Imagine you're networking after an event and discussing best practice around engaging prospects, existing customers, and driving marketing revenue. Email marketing is mentioned as one channel to leverage. Half of the group nod their head in agreement with the benefits described, while the other half proclaims that “email marketing is dead."
I'm sure you've been there. I certainly have.
"Email marketing is dead" is a quote that’s often used in communication circles, which I find interesting, as research proves that consumers beg to differ.
Campaign Monitor found that 72% of people actually prefer to receive promotional content through email over other forms of marketing channels. So why is this phrase frequently cited by marcomms professionals?
The problem isn’t that email as a marketing channel is dead. The problem is that companies are failing to build engaged email lists and craft emails that strategically move audiences along the customer journey.
Today, consumers are inundated with emails. According to McKinsey, the average person is said to receive around 120 emails per day. And email shows no sign of slowing down! By the end of 2023, Radicati Group predicts that worldwide email users will grow to more than 4.3 billion.
There's still clearly a lot of opportunity for brands here. That’s why we’ve dedicated this article to help you find the right consistency of urgency, attractiveness and effectiveness to successfully implement in your email marketing strategy.
Read on to hear our email marketing tips that can be used to grow email lists, develop relationships with subscribers and increase the ROI of your efforts!
Before we share our top email marketing tips, let’s first make sure we’re all on the same page by clarifying what exactly we mean by the term.
We like how email marketing experts, Mailchimp, describe email marketing as:
A form of direct marketing that uses email to promote your business’s products or services.
So why invest in this communication practice? Well, the benefits of email marketing are vast! We’ve listed some of the reasons why email marketing is so important below.
There's no denying that brands who see high return in email marketing are those that build and maintain an engaged list of subscribers who actually want to read what they have to say. Marketers based in the EU know the importance of this all too well...
In May 2018, the GDPR legislation took the marketing world by storm when it wreaked havoc on the number of subscribers to marketing databases. And even outside of the EU, buying lists are now either illegal or frowned upon - and rightfully so! Since the volume of opted in subscribers has a key role in how successful an email marketing campaign and strategy is, many marketers are having to rethink how they sustainably go about growing their marketing database.
So if you’re still struggling to get your marketing database looking like it did pre GDPR, or if you’d simply like to understand how you can quickly boost your subscriber numbers, we've jotted down a few tips to follow!
While the benefits of a strong email marketing strategy are clear, competition for eyeballs on emails is relentless. Inboxes are a noisy space and standing out is difficult.
Put yourself in your reader's shoes. You're likely to have 32 tabs open, a ringing phone, a sea of notifications and an eight-second attention span while you skim through your email. When you think about that, it's clear that spending 2 hours putting a witty subject line together isn't guaranteed success. Regardless of how incredible your content might be, if it’s not well put together, then in the words of Ariane Grande, it’s “thank you, next!”
To help increase the chances of winning the attention of your audience, follow the below email marketing pointers.
Don’t overlook the importance of focusing your message. Trying to cram too many messages in one email can be confusing for your reader. If you have to send multiple messages, then we’d recommend breaking them up into a number of emails so that each can be as concise and short as possible. Attention-grabbing subject lines are important, but make sure the content of the email is aligned so that you don't come across as click-baiting.
These days, “Dear Sir/ Madam” just doesn’t cut it. Personalisation is now expected by customers, so don’t turn them off by taking a generalised approach. We’re not saying you need to know their favourite ice cream flavour (FYI brands, mine is cookie dough) - calling them by their first name is a good start. Next, segment your audience by key characteristics, such as whether they’re customers/ what product/s they’ve purchased etc. Breaking your subscribers into smaller groups will help you send more personalised and relevant emails. In addition to this, segmentation also has a positive impact on open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribe rates.
Hyperlinks are great for readers who want to navigate to more content and they’re equally as great for us marketers since they’re trackable. By UTM tracking email landing pages and hyperlinks, you can get a much better idea of your customer’s journey and the type of content they’re interested in.
Having firstname.lastname@example.org isn’t the friendliest move, nor does it encourage engagement with customers. Instead, it makes it clear that it’s a mass-send and takes away any personalisation efforts you've made. Moreover, no-reply email addresses are also more likely to be flagged as spam, meaning it’s less likely that your email will even end up in your audience’s inbox!
Your design has to be flawless and your content laser-focused, to ensure this, consider the below:
We’re often asked, “when is the best time to post on social media?”, and the answer applies to email too.
Truth is, there isn’t a one size fits all best time to send a marketing email.
The best time to post depends on when your specific audience is active. There are industry averages that you can use in the first instance, but it’s important to A/B test when you send emails so you can find your own audiences sweet spots. Good email marketing platforms will provide this information for you, which leads me on to the next point!
You can make your life a lot easier by following in the steps of the majority of marketing professionals and investing in an email marketing platform, also known as email marketing software. The application of email marketing tools are wide, but they're most commonly used to automate email workflows, A/B test messaging, manage subscribers, and optimise reporting. There’s a whole bunch of email marketing platform vendors out there, however, we’re big fans of the below:
Psst. If we’ve missed out your favourite email marketing platform, drop us an email on email@example.com and tell us why you’re advocates and we’ll look into including them!
While the metrics used to understand if you’ve been successful at email marketing depends on your campaign goal, the most common metrics adopted are open rate, click-through rate (CTR) and unsubscribes. Let’s take a look at each of them in more detail.
Wait until open rates and CTRs are high and unsubscriptions are significantly low before you take action – if it’s just a couple here and there, don’t take it personally
Before we wrap things up, we thought it would be cool to leave you with a few email marketing examples; we’ve tried to include a good mix of B2B and B2C campaigns to inspire you. Enjoy!
The reason why we love it: This is a great email that triggers intent. Asana cleverly encourages new subscribers to get involved with the app by highlighting key features and showing how easy it is to use them.
The reason why we love it: It's clean and straight to the point.
The reason why we love it: It's a very clever way of driving referral subscriptions as well as brand trust.
The reason why we love it: The layout makes it easy to understand the three key focused messages of the email.
The reason why we love it: The email is a cleverly disguised #humblebrag that also gives the reader something free - what's not to love!
So there you have it, a list of email tips to use and squeeze the most out of your marketing database. Hopefully by now you have a better idea of what goes into a successful email marketing strategy and best practices for optimising your efforts. Eager to learn more? Check out our on-demand webinar How to Win at Email Marketing. Want to add to our email marketing tips? Our inboxes are always open – tell us what worked for you and drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org