By Zoe Price:
Email marketing is cheap, and it has a number of advantages other methods don’t offer. This is why email marketing is often utilized by new marketers, whether it is big brands trying to keep members of their loyalty programs engaged or small businesses trying to build their brands. Here are 4 email marketing campaign planning tips for beginners. We’ll explain why these tips will improve reach, engagement and conversions.4 tips every #EmailMarketing beginner needs to know before building a campaign: Click To Tweet
1. Identify the Business Need for Email Marketing
What is the purpose of your emails? Marketing in and of itself isn’t a good enough answer.
Are you going to send out a monthly newsletter to promote your expertise in a field while subtly promoting your books or seminars? Are you going to send out an advice column relevant to your customers that mention your products as a solution to various problems they experience? Or will you be sending targeted marketing emails to people based on their demographics and personal buying history?
The intended purpose of the email and format will determine the types of emails you send out. For example, a marketing newsletter can be sent to everyone but does better when you show only a few articles of interest to each market segment. A list of suggested purchases should be even more targeted, or it will be ignored.
2. Streamline Curation of Emails
One of the best ways to save your sanity is to streamline the collection and curation of emails. For example, your website should have a popup to let fans or customers enter their email address. It should then save the information into a customer relationship management system instead of requiring you to save the data and paste into an email list.
When you create contact forms, the ideal case is when the customer’s email information is saved to a segmented email marketing list based on their demographics and purchase history. But in every case, the email collection (on top of as much customer profile information as possible) should be automated. This ensures that you have the information to send personalized messages later since you’ve already had an associated email address with the customer’s name.
3. Tie Marketing into the Email Generation Processes
One good way to engage customers with your email marketing system is to tie the marketing into system generated emails. When someone signs up for an account or buys from you for the first time, send them a friendly welcome email. This verifies that the email address is active before you even fill the order.
It is also a good way to personalize a message and send a thank you to them for their business. You can use this as an opportunity to send coupon codes or discounts to entice them to buy again. Let them know that you’re going to send discounts or coupon codes to them as a thank you for their business, and they’re far more likely to open the message instead of letting it go to the spam folder.
When someone has not purchased something for a while, you can send them marketing emails to try to solicit them to buy again. If you combine this with coupons and discounts, you improve the odds they return. Or you can send them a survey asking why they haven’t bought from you. This information at a minimum will help you retain other customers.
4. Understand the Right Timing for Emails
The timing of your marketing emails matters, even if people don’t open the email right away. That is, after all, an advantage of emails – it can sit in their inbox for hours or days before they get to it.
However, that doesn’t render timing moot. If you’re sending out marketing content for a holiday, you want to send the first messages out when people just start thinking about buying those types of items. For example, emails about Christmas sales need to start at the end of November, not the latter third of December. And the particular time at which you send mailings has an effect as well. Some content is best sent a short while before your audience sits down to lunch so that they can read it on their lunch break.
Remember that you can run A/B tests regarding the timing of your emails just as you can test the subject lines and content itself. Maybe your emails are better received on Tuesday at lunch instead of part of the Monday rush. Or they end up being opened more often if sent in the evening when people read their emails before going to bed. Don’t neglect A/B testing for email subject lines and content, too, to understand what emails get opened and which call to action buttons generate a click through to your e-commerce page.
Understand your intent with the emails before you start crafting marketing emails. Streamline the collection of emails and all related information. You can use automatically generated emails to further marketing, and you need to test marketing emails for timing and content to maximize their success rate.