Companies are constantly looking for new ways to spread their message, develop leads and engage customers; but one method—email marketing—seems to remain on top of the list and for good reason.
A survey from Ascend2 and its Research Partners reported that U.S. and global marketers rated email marketing the most effective digital marketing effort.
While marketers find it to be the most effective, they also reported that it was the most difficult to execute. The most challenging aspect for companies was being able to develop an effective strategy. So how do you develop an effective email marketing campaign?
Step 1- Find a good email platform
There are many email platforms, some paid and some free. Some come with email lists, some without. Take the time to research the different types of platforms that make sense for your organization. Assess how many emails you want to be sending out a month and to how many people. This will help you determine the level you want to participate in. Check out this informative article about some of the top email marketing platforms.
Step 2- Build out your contact list
Your email campaign will only go as far as you target the right people. It is important to be cognizant of who you are sending your information to, spamming people’s inboxes will only cause them to unsubscribe from your list. One great way to develop your list is by collecting business cards at events and then adding those people to your database. Another way is to purchase lists. Be mindful of tailoring these for your business as some large data lists result in hard bounces, and may not be the best tool to utilize. Always make sure it is easy to sign-up on your website, and other communication materials!
Another recommendation is to segment your list. As with any communication, the more targeted and specific your audiences are, the more you can tailor your message for higher readability.
Step 3- Craft your message
The first thing people are going to see in their inbox is your subject line. Make sure it is relevant, engaging and encourages the reader to click and open the actual email. Once you’ve completed this part, your actual email should be broken down with relevant information and a good use of visuals. Insert hyperlinks where necessary, any graphics and other design elements that will encourage your reader to continue reading. According to Experian the three ways to revamp your message is through more interesting content, more engaging designs and better social media tie-ins. A simple test is to ask yourself “would I read this if it came to my inbox today?”
Step 4- Analysis
The more data you collect from your emails, the more targeted and successful you will be. Are you tracking the time of day you are sending the emails, and which times have the highest open rate? How about which days have the highest open rates? Are people clicking on your links within the email? Are people opening your email more than once? This is all information you want to look at and track to tweak your next email to be as successful as possible. These type of tools are available from email platforms, so again remember to do your homework to find what works for you and your business.
Before you begin, note some successful email marketing campaigns highlighted by hubspot to help get the creative juices flowing!
Additional email marketing tips: