An amazing brand with quality services and products markets itself through satisfied customers and word of mouth. While this might have been true in the past, the big competition today makes it impossible for brands to stand out without the help of marketing.
If people cannot find you and if your marketing efforts do not tempt them, it doesn’t matter how great your products and services are. They’ll simply pick someone else.
As unfair as this sounds, it is true today. Marketing is the backbone of every successful business, and email marketing takes a huge part in this.
For decades now, email marketing is known as one of the best ways to attract and retain customers. Some might wonder – is it still as important as before? According to TechJury, there are 4,147 billion email users in 2021 compared to only 4.03 billion users last year. Just a decade before that, in 2010, this number was 1.88 billion.
What does this tell you?
This strategy doesn’t seem to cease any time soon, not with the growing rate of email users. If nothing else, it is more important today than ever.
The importance of effective email marketing
There is one statistic that blows the mind. On average, email marketing generates $38 for every dollar spent. Now, imagine what you could do if your email marketing strategy is one of the great ones if this is the average.
Social media has been on the rise for quite some time, which puts it very close to email when it comes to finding people, building relationships, making sales, and nurturing leads. But, people don’t seem to reduce their email usage. On the opposite – they use it more than ever.
This makes email the best tool for you to reach a wide audience because of its widespread use. It also brings the highest return on investments, so it’s a must for your strategy.
Here are just a few of the many perks of having an effective email marketing strategy:
- Email remains the number 1 communication channel with at least 99% of users checking their messages daily.
- Your email leads are yours only. It cannot be suspended or deleted or misplaced like it can on social media platforms alongside your account.
- It is one of the cheapest ways to convert leads, which far outweighs any other option.
- Email has a huge conversion rate. Its order value is at least 3 times higher than that of social media channels.
Still, you cannot expect to reach such great results if your strategy is not good.
Tips for effective email marketing in any industry
Depending on the industry you work in, you might need to use different tools and strategies for your email list. Even so, some tricks are applicable regardless of the size or nature of your business, and even your budget.
Let’s take a look at the famous dental email marketing guide by Flodesk. This is a truly comprehensive, quite specific guide for attracting and retaining customers in the dental industry. It shows dentists how to send welcome emails, introduce new services, provide discounts, convert leads, and more. On top of those specific tips, it includes some general tricks that everyone should be using today in email marketing. It tells that you need to pick a platform that makes mobile-friendly emails, use automation to maintain your schedule, etc.
Knowing this, we’ve narrowed down our guide to the 5 essential steps that everyone should take to optimize their email marketing strategy.
Step 1: Build an excellent email list
It all starts with your email list – and depends on it. No matter how you handle the following steps, how great your messages sound, or even how much you invest – it will only work if your email list is good.
Thankfully, there are tons of ways nowadays to enrich your email list. You can use the network you have right now to get you started. You can use popups and give people an incentive to subscribe to your newsletter. There will be hours spent on forums and channels where you can find your audience and grab their email contact.
Here is an excellent example from The Guardian that gives an incentive to people to sign up:
Handing out free things is, by far, the most effective way to get your target audience’s email addresses. If you offer them a discount or a freebie and they subscribe to claim it, you’ll know that they are interested in your brand and products. That shows you that those are the people you need to target. Plus, you get their email address.
Of course, this means that you’d have to invest something to build your email list. It goes without saying that you’ll lose some money if you hand out discounts and freebies. However, considering that this is essential for your email marketing strategy – finding people to send those emails to – it’s the best investment you’ll make.
Step 2: Segment your email list
At this point, you should have email addresses from people who are interested in what you have to offer. Great job – you’ve found your buyer persona and are ready to throw some marketing strategies at them. The next step is to segment that list you have.
Segmenting the list means that you’ll customize and tailor your content based on the needs and requirements of your customers. Basically, you need to segment that list to figure out what email to send to what address.
Think of it this way. You can’t be sending the same emails to new subscribers and repeat customers. You can’t send a ‘’come back’’ message to potential customers and people who buy from you regularly. That’s intended for the lapse and inactive customers. Check out this Grammarly message – it’s clearly personalized for lapsed or inactive customers:
To segment your list, you need to decide on which categories you’ll use. You need the following:
- New subscribers
- First-time customers
- Recent customers
- Repeat customers
- Inactive or lapsed subscribers and customers
- Potential customers
Next, you should consider their interests, skill level, recent searches (if you have such data), and more. You should evaluate their messages and request to see what they need, and offer them solutions – maybe throw in a freebie to convince them to buy again!
Step 3: Verify your email list
The pressure to increase the number of emails in your list or write new messages for different segments is big. Many marketers skip an important step because of this – email verification.
Take the time to verify all emails you have. This can save you tons of time down the road. Imagine not having to personalize an email for dozens of email addresses that are not active or no longer interested in what you are offering. Imagine this – all your efforts are going to waste because your messages bounced back due to inactivity.
And of course, there will be those micro-mistakes such as misspelled email or incorrect domain. This is why it is important to verify all addresses in your list before working on your next messages.
Step 4: Build an email sequence
Let’s say that you have a nice email list and have segmented it. This means that you are ready for the email sequence. This refers to when and how you send your messages. Believe it or not, this has a huge impact on your conversion rate.
People open their emails at selected times. They are far more likely to get and open your message if you know what that time is. You also need to know the right stage of their journey and the right way to capture their attention at that stage.
In this part, you need to consider your options for different email types. Think welcome messages, referral emails, discount emails, curation emails, cart abandonment emails, etc. You’ll need content to re-engage lost consumers, confirm people’s orders, collect data through surveys, and even messages to show your customer appreciation.
Have all these figured out, as well as the best time to send them.
Step 5: Make the content king
Content is king. That’s your rule of thumb when creating emails. It doesn’t matter when you send them or who your email list includes – if they aren’t good, they won’t yield the results you need. Chances are, your emails won’t even get opened.
To get emails opened, you need to start with an attention-grabbing subject line. This is what convinces people to consider your message and give it a peek. Why not use some grand numbers, an enticing offer, or something that will pique their curiosity? Here is a great example of the last:
Then, you need the entire content to be engaging, informative, entertaining, personal, etc. The main triggers that convince people to react to your message are personalization, utility, authority, and urgency.
Building up your email list, segmenting it, verifying it, and creating great content is a never-ending process. Don’t think that once you get to the next steps, you can forget about these! It’s what makes a successful email strategy!