you’ll send emails that are irrelevant to your subscribers. With all the junk in their inboxes daily, they’ll tune out your messages. The worst-case scenario is that they’ll think you’re spamming them.
Instead, you need a strategy that includes taking the time to really understand your subscribers, crafting valuable emails that are specifically tailored to their interests. By personalizing your emails, you'll create a better customer experience and build a stronger connection with your audience.
The trend in all online marketing is toward personalization. Email marketing works so well because it’s highly personal to begin with. The strength of this method is that it goes straight to your subscribers’ email inboxes.
Your subscribers are bombarded with emails every day, so you need to go that extra mile to make yours stand out from the rest. This is where personalization comes in.
How do you personalize your email marketing? It involves more than just including the recipient’s name in the greeting or subject line.
You can personalize your emails by offering ‘intelligent content.’ This means tailoring the content you offer according to their account history, preferences, and behaviors.
A great way to do this is by segmenting your list and then offering the appropriate content to the appropriate segments.
Look at buying history, interests, location, times active, and anything else relevant to your business. You should be able to see the different segments of your list. You can then create unique messages and offers for each, ensuring that you are reaching the right people, with the right content.
We live in an era of constant connection, and this is only increasing. You can now order meals, talk to a friend anywhere in the world, get a ride, or get whatever information you’re looking for instantly on your smartphone or other device.
This means that your customers are also looking for immediate responses. You need to be available to provide this information, or someone else will.
How do you offer support when your subscribers need it? It’s impossible to be awake and watching your email all the time, but there are some solutions to augment and support your email marketing.
One is to use a chatbot to answer common questions. A chatbot is a software program that uses AI and machine learning to answer frequently asked questions. It can search your knowledge base and answer in whatever way you program it to.
The great thing about chatbots is that they run 24 hours a day, and they can provide answers to most of the questions your subscribers have. It feels like they’re chatting with an actual human representative of your business. Your chatbot can refer any difficult question to live support.
Another idea is to provide a robust knowledge base that your subscribers can access at any time and make it easy to search. Your knowledge base could include a link to your content archive and other resources, FAQs, wiki, and a troubleshooting guide.
If you have customer service representatives, categorize the questions they receive. Use software to separate inquiries by technical issues, general questions, or refunds – and then develop protocols for your team. You can also hire virtual assistants in different parts of the world to handle questions any time of day or night.
For email marketing to work, the content and deals you offer must be relevant to your subscribers. People will quickly unsubscribe from lists that send irrelevant emails that aren’t interesting to them. These messages lead to email fatigue. Remember that people are bombarded with emails all the time.
How do you create consistently valuable content? The key is to know your target audience so you know what they want from you.
Create a detailed ideal customer profile for your subscribers. Conduct market research and base this profile on objective data obtained from your research.
Once you’ve created your ideal customer profile, you should continue to learn about your audience on an ongoing basis. You can use your email list to do this. Once you start offering content and making offers, you’ll see what converts and what doesn’t.
Analytics tools can help you learn about your audience so you can refine your content even further. For example, you can track behavior when a subscriber visits your site. If you see them lingering on a particular page, this tells you that they find the content relevant.
You can also ensure that your content is meaningful to your subscribers by setting the right expectations initially when they sign up. Give people an accurate idea of what they can expect from your list and its content. This will cut down on people signing up for your list and immediately deciding it’s not for them and dropping out.
To succeed with email marketing, you need to go beyond the basics and take advantage of next-level strategies. In addition to personalizing your emails, offering immediate solutions, and consistently delivering relevant content, here are some other things you can do to take your email marketing to the next level.
Automation. There are many ways to automate to save time, reduce human error, and offer a better experience to your subscribers. Automation options include triggers for follow-up actions and automated workflows that help you identify and nurture leads.
Integration. You can integrate email with your social media, your ad campaigns, and search marketing. This helps you grow your audience across channels. Give them access to exclusive content and offers on each platform and cross promote for even better results. This is called omnichannel marketing and it harnesses the power of each marketing channel for better overall results.
Testing. Split testing (or A/B testing) is often overlooked as a method to monitor and improve your email marketing. A/B testing involves running two versions of the same message with just one element changed, seeing which one converts, and then refining your message for optimal results.
Re-engage Subscribers. Create a strategy for re-engaging inactive subscribers. Identify audience members who have disengaged and offer additional value to win them back. You can do this through a re-engagement campaign that shows another side of your business, exclusive content or offers, or reminders.
Offer More Value. There are many strategies you can use to offer more value. Think of it in terms of ROI. Your subscribers invest their time and attention when joining and engaging with your list. Make it worthwhile for them by providing solutions to their problems, entertaining them, or inspiring them.
Email marketing is here to stay, but you must stay on top of ever-evolving trends. Don’t do the bare minimum and leave your email marketing to chance. Take control and use these methods to engage your audience and build lasting relationships with them. Doing so will not only increase your profits, but will also help you get results and achieve higher levels of success.
Want to learn more about how you can get more out of your email marketing? Head over here to schedule a free strategy call!
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