Marketing efforts via e-mail have a mixed reputation, mixed reviews, and mixed function. There are many different reasons why, and ways to deploy e-mail marketing efforts. You can use automated e-mails to seek reviews and feedback; create campaigns that promote an upcoming sale, exclusive offer; anything.
No matter the goal you are trying to achieve, e-mail is likely a viable medium. The analytics (looking at you, open rates) can be quite disheartening, but there are ways to optimize and benefit from even the smallest margins. Below, we’ll explore a simple way to begin e-mail efforts, today!
First on Your List: Make Your List
The foundation to any and every successful e-mail marketing campaign is its curated audience. One of the easiest ‘rates’ to manage, is your unsubscribe count. If you want it to be high, buy contact lists from shady providers. If you want it to be low, take the time to develop your lists yourself. A willingly receptive audience is way less likely to unsubscribe than a randomly purchased one.
You can develop a list of e-mails by offering literature, discounts, and other free reward-type incentives for knowingly subscribing to your e-mail list. This might not be something you can do overnight, but it is worth spending the time to get it right.
Have a Plan
Use your well-developed list for good, not for evil. Don’t betray the integrity of your list by selling it, they might not find out but the e-mail gods will ensure your karma is served.
In addition to not betraying your loyally subscribed audience by disseminating their information, don’t betray the value of their inbox. Setting a clear, consistent schedule for your e-mail efforts ensures that you and your audience can keep up with it.
One well crafted e-mail a week is better than three the first, eight the next, and zero the following. Taking the time and effort to provide useful, interesting information will get your audience to look forward to receiving your email. They might even suggest their friends subscribe as well.
You might have a million ideas right off the bat, but spacing them out allows you to work and plan weeks, even months in advance. And, although marketing should never be a passive endeavor—it can kind of become one when you work in this way.
Scheduling can help inform, or provide context to, your content. Perhaps your brand would find it relevant to send out Tuesday Tax Tips, or Monday Motivations. Perhaps you’re not a fan of alliteration, or choose something higher level. In this case, your one or two emails a week may alternate days. While the effort is to stay top-of-mind, be careful not to bombard. Leave time in between for consideration and a little mulling over.
Include CALLS to Action
A weekly e-mail is a great way to serve several calls-to-action that align with, or supplement, the week’s promotional efforts and goals, all in one place. Your e-mail marketing efforts cannot exist exclusively in the e-mail landscape. Otherwise, there’s very little room for return on investment.
If you publish a blog(s), link to them with unique descriptions in the e-mail update. Embed the YouTube video(s) you uploaded. Share a bio about one of the members from your sales team, that links to making an appointment with them. Give your audience reasons to open and read, but also to go somewhere from (or refer back to).
Welcome & Consider Feedback
Your audience allows you to send them e-mails, why shouldn’t you let them send some to you? Try not to send e-mail’s from DONOTREPLY addresses, and if you have to: provide a form, or address to send comments and suggestions to.
Then, take this feedback into consideration. They’re likely expressing feelings that are held by more members of the audience.
Update & Adapt
As with all marketing efforts, consistency is a balance. It’s necessary, but too much creates a sense of boredom or annoyance. Keep your formats, content, and copy as fresh as you can. Relevant to the times, your consumer, and your brand.
Use the feedback you receive from e-mail marketing efforts to inform updates to aspects of your business beyond those efforts. Use your social listening skills, and all analytics you have available to you to ensure that your e-mail content, and content across the board is useful, entertaining, and at least visually pleasant.
What are some ways you’ve seen e-mail efforts completely butchered? How could your brand benefit from an e-mail marketing strategy? Let’s crowdsource some ways to capitalize on your unique opportunities, in the comments below!