You’ve got mail! Remember that? Now we simply hear a ‘ding’ or a ‘pop’ whenever we get a new email. Just as the sounds have evolved, email has grown as a method of communication. According to a 2018 Radicati Group study, there will be more than 3.8 billion email users before the start of 2019, over 100 million more than the previous year. In other words, over half of the entire planet uses email right now. That’s a huge marketing opportunity many businesses are taking advantage of.

Your business needs to partake in email marketing because:

  • It’s Cheap: Whether you do it yourself, or through an email marketing agency, marketing to hundreds of consumers via email is going to cost you pennies compared to other channels of advertising.
  • High Success: Emails can be targeted specifically to the ideal consumer. With this concept in mind, along with email cost-effectiveness, it’s no wonder that email marketing ROI often blows other direct marketing strategies out of the water.
  • Measurability and Flexibility: With the analytics available today it’s easy to track responses to your emails exactly, in order to work out what parts of your campaign are working and what parts aren’t. With this knowledge, you can then react instantly to modify your campaign strategy if need be.

Convinced email marketing is something your business should pick up? Not sure how to even start building a campaign? Not to worry. We’ll walk you step-by-step through how to develop a successful email marketing campaign.

Step 1: Get Permission

No email campaign was ever built without getting permission to get started, so first, we’ll need to focus on building a sizable email list. There are many ways you can do this. Some prefer to give something away for free while others simply offer a newsletter or product updates.

Regardless of what method you choose, it’s important to have a clear purpose when asking for an address. Ask yourself:

  • What do I get when I give you my email address?
  • Are you going to spam me?
  • How often will you email me?
  • Will I get discounts?
  • Will I get a first crack at your beta?
  • Will you send me relevant offers or more junk?

Step 2: Manage expectation and promises

Email marketing is all about expectations, and it’s up to you to set them. If your call to action is strong, and your follow-up is consistent, then you can count on a positive campaign. However, if you promise to send one email per week and instead send them daily, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. On the contrary, if someone is expecting daily updates or critical product updates and you don’t’ deliver, then they are likely to be just as upset in that case too.

This is why the first follow-up email is so crucial to the success of your email marketing efforts. Almost all email service providers give you the option to create an autoresponder sequence, and it’s imperative that you take advantage of it.

The initial follow-up email should be sent immediately as a way to introduce yourself and detail what you plan on doing with your new subscriber’s email address. It’s better to be long-winded and detailed than it is to be quick and unobtrusive, but if you can pull off quick and concise then more power to you.

Step 3: Segmentation

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, segmentation is the practice of splitting up your email list into more targeted groups.

For example, the following are ways to segment a larger, more unified list:

  • Customer List (in comparison to leads)
  • Product Updates (in comparison to a customer list)
  • Newsletter
  • Daily Email List (in comparison to weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc)
  • HTML (yes, some people prefer the option for text)

In dividing your list in this manner, you give yourself the ability to send more targeted communication. Some customers want both product and sales updates, while others might only want to hear about new versions. If you don’t give them the chance to choose, you risk losing them all together. Since customers make the best buyers, it’s fairly obvious why you want to keep them subscribed to your customer email list.

With segmentation, you can send a broadcast only to those that didn’t open your last message (ask them why), or to those that showed interest (a second pitch). You can also split test messaging among different groups in order to refine your best practices.

Step 4: Analysis

Every service provider provides complimentary analytics. Though they’re all important, the three most important ones are open rate, click through rate (CTR), and unsubscribes.

Your open rate will tell you how well you’ve built your relationship; if the number is low, it means that people have started to delete upon receipt, which means you need to work harder on providing value and/or managing expectations.

If your CTR is low, it means that your message is either not targeted enough, or simply not getting through. In this case, focus on improving your copy.

If your unsubscription rate is high in relation to your opt-in rate, then you’ve passed the point of building value and writing good copy…you’ve got some serious work to do. If this is you, try to examine when people are leaving and take action based on those leaks.

If they’re leaving after a certain autoresponder email, then re-work it. If they’re leaving after marketing messages, then re-work the way you present offers. If they’re leaving early on in your funnel, then you need to fix your original call to action so that it’s in harmony with what you’re sending.

Step 5: Choose an email marketing automation tool

There are tons of email marketing automation tools out there. From entry-level tools like MailChimp and Campayn to more “robust” systems like Eloqua and Marketo, and those in between like Silverpop, HubSpot, Pardot, And Manticore, there’s a lot to choose from. But when it comes to answering “which email automation tool should I choose?” the answer is simple: the one that fits your strategy (and budget.) These are the questions you need to ask yourself before you sit and strategize about your email automation tool decision:

  • Do you need to educate the market before they purchase?
  • How many emails do you estimate would take to engage in a conversation?
  • How long is your sales cycle?
  • How much are you willing to spend on each lead?
  • How many Digital Marketing formats will you use?
  • How long are you willing to wait before your first email goes out?
  • How big is your company and your pockets?

Once you have your answers, you’ll be prepared to select a solution tier.

Feel free to reach out to us for any help needed in building your email marketing strategy. We’d love to help you.