Our latest morning workshop, this time discussing how to accelerate your digital marketing campaigns with effective email marketing, was held earlier this week and offered lots of tasty tips and advice.
As with our workshop on lead generation, there were many great insights, tips and advice shared with our audience. For those who couldn’t make it on the day (don’t worry, we ate your free breakfast), and for those just interested in what we had to say, we have put together a list of 7 key takeaways from the event. So, what was discussed, what lessons were learned, and what can you do to create a winning email marketing strategy that will engage you’re your target market, nurture your leads and convert them into customers? Read on to find out…
Nurturing your leads with an email campaign is like dating
Picture the scene: someone has expressed interest in you by having a lingering look in your direction, and they have even given you their phone number or email address. Naturally, you arrange a date to talk to them, to interest them further, to show that you are compatible and they are likely to be happier with you in their life than without you. On that date, before the starter even arrives, or you have bought the cinema tickets (or whatever sort of date you like to arrange), you immediately ask them how many children they see coming out of this relationship. Far, far too much, far, far too soon. That hot date will be gone faster than you can say ‘I’d like three… one of each!’
It’s the very same scenario when it comes to lead nurturing. Someone has looked at your content, has even given their contact details in exchange for an up-front downloadable offer or content they find relevant, and that’s great.
But jumping in with a hard sell, or assumptions that this is the start of a beautiful friendship, is a big mistake.
Nurturing is exactly that – helping people to grow into a position whereby they are ready to act. It means offering support and helpful information relevant to their position in the buyer journey, until they are at the end of the sales cycle. Only then should you even mention the end result of the relationship.
Email is immortal
Social media is great, but email is still very much the king when it comes to content that is effective in converting leads into customers. Sure, we are nearly all on social media, but just think about how many email accounts you have, and how many emails are sent globally every day. The latest figures show that stands at 205billion. That’s a lot of emails being sent, so it would suggest the process is still working, and still very popular.
There are some 120billion business emails sent every day, rising by 3% year on year, which again seems to suggest that in business, email is indeed the business, and is one of the main content types driving engagement on your website.
Email is so effective because it is a hugely popular platform open to an enormous audience. When it comes to views and open rates, according to Marketing Cloud, some 91% of us check our emails every day (and we are almost all guilty of taking a sneaky peek at our work emails on weekends), because 77% of us actually prefer email as a form of communication.
This is because each email account owner is just that – an owner of the content they receive and send. It doesn’t change because of algorithms, doesn’t disappear, and allows us to be personal, at our own leisure, with no limitations on how many characters we can use.
For B2B companies and marketing agencies, this form of engagement results in a staggering 4,300% ROI when their email campaigns are used effectively, as revealed in a Data Marketing Association article.
But email does pose challenges
Email is great, but there are several big challenges you need to overcome to make your campaign work. Firstly, as with everything else in this world, your email contact list will decay over time. By a quarter year on year, to be more precise, which means you need to be generating more contacts and leads every year than you are losing.
More and more people are opening their emails on mobile devices, which means marketers need to be able to produce emails that are mobile-friendly and optimised accordingly. This does mean having to tailor the message and how it looks to enhance user experience, which means extra work, but the payoff is worth it.
New privacy regulations coming in next year with the GDPR mean marketers need to be ethical and transparent in how they get their email contact lists, and how they communicate and engage with them. If you are performing your email marketing campaign through a platform such as HubSpot’s COS, this shouldn’t be a problem, but if not, it might be time to take a look at what needs to be done.
It’s easy to tool up
There are many handy tools and tricks out there to help you along the way and find the contacts you want to engage with. It is important to stay ethical and obviously legal in doing so, but there is nothing wrong with finding an email address that is already available on the internet – the problem sometimes is simply finding it.
- An email permutator – helps give every possible variation of a possible email address based on a person’s name and company
- Toofr - rank the email addresses you can be most confident are correct
- Google - a handy way to find an email address, returning any results that include this contact information for a person you search for
- Mailtester.com - Check out if an email address is valid
- Mxtoolbox.com – Validates your domain against multiple blacklists
- EmailonAcid.com – Checks how you render across clients
- Litmus.com – Rendering, Spam, Engagement Time, Client Breakdown
- Neverbounce.com / EmailListVerify.com
Follow the steps to an effective email marketing strategy
- Determine your audience – remember the importance of relevance to all digital marketing efforts. There is no point in sending out content to someone who will just not be interested in what you have to say.
- Segment your database – know who you should be sending content to, and what that content should be
- Send the right email at the right time – if someone has just signed up to an offer, they may want to read more along the same lines, whereas if they have downloaded several pieces of content, they may be interested in a webinar, so offer that in an email. It’s about giving the right piece of content to the right people at the right stage in their buyer journey.
- Nurture your email – help them grow with content that entices them along the sales path, thinking of every email as a step closer to their making a purchasing decision or being ready for a sales call.
- Monitor the results – if you are not measuring it, you can’t see if your email strategy is a success or not.
Tips on sending an effective email
- Always send from an actual person, rather than from a company position or department, ie, email@example.com rather than firstname.lastname@example.org
- Always set-up DKIM Authentication (not sent via)
- Provide a compelling subject line – but do not make it merely clickbait!
- Get to the point quickly
- Explain the value of the email
- Use actionable language
- Link images to Landing Pages
- Add a CTA to the signature
- Hyperlink, but do it sparingly
- Modify the preview text so it fits multiple devices
- Add social sharing
- Always have a plain text alternative
It’s also worth noting that Tuesday seems to be the most effective day of the week for email engagement, as can be seen here:
Also, in an email workflow, remember the ‘5 Strikes And You’re Out’ rule – if a lead doesn’t engage by the fifth email, it’s time to let them go.
Your Successful Email Checklist
Finally, here’s the checklist for an effective email campaign:
- Do I have a goal? – What do you want to be the outcome of this email? Further lead qualification? Lead conversion? Sales?
- Is my email contact list up to date? – Never mail a list more than 12 months old that does not fit one of your criteria
- Have I segmented and personalised the email to engage with relevance? – Remember context is key, and that the lead will ask what is in it for them
- Have you tested your email across multiple devices and clients?
- Can your email be scanned quickly and be understood, with clear directions on what to do next?
- Have I put myself in the reader’s shoes? – Will they be excited and interested in receiving this email?
That’s it for now! We will return with more lessons learned from this workshop, but keep an eye out for news of our next one, which is sure to be filled with more great tips, tricks and advice on the most effective ways to engage with your digital marketplace, generate and convert leads.
In the meantime, if you want to discover how Get Focused can help you turn your digital marketing strategy into a lead generation and conversion machine that drives increased sales, book a call with us.