In case you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve got mail!
And no, this isn’t the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movie. We’re talking about email marketing — a foundational part of the Internet.
When did email get so big? Some might say it started when AOL started cluttering mailboxes of their customers with free CDs between the 1990s and 2000s. Get this — they sent out a billion CDs with free trial software through email.
A majority of subscribers whined about how the unsolicited disc ads spammed their inboxes. But after Verizon’s $4.4 billion acquisition of AOL, some claim that the spammy email campaign was one of the biggest reasons AOL is the juggernaut it is today.
What’s clear is that email has a far-reaching impact. And it’s something that your company can’t afford to skip if you want to achieve online marketing success.
Think of it this way: getting into someone’s inbox is like being invited over for dinner. So you always have to be on your best behavior. As their guest, you have to play by their rules.
That’s what Waypoint Creative is here for. We’re here to help you charm your target audience so they’ll invite you back into their house every time.
Know Your Goals
Just like with any special occasion, you have to prepare for email marketing.
This means identifying your goals. Defining them makes it easier for you to determine who your target market is, what your content will be about, and how you will measure the success of your campaign.
Emails, when used correctly, can help you expand customer reach and meet marketing objectives. These include driving more leads to your business, encouraging more participants to attend your event, or getting more readers to sign up to your newsletter.
Let’s take Buzzfeed as an example. They’re a source for news and entertainment that earns revenue by selling ads to their customers. So the primary goal of their marketing team is to drive more traffic to their website.
How does Buzzfeed use email to increase the number of visits they receive every month? It sends users emails that contain links to stories on their website. Every click to those stories earns their site more visits and increases the amount of revenue they generate.
Define your business goals and build your email marketing campaign around them.
Ask for their Permission
As the guest, you need to practice etiquette if you want your dinner plans to go well.
For email marketers, this entails asking for permission and coming up with an email list. But getting your target customer to hand you their email address isn’t as easy as striking up a conversation with a total stranger.
You’ve got to offer your customer something valuable to make them give you their email address. Some companies, for instance, give products away for free, while others offer a newsletter their customers can sign up to. Anything that benefits your client will work.
Most importantly, you’ll need compelling copy that answers these questions:
- What do I get for giving you my email address?
- Am I going to receive spam emails?
- How often will I receive emails from you?
- Will I receive relevant offers or discounts?
- Will I receive exclusive content?
Stir excitement. Share specifics. Flex your creative muscles, and don’t just say, “enter your email for updates.”
Live Up to their Expectations
If you’ve been invited as a guest to dinner and commit to bringing a bottle of champagne, you won’t make a good first impression if you showed up empty-handed.
First impressions matter, whether you’re in the online or offline world.
A successful email marketing campaign is all about managing your target audience’s expectations. Following up on the champagne example, promising to send your client an email every week then ending up with multiple daily alerts could set your campaign up for failure.
Once you receive the email details, send an initial follow-up immediately. Introduce yourself and let your subscriber know that you’re offering something beneficial. Tell them that they’re in for a treat.
Companies like Amazon pull this off really well. The electronic and cloud computing giant sends users relevant offers based on their previous buying habits. They aren’t just shooting in the dark — targeted offers are more likely to convince your customer to follow through with a purchase, after all.
Make It a Natural Conversation
So, you’ve made it to the dinner table. Loosen up and have a great time. The last thing you want is to have your host think that you want something out of them.
Effortless selling follows the same principle. If your marketing pitch makes you sound too sales-y, then you’re probably doing it wrong. Modern marketing is built on conversations — and that is what will encourage customers to buy from you.
When you’re plotting your email campaign, strive for an 80/20 balance using the Pareto Principle. This entails devoting 80 percent of your content to valuable and useful information, while the other 20 percent focuses on sales and marketing.
There are several ways to craft highly engaging emails without sounding like a bot. Bite-sized content, compelling narratives, and richer experiences are bound to keep your subscribers hooked. Entice your audience with these content ideas:
- Product updates that include discounts, upcoming releases, product videos, and how-to content
- Personable content that humanizes your brand, including customer feedback, executive interviews, new hire bios, and blog posts
- Attractive, value-driven content like surveys, studies, or infographics
- Information on future events, trade shows, and webinars
- Company updates like press features and career opportunities
Identify What Your Customers are Into
Similar to any date, pay attention to body language and unspoken cues to figure out what your host and fellow guests like about you. This way, you’ll know how to impress them the next time you interact.
Crafting an email works the same way, except it’s a lot easier to measure what your subscribers are into.
Open rates — also called the total number of emails your subscribers open — allows you to determine what part of your campaign works and what doesn’t. Ultimately, improving your open rates depends on split testing your subject lines. These tests entail experimenting on different subject line lengths and using different words.
The easiest way to boost your open rates is to use more power and action words in your copy. Some examples of power words include “hurry,” “great deals,” “get this now,” “limited time,” and anything that highlights urgency and exclusivity.
Your open rates tell you how meaningful your relationship is with your target audience. Keeping them high depends on providing value and managing your customers’ expectations.
Keep your target audience in awe of your brand. Partner with Waypoint Creative, and we’ll make you a killer email marketing campaign.
Get in touch with us today.