- Category: December 2014 - Email Marketing
Even email marketing beginners can initially achieve quick results with straightforward measures. And it is definitely worth to do so, since email marketing is an effective tool for virtually every industry that practices digital marketing, to bring in the highest return on investment.
In fact, email marketing is the only digital marketing tool, with which it is possible to perform a completely individualized dialogue along the entire customer lifecycle - with each individual user, automated and in real time.
Hence, take a look at the practical tips for successful email marketing for beginners:
1. Start with a clear objective
Email marketing is a powerful tool to improve customer relationships, as well as to boost sales and optimize service processes. However, always start with a clear objective, which could be, for instance:
- increasing brand awareness;
- boosting sales;
- supporting after sales activities or partner sales;
- providing information on new products.
Initially, you shouldn’t have too much on the agenda and three specific objectives are actually a good start.
2. Provide real added value
In email marketing, mainly one thing really counts - relevance. Although ambitious effort is put into design and great product news, it is not about what businesses want to communicate, but what the users are interested in: What knowledge is available about the customers? What are their expectations?
In B2B, for instance, current market information, studies, industry news or tips for using existing products are usually more exciting than the very own new products, new customers or press releases. While interest in technical information is spread, marketing information can be transported with it as well. Companies that are an important source for industry or market information get attention for their news as well.
The actual newsletter should be kept as short as possible, clear and informative. Full text and details should be linked to the website and an important factor for the relevance is being up-to-date. Often, short updates are more effective than elaborate quarterly published "magazine" newsletters.
3. Segmentation of communications
The big opportunity in email marketing is the customized communication. Unfortunately, however, there is often a lack of detailed individual contact data so that it isn’t possible to provide an appropriate communication content. In the first step, a simple segmentation can already be very effective, so that e.g. different types of information can be offered that are available depending on the region or group of customers. For the most part, it is sufficient to differentiate the truly decisive characteristics – e.g. between existing customers and contacts that are not a customer yet. Small changes in design and subject can make all the difference.
4. Mobilize the users
Reach alone is not enough. Active users, who read and respond to the newsletter and email, are wanted but they usually don’t come easily on their own. Activating elements should therefore be included in the communications, such as online checklists, feedback options, surveys, and downloads. This will definitely help to increase activity and engage the user. After all, clicks and reading habits can be trained.
5. Generate opt-ins at all touchpoints
A sufficiently large distribution list for the newsletter is the essential basis for all actions in email marketing and have to have a top place on your agenda.
Websites, social media, print materials and brochures, trade shows, events, or sales are usually the touchpoints that create user contact. Try to get approval of email communication whenever there is a contact with potential customers as it is important to obtain the legally binding consent.
Although existing customers can be contacted without permission, here is a limitation to releases and information for customer relationship purposes only. We recommend to place the newsletter form prominently on the landing page and not to hide the newsletter in sub-sections such as "Service" or "Contact". Directly visible and consistent keywords, such as "Newsletter", are the best choice.
Further, incentives can help to motivate the user to a login. In the B2C sector, contests are an often used incentive for registrations that provide a good opportunity to obtain consent, too. On first contact, not too much data should be retrieved: Name, gender and the email address are usually sufficient for the first communication. For a good start in the customer contact, welcome emails can help as they introduce the company and the expected news or present the topic subscribed to.
6. Using transactional processes
In email marketing, any communication flow into the customer relationship and the customer lifecycle offers a variety of occasions for transactional emails, whether order or shipping confirmations, information material according to website requests or follow-ups on customer satisfaction after services, deadline reminders or just additional information on the products purchased. Each and every of these communications not only offer a good opportunity to score with mindful services, but to get - due to the context - a high relevance and attention when time and motivation of the transaction mail are properly selected. To no surprise, such service announcements usually have opening rates of more than 70% and results that can hardly be achieved by a brand’s newsletter.
Make use of these opportunities to refer to cross- and up-sells, keeping in mind, that the legal framework for advertising in transactional emails should be considered at all times.