5 Steps to a More Powerful Email Marketing StrategyUse these tips to maximize your email marketing potential and boost engagement and sales.
Email marketing is an inexpensive way to build brand loyalty and drive sales — if you know how to to use it. It’s more complicated than blasting multiple emails a week to your database.
Start with these essentials, courtesy of direct marketing experts including John McIntyre, host of the McMethod Email Marketing Podcast.
Build a good database
Any email marketing piece works best when it’s sent to the right people — those who might be interested in your product or business. To begin building an audience, make sure your point-ofsale system includes a built-in email marketing platform that allows you to gather customer email addresses.
Start with that list, McIntrye advised. Your existing customers are the ones most likely to open and engage with marketing emails.
If you’re growing a database for an electronic newsletter, one way to drive signups is to offer something users want, such as discounts on your products or a free gift.
Find the frequency sweet spot
Digital marketing experts debate the ideal email frequency. Mailing too often can exhaust your audience — but mailing too infrequently may be a bigger problem. “Too little contact means a brand has less chance of being in front of the customer at the moment they are considering a purchase,” notes a 2015 report from the Direct Marketing Association (UK).
McIntyre favors erring on the side of more. “Send lots of emails. More than you think, or you’re comfortable with — it generally works,” he said.
“If you send lots of emails, make an effort to help people and write an interesting and engaging email, you’re going to see some success.”
The DMA report found most companies email customers a maximum of four or five each month.
Grab them at the start
Think about what gets you to click on an email in your inbox. It’s generally a good subject line. The reason you’ll open an email is the same reason your recipients will.
The best subject lines are usually short and descriptive and give the recipient a reason to click, according to the email marketing service MailChimp.
And be honest, McIntyre advised. “Don’t try and do a bait and switch where you get them to open the email but the content of the email is different than the subject line.
Keep things straightforward, so if it’s a newsletter, call it a newsletter, if it’s a monthly report, call it a monthly report in the subject line.”
For the body of the mailing, spend time crafting a catchy intro. “You need to have an attention-grabbing first line of the email,” McIntyre said. “That is what is going to hook people in and get them to keep reading.”
Provide relevant, fun content
Increasing sales and boosting engagement may be the main objectives of your digital marketing campaign, but customers won’t keep opening your emails if all you do is try to sell them something.
“Don’t always pitch; add value,” said McIntyre. “That could be sending some educational content, some fun videos, audio, links to funny stuff, etc.”
Use calls to action effectively
The immediate goal of the email or newsletter is to drive recipients to your company. To that end, every piece of digital marketing should contain a clear call to action.
“Tell them exactly what’s next once they open the email,” McIntyre said. “That could be clicking to a blog post, responding to a question in the email or sharing something on social media.”