In today’s day and age, you may think it’s time to ditch email and focus more on the future, like social media.
And while you should be considering a range of different things in your digital marketing strategy – including search engine optimisation, ads, content, and social media – email is definitely something you won’t want to ignore.
The truth is that email is an evergreen asset for your business. It adapts with the times and plays a vital role in communicating with your customers, even in 2022. And it can be extremely profitable, especially for businesses with a tight budget.
Read on and find out why you should be focusing more on email marketing (and how you can start creating your very own campaign).
The benefits of email marketing
Email is affordable
Think about how much you spend on ads right now. In general, businesses can expect to see $2 for every dollar they spend on Google Ads – an ROI of 200%.
Pretty good, right?
But according to a report by Experian, email can generate a $44.25 return for every $1 spent. That’s a huge 4425% ROI!
And unlike Google, social media, or other online ad platforms, you don’t have to pay to get into a subscriber’s inbox.
Email has a huge reach
This year, the number of global email users is expected to hit 4.3 billion. That’s over half of the population of the entire world!
And as most emails are now opened on mobile, both here in Australia and worldwide, you can reach your subscribers whenever and wherever you need.
This might explain why 87% of content marketers are using email to distribute their content, and 86% look at email metrics such as open and click rates or downloads to measure the performance of a piece of content.
You can track your success and progress
Data is at the heart of any good digital marketing strategy. And with email, it’s incredibly easy to obtain and use.
You can access a range of analytics that will tell you exactly how your emails are performing, including who opened the email, how many receivers have unsubscribed, which links they clicked on, and many more.
This can tell you how relevant the content you are producing is, among other things.
You can also apply this to the different components of your email – your subject line, for example, or your call to action. This makes it super easy to conduct split-testing: sending two different versions of an email out to a small section of your audience to see what performs better, before sending the best version out to the entire list.
You can take things slow.
With an ad or a sales page, you have to go for the hard sell – otherwise, you’ll lose a customer. But with email marketing, it’s all about that slow-burn relationship.
By supplying your customers with relevant and valuable content, you build trust. You get people who see your email and open without hestitation.
Which means that over time, you can position yourself as the right solution in your customer’s minds, build a need and desire for whatever it is that you have to offer, and convince them that their lives are better with you (and your product/service).
It also means that when it’s time for the sell, or when you need a big response fast, you can be sure that your subscribers are ready.
You can get personal
Personalisation is one of the greatest benefits of email marketing. And while lots of businesses have discovered how to include a subscriber’s first name in their email, there’s so much more you can do.
Personalisation can mean providing content that is triggered by a customer’s behaviour or patterns.
Those ‘We think you’ll love…’ emails from businesses you’ve bought from before?
That helpful reminder that you forgot to check out, or that the product you were looking at the other day is almost sold out?
That weekly summary you get from Grammarly or other services, telling you what a great job you’ve done?
This can be great for building relationships with clients and delivering the right email at the right time.
It’s worth noting that there’s a fine line between helpful personalised emails and content that is seen as ‘creepy’. Be mindful of your customer’s boundaries and make sure that whatever you’re sending will actually add value to their life, instead of serving as a reminder of how much of their personal data you actually have.
So how can I create an effective email marketing campaign?
In 2022, 333.2 billion emails are expected to be sent every single day. So if you want to stand out, you need to create some pretty awesome emails.
Below are five tips to help get you started on the right path.
Have a goal in mind for each email – and stick to it
Each email you send should have a purpose. This doesn’t have to be to buy – in fact, it shouldn’t always be. If you’re always going for that hard sell, your subscribers may get tired of your emails and label you as ‘spam’.
That said, every email should still play a role in the selling process. Or, in other words, nudge your subscribers closer towards that sale.
You may be aiming to get a smaller conversion, like sharing one of your blog posts on social media, or to educate your subscriber on an area of your niche or offering. Whatever your goal, make sure that it’s the sole focus of your email – otherwise, you run the risk of overloading the reader, meaning they’ll do none of the things you hoped for.
Segment your audience
You have a range of customers, who are all likely interested in a range of different things. Meaning that if you want to create relevant content they won’t immediately delete or relocate to their spam folder, you need to break your audience into smaller sections – otherwise known as segments.
According to Lyris, an email marketing platform, marketers who segment their audience have:
- Higher open rates
- Lower unsubscribe rates
- Fewer bounces and less spam filtration
- Better revenue
You don’t need a lot of segments to get started. For example, you may simply want to break up your subscribers into your different target markets, or based on things like which parts of your site they’ve visited.
Optimise for mobile
When businesses think about mobile-friendly content, they often just focus on making sure that their website is up to scratch.
But like we said before, most users are opening and reading your emails on mobile. And if your content isn’t optimised? It’ll be a swift journey to the Bin.
In fact, 80% of subscribers will immediately delete any email that isn’t easily read on their phones.
To make sure that your emails are suitable for mobile users, you’ll need to consider the following:
- Keep your subject line under 60 characters to make sure it is fully displayed.
- Break up your paragraphs – the shorter, the better. One-sentence paragraphs are great, and no paragraph should be longer than 3 sentences.
- Make sure you include pre-header text (that preview you can see below the subject line before opening).
- Place your primary call to action at the top of the email.
- Keep the layout clean and easy to read and click.
Invest in well-researched, well-written content
With how short many emails are, it can be quite tempting to spend 5 minutes on one and send it off without another glance.
But if you want that crazy ROI, you need to put in the time and effort.
Research your audience: who are they? What topics are they interested in? What information do they need to become paying customers? What obstacles and objections may be preventing them from buying?
This will form the basis of your campaign plan. From there, you can create a series of emails that are tailored to your subscribers, designed to slowly lead them from ‘interested in what you have to offer’ to ‘needing your offer today’.
We mentioned how easy it is to conduct split-testing on email – use it! At the bare minimum, you should be testing your From names (who the email is from), your subject lines and your calls to action (the links you want subscribers to click through).
You can easily send two variations of your email using platforms like Mailchimp, making it simple to conduct split-testing for the various elements of your email.
It’s important to note that testing is a continuous process. To get the best outcome for your business, you need to keep iterating, with the ‘best’ result from your last test becoming the new standard to test against.