According to Wikipedia, “Email Marketing is directly marketing a commercial message to a group of people using email.” Here at Sauté, we see email marketing as an awesome tool to keep you top of mind with your users, customers, clients and fans. Many companies have established a large list and send out regular email campaigns to alert for new products, services, blog posts or deals. Some companies are wildly successful with this tool, while others are not; so what’s the secret to their success? I’m going to walk you through the 3 essential steps that you must take to create more successful email marketing campaign.
Step One: Build Your Email List
You have your current clients, friends and even your family on your list. But now it’s time start building your list to expand your reach. This prospect can be overwhelming but just like every other problem, it’s not so crazy if you just break it up into bite sized pieces.
Create Quality Content.
First step in building your email list is to create quality content. Give your site’s visitors a reason to sign up for more. Write blogs about what your company does best, give away checklists, tools and educational materials. Offer visitors a way to know about the latest and greatest that your company has to offer.
[icon color=”Accent-Color” size=”tiny” image=”icon-star”] Tip: Keep it real, your clients will know when you’re being fake.
Optimize Your Opt-In Page.
Second step: refresh the way your opt-in pages are functioning. Is there anything you can do to make the process smoother, more engaging or effective? Can they easily sign up for your email list? Is the page visually organized and compelling? Take a step back and assess what things you could streamline to make these pages work harder for you.
Have a Great Welcome Email.
When you have a guest to your office, you want to make sure that they feel welcomed, appreciated and comfortable. Think of your welcome email as a digital opportunity to make sure that their experience with your company is off to a great start.
[icon color=”Accent-Color” size=”tiny” image=”icon-star”] Tip: Keep it short, friendly and welcoming. Don’t forget to offer them another reason to come back – think of your last blog post offering a printable download.
Create Opportunities for Signup.
I guarantee that you won’t get any new signups if you don’t give your clients the opportunity. So it makes sense that if you offer some well-placed and thought out incentives to signup, you’ll increase the likelihood of building that list. Have a trusted advisor take a look at your site, and think about it from the users’ standpoint. Is it easy to sign up to get on your blog-to-email list if they’re checking out your latest blog post?
[icon color=”Accent-Color” size=”tiny” image=”icon-star”] Tip: Think about what compels you to sign up for an account or email list… Is it convenience, an offer, an educational opportunity, etc? Chances are, if it worked on you it’ll be effective on someone else.
Create a preference center.
This page allows your client to unsubscribe from your email list. Our recommendation is to offer your client an opportunity to choose which emails they’re interested in, and determine the frequency in which they receive them. Maybe two times a month would work better for them, or they’re not interested in your blog-to-email series, well maybe they can’t live without your freebie rundown every month.
[icon color=”Accent-Color” size=”tiny” image=”icon-star”] Tip: If they do decide to unsubscribe completely, find out why. This information will help you adjust your practices to maintain your current subscribers.
Regularly Reactivate Subscribers.
What do you do when you have inactive names on your list and you want to get the relationship working again? Send out a campaign to engage with them, give them a reason to come back to shop, let them know about a new offering and ask if they’re still interested. This will help you create more engagement, but also refine your list to be at its most effective.
Step Two: Customer Segmentation
This is another one of those words that is often thrown around in the marketing world. Segmentation… I think of it as a cousin of organization. Everyone can think more clearly when things are neat and tidy right? (Okay, I’ll only speak for myself, but I can’t think until my desk is clean.)
With segmentation, you’re able to create effective emails for a specific group of people with common demographics, interests and habits. Consider Starbucks. One reason they’re so popular is that you can customize your drinks into the best combination of coffee, milk, foam and flavoring… heck even temperature! So get personal and organized with your email lists.
Be motivated by what they want.
Just because you want people to buy X service doesn’t mean that’s what you should be pushing on them. Take a step back. Think about their needs and interests and craft content and a campaign that will speak to their priorities. You provide solutions, make sure you’re giving them an opportunity to solve their particular problem.
Be Targeted & Build Smart Lists.
Get specific, dive into the details. Think about their location, what time they’re likely to get your email in their inbox. Note their buying habits, the emails that they’ve engaged with in the past, the needs they’ve told you about, and organize your lists into groups based on those factors. If you’re listening to their preferences then I promise you’ll improve your engagement.
[icon color=”Accent-Color” size=”tiny” image=”icon-star”] Tip: Make sure you create an opportunity to gain this insight. Contemplate a New Client Questionnaire.
Step Three: Test for the Best
So now that you’ve built your list and segmented them, now it’s time to test for the best. No, no I don’t mean that you should have a star pupil picked out… I mean test why, how and when your emails are working or not working.
Test one variable at a time.
It’s impossible to know exactly what’s working better about X email then Y email if there are too many variables. Try two emails with just one thing different, say the background color of the header image or the subject line wording to better understand what’s more effective.
[icon color=”Accent-Color” size=”tiny” image=”icon-star”]Tip: Control the sample size. Don’t go too large or too small, control the test group to make sure that your results are accurate.
Test the content.
Test for length, tone, and wording. For some groups, a long email describing your upcoming conference might just sell them, but for others a short and concise email might do the trick. Same idea goes for the tone. For certain groups, a more formal tone would work better than a casual approach.
[icon color=”Accent-Color” size=”tiny” image=”icon-star”]Tip: Don’t forget the subject line! Just a simple word change could make all the difference.
The Call to Action.
That is the meat of why you’ve sent the email, the action you’re encouraging the recipient to take. For some groups a simple button would be more effective than a paragraph with a link. Test your segments and see what’s working.
Test and Iterate.
Now that you’re in the habit of testing, targeting and segmenting don’t fall out of it! Continually improve on your emails, taking note of what’s working and what’s not so your research and testing doesn’t go to waste.
There you have it.
My three steps to take to have your most successful email marketing campaign yet. Build your lists, get them organized and test for the best results. And lastly, while you’re putting your email lists to work for you, don’t forget be real with your clients, put a face to a name and take the time to care about their preferences and needs. Remember, your deliverability is improved by your reputation and relationships.