Only send email if you have something to say. This one seems obvious, but too many companies start email newsletters with no plan and nothing to say. Email is simply a way to publish content—the content itself has to come first. Before starting a newsletter, make sure it's a sustainable commitment that will help you achieve your business goals. Otherwise, you'll be wasting your subscribers' time and your own time. Ask yourself: What's the goal for this kind of communication? What do we have to say? How will we measure success? Send thoughtful newsletters, and keep the focus on your company's message.
When you're using email as a marketing tool, you're working on a pretty personal basis. This isn't ‘drive-by' stuff -you're directly targeting customers from their inboxes. There's a huge amount of potential which comes with this kind of marketing... but you'll only reap that potential if you REALLY understand both the marketplace you're operating from, and the audience you're talking to.
This rule might sound like bad news for your email marketing campaign, but it can actually improve your open and clickthrough rates. Limiting your subscriber list to just those who specifically asked to join you will ensure only the most interested people are receiving your messages. This maximizes the chances that you'll convert readers to qualified leads as a result of an email send.
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.
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You can add a little post-script to the end of your email copy, such as "Not responsible for your company's social media? Feel free to forward this ebook to a friend or colleague using social media marketing." Link the call-to-action to a pre-made email, complete with subject and body text. That way, all someone has to do is enter their associates' email addresses and hit "Send."
Retention/Loyalty and Growth: At this stage, the customer purchased a product, used it, and keeps coming back. As the customer gets to know the product, your email marketing campaigns should focus on ways to maximize the value of the product, find new ways to use it, and potentially add on other related products or services. Customer loyalty is a key part of company success, but growth goes hand-in-hand; your email marketing should support a strong cross-selling and upselling strategy. When you identify complementary products for customers, you continue to provide increased value. These full-funnel campaign emails can have a slightly stronger sales lead than in first-time engagement, but keep it gentle if you’re trying to sell a product that’s new to the customer. Also, keep in mind that customer loyalty isn’t as strong in B2B as it is in B2C, so continue to remind customers of how your products or services save them time, money, and resources.
Bloggers are the most obvious example of focusing on this email marketing strategy almost exclusively. SaaS (Software as a Service) businesses are another group that typically heavily emphasize content emails. Of course, bloggers, SaaS businesses, and everyone else can send content emails while also using the other email marketing strategies. And you should do it, too.
Solo ads are considered the best affordable traffic source. Just like PPC, you pay for each click, but these ads are not endorsed on a website. The solo ads are sent as emails to promote your products, services, and other things you are selling. Solo ads might seem like PPC ads, but these are quite different advertisements chosen because they are super targeted with a highly-responsive list of buyers.
The success of daily deal email illustrates this. Customers gain value from a ‘daily deal' email and will come to anticipate the email in their inbox every morning. Tagging links in ‘daily deal’ emails will tell you a lot about the journeys within a given customer profile, as well as about preferences and behaviours. The ultimate sell is not important – what you are doing with ‘daily deal' (or ‘weekly tips') email content is building a relationship with your customers and learning more about how journeys within your brand work. All this information is important and can be put to use on later campaigns.
Interests: This is a big one, and Amazon is a prime example of the impact it can have. Recommendations are made based on purchase history, which offers a more personalized message that is more likely to drive engagement and, ultimately, a purchase. What are the bottom-line interests in B2B marketing? How your product or service saves time, money, and resources.
But if people don’t believe those reasons, they don’t buy either. As long as you seem like a friend who’s trying to help them, people are likely to believe that you’re sincere and that buying from you is a good decision. That’s one of the main reasons email marketing can work so well; it’s relatively easy to come off as a friend. Especially the other two email marketing strategies are good for making people see your good intentions. That said, if your offers don’t make people think you’re genuinely trying to help them, something is wrong.
Social media may be the young whippersnapper nipping at email’s heels, but the content king of the inbox still holds sway in social influence, according to a study by SocialTwist. Over an 18-month period, SocialTwist monitored 119 referral campaigns from leading brands and companies. The results showed a significant advantage to email’s ability to convert new customers compared to Facebook and Twitter.
Now, work out the kinds of email communications which are appropriate and manageable for your brand. Newsletters? Generalised product promotions? Targeted product promotions? Order confirmation emails? Product reminders? All or a combination of the above? Work out what’s appropriate for you, and work out what’s appropriate for your personified customers, at each stage of their journey.
Surprise: Customer loyalty is the key to success. And you can reward your loyal customers by giving them something for free every now and then. Create a “surprise” email that sends an automated email to your best customers that offers a free yearly license to your software for them to use, a gift card or even a coupon code to redeem a box of cupcakes. It’s a small cost for your business but, the reward is huge!
Purchased lists are ineffective, and they impact everyone else who uses Mailchimp, too. If you send emails to a list of people whose contact info you bought, many of the emails will get identified as spam. Some spam filters will flag a campaign if anyone with the same IP has sent spam in the past. When you use Mailchimp, your email is delivered through our servers, so if one person sends spam, it could prevent other users’ emails from reaching inboxes. But by forbidding Mailchimp users from using purchased lists, we increase deliverability for everyone.
The ideal type of opinion (unrelated to your expertise) is one that doesn’t offend anyone, but makes some people relate to you more. For example, I’m a vegetarian. I used to protest whenever there wasn’t a big piece of meat on my plate. But when I tried eating just veggies for a couple of months, I realized I felt a lot more energetic. Sure, it’s more ecological. And often animals are treated cruelly. But those aren’t the things I emphasize if someone asks why I’m a vegetarian. No one in their right mind has a strong negative reaction to someone eating food that makes them feel energetic, right? But for some vegetarians it’s a very meaningful choice, so it might have a positive impact on those people. That said, I highly doubt that my choice of diet have any direct impact on my sales.
An email marketing strategy is part of your overall marketing strategy and business plan. It helps you market your products and services with the use of the email channel with the best chances for making a profit and reaching your goals. That is because an effective email marketing strategy takes into consideration what your target customers are, their preferences and benefits they are looking for as well as your products services and industry and which email marketing messages are most effective.