Email marketing is the original form of internet communication. I remember having an email account before even having a mobile phone number.
Since day one, email has been used to communicate with clients and customers.
Despite its age, email marketing is still one of the most effective online advertising methods. It is a great way to build an authentic relationship with customers, follow-up with old clients and attract new consumers.
In this blog, we’ll have a look into the basics of creating email campaigns and best practices to consider when developing a email marketing plan. As always in our Giving you the Edge series, this article will be packed full of expert tips and advice to make your eCommerce business shine!
Fun Fact: The first ever marketing email was sent in 1978. This email resulted in $13 million worth of sales for the sender!
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a highly-effective digital marketing strategy that involves sending emails to potential, current and past customers. It is a targeting process used by marketers to connect with their audience through email. When an email marketing strategy is implemented properly it can help boost conversions and revenue by providing customers with valuable information about your business and products.
Did you know that 91% of consumers check their emails daily?
How to Build Your Email Marketing Strategy
Growing your Email List
To begin your marketing campaign, you first need a list of emails to market towards. To do this you you need to attract people with a compelling offer, a.k.a. you need a lead magnet.
A lead magnet is something unique that you can give to customers for free in exchange for their email address. The list of what this offer may be is endless, however, some popular lead magnets include:
- An eBook
- A white paper
- A webinar
- An exclusive email-only offer
- A free trial
- A free product sample
- A promotional offer code
Create an Opt-in Form that Converts
Once you have decided what you’ll offer your customers in exchange for their email, it’s time to start grabbing emails. An opt-in form is a perfect technique for this and allows you to convey the benefits of your lead magnet.
This will let consumers quickly provide their email and receive an the lead magnet instantly. This is another great example of automation in business, a topic discussed recently in 3 Ways Automation Will Help Scale your Online Sales.
A successful opt-in form should include:
- An enticing headline
- A clear CTA
- A simple form to fill out
- Attractive visuals
Email Marketing Expert Tips
You have now done all the hard work to build and grow your email list, congratulations!
However, if people don’t open and read your emails, well then your good work was wasted. And at Optily, we don’t waste your time.
So let’s find out how to optimize your emails to the fullest!
Below is an example of one of our amazing emails, curated by my fabulous colleague Nina White. As you can tell, it’s attractive, fun and provides value to our readers.
You can read the full email here, but you’ll have to sign up yourself to read any more.
#1 – Provide Value to Readers
As spoken about already, you must provide value to your email readers. Your email recipient’s can be split into categories say; current customers, past customers and potential customers.
Each segment can be targeted with a different email set, for example:
- Current Customers
The email could include information about current products and services being provide, business updates, up-selling and cross-selling.
- Past Customers
This email could include information about what your business is currently doing, new product similar to past purchases and product offers to try entice them into being recurring customers. Don’t oversell old customers with a barrage of emails but do periodically keep them up-to-date.
- Potential Customers
This email should try to hook and entice new customers. It could include product offers, time-limited promotional codes and other items they might like.
#2 – Avoid Spam Filters
The best way to avoid spam filters is to actually have permission to send the email. Once a person has filled out your opt-in form, they have consented to receiving the email. Make sure that every individual on the email’s recipient list has consented to it.
Some top tips to avoid spam filters include:
- Ensure your email campaign is run on a good IP address
- Include an easy opt-out of your emails
- Send your emails through a verified domain
#3 – Keep it Legal
Spam filters are there for a reason; to keep malicious and illegal stuff out.
CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing), is a technique used to protect subscribers’ right to only receive emails that they have consented to and nothing unsolicited. Congress enacted CAN-SPAM in 2003 to protect online users and regulate spam email.
Being CAN-SPAM compliant is not only smart business, but is the law.
To ensure your emails are CAN-SPAM compliant you can try some of these suggestions:
- Write accurate subject lines
- Use real email addresses in the email’s “From” field
- Include your company’s name, contact and address
The same goes for GDPR compliance, if you are marketing to customers in the European Union, and CASL, if you are operating in Canada. The main point here is to only collect contact data that is strictly necessary for your business. This personal data must be stored securely and the person should be able to view/remove their data without question.
Please note, this is not legal advice. If you are interested in learning more, read GDPR Explained in 7 Minutes and consult a legal professional, if required.
#4 – Create Engaging Confirmation Emails
Confirmation emails are often overlooked by businesses. However, they should be thought about more as they are a touchpoint with your customer, which means they provide an opportunity.
Most businesses go with a simple, “Thank you! Your order has been sent.”
But you aren’t most businesses–you don’t follow the crowd! So make your email fun, attractive and creative. This customer has just invested their money into your business, so let them know how excited you are for that.
It is also an opportunity to cross- or up-sell the customer. In the email you could provide a time-limited coupon for X% off their next order!
The most important aspect of email marketing is remember that you should be a genuine resource. No one like spam or even spam-like emails trying to grab their money. If you focus on providing high-quality engaging content and making your emails fun, well customer will actually look forward to opening an email from you.
Hopefully, this guide to email marketing will help your business to expand its email marketing campaign and grow your sales.
In a final piece of advice, Max (Marketing Specialist here at Optily), says “subject lines are the most important part of email marketing. Evoke a feeling on the reader that will get them to open the email and don’t be afraid to use humor!”
Remember that these customers signed up to YOUR newsletter. They trust you to provide interesting and enticing content, but most of all they want to hear from you. So be genuine and be yourself.
We know your business is AWESOME!