A significant element of email marketing is relationship. Does a recipient trust you? Does a recipient even know who you are? When an email jumps the gun by forcing familiarity too soon, the personalization comes across as skeevy. Intimacy is earned in real life, and it would appear to be the same way with email. Take this example from my inbox; no one has called me lowercase kevan l lee in years.
Think about mobile. If a campaign doesn't show up on mobile devices, it's not going to perform very well. Everything you send should be mobile-friendly. Check out ReturnPath's "Email in Motion" infographic for some data that might affect the way you design your emails. One of the highlights: According to the study, 63 percent of Americans and 41 percent of Europeans would either close or delete an email that's not optimized for mobile. Might be time to start using a responsive template.
S • Segment. Market research and data analysis heavily inform this first step. You can also use marketing personas and the like to help. Your primary aim with this step is to identify differing customer needs according to relevant markers (e.g. demographic, behaviour, occupation, interests...). You then divide your market into ‘segments’ according to these needs.
Genuinely effective campaigns segment the market as carefully as possible, and target accordingly. Relevancy is key for getting people to open emails and respond to your CTA – but what's ‘relevant' differs from person to person. If you're going to make your emails as relevant as possible to everyone who reads them, you need to Segment, Target, and Position.
Minimal risk: Some top marketers expect to burn through $10,000 of advertising budget before even knowing if they can make a campaign profitable. (Nope, that’s not an exaggeration. But I’d usually aim for a few hundred dollars—not thousands.) With email marketing, the costs are much, much lower. A simple email marketing software like AWeber is very affordable even if your business isn’t a huge success, yet. And even if you go with something advanced like Infusionsoft, you’re still far away from the kinds of investments many other marketing tactics require. Sure, email marketing and advertising aren’t directly comparable (advertising is mainly used to reach new prospects). But you get the point.
Address subscribers by name. Personalized emails are more successful. Buffer also suggests to personalize your emails based on need by sending emails that meet different user expectations. This makes them more targeted and more likely to be successful. Some studies show that educating and segmenting your audience will boost your click through rate on emails by up to 50%.
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Be friendly. Feel free to use a casual tone in your email newsletters. Since most emails come directly from one person, people expect human voices in their inboxes. There's a good chance your subscribers are already in a informal frame of mind when they're checking their email, so an overly formal or stodgy voice might seem out of place. Plus, they've given you their email address, so you're already on a first-name basis. If you collect first names on your signup form, you can dynamically include them in your email greetings.
Know your spam rules. A lot of innocent people send spam because they didn't know any better. Read up on the CAN-SPAM act to avoid any trouble. Put simply, you're allowed to send bulk email only to people who specifically asked to be on your mailing list. If you collected email addresses for a lunch giveaway or an event invitation, then you don't have permission to send marketing emails unless you made that clear at signup. Include an obvious unsubscribe link in every email, and don't forget to remind subscribers how they got on your list in the first place.
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Newsletters are long-haul engagement. They serve as check-ins with your subscribers, as well as offering generalised engagement points. Newsletters are a way of both driving and maintaining engagement – at worst they serve as a reminder of the relationship the recipient has with a brand, but usually, they do a lot more. Provide as many engagement points/links as you can within your newsletters, and you'll be surprised at what crops up!
People tend to think of evaluation as something you do at the end of a campaign. In fairness, doing a full evaluation at the end is a massively important part of any campaign strategy. But it’s also helpful to evaluate as you're going along. Lots of brands make the mistake of closing their ears to ongoing issues and save any feedback for the end of campaign evaluation.
Personas provide a multi-dimensional method of targeting. They’re based, as the name suggests, on a projected persona for each customer ‘type’. Get it right, and personas can help you enormously in both predicting behaviour and personalising your communications. Personas are a powerful technique, and they’re increasingly used to improve the usability and customer centricity of communications.