The following is a guest post by James Gorski. In addition to being the editor at designrfix and writing about tech, web and graphic design among other subjects, James loves “unplug” and be outdoors hiking and enjoying nature.
In the age of social media, some businesses might think that email marketing campaigns no longer matter. However, email is still an important part of digital marketing and it's something businesses have greater control over. Reaching an intended audience doesn't rely on Facebook algorithms or Google rankings. It does rely on engaging content, consistency, and authenticity. Businesses struggling with leveraging an email campaign take note of these three essential aspects of email marketing.
Write Engaging Content - Not Sales Copy
Yes, the goal of an email campaign is often a vehicle to sell a product or service. When people subscribe to an email list, they know they're going to open their inboxes to a certain amount of hard and soft selling. That being said, not every piece of content written for an email campaign should be about selling. Instead, it needs to be about giving the subscriber value. This goal is achieved by writing engaging content that solves a problem for the subscriber. Or, content that entertains and make the person want to stick around for more.
Email campaigns that provide value, present solutions, and entertain not only get higher engagement, but fewer people hit the unsubscribe button. Remember, an email campaign only works when there are subscribers clicking the open button.
Stick with an Email Schedule
Some campaigns last weeks, while others might only last a day or two. Whatever the timeframe is for a particular campaign, success depends on consistency. Businesses that create an email schedule and stick with it see higher click-through rates and, ultimately, greater sales.
What is the ideal email schedule?
That's a question that each business must decide for itself. Businesses need to consider their customer, the product or service they're selling, and keep in mind that people get 20+ emails in their inbox each day. Email too often and the customer might get overwhelmed and turned off. Send emails too far in between and the customer is likely to forget why they signed up.
Many email marketing providers allow users to test send times. Businesses that don't have a clear idea of when the majority of their subscribers open and read their emails are missing out on powerful data. Take the time to test different send times before engaging in a major email campaign. Send out a few emails referencing company news or a new blog post and try out various send times. Businesses can then use this data to create a send schedule for their future email marketing campaigns.
Businesses need to have firm grasp on their brand identity and the product or service they sell. The biggest mistake a company can make during an email campaign is trying to mimic other companies' sales copy and voice. Consumers recognize inauthenticity and imposters right away. During email campaigns businesses must write authentic content that speaks directly to their consumers in a manner that the consumer expects.
Because many email providers like Yahoo and Google regularly filter for spam, it's also a good idea for companies to write subject lines that sound like they are talking to friends. Keeping sales copy out of the subject line means businesses have a better chance of ending up in their subscribers' inboxes and not the trash/spam can.
Email marketing offers businesses a solid "in" to their customers inboxes. It's a marketing tool that significantly impacts sales and other actionable responses when done with care. Businesses who take advantage of email marketing benefits nurture consumer relations and, in turn, retain customer loyalty.