Let’s have a quick talk about email marketing.
Why use email marketing
Have you ever wondered why so many websites ask you for your email? A lot of them are even willing to give you eBooks, access to videos, special content or a free give away. In the internet marketing world, these are call lead magnets. In the sales world, they may be referred to as lost leaders. Why don’t they just go straight to the sales pitch?
Here is why. Firstly the possibility of a person purchasing your product or service increases every-time you engage with them. This is particularly true when they visit your website where the chance of purchasing is almost doubled on their second visit. Secondly, brand awareness improves the chances of people purchasing. So if you go straight to the sales page and only give yourself one chance to sell to them, your percentage chance of closing the deal is much lower. Add to this the fact that engagement with email is almost double that of any other form of internet marketing and you can see why. You get the opportunity to significantly improve your chance to get a sale.
So when we look at this it is no wonder emails are requested so often. They will give you the opportunity to continually get in front of potential customers, drive brand recognition, direct them to your website offers and greatly improve your chances of a sale. Without a doubt, email marketing is the best form of internet marketing.
Don’t do this with email marketing
This does not mean we can just grab addresses and start firing off emails to people, because if you get it wrong you can easily do damage to your brand and turn customers away. You got them to sign up with some key messaging or an offer. There was something that they liked, so you need to consider how you can continue this in your emails. You need to pay some attention to different elements of your email message to make sure you get that next engagement.
How to get the best results in email marketing
From a survey of marketing organisations, they were asked what elements of the email message you should focus on the most to get the best results.
No surprise that the first four elements are very similar to creating landing pages for websites and where you probably need to continue your theme or message that encouraged them to sign up in the first place.
Firstly you need to focus on your email title which is the first message that your customer will see. If you get that wrong your email exists to the deleted folder. People receive lots of emails every day so you have to have a compelling title that says “Open me I have something you are interested in.”
Once they make that click your message needs to hit them with enough visual appeal that they want to read on. Think about your original offer. What were the headings, visual elements, colours? If you are taking your customer to an upsell or cross-sell or sales funnel, how are you building on that messaging and value?
Call To Action
Now you have given them enough of the why it is time to get them the how. It is time for your “Call To Action” message to grab them and compel them to act. You may send them to a product or services page where they can buy, or on to the next stage in the sales funnel, which is why number seven on the list is your landing page.
When to Send
But before we get to the landing page there are a couple of things you need to consider. Firstly when to send the email. It does have a significant impact on the engagement levels. Consider that most people have to get through a pile of emails each day and the priority emails for most are going to those that relate to job and family matters, then maybe yours. So late morning may be best for your email as they have cleared the morning backlog. If your product or service is for personal use it may be while they are relaxing in the evening after dinner. You will need to experiment with this based on what you are offering and the time commitment you need. You will need to consider the day of the week and the time of the day.
Next is the personalisation of the email. Who wants to receive an email that is obviously a standard email to everyone. When you receive an email that has your name it encourages you to read further. If the email has reference to product or services that you were looking at, then even better. I always remember being impressed when I got an email promoting products to me, that just last week I had been browsing on their website. Some email automation systems can connect to your online store and generate these emails for you, still clever.
Then the landing page. This is where your email sends them when they click on your call to action button or link. When they click on your call to action don’t send them to the front page of your website, where they then have to search for your product or service. We are lazy, that’s too hard. You have managed to get the customer to open your email, read your message and click on a link, phew. They obviously liked what they saw, so don’t lose the momentum you have created. Make sure your landing page continues the message by using the similar words, imagery, product and calls to action. Close the deal, purchase now, make that commitment to the next stage, buy into the facts or the emotion. This is where you wanted them to go, so make it worth the effort, don’t lose them now.
Target Audience, From Line and Mobile Layout
Last but not least are these three target audience, from line and mobile layout. I will only touch on these.
- If your message does not speak to the audience you will lose them. Age appropriate images, messages, fonts, language and journey. X vs Y generation. If you have a complex product you may need to take your customer through a process of adding value and benefits. Some people like facts, others buy based on emotion, some respond to a strong call to action while other respond to the vision. Maybe you need all of these so no one gets left behind.
- From line is who it says the message is from in the email system. If it is obviously from an automated generator, does not look like a valid email address or not from a company they recognise. This is a warning message to a lot of people and their natural instinct is to delete. They see your email as a threat. Is it spam, does it contain a virus, I don’t know who that is, junk mail, gone.
- Finally, mobile layout. With the increase in mobile phone use, your email and landing pages are going to be opened by people using phones. If the user experience is not good you can lose them. With responsive web technologies, there is no reason for your email and landing pages to look bad on a phone. Pages can auto resize to fit the device they are being viewed on and still create a great user experience.
Test and Measure
Now for something that is not on the graph. Test and Measure
Create a range of alternative emails, experimenting with your messages, images, calls to action, colours, layout, fonts, buttons and more. See which ones create the best engagement with your customers. This is sometimes referred to as A/B testing, where you put out two versions of an email and see which one performs better. Some businesses will experiment by changing one element at a time and measuring the effect this has. You may be amazed how a little change can make a big difference.
There are several ways to measure the effectiveness of emails. If you are using a centralise analytics tool to measure your campaigns you could add analytic to the links and buttons. But the best way is to use one of the many email automation tools available which will give you an extensive range of data about how people engaged with your email. They can tell you who deleted it, who opened it, who clicked on it and more. Some also offer tools to create an email with a range of templates to get you started. There are some good templates that generate high engagement, so you don’t have to experiment as much. They also provide customers with the opportunity to unsubscribe, otherwise, you could be blacklisted for spamming.