Sales reps and marketers alike have been after the free and coveted "word of mouth" advertising for decades. Nothing is quite as convincing to potential customers as hearing their friends, family, and neighbors recommend a product or service without an incentive attached.
In many ways, email marketing is the new word of mouth in this digital world! People read an email from a company, forward it onto their friends, and have that company on the top of their minds every time they see the email again on their phones. This makes it even more likely they'll mention that company in conversation.
Email marketing is important because it reaches prospects and customers where they are spending a majority of their time: online and on their mobile devices. With so many reasons why email marketing is important, every business owner needs to learn more about it.
Here's an in-depth look at the importance of email marketing and how to use it to engage customers.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a digital marketing tool that allows businesses to communicate directly with potential and current customers. It simply involves building a strategic approach to emailing current and potential customers about you and your product, service, or business. It is an effective way to build relationships with customers, promote new products and services, and drive sales.
Email marketing can also be used to deliver content that is relevant and interesting to customers. In addition, email marketing is a cost-effective way to reach a large audience. It is also one of the most direct ways to connect with customers.
Finally, email marketing allows businesses to track results and ROI (return on investment), which is essential for any small business with a tighter budget. Email marketing should be a key component of any business's sales and marketing strategy.
Email Marketing Goals
The goal of email marketing is to build relationships with customers and prospects by providing valuable information and offers that are relevant to their needs and interests. Specific email campaigns can have specific goals. Common email campaign goals include:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Generating leads
- Nurturing prospects
- Converting leads into customers
- Retaining customers
Email marketing should be a part of an overall marketing strategy that includes other channels such as social media, pay-per-click advertising, and more.
Why Email Marketing is Important
The best way to build a relationship with your customers and prospects is by providing relevant information they can use and making it easy for them to do business with you. Email marketing makes both of these things possible.
Email marketing allows businesses of all sizes to reach people where they're at by sending messages straight to their inboxes on a regular basis. This reliable cadence of communication builds trust. This trust makes it easier to appeal to current or potential customers on a personal and emotional level, instead of just a practical one.
Email marketing is also an efficient way to stay top of mind with your audience. By sending regular emails, you can keep your business in the front of their minds, which can lead to more sales and customers over time.
How Does Email Marketing Work?
Email marketing works by sending emails to customers and prospects that contain valuable information and offers.
However, before you start emailing people, it's important to decide what your goals are. Do you want to increase brand awareness? Drive traffic to your website? Make a sale? Once you've decided on your goals, you can start outlining a schedule. How often do you want to send emails? What days and times will work best for your audience?
Once you have a schedule, it's time to start writing your emails. Make sure each email is clear, concise, and includes a call-to-action that aligns with your company's goals for the campaign. Then, send your emails out at the times you've scheduled. By following these steps, you can create an email marketing campaign that will help you bring in the sales or build the brand awareness you want.
Why Email Marketing is More Important Than Ever
Even "word of mouth" is now online in this digital world! While people still tell each other about the products and services they're using and what they liked, they do this just as much online now, if not more!
Emails are your company's way to make it as easy as possible for someone to review your product, forward your information to someone else, and think of you first when a friend asks for a recommendation.
Email still feels more personal than other online ads. While a flashing ad in the Facebook sidebar can be overlooked as annoying, an email sitting in your inbox from a company you've followed for years feels familiar and trustworthy. It doesn't feel invasive, because you want to be hearing from the company. That's why you signed up for, or chose to remain on, the email list! The goal is to have your customers think of you the same way when your emails arrive in their inboxes.
Email has also remained a steady driver of revenue. In fact, according to a study by the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing on average generates $36 for every $1 spent. That's an incredible ROI! We'll cover more of those statistic later in this post. First, let's look at the advantages of using email for your business.
Business Advantages of Using Email
There are many advantages of email marketing for businesses. We outlined a few of them below, but after reading this list, I'm sure you'll be able to think of many others specific to your business goals!
Email is cost-effective
Traditional forms of marketing, such as print advertisements and direct mailings, can quickly eat into a tight budget. Email provides a cost-effective alternative that can reach just as many people, if not more.
With email, you only need to pay for the email platform to start reaching your target audience. You can control how much you spend by only paying for the number of people on your email list. In addition, email is a highly effective form of marketing. Studies have shown that people are more likely to open an email than they are to read a direct mailing or respond to a print ad. As a result, email provides an ideal way to reach your target audience without breaking the bank.
Email is a great channel for customer acquisition
Email marketing can be a great way to reach new customers. By building an email list, you can stay in touch with potential customers and introduce them to your brand. In addition, email provides an easy way to track how well your customer acquisition efforts are going. By keeping an eye on your open and click-through rates, you can gauge the success of your customer acquisition campaigns.
Email generates website traffic
Email is a great way to drive traffic to your website. By including links to your website in your email, you can encourage people to visit your site. You can use this strategically. Whether there's a specific product bundle you want more people to see, a newsletter you want them to join, or a new section of your website you want to make sure your customers know about, you can drive them there simply by including the link in the email.
In addition, by tracking the click-through rates of your emails, you can see which types of email are most effective at driving traffic to your website. You can also see which products or services are more appealing to customers.
Email drives sales
Email is huge driver of sales. By including links to your product pages in your email, you make it easy for people to purchase your products or services. The easier it is for someone to take an action in the moment, the more often it will happen.
In addition, those same click-through rates that show you which emails are working can also show you which of your sales tactics are driving the best results! You can then drop the campaigns that aren't working and put all your advertising dollars behind the one that is.
You can also use email to promote special sales and discounts. Consumers love nothing more than feeling like they scored a bargain! Because emails are delivered straight to customer inboxes, you can get ahead of their purchases with enticing offers. For example, if you are having an early sale on bathing suits in the spring and one of your subscribers was planning on going bathing suit shopping later in the season, they may go ahead and make that purchase from you earlier to get the discount.
Email and marketing automation combined make communication smooth and efficient
One of the best advantages of email marketing is that it can be automated. Marketing automation is a process where you set up your email to automatically send out predetermined messages at specific times. This can be anything from welcome emails when someone subscribes to your list to promotional offers sent out on special occasions.
The goal of marketing automation is to make your marketing efforts more efficient. By automating your email, you can free up time to work on other aspects of your business. In addition, automated emails can be personalized to each individual subscriber. This helps create a more personal connection with your customers and can lead to increased sales.
Data to support the benefits of email marketing campaigns
We believe that email is one of the best marketing tools, but you don't have to take our word for it! There is plenty of proof that email marketing is an effective way to boost customer engagement and see the highest ROI, compared to other marketing channels.
Email marketing software Litmus shared in a recent report that email "drives an ROI of $36 for every dollar spent." They found that this was a better ROI than is typically reported across other marketing channels. Additionally, marketing thought leader Hubspot reported that "78% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement over the last 12 months." This could be because the pandemic has led people to rely on digital communication more than ever, for everything from staying in touch to shopping remotely.
Finally, data shows that email is where people are spending their time! OptinMonster found that "99% of email users check their inbox every day, with some checking 20 times a day." That's a lot of guaranteed opportunities for someone to see and interact with your emails!
How to Craft Emails People Want to Forward
Now that you know the importance of it, it's time to break down the tricks to using email marketing. This section will cover some of things to consider as you build your email marketing strategy.
Plan out your entire email sequence
The first step in any email marketing campaign is to sit down and plan out the entire sequence from start to finish. This means you need to think about what your goal is, who your audience is, what type of content you want to include, and when you want to send it.
Your goal could be anything from building brand awareness to making a sale. Once you know your goal, you can start to think about who your target audience is. This will help you determine what type of content to include in your email.
If you are selling a product, for example, you will want to include images and information about the product itself. If you are trying to build brand awareness, you may want to include a blog post or article.
Improve your email open rates
Once you have planned out your email sequence, it's time to start thinking about how to improve your email open rates. The first step is to make sure you have a catchy subject line. This is the first thing people will see when they receive your email, so it's important to make it count! We'll cover that in its own section next!
In addition to a great subject line, you also want to make sure your email is visually appealing. People are more likely to open an email if it looks good! This means using images, videos, and infographics whenever possible.
Finally, you want to make sure your emails are mobile-friendly. More and more people are reading their emails on their phones, so it's important to make sure your email looks good on a small screen. This means using short, punchy paragraphs and large, easy-to-click buttons.
Even if you don't have email subscribers yet, considering these things from the beginning of building your email list will help you see results faster.
Make your subject line stand out
Your subject line is the first thing people will see when they receive your email, so it's important to make it count! The best way to do this is to make it personal, interesting, and specific.
For example, if you are a travel company sending an email about a sale on airfare, you might want to use a subject line like "Save $$$ on your next vacation!" This is specific and interesting, and it will stand out in someone's inbox. Just be aware that certain promotional language can land your email in the "Promotions" or "Spam" folders!
Another great way to make your subject line stand out is to use emojis. These little symbols can actually have a big impact on whether or not someone opens your email. Just make sure to use them sparingly, as too many can be overwhelming.
Finally, you want to make sure your subject line is short and sweet. No one wants to read a long, convoluted sentence in their email inbox. Keep it to 50 characters or less for the best results.
The takeaway: Your subject line is important! Make sure it's personal, interesting, and specific.
Personalized email marketing with segmentation
One of the best ways to improve your email open rates is to personalize your emails. This means segmenting your list and sending targeted content to each group.
To continue with the travel company example, you might segment your list into two groups: those who have booked a trip with you before and those who haven't. You would then send different emails to each group.
Those who have booked a trip with you before would get an email about a sale on airfare. Those who haven't would get an email about why booking a trip with your company is the best decision they could make.
This encourages customers to keep interacting with your emails, because they feel specific to them. This takes a bit of the promotional edge off when they arrive in their inboxes.
Inject some personality
Your email should be a reflection of your brand's personality. This means using the same language, tone, and voice that you use on your website and social media channels.
If you are a fun and quirky brand, your email should reflect that! Use emojis, gifs, and playful language to get your point across. If you are a more serious brand, your email should be professional and to-the-point.
Whatever your brand's personality is, make sure your email matches it. This will make your emails more recognizable and easier for people to connect with them.
Optimize for mobile
As we mentioned before, more and more people are reading their emails on their phones. This means that it's important to optimize your emails for mobile devices.
This means keeping text sections brief, making buttons easy to see and click, and double-checking the proportions on your templates. You also want to make sure your subject line is short and sweet so that it can be easily read on a small screen.
When setting up your email list and choosing a provider, make sure you use a platform and templates that automatically optimize for mobile. And make sure you check your work in both formats before sending or scheduling!
Perfect your timing
The best time to send an email depends on your audience and what you're promoting. It make take a few months to collect enough data to perfect this.
The best way to figure out the perfect time to send your emails is to test different times and see when you get the best results. Try sending emails at different times of day and on different days of the week. Track your open rates and click-through rates, and you'll start to see patterns emerge.
Some email marketing platforms will offer more advanced ways to track this data for you and give you recommendations on when to send your emails. You can also do some market research to help you when you're starting.
Avoid spam filters
We briefly touched on this earlier, but staying out of the spam folder is the only way to make sure people are seeing your emails!
There are a few things you can do to make sure your emails don't get caught in spam filters. First, avoid using common spam trigger words like "free," "win," and "guarantee." You also want to stay away from all caps and excessive exclamation points.
Another way to avoid spam filters is to include a plain-text version of your email in addition to the HTML version. This is a good way to make sure your email gets delivered even if the HTML version is caught in a filter.
In some cases, simply making sure you include an "Unsubscribe" option at the end of your emails will help spam filters see that receivers of your email are not being harassed. If they can choose to unsubscribe and you follow the above suggestions, you should have a better chance of making it to the main inbox.
Quick Guide to Starting Your Email List
Now that we've gone over why email marketing is important, let's talk about how to get started with your own email list.
The first step is to choose an email marketing platform. There are many different providers out there, so it's important to do your research and find the one that's right for you. Once you've chosen a platform, sign up for an account and create a list for your subscribers.
Growing your email list
Now you need to start collecting email addresses! You can do this by including a sign-up form on your website or social media channels, or you can purchase lists of email addresses from third-party providers.
How to Create an Opt-in Form that Converts
One of the tried and true ways to get people to sign up for your email list is to offer them something in return! This can be a PDF or digital download relevant to your business, a free loyalty program, or insider news about your business. Whatever it is, the right opt-in can make people feel like they are getting something in exchange for giving you their email address. This helps them pull the trigger and join your list.
Automate your email marketing with autoresponders
An autoresponder is a series of automated emails that are triggered by certain actions taken by your subscribers. For example, you can set up an autoresponder to send a welcome email to new subscribers, or to send a discount code to subscribers who haven't purchased anything from your store in a while.
As you grow comfortable with how the responders work, you can create long flows that keep subscribers moving through a journey to drive your desired outcome. Some companies use this to slowly pitch a more expensive item, like large workout equipment or a course. Other companies use this to tell a story about their company or brand. The options are truly limitless once you get the hang of it!
Email marketing platforms will offer different options for setting up autoresponders, so it's important to choose one that's easy to use and offers the features you need.
Write amazing content every time
This is probably the most important part of email marketing! If you're not sending emails that people want to read, they're not going to stick around on your list for long.
Every email you send should have a purpose. Whether it's promoting a new product, sharing a coupon code, or just giving your subscribers an update on what's going on with your business, every email should have a specific goal.
Once you know what you want to achieve with your email, it's time to start writing. Not everyone is a natural born writer, but there are plenty of resources out there to help you improve your skills. Make sure to keep our earlier tip in mind and write with a personality that matches your business.
And don't forget to proofread! A few typos can make your email look unprofessional and could turn people off from doing business with you.
A / B Testing: Gain valuable insight into your marketing efforts
One of the great things about email marketing is that it's easy to test different aspects of your campaigns to see what works and what doesn't. This process is known as A/ B testing, and it can be used to test everything from subject lines to call to action buttons.
To do a proper A/ B test, you'll need to send two different versions of your email to a group of subscribers. Half will receive version A, and half will receive version B. Then, you'll track how many people take the desired action (whether it's clicking a link, making a purchase, etc. ) from each group.
This valuable information can then be used to improve future campaigns. For example, if you notice that more people take the desired action when you use a particular subject line, you can start using that subject line as inspiration for all of your future emails.
This data helps you maximize your investment in your email strategy. It also reveals who is opening and interacting with your content and what they like! This information can not only be helpful for your marketing efforts, but can also help your sales efforts elsewhere. The more information you have about your target customers, the better you can reach out to them.
Personalization: Creating Meaningful Customer Relationships
Email has more personalization opportunities than other online marketing channels. Personalization means more than just using a person's name in the subject line or body of your email. To truly personalize your emails, you'll need to go beyond this and create content that is relevant to your subscribers. That is where segmenting and collecting data through testing can help you know what your subscribers want to hear.
Building these relationships is a cornerstone of good digital marketing. Emails that are human and sound like you are speaking directly to your readers helps your customers feel seen, not hustled. This helps them let down their guard and choose to shop or work with you.
This "old fashioned" personal attention keeps people loyal to you, so don't underestimate it!
Engaging experiences: Win potential customers and win back past customers
Email marketing can help you not only find new customers, but also keep the ones you already have. The reason why email is so effective at winning and keeping customers is because it allows you to create engaging experiences for your subscribers. It allows you to speak directly to them in a way you can't on your website and social media.
Nurturing your email list is an incredible way to build brand loyalty. If you can keep your customers coming back, they will eventually become raving fans who will recommend you to their friends and family.
Most importantly, brand loyalty outlasts the initial interest in your product or service when the customer first discovers it. This means that your customers feel like they know you well. That will make them more forgiving if your company falls short on one experience, because they will have months or years of better experiences to encourage them to give you a second chance.
Ready to Reach Your Email Marketing Goals? Work with Us!
Email marketing is an essential part of any digital marketing strategy. It's a great way to connect with your customers, build relationships, and grow your business.
If you're ready to take your email marketing to the next level, The Diamond Group can help!
Partner with an Experienced Marketing Agency
When you're just starting out with email as a content marketing tool, it can be intimidating! Working with an experienced marketing agency can simplify the process and get your email list up and running faster, while you focus on the rest of your business responsibilities!
Our team can help you develop a comprehensive email marketing strategy that meets your specific goals. We'll work with you to create engaging content, design eye-catching email campaigns, and track your results so you can continue to improve your performance.
Call The Diamond Group Today to Start Reaching Your Customers' Inboxes!
We specialize in helping businesses achieve their digital marketing goals. If you're ready to start building your email list, need help improving your open rates, or just want more email subscribers, call us today at (800) 928-4680.
We look forward to helping your company achieve its goals!