Email Marketing Pro: Email Marketing And Your Business

Whether you have a digital marketing agency managing all your accounts or an email marketing pro working for you, both will agree on how essential an email marketing plan is.

That’s one of the most common things you’ll hear many digital marketers say about marketing. Have you checked your email lately? How many emails do you have? How many email accounts do you have (personal, professional, and one just for something else, maybe?) Check your email and count how many you’ve received today. 

Email Isn’t Dead

A Millenial Email Marketing Pro might say email isn’t the “new thing” like SnapChat. Even Facebook is “old school” now. But a lot has changed since we started signing up for email accounts 20+ years ago. Marketing with email has evolved. It is a specific system that gets your message across to the right reader and the right inbox. Usually, it happens before you even draft your message.

Email is still a significant component of marketing and creating a successful business. Life has changed significantly for most people. Therefore, email marketing has to change along with it.

Companies used traditional marketing found their customers by just getting in front of as many people as possible. Unfortunately, that traditional strategy is inefficient. All you are doing is spending money advertising to people who won’t become customers.  At the same time, you waste time sifting through leads that do come through.  Your best advertising campgain is barely effective.

Technology makes those leads even more expensive, and your ads even less effective. Sending your emails to people who aren’t interested interrupts their day, and doesn’t create a good user experience.

The Inbound Alternative

Instead, invite prospects and leads to interact with you. Inbound marketing is all about empowering your visitors, leads, and customers. You want them to receive pertinent, useful, and helpful content that provides them with value, even for free.

Then, you can start a conversation to pull them in, without interrupting their day. Doesn’t that sound better than yelling your message out to everyone and trying to be heard?

Remember that marketing emails that someone didn’t ask for or opt-in for are considered spam (and in some countries, can get you into legal trouble.) There is a human receiving your email, so make it count with useful, valuable content that’s worth their time. Email has an influential role in marketing if you do it in a human-centric manner.

The System

Hubspot’s article on Email Marketing And Your Business (part of an entire Hubspot email marketing training course) explains the system for setting up and engaging your email marketing campaign. It’s all about getting the *right* people into your funnel and engaging with them along the way. No spam, no unwanted emails, no “hard-sell” copy that annoys people and turns them completely off your brand. Give them a choice to opt-in or keep going.

The four points:

  • Attract—turn strangers into visitors using blogs, social media and optimizing your website
  • Convert—send these new visitors to your call to action (CTA), contact forms and landing pages, giving them a choice to opt-in for your valuable content
  • Close—build your CRM, engage them with emails and workflows, turning new leads into customers
  • Delight—engage your new customers with surveys, social monitoring, and other smart content. Don’t abandon them once they’ve bought from you, continue to engage them and make them happy.

Again, give your visitors a choice to opt-in with their contact information in exchange for your content. Once they’ve become happy promoters of your product, service, or brand, they’ll begin talking to others (strangers) about you, and the entire process starts over with new visitors sent by your happy customers. Email is a large part of this process.

Core Principles

There are parts of email marketing that you need to be aware of:

  • The rise of mobile devices
  • The significance of segmentation
  • The power of personalization
  • The importance of data-driven analysis and optimization

Email has been around for more than 20 years, and people are more prone to ignore it. But email has repeatedly been shown to be the best and most popular way to keep in touch with people who have changed the way they consume and absorb information.

Mobile-Driven Optimization

According to email marketing pro, people read their emails on a mobile device much more often than their a computer. Therefore, if they can’t read your email on a mobile device, they probably won’t read it at all. Considering that 54% of emails are read on a mobile device, they need to be optimized for mobile consumption. This optimation increases the chance that an email will actually be read by the recipient. Shouldn’t yours?

A study by UK telecom regulator OfCom showed that 81% of smartphone users say email is the main reason they use their phone (besides making calls.) Why? Because they read email more than they make phone calls. So it’s vitally important to optimize your email so that it can be clearly read on a smartphone.

Segmentation

To have a higher conversion rate, you must send the right message to the right person at the right time. If your message doesn’t resonate, you’ve wasted your time and theirs. It’s not that your message and copy was bad. The people you sent it to weren’t interested. Why? Because it wasn’t relevant to them.

A permission-based form of advertising doesn’t waste your efforts.  Proper segmentation is a high-impact way to improve your email marketing. You wouldn’t send an email blast for a dog walking service to cat owners, for instance. Put your message in front of the right people who want what you’re offering.

By building an effective email marketing pro strategy, your inbound marketing focuses on content that you send to interested users. Email offers a direct one-to-one relationship that social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) can’t provide you. If your primary lead generation is on social media, and they change the rules—or worse, their algorithms as Google does occasionally—your exposure could evaporate overnight.

Personalization

Again, you wouldn’t just randomly send ads for a dog walking service to a list of cat owners. Unless, of course, you knew that they were also dog owners. The user would indicate that they were dog and cat owners when they signed up for your emails or otherwise opted-in.

Personalization is more than just speaking to someone and using their name. Email’s one-to-one relationship allows you to customize every part of the email they receive, from the salutation to the headline, lead, body copy and closing, and everything in between. Everything can be customized, and it doesn’t have to look like a mass message that you’ve sent to anywhere from 1,000 to 1,000,000 other people.

A “behavioral email” is one that’s connected to a database and lists everything each user has done. This allows you to personalize your email even more.

Data Analytics

The “science” part of your email marketing campaign. What’s working? What isn’t? Who’s paying attention? Data analytics will tell you the answers to all these questions. You can see what’s working, what isn’t, test things, identify the trends and use all of it to optimize your email marketing strategy.

What Do You Need?

Successful email marketing companies have these three things in common:

  • Stakeholder buy-in and commitment—if your team isn’t on board with email marketing, it won’t work well. Without the belief that email marketing is viable, nobody will work on it. ROI doesn’t happen immediately, and it takes time for results to show up. Buy-in gets you the time you need to find out what works, what doesn’t and test new things. Persistence is important, because it’s a long-haul project. You can’t quit after a few months.
  • Software—there is a plethora of email contact software available that can help you do all manner of things. Your email marketing pro should, at minimum, be able to:
    • Connect to your contact database and track both the behavior and qualities of your contacts. These are vital to both segmentation and personalization.
    • Analyze the success of each of your sends. At minimum, it should track the deliverability engagement and return on investment (ROI) of each individual email as well as the entire channel.
    • Send automated emails to your contacts based on their activity. Basing your sends on their actions and behaviors can help you send the right emails at the right time. That’s why it’s important to have this function automated.
    • Have landing pages and forms for generating new leads. Alternately, it should integrate with other lead-capturing software. Generating new leads is essential, since your database will decay over time.
  • An understanding of email’s role in their business.

The Contact Database

Your database should be up-to-date and well-maintained so your marketing campaign doesn’t erode. This will allow you to improve your email message’s effectiveness, and personalize for a better targeted message. This will keep your “deliverability score” high enough so that to keep reaching more inboxes.

Questions To Answer

You and your team should consider these questions and determine a solution for your campaigns:

  • When is it right to send an email? When is it not?
  • With what frequency should we send emails?
  • How many emails should a lead receive? Should a customer receive more or less?

Once you have the answers, you’ll be able to create a good user experience for your recipients, whether they’re leads or customers.

Conclusion

Any email marketing pro can tell you that marketing has evolved from broadcasting a message to anyone within earshot into a method of specific techniques to get your message into the right hands. Email marketing can be a part of inviting users into a conversation and interacting with them on the way to conversion. It takes some work on your part, and needs time and care to get started. But once you and your team begin the process and make it work for you, you’ll be able to reach the right kinds of leads and customers with less missed targets and more profitable conversions.


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