If you’re anything like me you’ve unintentionally subscribed to a multitude of e-mail lists. On a regular basis I have found myself clearing away my mailbox filled with e-mail promotions promoting special discounts and deals. I hardly ever have a look at them and even when I do I rarely act. So why utilize e-mail promotions? Mainly because it works. Yes, it may look like like nobody pays attention but the average click through rate for email promotions is 3-5%. For every $1 invested in e mail marketing the average return is $44.25. That’s a 4,300% return on your investment.
It’s also low cost. There’s no postage needed. Just build a marketing campaign and hit send. E-mail has another objective too. Company awareness. Many times people go with a particular brand not simply because they believe it is superior but merely because they can recall the name. Remember, the objective of advertising is not necessarily about generating a sale right that minute. It’s about burning your brand into a buyers memory so you are the first person they think of when they’re prepared to purchase . Even if your e-mail goes directly to the trash you still reminded them of your existence. And from time to time you’ll send along a promotion at just the right moment when they needed your service.
Building your mailing list
Deciding to implement an email marketing strategy is excellent but how do you build up an email list? Your website is a great place to start. Make sure you have signup forms conveniently placed on your website. Consumers visiting your site can opt in for notifications or be alerted of offers. As you obtain new customers be sure to collect their information when they make a purchase. If you include ecommerce on your site make certain to include email signups at checkout. Most businesses have a contact form for inquiries about a service or product. Once again it’s a great opportunity to collect email addresses. Do you offer a downloadable report or white paper to customers? Require an email address in order to access it. You might also promote a contest or host live webinars which would require an e-mail sign-up. Industry exhibits and expos may also be fantastic chances to collect consumer information.
E-mail marketing isn’t only about pushing a promotion. It’s also about staying engaged with your customers. All that amazing content you’re developing is great material for a newsletter. Provide valuable information to your list and bring them to your site to see new articles. Update people about what is happening with your business. Are you taking part in charity work? Have you hired a new employee? Are you throwing a major event you’d like people to attend? Email is an excellent way to announce all of the interesting things you’re doing.
Data driven email marketing
We live in a data driven community and information is a thousand times simpler to collect than it was in the past. We now have insight into our customers along with their habits. You can collect information about age, gender, past purchase behavior, geographical location, etc. All of this information allows you to segment your email lists and cater messages to a specific audience.
Just take a look at how Amazon uses data to suggest music, books, or products according to what the shopper has purchased in the past. Yes, it can be slightly creepy how much they know about you but it also makes things simplier and easier for me as a buyer.
Take a photographer for instance. Let’s say they focus on newborn and family photography. One of their desired goals is to produce repeat business so they attempt to collect relevant data from their mommy clients with newborns. They take note of birthdays, how many kids are in the family, and possibly wedding anniversaries.
This information enables the photographer to build offers targeted at particular clients. They may send out special deals for 3 month, 6 month and 1st birthday photo sessions. Even years later they may be able to solicit for senior pictures when graduation rolls around. As the photographer discovers more about the spending habits of their customers they may send special promotions to preferred customers.
If you acquire birthdays you’ll be able to send out birthday greetings that let your clients know you are thinking about them. Data is one of the most useful tools companies have available however it’s only as useful as the insight you derive from it and the actions you take with it.
It may be easy to deliver an email but it is considerably more difficult to optimize your efforts. If you’re a novice to email marketing you will need some time to test and assess the effectiveness of certain campaigns. Some points to consider are:
What time of day do you deliver emails? What day of the week do you send out emails? How often do you send out campaigns? Which campaign messages perform better? What subject lines perform better? Where is the positioning of pictures and text? What fonts do you use?
A few of these things might seem unimportant but all of it makes a difference. Several studies have been done about eye tracking and how it relates to marketing. Imagine you design an email marketing campaign with an image of somebody looking or pointing off to the right. Whenever someone views that email their view may be naturally drawn in the direction of the individual in the image. Are their eyes being drawn to the specific material you want them to see?
It’s advisable to test different versions of a promotion to see which versions are more effective. Break your list up into thirds and find out if various designs perform differently. If you’ve got consumers in several timezones send an offer out in waves so it coordinates with their schedule.
Like anything else there are numerous different email marketing tools to choose from. I prefer Mailchimp. Right now it’s the top application on the market and is effortlessly incorporated into almost all website builders.