Realizing your business goals requires the use of proven marketing methods. The email marketing strategies we discuss in this guide have helped millions reach the pinnacle of their business.
In this chapter, we will look at the technical and functional email marketing strategies to get a high return on your email marketing investment.
Technical email marketing strategies are more about how to use your email list and less about how to design and write content in the emails. They include steps to help you make the most of your email list.
Many startups fall into the trap of buying someone else’s existing email list to save time. As naive as that approach is, it is also an incredibly quick way to land your sender email address into the junk folder. It affects your email sender reputation in the long run. It could make all your other email marketing strategies useless.
There are many perfectly legal ways to grow your email list. You must spend time and resources in setting up email capture forms on your page. You should also set up a second level confirmation email to let subscribers confirm their opt-in. This way, the customer remembers signing up for your email. Such a user is more likely to positively receive your email without considering it as spam.
Secondly, you must ensure your email reaches the right audience and that you don't have dead or inactive leads in your email list.
Quarterly de-activation campaigns are used to ensure that your emails only go to interested users. If someone is not interested in your emails, they can unsubscribe during one of these campaigns. Because the email will not be delivered to uninterested people, the conversion rate won’t be affected by such dormant users in your email.
An email preferences center will also help you in keeping your email list healthy. It gives your subscribers a way to self-tune their email preferences. They can directly make changes to your email list. This ultimately helps you in better segmentation and more effective personalization.
No one would want a stranger’s email in their inbox. You should not try to collect your website visitors’ emails without offering them something in return.
The easiest way is to offer your website visitors something for free in exchange of their email address. It could be an ebook on a hot topic, a detailed report, or any low-cost product. The idea is to offer something that genuinely adds value to your prospects’ lives and which they might not get elsewhere.
It is important to take care of the nitty-gritty, the small things when it comes to sending mass emails. Everything should be perfect.
There can be many such checklists online; just pass your email through them. These checklists are based on best practices and are highly valuable.
The implementation of these checklists should be intense and comprehensive. It may even need small modifications even after the email is finalized by the marketing department. If there are major loopholes, it can take more time to implement the checklist fully.
Therefore, it is important that a decent amount of re-work duration must be allocated as part of your marketing calendar.
As time passes, your email list will also grow. It is natural for some to lose interest in receiving your emails. It could be something that is in your control, or maybe they are just not as involved in your niche as they were before. Sometimes, the goal they had before subscribing to your email can be fulfilled without buying your product, so they may choose to opt out.
Such users tend to stop engaging your emails shortly after they lose their interest. If you keep a constant watch on their engagement metrics, you can segment them as a mini-list and then run an “Unsubscribe” campaign.
This is a special type of email campaign that asks the receivers if they want to keep receiving your emails. If they want to, they are prompted to take some action (click to obtain a new report or receive a special discount) to demonstrate their interest. If not, they’re automatically unsubscribed from your email list.
This helps keep your email list clean and your engagement stats in a healthy range.
IP Address is a unique numerical address given to each computer. When your email service provider sends email in bulk to your list, it attaches the sender's IP information. The users’ ISP will read this IP and monitor the sending patterns and give it a reputation.
In your email campaigns, you may send:
Typically, marketing emails acquire a lower reputation due to a high frequency and peculiar sending patterns. If you send all emails from the same IP address, even the more important ones (transactional and content emails) may be perceived as marketing emails. This is because, to an ISP, they are all coming from the same source.
For this reason, explore the option of multiple IP addresses with your email marketing service provider. This may cost you a little but it will be worth it.
Functional strategies are the techniques you would use on an operational basis. They are your everyday decisions about email campaigns.
Some brands do it daily, some do it a few times per week. Some have a frequency of as low as one email per month.
There are two different approaches every digital marketer should consider. One is a static one – it presets the frequency based on proven strategies. The second one is a more dynamic approach; it applies a process of discovery to understand the suitable email frequency for every type of business.
When the customer signs up for your email list, that is the point when the probability of a sale event is the highest. As the customer is new, he is excited to know, explore, and learn more. After a while, this enthusiasm starts to wane. Customers start understanding your offering and figure out your overall approach after consuming your content a few times.
Jeremy Reeves , a seasoned sales funnel specialist, termed it as the “hot potato” approach. Here, a new subscriber is a “hot potato”, i.e., an excited lead. As the time goes on, their liking for your brand goes down. This is the “cooling phase”.
To take advantage of this “hot potato” situation, Jeremy suggests an order of email frequency as follows:
Of course, this can be customized for your own business through A/B tests. This is not an ideal course of action; it is just a way to get started if you are in any non-seasonal industry where the competition is high. This is also a suggested approach to try out if you have many products / services to sell.
For seasonal businesses (based on Christmas or other holidays), the durations mentioned above have to be shorter. Instead of 6 months, the entire cycle may be squeezed into one season.
Consequently, you may also reverse this model. This means your send emails more frequently towards the end of the season to take advantage of the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO).
We have talked about email marketing throughout this guide as a “conversation”. Advancing the same train of thought, you cannot have an effective sales conversation with a person you don’t know. So, knowing your audience beyond the basic demographics is imperative.
A comprehensive customer persona is the backbone of every successful marketing strategy. Inputs from this persona form the base of personalization decisions that will be used in your emails.
The deeper you know your audience, the better you will be able to personalize your emails. The more personal your email gets, the higher are its chances of persuading the lead to buy something.
Users identify brands visually through a single, uniform color scheme. It creates trust and promotes credibility.
A brand’s visual identity dictates how all of its digital assets (website, emails, ebooks, and others) look. Consistency is the key to good design. Before designing emails, you must work on your brand’s overall visual identity, if you don’t have one.
If you have a specific visual identity for your brand, but the colors change just for email, it is bad design. Users may get skeptical looking at the colors as it ends up looking different from your brand. It becomes hard to trust.
Once you have your visual identity ready, your email design becomes a simpler process. You can hire a designer to design the emails based on your brand identity, or you can customize an free or paid template.
How well users engage with your emails is directly related to the effectiveness of your emails. Most email marketing platforms help measure basic engagement stats like open rates and click-through rates (CTRs). If these numbers are high, it means users are finding your email relevant.
Your campaign goal should be to keep these numbers high consistently. If you notice these stats dropping, it means your subscribers may be losing interesting in your brand. Consequently, they may take more interest in a competitor’s brand.
In such cases, a new re-engagement campaign can do the trick. You can re-use existing content and push it in a new email campaign, or you may create fresh content.
You would be sending them different types of emails at varied frequencies. However, consuming the same content repeatedly over time may make consumers immune to the brand and the information flow. This pattern is similar to any addiction - the need for it grows over time, and the same level of intensity doesn't excite you for long.
You don't want your consumers to get addicted because then they may want to get de-addicted too. This requires smart, careful planning for the email campaign.
Another important step towards helping consumers deal with email fatigue is an email preferences page. You must provide them with a central panel where they can control the frequency of each category of emails you send.
Building an email database is only the beginning of your marketing. You must then segment your contacts, create relevant content for each group or 'bucket' of leads, send regular emails with automation, and analyse response to keep altering your strategy. If you want to learn more about email marketing or inbound marketing, take a look around EngageBay website and you'll find a lot of valuable resources.