A healthy email list to utilize for email marketing can be one of the most important tools in your marketing arsenal and one we recommend for all of our clients. Many leading industry experts agree that not only is it essential for all businesses, but vital if you are an online-based business. Data is one of the most valuable assets you can have in 2020, and there is no excuse not to be capturing it.
According to a 2019 survey of 1,000 web-based businesses, email marketing has the highest return on investment (ROI) of any marketing channel, including social media. Getting it right, however, is a lot harder than getting it wrong. This post helps to highlight some of the pitfalls to avoid and suggests ways in which you can maximize your ROI and how you can approach an email marketing campaign with confidence.
Any business that has a website should be capturing emails. Setting up an email capture opt-in can take as little as an hour to set up while the payoff can be massive. You’re building a tool that will continuously stay in contact with customers who are already familiar with your brand and have shown an interest in your product or services. Not everyone purchases on the first visit. A simple email will allow you to remind them of the benefits of your offering and help convert them into paying customers after they’ve left the site. Also, you’ll be able to continuously market to existing customers who have the highest conversation rate of anyone. There is a reason nearly every single big business does regular newsletters to their customers. When managed correctly, it is a significant revenue stream that is guaranteed to add to your bottom line.
Whether you intend to launch an email campaign today or not, capturing the information will put a useful tool in your back pocket when you’re ready. It’s better to have some data available than no data.
A newsletter is an effective way to speak to your subscribers or audience through email marketing campaigns. It will vary in content from business to business but should be short, concise, and to the point every time. Attention spans are decreasing every day, and your audience will likely not want to read an unsolicited wall of text. Put yourself in the readers’ shoes and try not to be overwhelming with your message or your information. We find that thinking of yourself as a news network is the best mentality to have. News networks are consistent with their message and timing. People know what to expect and have confidence that they will be getting information tailored to their interests. Rather than putting all of your ideas into one giant newsletter, instead, pick one or two topics and focus on those exclusively. Consider sending out the unused thoughts in a different newsletter at a later time. Consistency is vital after all, so having your next newsletter already planned is a great place to be.
A call to action is a statement designed to get an immediate response from the intended audience. Most readers will not act on their own, so it’s essential to guide their experience towards taking action and getting them moving along your intended direction. When used consistently and correctly, you will be leading your customers through an enjoyable sales cycle that results in a pleased buyer.
Capturing leads and building a quality email list is one of the first things that you should approach when your new website is online, if not before. While a website is being built, a holding page with a “notify me” opt-in can be a great way to get a head start in creating this list. An unobtrusive but well-placed form should be a part of any landing or coming-soon page for any new business or venture.
The leading problem with opt-in forms is incorrect placement or an inappropriate and intrusive display schedule. When bombarded with ads or popups, most readers will simply close the page and find a less obtrusive source to get their information from. When your readers open and close your page quickly, Google is taking notice in the background. Google will punish your website ranking if this frequently occurs, causing you to drop further down in search results and hurting your ranking.
The presentation of the opt-in form should be displayed so that it does not affect the users’ experience and enjoyment of the content. It should be noticeable but not enough to obscure any content on the page and prevent your reader from finding what they were after. Although a popup form can be a nuisance, when used correctly, it can enhance the user experience. Whenever you’re designing your popups or any aspect of your website, you should always follow one simple rule. How would I feel if I was viewing this website as a customer for the first time? What is my experience like? Am I encouraged to keep reading, or would I be annoyed and click away?
An excellent alternative to the popup is the slide-out form. With this method, the form will slide out of the page at either a certain point (for example, after the user has scrolled 75% of the page) or after a certain amount of time has elapsed. Both methods ensure your user has had unbothered time to engage with your content before being presented with the call to action. You can feel confident knowing that you are capturing their attention right before they may leave the page and not interrupting their enjoyment of the article. We design our forms to be easy to close should they not wish to subscribe. They will be able to simply click any other part of the screen to close it.
Although there are numerous ways to ask for contact information, we recommend selecting something that fits with the overall design of your website. Whether that be a nicely timed popup, an unobtrusive slide out, in a sidebar, the footer, or even strategically placed within the content, it should follow the theme of your site. Remember that what’s most important is that you engage your users while not disturbing them. Start converting your visitors into followers.
The design of your newsletter should be reflective of your brand, responsive, interactive, and well presented. The subject title of the newsletter should be clear and encourage the reader to open the email. General or ambiguous titles will often be ignored, or worse, result in opt-outs from your campaign. A well written and thoughtful newsletter will usually be no more than a few paragraphs at most. Use a clear, legible font with a few images as many email clients will not load pictures without the readers’ consent. When writing your newsletter, make sure you have a clear goal in mind and tailor your message to that goal. Do you want your readers to buy a specific product, read your blog, raise social awareness, reinforce your brand, or convey important company news? Your selected goal should be focused throughout your content and be established in the title with a clear call to action (CTA) that encourages the reader to act now. Stay on topic and keep things easy to follow. Your intention should be established promptly as people hate being misled.
Remember to include social media links and sharing buttons on your newsletter. Make it as easy as possible for your subscribers to share information with their friends. Not everyone will share, but even one share could result in hundreds of additional subscribers.
If you send emails too often, you risk your readers hitting the spam, opt-out button, or instantly deleting the email without even reading the title. If you send emails too infrequently, you risk disconnecting from your audience, and your readers may not recognize your brand. You need to put yourself in the mind of your reader and think about how often you would like to be contacted. For businesses that are offering a relatively inexpensive product, your ideal time is shortly after they make the decisions not buy with you. If your product is a little more expensive or requires a longer sales cycle, consider spreading out your efforts. This allows your customer time to weigh their options and get further along in their internal sales cycle.
If you wish to inform your readers of a new blog post you just published, consider sending a bi-weekly or monthly summary of your blogs. This method is less intrusive than sending each individually and still has the same desired result. The benefit is that it can result in interaction with older posts as well. You should be sharing your blogs on all of your social media channels anyway. Your subscribers are most likely quickly getting updates via those avenues, to begin. Always keep in mind that people don’t like to be bombarded with the same information.
For product launches and special offers, we recommend targeting the times people are most likely to buy or be interested in your product. It’s critical to spend extra time creating your message when publishing around holidays as you will have increased competition from other businesses doing the same. Separate yourself from the generic emails and ambiguous titles. Offer your subscribers something they would genuinely be interested in or like to hear about.
Whichever frequency you chose, be sure to analyze your statistics and act accordingly. If your opt-outs are high, there’s a good chance you’re sending out content too frequently. If your open rates or click-through rates are low, it’s time to take a hard look at your content to see where you’re going wrong. We often find that content creators will create content for themselves, assuming certain things about customers based on their past experiences. This mindset limits you to a very focused demographic and will often not be successful on a large scale. You have to create content as if you were the customer at any various stages of the buying process.
Ultimately, there are no set rules on how often and at what time you should run your email campaign. Instead, we recommend you analyze your data to track what’s working and what’s not. Fine-tuning your campaigns takes time, but it is the most effective use of your resources and will pay off in the long run. The result will be happier customers that are regularly engaging with your brand.
There are three critical statistics you need to be aware of when monitoring your email campaign. All of these statistics will be built in and readily available with a quality email marketing software.
Open Rate: The percentage of recipients that open your email.
Bounce Rate: The percentage of recipients that were unable to receive your email.
Click-Through Rate: The percentage of people who opened your email and clicked at least one link in the email.
When monitoring your campaign, you are looking to increase your click-through and open rate, while decreasing your bounce rate. More readers clicking through and opening results in more opportunities for sales, while a higher bounce rate results in fewer opportunities. You can continually improve your campaigns by paying close attention to your statistics and making changes to improve your statistics. A successful campaign can be hard to setup but will be hugely profitable and rewarding when done correctly.
There are many different email marketing software available. Each caters to different price points, needs, and offer a plethora of integration tools to make things easier for the user. If you’re a smaller business, we recommend using a solution that combines your email marketing tool and CRM (customer relationship management) system into one platform. If you’d like to skip the hours of research and quickly get paired with a system that would suit your specific needs, give us a call, and we’ll help steer you in the right direction. We have experience using most systems and can help you avoid the learning curve of email marketing.