Email is the most powerful marketing channel in terms of ROI, returning $38 for every $1 spent. It converts 40 times as many customers as social media. Developing a great email campaign
boosts sales and grows your audience. However, with today’s evolving technology and crowded marketplace you can’t be sure your campaign is working effectively. How do you get the most traction from your email content and contact lists? Are you reaching the greatest number of customers? Getting through to the right people? Using the right tools to gather the right data? Use an informed and flexible plan to optimize your email marketing. Over years of running great campaigns for thousands of clients we’ve developed some of the most effective techniques for customer engagement throughout the sales pipeline.
Start With a Strong Subject
To get your email read you’ll need to connect with your readers in the subject line. Just like headlines your subject line needs to draw attention and pique curiosity. Subject lines are similar to calls-to-action, in that you want the language to inspire people to want to click farther. If you promise something good, people will be eager to read more. Make sure your subject line offers something useful and unique, be very specific and a little urgent. Keep it short but try to weave an air of mystery and excitement about what’s inside the email.
Good Content Gets Attention
The best way to attract visitors and engage customers is by providing valuable and interesting content. If you have company news, new products or services, deals or discounts you can keep your customers paying attention. By broadcasting your content over social media and email you keep your message in front of your customers eyes and create a feedback loop that generates buzz as your articles are shared and commented on. Your emails drive business to your website and phone number so keep them interesting. An in-house social media and marketing team may be needed to generate the continuous buzz your brand needs to cut through the noise and get noticed.
Cultivate Your Contacts
There are multiple strategies for growing lists of high value customers without buying lists. Contact lists available commercially rarely contain the right customers that are likely to convert or become loyal customers – because they do not come from your segment of the market. Grow your list organically, adding only those people you know have expressed an interest, are in your area and who will buy from you. Collecting contacts from your sign up forms, email opt-ins and website visits, shopping and search habits will create the most powerful lists because the demographics and interests of the contacts are known.
Segment Your Customers
Do you serve a wide and varied customer base with a range of products and services? Keeping people coming back means keeping them interested. To do so you you must address the specific needs of each customer. Group your customers by platform, channel and buying habits, interests, and where they are in the buyer’s journey. It’s important to know how your customers find you. Personalize the experience using information from the actions your customers have already taken; from which forms they’ve filled out, which industries they’re in and what their personal preferences are. Avoid duplicating your marketing efforts or wasting your message on those who don’t need it. By dividing your customers into segments and serving them ads based on their habits you can make sure your message is getting to the right people at the right time.
When to Send?
To get the most out of your emails you need to make sure your recipients are ready to read and be receptive to your message, not distracted or busy. Studies have shown there are times of day and week when people are less likely to open or read your email: evenings, weekends, Mondays and Fridays have the lowest open rates. The best responses have been found midweek in the early afternoon. 2:00 PM Tuesday to Thursday has proven to be the best time of day for high open rates. You may want your message read first thing in the morning or just before a holiday weekend. Plan your email schedule accordingly to catch your customers at the best time.
The Right Tools For The Job
Is your email program able to send to multiple long lists of customers? To schedule your email distribution ahead of time? Can you include interactive content, HTML and animations in your emails? Do you get reports on exactly who opened your messages, how far they read and if they clicked through? By using mass email programs like Mailchimp or Constant Contact you have full control over email distribution options, interactive content and customer list management. These email programs include their own design software and templates which help to assure error free ad display: images open correctly and interactive content functions properly. Complete records are kept for the results of each campaign and mailing, allowing you proactively customize your messaging, run tests and schedule follow-ups.
Leverage Customer Analytics
A website tracking snippet allows you to track users’ behaviors when they visit your site or follow links from an email. Tools like Google Analytics help you make sense of this data which you can then use to improve your personalization and segmentation. Once you have a clear picture of a demographic or customer segment you can send targeted emails that speak to the needs of that segment. If you know what a customer searched for, what’s in their shopping cart, what they’ve purchased in the past and similar services they are interested in than you can send that person very specific marketing right when they may be ready to convert.
Make It Personal
Use personalization for customer retention. Over 75% of email revenue is generated by triggered, personalized campaigns rather than one-size-fits-all campaigns. Dynamic content allows you to customize pretty much everything about an email to suit the recipient. Analytic data may tell you when a customer is considering a purchase but if your message is not correctly anticipating your customers needs or habits then the data will be wasted. Email is easy to ignore, especially if it’s redundant, confusing or poorly timed. Correctly responding to a customers behavior in a timely manner is required to keep your personalized emails fresh and relevant.
Convert Your Readers
Are your messages effective at bringing readers back to your website or picking up the phone to call you? Do you provide clear calls to action that hook people and provide them an easy pathway to your site? Your message has to include some offer along with an easy mechanism for the user to execute the conversion. Establish a clear call to action, recipients should know exactly what you want them to do with the message. Clearly define any steps they must take to redeem an offer, make a purchase or receive an incentive. If you don’t, many people are sure to miss the point of your message. By featuring easy to follow links, phone numbers and sign up forms you make it simple for visitors to take the next step. First draw attention with compelling content, incentives, offers and invitations, then provide a seamless pipeline to your sales space. By including calls to action and conversion mechanics your emails will perform their intended function: attracting and engaging customers.
When it’s time to finally send your email there are pitfalls and software limitations which could affect your success. Anticipating correct display across users is a technical challenge even for the most advanced marketing software. Browsers, devices and email clients will all affect the display of your email in different ways. Even with careful planning your messages may not make it to the intended recipient with all functionality intact. For example, dollar signs or capital letters in the subject may trigger a spam filter. Images and interactive content may not be enabled on the recipients machine, allowing only a text version of your email to show. Even when your content comes through it may not be formatted correctly for the device being used. Even when all technology is working properly your message may have mistakes or typos. Any email marketer knows the worried feeling that comes before hitting send.
The Smart Solution
By providing successful email services for local and nationwide businesses for over eight years we’ve figured out how to craft very clever campaigns that get results. A full evaluation of a businesses product, audience and sales funnel is part of proper campaign development. We’re used to making campaigns for our customers to have conversations, build relationships and grow with their customer base. We walk our clients through the steps required in building the most effective email marketing plans based on their business goals. We help clients with their contact lists, growing their audience and developing customer segments, then sending custom emails to individual segments. Contractor Advertising is dedicated to our customers growth through effective email marketing communications.
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