Email marketing is consistently the most effective marketing channel to drive leads. It’s ability to drive traffic back to websites is crucial to maintaining customer relationships, nurturing prospects and growing revenues.
For any non-marketer out there, perhaps a small-to-medium business owner, here are some effective tips to ensure you run effective marketing campaigns which drive revenue.
First of all data is the most important aspect here. If you send the wrong message to the wrong data set you will lose money, time will be spent replying to enquiries and your brand will be affected. This should not be taken lightly.
However, if you mine your database creatively and efficiently you can easily drive customer interactions.
Customers and Prospects
One of the best ways to segment your marketing message is to separate your customers and prospects into two different email campaigns.
For example, with your current customers you can run any of the following promotions:
- Upsell to higher price points
- Loyalty discounts & special offers
- Reminders for customers to buy products which they maybe running out of
For example, MyProtein run some great email campaigns. I regularly receive emails 20-30 days after my last purchase asking me if I’m running low on protein powder. MyProtein knows the date of my last purchase, the type of product I buy and how long, according to their estimates, it should take before I’ve consumed the product. Even with a simple Excel database this is a relatively simple campaign to run.
Brands which use their customers to refer a friend and receive discounted products or services see their databases significantly grow week on week (Uber and Dropbox are two good examples).
Once your customers have purchased a product, send them a message thanking them for their custom and ask them to complete a survey or register their feedback. This is great data for you to a) ensure you keep on delivering excellent customer service and b) collect testimonials and reviews you can promote across your website, social media and yes email marketing campaigns.
Now for prospects you need to work them harder to turn into customers. You can try special offers, limited time purchases, reminders etc. You will see lower response rates, but in time the more you market to them with special messages the more likely they are to buy from you.
Depending upon how you have constructed your database you will be able to run more targeted campaigns. For example, if your database records product interests in say kitchens, you could run a dedicated special promotion on kitchen units you’re trying to sell.
Personalisation is another great way to drive open rates. Email marketing systems allow you to enter a recipients First Name into the subject line e.g. “Bob, limited time offer on kitchen units” or “Karen, have you tried our new brownies”. Personalisation in the subject line often increases open rates by around 5-10%.
It’s also worth considering how to engage with recipients who have opened or clicked on your email. I have run follow-up campaigns to opens and clicks 2 days after the email with a message “Can we discuss further?” or “When is a good time to speak”. This works better in a B2B environment as your sales team can plan warm calls to prospects and customers alike.
Finally, consider who the “From” name will be. Is it your company name? Do you want to use an individual, such as the CEO, account manager, marketer or office secretary? It depends on how you want to promote your brand but again think about how the email will look to someone receiving it – are they more likely to open an email from a brand or person they know than someone they don’t know?
Templates and When to Send
I’ll try to cover this very quickly.
Email templates should reflect your company branding. A consistent look and feel across all channels demonstrates a serious company. However, that can be a costly exercise for small businesses.
Most decent email marketing systems have in-built templates which you can easily adapt. Mailchimp is a good example.
However you can also send plain text emails from email systems. They work just as well as HTML branded templates.
And when to send really depends on your audience. There isn’t a specific science to it, although if you’re in B2B its sensible to avoid weekends and after 5pm on weekdays, but a good, well written email will always generate responses.
Call to Action
All emails should have one call to action. Yes, just one. Don’t confuse the reader with lots of actions.
Decide what you want the email to achieve and then construct the text accordingly. If you want to sell products, great. Just make sure each product is linked back to their respective entry on the website.
If you want to generate callbacks or downloads, again just keep it simple and construct the message accordingly.
Email is great to push out integrated promotions and campaign activity. Here are some examples:
- Social media – drive more likes and followers to Twitter/Facebook/Instagram etc
- New blog post
- Market research – invite users to complete surveys
- Invite to networking event, webinar, podcast etc
Think creatively about how you can use your email marketing channel to drive brand awareness and deliver leads.
Measure, Test, Improve
Finally, always record key statistics such as open rates, click through rates, leads collected and web traffic. This will help you test new ideas, improve messages and have confidence your email marketing channel is working for you.