Email marketing campaigns are by far the most popular ways of advertising, for a couple of reasons. They are available to wide masses, given that over 90% of adults use email services. Still, not all those people are the target audience for every business.
The finest of email campaigns are segmented, targeted and finely tuned to meet the demand. To get to that point, a business needs to perform a thorough analysis and come up with the strategy that appeals to most to its target audience.
As regards the audience itself, it is defined by using insights (segmentation), but unfortunately, this is not a static category. Audiences change over time – it’s a normal process, and so should your campaigns.
Getting started with email marketing
As is the case with all things marketing, email campaigns need a good strategy to back them up and they also must be adjustable as befits the needs of the audience. It’s hard work, with lots of stats, insights, research, and competition adjustments.
As for the latter, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the competition and adjust your strategy and prices to remain competitive. The easiest way to do that is by subscribing to their newsletters. Only successful brands operating in the same industry/area and targeting the same groups of people need to be considered. If your business is slightly successful, you can be sure the competitors’ are applying the same approach – it’s only natural.
Define your target audience
But, first things first. To start sending emails to your target group, you’ll need an email list first. Never buy lists; this strategy has proven to be both counterproductive and expensive. Rather, use your subscribers’ emails. To attract more people, be active on social media and offer giveaways.
Do you know how often you’ll come across a free ebook that will be sent to your email address? That’s a giveaway right there and your email address will become part of the advertiser’s list.
Defining an audience (or audiences, depending on the scope of your offer) doesn’t translate into subscribers. Most subscribers are just window shopping anyway. The proper way to go about defining an audience is by answering a couple of questions.
- Does your brand have repeat customers? If yes, what do they have in common?
What is the solution your brand is offering to them?
What is their motive to make a purchase with your brand?
Does your brand have advantages over the competition? What are they?
When you have your answers, you’ll know what your target group is – people looking to your brand for a solution that’s better than competitors’.
Emails that you send represent your brand and your offer. It is, therefore, of critical importance that all the messages you send be, first and foremost, literate.
Further out, you need to be reliable. The fastest way to building credibility is by posting quality content on your website and advertising it on social media and in emails. On top of credibility, quality content also helps your website rank better, which increases your brand’s visibility significantly.
Maintain a consistent tone in all your messages, as customers will come to expect certain standards from your brand over time. If you target younger people, a relaxed tone is acceptable. If you sell VIP products, a professional tone is an absolute must.
Finally, pay particular attention to subject lines. They decide the fate of your messages. They are the first thing the recipients will see and decide whether your message is worth opening to begin with. If yes, the message must build on the subject line.
Note that the great majority of emails and subscriptions take place on mobile devices, so make certain to optimize your website and your messages for them. As regards email, that means appropriate word count in subject lines, careful use of emojis, appropriate font size, and no large images.
In order for your campaign to be successful, all messages must include contact info, an unsubscribe button and a call to action.
Track your campaign results
It goes without saying that your brand’s success will be limited if you don’t track the success of your campaigns and adjust them accordingly.
There are various tools suitable for the task, so choose the appropriate ones depending on your needs and strategy. Some general recommendations include Constant Contact, MailChimp and Campaign Monitor. Don’t forget Google Analytics for the website.
Finally, when choosing the tools to help you with automation, be thorough. Again, choose in accordance with your strategy and goals. Some general recommendations include Marketo, Pardot and Autopilot.
Last but not least – keep your audience engaged. All forms of communication are welcome – email, phone calls (if applicable), and social media channels. Make certain to always follow up, be it complaints or inquiries.
The finest of email marketing campaigns evolve in line with customers’ needs and the only way to learn the opinions of your target group is – by listening to their say. As for the rest – only your creativity is the limit!