Are you spending a lot of time and money on email marketing? Want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your email marketing efforts?
In this post, we’re going to analyze three aspects of a successful email marketing strategy and find out how you can use them to your benefit and increase the ROI of your email marketing efforts.
Building the right email list
An email list is the most essential part of an email marketing strategy. What people get wrong about the email list is that its real value does not lie in its size but rather in its cleanliness. That is to say a good list is the one with the right people in it. Large lists with lots of irrelevant subscribers basically have two main problems:
1- They’re costly to keep
2- They hurt your deliverability
Email service providers typically charge based on the size of your list. Bigger lists are more costly to keep. If your list consists of invalid email addresses or even disinterested people who don’t open your emails, you’re practically paying for nothing.
The negative effects of having inactive contacts in your list do not end here. Inactive subscribers lower your email deliverability as well because they cause a low open rate. Consistently low open rates send a signal to mailbox providers such as Google or Yahoo! that you might be spamming people. This will result in your emails ending up in people’s spam/junk folder or even deemed untrustworthy and malicious and filtered right in the gateway.
The best way to get your emails to land in the inbox of your subscribers is to make sure you have a clean email list composed of valid email addresses that actually open your emails. To do this, first you need to attract the right people to your email list. You need to:
- Communicate your message clearly. Don’t use clickbaits to encourage subscriptions.
- Don’t offer irrelevant lead magnets to lure people in.
- Send a welcome email and explain what your subscribers should expect from your emails.
Second, you need to make sure you cleanse your email list from time to time.
- Run your email list through an email verifier tool and remove invalid emails.
- Run re-engagement email campaigns to make sure inactive subscribers understand your value and if interested interact with your emails more often. One thing you need to do through these emails is encourage unsubscriptions after a couple of re-engagement campaigns. Make sure that you only keep the right subscribers.
- When running cold email campaigns to complement your typical email campaigns, make sure you use a suitable email finder to save time and avoid invalid emails.
Sending out relevant content
Remember the first reason people subscribed to your list? What was the big intent behind it? Are you still keeping your promises and sending out content to them that helps them with their initial intent?
Analyze your emails and find out if you’re still helping your subscribers with their initial problems they were looking to solve by subscribing to your email list. If your emails are not relevant to your subscribers’ main issues or problems, you’re definitely off track with your email marketing.
How to make sure you’re not diverting from your subscribers’ interests?
For one thing, make sure to have separate lists for different topics, or segment your list accordingly. Assuming that you have different products and that you need to market each one of them to a different group of people, it’s a great idea to have a separate list for each product, or at least segment your list to make sure you appeal to all of your subscribers.
This is the email Pat Flynn sent to his subscribers to segment them according to their preferences:
Another content-related principle you should never forget about email marketing is what the great email copywriter, Ben Settle, refers to as infotainment: giving your audience a “great-tasting hot dog” but “nourishes them like broccoli”. The idea is not new in the world of marketing and advertising but is what most commercial emails fall short of in practice — they are either informative but tasteless or amusing but pointless.
Here are some elements that would make your emails infotaining, that is both amusing and informative (about your product):
- Prioritizing your subscribers’ interests: nothing catches our attention more than when people talk about us or what matters to us. It is well-known that a good marketing copy is what captures its audience’s interests the most. Spend time to get to know your audience and use their interests in your emails.
- Retaining a unique voice and perspective in your emails: don’t be a copycat — spend some time to discover a unique approach to the topics you write about. Differentiate yourself by using lesser-explored content formats in your emails. Videos have a great potential for increasing engagement. Use a free video marketing platform such as Biteable to make engaging marketing videos.
- Being a good storyteller: we love stories. Our minds are hard-wired to make sense of the patterns in narratives and learn from the ups and downs in them. We are curious to know the fate of the people in the stories. A well-structured story captures our attention, presents some people we identify with (or antagonize), and proposes a lesson for learning (i.e. your marketing message).
Building trustworthy relationships
Maybe the most important business principle is meaningful relationships and trust. Ken Mcarthy, the founding father of internet marketing, explains,
“Trust may be the single most important word in business.I’m not talking about being blind trust. Healthy skepticism is one of the most important tools in the entrepreneur’s tool kit.I’m talking about being trustworthy. Literally: worthy of trust. And no, I don’t mean a new sales technique or copywriting tactic. I mean being worthy of trust.”
Trust is what fuels people to move forward in their journey to buy from you. From the first encounter (awareness) to when they come to the conclusion that you’re THE brand they would only care about and buy from (loyalty), you need to gain people’s trust and safeguard it. Chatra explains that when it comes to having loyal customers, the most important factor is not price or anything else but rather trust and consistency.
Here are some tactics to build trust with your audience:
- Get to know your customers well. The more you know them and their problems the more you can help them and gain their trust. Understanding the target market and their segments is the indispensable part of any good marketing plan.
- Map out your customers’ journey. Being there for them in every phase and making every interaction pleasant makes you trustworthy to your customers.
- Be responsive to your customers. It’s very important to have a good customer support team. The more human (read: empathetic/understanding) and responsive they are, the more reliable and trustworthy you’ll be in the eyes of your customers. Use a top-notch help desk software to equip your support team to do their job well.
- Respect your customer intelligence. Avoid shady marketing techniques such as click-baits or deceptive subject lines. Your customers’ post click experience is more important than merely getting them to click on your link. In an article on post click optimization, Instapage explains that “post-click landing pages that are relevant to the ad maintain visitors’ trust and the likelihood that they’ll click the CTA button click increases. When post-click landing pages fail to form a connection with the ad, they also fail to form
a connection with the visitor.”
- Maintain a professional look. People trust experts. The more you show your expertise and maintain a professional look, the more people will trust you. Follow the latest web design trends and use a professional looking website template. Use trust elements such as testimonials, positive reviews, case studies, etc. Some people say that maintaining a professional look in every interaction even when handling sales issues is necessary. Use a professional looking invoice software such as InvoiceBerry to maintain your professional look.
Email is still one of the most efficient marketing channels. And contrary to what most people preach, people still use them frequently. In 2019 alone more that 293 billion emails were sent and received each day according to Statista. Having an email marketing strategy is surely a must for your business. But considering all the emails people receive in their inboxes each day, it’s important to make sure you’re doing email marketing the right way. Follow the steps explained in this video to get the most ROI out of your email marketing campaigns.