Discovering Best Practices for Email Marketing
Chapter 5 (The Art of Digital Marketing) – How to create an effective email marketing campaign.
The following article provides some insightful tips for optimizing your email marketing efforts.
How to Create Successful Email Marketing Campaigns in 2019 l Lane Harbin
Every year, marketers face new challenges. From changes in the way marketing campaigns get delivered to new technologies that revolutionize the way we do things, there’s always something that needs adapting to and altering.
And even though email marketing is going nowhere in 2019, there are going to be some key shifts and challenges that marketers need to overcome.
Below, we explore what changes you need to watch out for before showing you how to create email campaigns designed for success in 2019.
The key to successful email campaigns:
Our predictions about what’s in store for email campaigns in 2019 center around the evolution of technology, alongside consumers’ demand for relevant, personalized, and authentic experiences from the companies they engage with.
This leads us to the main challenges you’ll face as a marketer:
- Gaining a better understanding of your audience so you can offer them the personalization they expect.
- Building better relationships with your existing customers rather than replacing these with new ones.
- Generating more ROI from your email marketing campaigns as other methods become less effective, e.g. pop-ups.
Thankfully, adapting to these changes doesn’t have to be difficult, nor does it mean drastic changes for your marketing team. Instead, you just need to make sure you’ve got the basics in place and implement the following tactics in order to design email marketing campaigns you can be proud of this year.
Image Source: Campaign Monitor
1. Make sure you’re implementing segmentation
Segmenting your subscriber list isn’t a new concept but it is an increasingly important one.
The fact is, customers now want to feel like companies are speaking directly to them—not a mass of people. They want to see relevant content that means something to them and helps them get to where they want to be.
Recent studies demonstrate that nearly a third of customers want a more personalized experience than they’re currently getting, and almost 60% would be happy to share personal data if they received personalized discounts or offers in return.
Despite this, just 7% of companies have listed personalization as a priority. But this means you can be one of the first to offer this unique experience to your customers.
However, you’ll need to go a few steps further than simply adding the recipient’s name to your subject line. Just 8% of recipients are encouraged to engage if their first name is used within an email, and this is perhaps due to the increased number of emails that include this type of personalization.
Instead, you’ll need to use all the data you’ve gathered to offer key personalization through the content of the email, the images you include, and the discounts you offer.
Image Source: Really Good Emails
Ultimately, personalization will only work if you’re creating the right message for the right customer. You need to anticipate exactly what your customers want. This may mean you send follow-ups after recent interactions or make product recommendations.
Decide what personalization you feel will work best for your customers and look at the ways you can gather the necessary information. Don’t be afraid to get creative: Consider using surveys to gather your subscribers’ opinions.
2. Understand the data
In order to offer the aforementioned personalization for your customers, it’s important to know what data you need to gather and how best to utilize it. However, with so much data available, it can be difficult to know where to start.
And you’re not alone. As Forbes recently reported, the vast majority of companies are overwhelmed by the amount of data they have access to.
Put aside those graphs and spreadsheets and start looking past this data to see what it’s actually showing you: how your customers are behaving. This data explains what your customers like, don’t like, and what actions they’re happy to perform.
For example, look at how many customers downloaded that eBook, how many used their discount code, and how many shared it with their friends.
Answering these questions, among others, will give you a far greater understanding of your audience and what inspires the best results for your business.
It’s also important to integrate all of your data points with each other, utilizing platforms like Google Analytics alongside your email metrics. This will give you a holistic picture of what your customers want and expect from you, allowing you to spot and overcome any potential challenges you face.
3. Nurture and engage your existing audience
While growing your email list receives most of the attention when people talk about the success of email marketing strategies, it’s just as vital—if not more so—to engage your existing audience.
After all, it’s much more cost-effective to engage an existing customer than it is to try and acquire a new one.
Focus on nurturing the existing leads you have, offering them the best experience possible and connecting with them on a personal level. This includes making sure your emails are optimized for mobile devices.
Image Source: Pinterest
People want to be able to do everything on the go, including when they skim through their inbox. From standing in the queue for a coffee to being on their lunch break at work, you need to make sure your emails are easy to digest in just a glance. If not, they might go straight to the trash, or even worse, straight to the spam folder.
So always ensure you’re using a mobile-optimized template and keep your content as fresh as possible.
The latter means changing up your email offerings so they don’t become stale and predictable. Send a newsletter with helpful information one week, followed by a product promotion the next. You need to keep your subscribers engaged and intrigued with every email you sent.
Other great ways to do this are to include GIFs and videos in your emails as these are far more enticing than static images and text.
4. Bring in plenty of automation
All of this sounds incredibly time-consuming, doesn’t it? Don’t worry. It doesn’t have to be intimidating or time-consuming, not even if your marketing team is only one person.
You can easily maximize your efforts by incorporating automation within the email campaigns you create and you don’t need to forgo personalization to do this, either.
A lot of email marketing platforms allow you to automate emails so they’re delivered to your customers at the right time, either by pre-determining a date or time or by establishing an action that, when performed by your customers, will automatically trigger an email send.
One study highlights how click-through rates are 152% higher and open rates are 70.5% higher for automated emails, compared to standard marketing messages.
Welcome emails, for example, engage your subscribers from the get-go. They allow you to showcase what recipients can expect from your emails, how to connect with you (e.g. via social media), and let you provide new subscribers with a discount as an incentive to sign up. You can even use the opportunity to let your subscribers update their email preferences which is great for segmentation.
Image Source: Pinterest
Automated emails can also work to re-engage inactive recipients, offer special discounts for birthdays, and provide content that’s relevant according to your subscriber’s behavior.
5. Discover your strengths and weaknesses through A/B testing
A/B testing involves sending two emails to two subsets of active subscribers in order to see which email performs best. A/B testing allows you to make subtle changes between your emails to see which delivers the best results, without running the risk of an entire email flopping.
For example, you might take a group of 100 recipients to test the email on to start with. That way, if your new strategy doesn’t work, it won’t have had a detrimental impact on your click-through rates and overall revenue.
One of the most obvious places to start with A/B testing is your subject line because it’s the first thing your customer sees. And even the most amazing email won’t mean anything if you can’t get customers to open the email in the first place.
So use A/B testing to see which subject lines resonate best with your customers, then roll out the email with the highest-performing subject line to the rest of your subscribers.
And don’t just stop there.
You can also use these tests for almost any aspect of your email, from the images and copy you use to the call-to-action you include. Just remember to tweak small things one at a time so it’s clear what is and isn’t working.
By testing and using data, you’re taking steps toward understanding your audience. Every email you send becomes a fantastic opportunity to get to know your customer, helping you maximize your results quickly.
As technology changes and strategies evolve, being one step ahead will ensure you continue to drive your business forward.
Implementing these key steps within your campaigns for 2019 will allow you to create emails that resonate well with your customers. You’ll be able to provide them with a one-of-a-kind experience that skyrockets your email marketing results.