Email marketing may seem like a faff, but it can be incredibly effective. According to a Litmus survey on the state of email marketing (carried out in 2019), the average return on investment for email marketing was 42:1, with some organisations achieving even higher levels of success. As a cheap and efficient marketing tool, it’s worth investing time and effort into growing a mailing list of existing and potential customers and emailing them effective and engaging content that keeps your business ‘top of mind’ and encourages them to come back to your business when they need a product or service that you offer.
So, what constitutes an effective email marketing campaign? Here are my top tips:
- Make sure that people have consented to being on your mailing list. Receiving unsolicited emails from a business is not the best first impression, so ensure that people who sign up for your newsletter, or download a free lead magnet from your site, or reach out to you via email a.) are happy to be emailed and b.) know exactly what they are going to receive from you. Advising them that they are going to be receiving ‘occasional’ emails, and then spamming them with daily sales content is going to result in a high unsubscribe rate, which, if you are using an email marketing tool, could negatively affect your ability to send out emails in the future.
- Send people the content they want to hear. If you can offer people the choice of exactly what they want to hear from you, it can really help to boost open and engagement rates for your emails. Some people give subscribers the choice between ‘latest news and views’ and ‘offers and new products’, for example, so that people can opt-in to receive the information that is most relevant and interesting to them.
- Send useful information as well as sales content. Even if your customers do want to receive 'salesy' content, make sure that you offer something that is useful and ‘free’ in each email, even if that is just a productivity top tip or link to a useful free tool. This gives your emails additional value and encourages people to open the emails in order to receive your helpful advice, as well as read about your latest offers.
- Carefully consider how often you want to email your customers. For some businesses, monthly emails can be enough to keep your business ‘top of mind’, gently reminding customers of your continued presence without coming across as forceful or persistent. For businesses who regularly have offers or new stock, weekly emails may work. I would strongly advise you to avoid daily emails unless you have something exceptionally interesting to say on a daily basis, as your presence in the customers inbox could lose it’s positive impact and result in a reduction in open rates.
- Think about whether you can automate some of your key processes (i.e., onboarding or offboarding clients, etc.). Email marketing isn’t just great at keeping in touch with your customers, it’s also helpful to make some of your business systems and processes more efficient. If you have an email marketing tool that allows you to create automations, and there are certain repetitive processes in your business relating to emails (i.e., client onboarding, when certain requests for information from customers, as well as useful information about your own working processes, need to be shared with every new client), you can easily create an email automation that sends out these emails for you with a simple ‘click’, helping save you valuable time and effort, and giving you more time for all-important client work.
- Proof read your content! Your emails are designed to convey your professionalism and expertise, and a quick spell check (or asking a colleague to proofread the whole email for you) can help to reduce the potential for spelling or grammatical errors detracting from the valuable content that you are sending out.
- Make sure your emails are optimised for mobile. In 2019, Campaign Monitor found that over 63% of emails are now read on a mobile device, so it’s incredibly important to make sure that your emails works on a mobile too! Sometimes, columns and images don’t look quite right when viewed on a mobile, or the text can be too small to read – sending a test email to yourself and opening it on a mobile device can help you to ensure that everything looks professional and is legible.
Email marketing can be incredibly powerful, but it requires thought and planning, just as the rest of your marketing channels do. So, before you hit ‘send’ on your next newsletter, think about whether the content is interesting and useful, whether the email looks professional and is mobile responsive, and whether the segment of your mailing list that you are sending it too actually wants to receive it. This can really help to increase open and engagement rates for your email marketing, and convey your business as professional, helpful and trustworthy in a crowded inbox.