We have all received emails from companies asking us for our business, donations or time. Sometimes we know how they got our emails and other times we have no clue. Email marketing is a strategy within digital marketing that can either alienate a potential client or repeat client or engage and inspire them. Understanding how people think and respond will be the difference between an opened and read email and an “unsubscribe.”
There are many advantages to email marketing. First, nearly everyone checks their email every day. It is less expensive and far greener than snail mail. Email marketing platforms allow companies to collect insights on consumer responses. This informs companies on client behavior, which in turn informs future campaigns.
There are disadvantages too, but these can be managed. While 99% of the population checks their email daily, only about 73% of those emails get delivered and many do not get opened.
Knowing how to execute email marketing so emails are opened and clicked through and so they do not violate the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 requires know-how and tools.
The Know-How and the Tools
The first thing companies need is an email list. While there are ways to buy email lists, it is not recommended. An organic list of customers who are interested in the provided products and services is most effective. Lead magnets help companies grow an email list organically.
A lead magnet is a little something given for free in exchange for email addresses. There are many creative and inexpensive ways to create lead magnets. This an organic and opt-in way to collect email addresses, and is far more productive than buying lists.
So now you have your list, but will people open your email and click through the content you have provided?
They definitely will not if that email lands in their spam folder. Avoiding spam folders requires awareness. An organically grown list is a great first step, but companies should also use a reputable email service provider, a clean IP address, verified domains, and clean template code to avoid the dreaded (by companies, loved by users) spam folder.
Spam filters are programmed to pick up on language and other tools used in mass emails. The more an email reads as personal the better. Mail merges that create a personalized “To” field and personal friend-like language versus pushy or overt sales language are two ways to avoid the spam filter.
You have made it to the inbox!
Here are some ways to increase the open rate. The idea is simple: create subject headings and emails that make people want to open and click through the email is the next step in launching a successful email campaign.
Know the audience and use a friendly tone that appeals to them. Remember the days of writing emails to friends. That is the tone people want to read. They want connection, not cold business-like language. Have one buyer in mind, not thousands, and write to this person. This is called a buyer persona. Create a buyer persona. This allows companies to address users as individuals.
Provoking curiosity is another great way to draw readers’ attention, but do not be elusive and cryptic. That might scare them off. And do not provoke curiosity and then deliver boring and canned information. They will not open that next email.
Create useful and engaging content. Provide resources and information relevant to a specific person (buyer persona!!!). If people think companies, products, and services had value in their life, they will come back. Everyone is looking to declutter their inboxes.
Engaging and responding to email responses is incredibly important. Potential customers want to feel valued. An ignored email or a delayed response does the opposite.
Respect people’s time and interests. Give them easy ways to “unsubscribe” to emails. If they are not interested, bombarding them with emails will not convince them. Also, collect bounced emails and be sure those emails are cleaned from the list. Too many bounced emails will alert the spam filters.
Finally, using an email marketing platform will allow companies to collect insights. Analyzing these insights ensures future email marketing campaigns are even more successful.
The execution of this simple idea is a bit more complex; however, digital marketing is a vast field, so research and statistics are out there to help businesses learn more about their potential customers. Email marketing continues to be an important element of a healthy digital marketing campaign!