In today’s digital world we are bombarded by emails. In fact the Radicati Group in February 2017 estimated the number of email accounts worldwide was 3.7 billion and projected that the number of emails sent per day would average a staggering 269 billion. Either way you look at this, there are a lot of emails being sent – so what makes a good email? And how do you stand out from the crowd?
Despite the quantity of emails being generated, this is still an essential part of your marketing toolkit, equally relevant for businesses of all sizes. With the social media sites starting to make further changes to their algorithms, which will impact the effectiveness of organic reach, email marketing is a very cost effective way of connecting with your ideal client.
Did you know that:
- 75% of companies agree that email offers excellent – good ROI (Econsultancy 2016).
- 86% of consumers would like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with at least monthly (Statista 2015).
- And 78% of consumers have unsubscribed from emails because a brand was sending too many emails (HubSpot 2016).
There are some useful learnings here. With this in mind we wanted to share our top 9 email marketing tips to help you create impactful and successful newsletters.
1.Know your target audience:
We talk a lot about identifying your ideal client, the reason why is because it is the foundation of all of your marketing. Once you understand your ideal client you can provide them with relevant content at the right time, encouraging them to take the desired call to action, whether that is to book on a workshop, purchase a product/ service or join an event.
2. Plan, plan, plan:
Your business newsletters should be part of your marketing mix and should not be considered in isolation. Be consistent with the content, look and feel across all of your channels. Email marketing is a fantastic tool because you can measure success instantly.
There are a couple of obvious was of doing this e.g.: open rates (of the email), click through rates to your links or direct sales. The technology is there to really track in quite a sophisticated way the performance of any online digital marketing activity. Be clear on your objectives and go for it.
3. Creative Content:
This takes the lead from understanding your ideal client. Plan to share interesting and relevant content to your target audience – so for example if your target audience are new business owners don’t speak to them about corporate organisations, it won’t resonate with them.
Less is often more. Don’t try to communicate too much in one go, plan out your communications and break it down. Be single minded and as visual as you can be, the old saying of “Pictures speaks a thousand words” has never been more relevant.
4. Clean Data:
Ensuring that you have a good clean database of ideal clients to speak to is key. Your email marketing deployment tool (e.g.: Mail Chimp, Constant Contact, etc) will naturally take out any unsubscribes or those where the email is out of date.
But going through to ensure that you are still happy to communicate with your base regularly is always a good idea to ensure your data is as up to date as possible. It is always better to have a small, relevant and engaged based vs a large base of people who are not interested in your product.
5. Subject Lines:
Your subject line is so important, as it is the hook which encourages your ideal client to open the email. Understanding the needs of your ideal client and how you can help them will enable you to provide relevant and interesting subject lines. There are some words which it is wiser to avoid, as outlined in an interesting article by e-consultancy “45 words to avoid in your subject lines“. There are also some tools out there which can help you to come up with ideas for headlines, try “Headline Analyser” from CoSchedule. Above all try to keep it personal and relevant.
When to send your emails is a question I get asked quite often. Unfortunately there are no magic solutions as every business is different. Generally for a professional business to send an email in the morning Tuesday – Thursday is a good time, but of course because this is the recommendation every one sends their emails then.
The key is to think about your audience, when they may wish to hear from you and what you have to say. Another example is if you wish to engage with Mums/ family or if you are a hotel company then why not send an email at 6pm on a Wednesday talking about plans for the following weekend?
The best thing is to test and refine this for your business, Mail Chimp enable you to split the delivery of your emails at different times to help you work this out.
7. Test, test and test:
Before you deploy your email make sure you send yourself a sample of what it will look like. Check for grammar and creative alignment. Do it in advance if you can so you have time for your brain to absorb the content and make sure it is really what you wish to be saying.
8. What does success look like:
Defining the objectives of your email marketing is key. Simply do more of what works and less of what does not. Do remember though that different marketing tools have different ways of working, so email marketing will be great at reminding people you are there as well as being a harvest media vs advertising which may work better as a brand awareness piece. Ideally you want to be delivering a mix of activity to get the balance right.
9. Populating your data list:
Growing your list is always a tricky one. Simple things like making sure you have a sign up function on your website or social media channels and capturing data from network events is key.
Do also consider running a wider email campaign or competition to generate sign ups. There are many companies out there who offer data for you to buy, but with GDPR coming into force this year, proceed with caution and I imagine this approach is going to be fading away.
This regulation comes into force on 25 May this year, whereby the opt in for email and SMS marketing will need to become clearer and more considered for B2C users. To find out more on this topic please read our last blog “What small businesses need to know about GDPR“.
There are many tools out there which can help you to deploy your email marketing successfully, Mail Chimp, Constant Contact, Zoho and Drip are a few. The best thing is to understand what your requirements are and review which tool is right for your business.
Finally enjoy and have fun! Email marketing can be a successful way to connect with your ideal client.
If you would like some help in reviewing your current email marketing approach or finding out more about GDPR please get in touch to arrange your FREE 60-minute consultation.
If you would like to learn how to use Mail Chimp, why not join our next “How to use Mail Chimp” workshop on 14 March.