Email marketing is an important business tool. It remains an effective communication channel and a key dimension of marketing mix alongside other marketing channels like social media.
Effective email marketing helps drive more traffic to the website, find new customers, engage and convert prospects into customers, sell products and services, increase revenue and further promote the brand.
Thus, it is essential to have an email marketing strategy, keeping in mind the following:
1. Identify an email-marketing platform or service
Based on your business needs and requirements, identify and select the platform or service. Key features should include the following:
a) Ability to manage subscription lists, sign-up forms, advanced email automation responder which sends out emails based on a specific trigger from the audience – welcome email to new subscribers, various types of transactional emails, newsletters, thank you emails etc.
b) In-built analytics tool and ability to integrate with external tools and applications like Google Analytics, CRM, eCommerce
c) A/B testing tools to test the effectiveness of campaigns and measure results
c) Ability to create personalized and beautiful mailers that matches with the brand design
d) Cost-effective platform and service
Product reviews, feedback, and comparison with other products available in the market will help determine the one which best fits with the business needs.
2) Create an effective email campaign
a) Establish marketing goals and objectives, define and segment target audience, create a message that really resonates with customers’ needs and interests. Content should have a clear purpose and offer real value to the customers.
b) Determine when and how often to send out emails to get maximum engagement from the campaign.
c) Make the look & feel, style, and tone of the email campaign consistent with the brand image and other elements of marketing strategy – including the website, social channels and other marketing initiatives.
3) Optimize the email campaign
a) Segment the email database to increase relevance and ensure better results by way of more clicks and responses. Geo-targeting will further enhance the effectiveness of the email campaign.
b) Use A/B testing to understand the trend and determine the target frequency and optimal time when subscribers are most likely to engage with the campaigns. Doing trials and testing different versions of the email campaign, and its timing and frequency and other specific variables will help to compare, understand the trends and behaviors and determine what is effective. A/B testing is essential to ensure maximum engagement and conversions.
c) Integrate and optimize the email marketing campaign for mobile and other digital marketing channels to create the desired impact and yield maximum results. Email content must have a clear message and concise call to action. Test for responsiveness on multiple devices and ensure that the content displays well across desktops and tablets as well. Include social share and make it easy for readers to share content with a single click.
d) Leverage the power of data and analytics to understand and measure the effectiveness of the email campaign and get insights for improving future campaigns. Important metrics to monitor and track include overall open rate, click rate, number of bounces, unsubscribe rate, spam complaints, number of emails not opened, social shares etc.
The main ingredients for achieving desired outcomes with every effort are to know the purpose, target the right customers, create personalized and permission-based email campaign delivery and continuously learn from the results.