Remember the days when we rushed to cyber cafes to “check the mail”? We still do, in a much more convenient way right in the palm of our hands.
Although the way we communicate has changed from mails to tweets, texts and video calls but there’s still something about emails that makes it a very private place for us to send and receive in a world full of chaos. Such a scenario makes it all the more important to have a good email marketing strategy.
Let’s talk about Email marketing
Email Marketing is sending emails to potential customers to sell your product or services. It is a very powerful marketing tool with lower costs than most other channels. In this age of the internet, we see a lot of digital marketing trends coming and going, getting viral one day and forgotten the very next day. Prolonged usage of this channel makes it difficult to find inspiration for new ideas and campaigns tend to lose the edge, content gets stales which makes the performance suffer.
To cover all the major aspects of email marketing, this article talks about 3 major topics:
But before we actually dive deep into each of these topics, let’s see why email marketing is such an important marketing tool and why do brands rely so much on it.
Why do we use email marketing?
a. It is one of the most effective ways to reach out to potential customers.
b. As of 2017, there are 3.7 billion global email users and this number is expected to grow to 4.1 billion by 2021. (Yep, it’s here to stay!)
c. 86% of business professionals prefer to use email when communicating for business purposes.
d. 80% of retail professionals indicate that email marketing is their greatest driver of customer retention (the next closest channel? Social media, identified by just 44% of those same professionals).
e. 77% of people prefer to get permission-based promotional messages via email (versus direct mail, text, phone, or social media).
f. 73% of millennials identify the email as their preferred means of communication. (Very essential target group)
g. When a prospect or customer who opens an email on a mobile device opens that same email again on another device, they are 65% more likely to click-through to your site/offering.
h. Nearly 105 billion emails are sent each day this number is expected to reach 246 billion before 2020.
That’s just a few awesome reasons for why you should be giving email marketing a push.
To create a good email marketing strategy, you need to focus on the following pointers:
(A) How To Avoid Emails From Going To SPAM Folder
Reasons why your emailers backslide into the spam folder and how to avoid these mistakes:
1. Permissions: Do not buy email lists! It’s a big no-no in email marketing. When you don’t have permission from the customer your mails will automatically slide into spam, instead of wasting money on buying mailing lists, create a customer base using a form on your site to make it absolutely clear that they want to receive emails from you.
2. Using Spam Triggers: There are words that are set as triggers by spam filter software that detect these words in your mails and they end up in the spam folder, so avoid these words.
3. E-Mail Optimisation: Optimise your email HTML to the best-suited practices like image optimisation, mobile-friendly emails, image to text ratio, simple and clean HTML coding etc. These small details help in creating a more successful e-mail campaign.
4. Contact Information: Always have a very clear and precise “FROM”, don’t address yourself as someone else. Including a physical address and contact details gives a sense of credibility to the brand.
5. Misleading Subject Line: Nobody likes click baits, just don’t do it. It spoils the brand image and puts you at the risk of getting put on the spam list.
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(B) How To Improve Email Open Rates
How do you tell if your open rates are good? Honestly, there isn’t any particular benchmark but you can always check out the open rates for your industry to have a guiding light in terms of competition.
Putting a few simple tweaks and tricks in place you can hit higher pen rates:
1. List Segmentation and Update: Are your emails not being opened anymore? It’s always a good idea to periodically check and remove inactive subscribers from your list, any user that hasn’t engaged with your emails for 6 months or more, loss of interest or people who might have changed their IDs.
Another reason why people stop opening your emails is probably that the content isn’t relevant to them anymore and the best way to keep the relevancy intact is to segment list according to customer behaviour like purchase habits, demographics, interest groups, etc. Check this out for tips and tricks to create an effective mailing list.
2. Ask subscribers to whitelist your emails: After a person has subscribed to your e-mails do not forget to ask them to whitelist your emails in the welcome mail. This practice helps improve sender reputation and overall inbox delivery rates.
3. Invest some thought into your subject line: This is the identity of sorts for your email, it has to be interested and catch the eye. Using generic subject lines are not going to cut it when a person receives hundreds of emails in a day, creating a good and strong subject line helps in shooting up your open rate.
4. Sender Name: What does your brand name say to the subscribers? Is it enough to stand out and create an individual identity for you? It has to be recognisable as you! People are sceptical of unknown emails and end up marking unrecognisable emails as spam.
5. Find the best time to send: The best way to find the time when open rates are the highest in your target group is to segment your emails in 2-3 groups and see which time period gets you highest open rates. Or you can check out the list of highest open rates for different industries to build your research on.
6. Don’t forget the mobile users: An estimate of 20-75% e-mail users open emails on smartphones, tablets, etc depending on your target audience, demographic and product. Optimising mails to smartphones and tablets are an essential part of getting higher open rates today.
(C) How To Improve CTR (Click Through Rate)
Engagement rates through your emails are the best parameter to measure the success rate of the mail campaign, unfortunately, it is also the biggest obstacle in email marketing campaigns which all digital marketers face. Let’s give you a helping hand with this on how to improve CTR, incorporate the following tips in your e-mail marketing campaign:
1. Short and crisp: Always use a short and crisp copy in emails, the point is to make the consumer encounter your offer and click through. Writing the best copy upfront and using less text is key to not getting the reader bored and skipping your mail altogether.
2. Get to know your customers: Personalising mails according to the customer’s download history, purchases, browsing and website activity help in creating a more relevant offer. For example: If I’m running a website selling baby care products and a prospective customer/ mailing list subscriber is browsing through baby carriers, I will send them a mail with offers on baby carriers.
3. Call to Action: It’s an essential part of marketing to guide your users through and through with strategically designed and placed CTAs, add clear, understandable and crisp CTAs. Try to be innovative and create your own customised CTAs which appeal to the user’s interests and help improve CTR. Use unusual CTAs like forward to friend/ share on social media etc.
4. Mobile Friendly Emails: Everybody is always on the go! Commute always leaves free time to check those unread emails which we mostly check on our smartphones. Making emails mobile friendly is absolutely essential and will definitely improve CTR and open rates. It is a must to have your mails optimised for smartphones and tablets for better readability and accessibility.
5. Social Media Connect: Always make it a point to insert your social media links in the email, a user does not always check their mailbox every day but they check their social media multiple times a day. Adding links is a great way to engage them and direct them to platforms where there is increased and more frequent engagement.
6. Create a sense of urgency: In a well placed, timed and relevant mail sent to a prospective customer adding a limit to a certain offer creates a sense of urgency which is just the right push a customer need to click that button!
We hope these tips will help you make the next email campaign a smashing success! If you’re a keen digital marketer, you might want to have a look at these interesting articles: