Email marketing can be incredibly effective across all industries. It lets companies directly deliver marketing copy right into the hands of the people who are most likely to become paying customers. But email marketing also has a potential downside. If it’s done incorrectly, it might convince potential customers to tune out, opt out, and disengage from the brand. For the best results, your company should contract with professional digital marketers who know how to design impactful email campaigns.
Getting Permission from the Recipients
A company’s email subscriber list is one of its most valuable marketing assets. All too often, email addresses are taken for granted. They’re bought and sold, and the end result is an inbox full of junk mail that no one wants. Your company should take a white hat approach to collecting email addresses. After all, there’s little point in sending an email to someone who didn’t specifically request information from your company. Instead, treat every email address like an earned privilege, and use the following best practices:
- Allow Internet users to manually check the box to receive emails. Do not automatically keep the box checked.
- Reassure website visitors that their email addresses will never be sold or shared with any other entity.
- Reassure subscribers that they are free to unsubscribe at any time.
- Always include an unsubscribe link at the bottom of all emails.
- Let users know in advance how often they can expect to receive emails from you.
- Give users the option of selecting their preferred email frequency.
Getting the Timing Right
Email frequency is an important consideration when launching any email marketing campaign. There are two main factors to consider. First, your emails should be sent at regular intervals. If you tell your subscribers that they’ll get weekly informational emails from you, then they’d better receive them every week on the same day. The loyal readers who stay subscribed to your e-newsletter should be able to trust that you will deliver on your promise. If you’re having trouble putting together enough emails to deliver them consistently, then it’s definitely time to hire a digital marketing agency.
The second factor to consider is the timing itself. Timing is a fine line. You don’t want to send so many emails that your subscribers opt out due to a cluttered inbox. On the other hand, if you send emails infrequently, you’ll miss out on opportunities to engage with potential customers. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. For many companies, a once per week email campaign works well. However, if you’re launching a drip campaign, you’ll likely send one email per day for a set number of days. Every email marketing campaign requires a customized solution based on what your customers are most likely to respond to.
Developing a Consistent Design
Do you tend to purchase many of the same items from the supermarket week after week? You’ve probably grown accustomed to the design of the packaging, especially the colors. So it can be jarring to pick up a familiar product that suddenly has brand new packaging, and you’ll likely do a double-take to make sure that it’s really the same product.
Occasionally, a redesign can be a beneficial transition. But in general, your company should stick to the same design that the customers have become familiar with. Each email you send should use the company’s logo and preferred colors for marketing materials. You should also keep the same layout for your content. For instance, let’s say you’re using your e-newsletter to promote articles you’ve recently published on your website. Your emails might spotlight the top three articles for each week. You’ll have a picture, headline, and snippet of compelling content for each of them. Keep this layout consistent from week to week.
Delivering Killer Content
Speaking of content, your emails should provide informational and intriguing content that make readers want to click on the links to learn more. Successful email marketing requires intensely compelling headlines and concisely written information. There are two main approaches to consider here:
- Salesy emails
- Informational or entertaining emails with a gentle sales push
Salesy emails should be used sparingly. They are appropriate when you’re telling your subscribers about a limited-time sale or special discount. You might even tell them that this special discount is only available to subscribers (if it’s true, of course). Salesy emails tend to rely more on eye-catching graphics than on copy.
Emails with a gentle sales push are like short, casual blogs addressed directly to the subscriber. These should primarily be informational or entertaining. They should downplay the fact that you’re promoting a product or service. The reader should feel like he or she has gotten something valuable out of the email, even if no purchase was made.
Remember that it is perfectly appropriate in most circumstances to adopt a very casual, friendly tone for your emailed content. You want your subscribers to feel that they’re being spoken to directly. If appropriate, write in the first person.
Sending the Right Emails to the Right People
Ideally, your company should run multiple email marketing campaigns at the same time. These emails should target specific demographics in order to minimize frustration and maximize conversions. Let’s say you run an e-commerce site that specializes in vitamins and supplements. It wouldn’t make sense to send emails about women’s multivitamins to your male subscribers. And it wouldn’t make sense to send emails about prenatal health to men or to women who aren’t pregnant.
People who receive completely irrelevant emails tend to get frustrated with the company sending them, and they may opt out of all emails. They certainly won’t purchase the products that are irrelevant to them. That’s why it’s so important to send the right emails to the right people.
Email marketing is one of our specialties here at Pennington Creative. Our email marketing experts can customize a complete digital campaign that generates leads and drives conversions to boost your bottom line. Drop us a line today and become our next success story!