Are you utilizing all the tools, strategies, and resources at your disposal to ensure that your email marketing program is as impactful as possible? Use our list to help your email marketing strategy.
It’s no secret that small businesses must arm themselves with every possible tool to stay afloat in a super-competitive market. Since email is widely considered one of the most lucrative forms of digital marketing (averaging 3600% ROI globally), it remains an effective and affordable way to reach and retain customers.
The only question is, are you utilizing all the tools and skills available to you, and getting the best out of every resource? This article will highlight strategies for increasing revenue and engagement, based on years of experience working within the industry.
Expanding Your Customer List
While buying email lists is a tempting way to increase your business’s reach, it’s not at all advisable, especially if you’re looking for legitimate leads who are genuinely interested in your product or service. What’s more, list-purchasing will inevitably lead to an increased unsubscribe rate, which can cause significant damage to your brand’s reputation.
Organic growth is the best way to expand your subscriber base. Therefore, one of the best, most legitimate ways to acquire and retain contacts is by adding an email subscription overlay (also known as a pop-up) to your website’s landing page. Consider a discount for new sign ups as well, as this can further encourage new subscribers to purchase and start moving them through the funnel.
If possible, you should also give new subscribers the opportunity to provide some basic information about themselves. Collecting zero-party data will help with segmentation down the line, which is a huge factor in personalizing content. Remember, the more customers feel like their individual needs and wants are being met, the more loyal and engaged they are likely to become.
Many companies who aren’t getting the ROI they should be have something missing from their email marketing program: automated flows. These are crucial, both for building customer relationships and recovering potential revenue. For example, the current average cart abandonment rate is 69.99%. Therefore, a cart abandonment flow is essential to your ROI.
If you already have automated email flows in place, glance over them with a critical eye to ensure that each touch in the flow is as straightforward and impactful as possible. Small considerations can have a big impact - something as simple as changing the time delay from one touch to another can increase engagement and generate more revenue than before.
The key goal here is to organically grow and strengthen your relationship with customers. By creating well-thought-out flows, you ensure that each customer is guided step-by-step through the buying cycle with ease.
Whether you want someone to return to their cart or simply welcome them as a subscriber, all automated flows should always get the subscriber over the next hurdle and into the following phase of the buyer’s journey. It should feel as natural and effortless as possible - something that should be reflected in your email content and design.
Transactional emails can also be a good opportunity to increase sales. With an average open rate of 60%, order and shipping confirmation emails allow you to highlight recommended products and services for existing purchasers.
Once your email automation is optimized, it's time to move on to the next items on your ROI checklist. This requires assessing - and possibly amending – customers' relationship with your brand.
Fine Tuning the Customer Experience
It sounds simple, but it’s something that’s so often forgotten in marketing of any kind. On the other end of your campaign is a person, not just a subscriber. Although this person may be interested in your brand, they still have their own definite preferences that should be reflected in the way you communicate with them. Just as we often mirror another person’s wording or actions to establish a connection, your email campaigns should consider the likes and dislikes of your subscribers and customers.
In a face-to-face situation, a salesperson would attempt to match their body language, wording, or gestures to that of the lead or customer. In the world of email marketing, you must rely on A/B testing to get a clear idea of what to send for the best response.
You should continually A/B test send times, subject lines, and even different colors for your email’s call-to-action buttons. This might seem like minor aspects of a campaign, but they can have a signifcant impact on the success of each send.
Simply by sending an email three hours later or switching to a more urgent tone in messaging, you could potentially increase open and click rates. What’s more, the data you gather from A/B testing is crucial for painting a clearer picture of your audience and allowing you to understand how to tailor your email program to get the type of engagement you’re aiming for.
Personalization goes even further than this. By dividing contacts up into segments, you can pivot every message to suit a specific group’s unique attributes, thereby making each email seem as though it’s been crafted especially for that person. It ensures that subscribers stay engaged and, most importantly, feel acknowledged by your brand.
Going Beyond Products & Services
It’s also worth noting that a good balance between sales-focused emails and informative sends is vital if you want to retain subscribers. While the urge to sell-sell-sell can be tempting, it’s counterproductive when considering that your aim should be building customer relationships. What’s more, too many discounts can lead to ‘discount fatigue’, which diminishes the impact of your offers when they are available.
When creating an effective email marketing program, always ensure that a good number of informative campaigns are included. A simple color-coding system can differentiate product/service-related messages from informative sends. If you spot a bulk of sales emails going out, it’s best to break them up with value-added, rich content to enhance your subscriber’s experience.
By providing tips, insights, and other forms of expertise, you help subscribers improve their knowledge and skills. What’s more, you’re allowing them access into your inner circle, offering a sense of exclusivity that can be impactful for both engagement and sales.
This is also a strategic way to think about offering exclusive deals. Instead of simply notifying subscribers of any offers that may be available to the public, you should consider including promotions and discounts just for them. Exclusive coupon codes and early access to sales are just some of the ways you can cement the prestige of a subscription.
You can also take this one step further. Bearing in mind the notion that it’s rewarding for customers when they are personally acknowledged by brands they like, you can use the very simple (yet effective) technique of personalization. Seeing one’s name in an email immediately establishes rapport. Consider these two examples:
You’re getting 40% OFF your next order.
Hi Sam, you’re getting 40% OFF your next order.
Even though customers may be aware that there’s some coding and automation involved in adding their name to an email, it can still make a big difference to how they view your brand, and their relationship with it.
Choosing the Right Software
Another simple yet effective way to increase ROI is to avoid unnecessary spending. This is where your current ESP warrants a closer look.
Asking an agency to recommend an ESP is like asking a painter which paints they recommend. The answer is solely dependent on your goals and KPIs. It’s best to shift the focus away from choosing the right ESP and think more about avoiding the wrong ones. Two things that will always shorten the list significantly are unnecessary features and overpricing.
Once you’ve eliminated the wrong ESPs, it’s simply a case of going through the list of viable options, one free trial at a time. In no time, you’ll have found your ideal fit. You could also consider downgrading your existing program if your list and specific requirements allow for it.
Cultivate a habit of continually checking if you’re spending too much on your current plan, so you can save money and downgrade if you feel you’re not using all the features, or the number of emails included in your plan.
Leverage These Email Marketing Tips for Business Success
The bottom line in exceptional email marketing is simple – software, strategies, and trends always come second to the customer's needs. If your subscriber responds to something specific, this is what you should pursue. Knowing your audience, and discovering more about them wherever possible, is the key to increasing ROI, and that requires placing yourself in their shoes and catering to their needs and preferences every step of the way.