If you haven’t taken some serious time to analyze your email marketing strategy, you are leaving big money on the table.
Email marketing has long been the most cost-effective way to market your business. With an ROI of 3,800% and 83% of B2B marketers using email newsletters, email is here to stay.
And it’s growing.Conversion Rates and Click-Through Rates (CTR) are expected to keep climbing with rapid improvements in email marketing techniques. Email marketing is simple, but it’s also easy to mess up. Here are the right and wrong ways to do it.
How to get Blacklisted
Being blacklisted is the equivalent of the mailman refusing to deliver your letter. It’s hard to beat email’s ROI, and you can start a campaign by yourself for literally no money out of your pocket. Which is why the temptation to cut corners has proven too much for many would-be business-builders. Here are the most common temptations to avoid if you want to stay off the blacklist.
Don’t Steal Email Addresses
Building an email list is an art form. It takes effort and expert skills to compile a list of trusting buyers. But short-cutters don’t want to put in the time — and they lack the skill — so they steal email addresses through any means possible. Copying them off of websites, grabbing them from someone else’s database, etc. This is a very bad practice.
The fastest way out of an inbox is to show up unrequested. If the person you are sending the email to doesn’t know how you got their address, they will not open your email. Worse, they’ll likely block you from ever popping into their inbox again. Take a quick look at Hubspot.com’s article on email compliance.
Don’t Buy Email Addresses
This has been the way to do direct mail for decades. Buy a list from a broker and bombard them with your best sales letters. Marketing is changing, and this is not a wise direction for your digital marketing strategy.
By definition, email is direct mail, but it has the potential to be a friendly exchange between expert and client. Just like stealing an address, when the receiver doesn’t know how you got their address, you’ve lost the edge.
Don’t Spam Email Addresses
The most notorious word in email marketing is SPAM. There are really only two different kinds of spamming we are concerned with: unwanted content and too much content.
Unwanted content occurs with the above two examples of stealing and buying email addresses. Your email shows up where it’s not invited, and you get blacklisted. It can also occur when you include certain flagged words.
Too much content, or emailing too often, occurs when your client feels bombarded with your messages. Each client has an expected amount of content they will react positively to. Delivering the right amount of email ensures your messages get opened and received positively.
Email Marketing Done Right
The most effective way you can avoid sending unsolicited emails is to first have the reader opt-in. This can be a link on your site asking for their email address to receive your exclusive newsletter. It can be an offer to send them a free, high value gift if they provide their email address. You are asking for an exchange: something of high value for their email. With opt-in sign ups, your email now arrives and you are perceived as a friend who’s delivering valuable and wanted information.
High value content
In your inbox right now you have a handful of emails you consider valuable. The rest are unwanted, unsolicited or just plain waste-of-your-time kind of junk.
High value content is information that the reader needs. It is well written, easily understood and conversational. Think about how you clean out your inbox. What do you delete and why? What emails do you save and why?
Don’t waste your reader’s time. Reward their time and attention by delivering high value content. It’s the only way to stay in their inbox.
All direct mail marketing methods, email included, have reaped huge benefits from segmented lists. Email marketing has just made it incredibly easy.
For example, you send a high value content email about how to buy your first home. In the email, you include a link for first time homebuyers who are interested in getting a loan. You also include a link for first time homebuyers interested in improving an existing loan. Now you can use the click-through data to segment your list into finance and refinance. From those lists, you can write even more targeted, higher value content.
Email marketing’s measurement possibilities are almost endless, and A/B Testing is proving that for us. Simply put, A/B Testing is testing A against B. If A wins, test A against another B until you have a control that provides the highest ROI.
The rule in digital marketing is to A/B Test everything: your subject line, your button color, your button wording, the number of links, your headline, your copy length, your delivery time and frequency. Everything can be tested and improved.
The unsubscribe option makes it easy for a reader to stop receiving your emails. Not only is it mandated by the FTC, it is also a subtle way to build trust with your readers.
When you open an email, and you see a comment such as, “Don’t know why you’re receiving this email?” or “Getting too much email?” you feel that you can stop this conversation whenever you like. Each of these comments would be a link to either change the frequency or unsubscribe all together.
You actually build trust with your audience by making it easy for them to unsubscribe.
How’s Your Email Marketing?
With so many businesses hiring full-time email marketing strategists, it’s time you start taking your email marketing strategy very seriously. We can assess what you’re doing now and show you how to use email marketing way better than you already are, to boost your bottom line.