Even with the continued rise in social media influence, email marketing is still the most cost-effective and efficient way to start or continue your conversation with customers.
An effective email marketing campaign can help lead customers to conversion at various points of the decision-making process about your product or service. It allows a business to gently develop awareness, interest, desire and action with customers giving them the room to decide when they are ready.
Let’s look at a few of the factors that we think are very important when creating effective email campaigns.
Keep Your List Strong, Clean & Segmented
The success (or failure) of any email campaign has a lot to do with who you are sending the email to. Of course we all want to have as many potential customers on our email send lists. But if this list is not strong, clean and segmented, our email marketing will be less effective. Here’s why…
HAVE A STRONG LIST
What do we mean by a “strong” list? It’s a list that’s filled with potential and current customers that are active and interested in your product or service and are engaged with your email campaigns. This means that they have confirmed they wish to receive your emails and that they open (and hopefully interact with) the emails you send.
HAVE A CLEAN LIST
A “clean” list is filled with customers that actively engage with the campaigns you send over time. If you have a number of customer addresses on your list that haven’t even opened your last three or five campaigns, something needs to be done. Your campaign manager can create a “We Miss You” type email that goes directly to just these addresses asking them to confirm they still want to receive your campaigns. Those that do stay on the list. Those that don’t will have to go.
Clearing out inactive or unresponsive emails just makes sense both from a time and resources perspective. It takes time to manage campaigns and addresses. And it takes resources (typically money) to keep your list if it is of any size on one of the email campaign platforms like MailChimp, Constant Contact, or MailJet. You’ll pay either for the size of the list or the number of emails sent regards if they are opened or not.
It just makes sense to thin out customers on your list that are no longer interested or maybe never were.
HAVE A SEGMENTED LIST
Sending the same email campaigns to everyone on your list is the surest way to lower their effectiveness and run the risk of being reported as spam (which, if it happens enough, can get your email campaigns put on hold or permanently “blocked”).
The logic here is simple. you simply cannot speak to every customer exactly the same way about your products or services. Some are customers who have never bought anything from you and others are customers who have. Each of them is at a different spot in their awareness of, interest in, and desire for your offering. Speaking to potential customers has to lead them from each of these spots to (eventually) action. A returning customer has different needs and is obviously at a different point in this process. They are already aware of what you do, they are interested and they have a desire for more. For these customers, you will be speaking to them via email in a way that reflects the fact that they are returning customers and that they may be looking for something else from you (like new product info or add-on services).
Both customers are going to respond differently to your messages and if we keep this in mind, we can look at your email list and segment them into similar groups and then tailor email campaigns to each. They will be more effective and produce better results.
Tailoring the list can happen early on depending on how you are gathering email addresses. Some businesses rapidly grow lists using online contact forms and screen-filling “opt-in” tools. These have to be segmented at some point further in the process. More efficient gathering and segmenting happens farther “down” the sales “funnel.” For example, when a customer is interested in a report or pre-release product info they submit their email address. At this point they are segmented into a “ready-to-buy” segment. Email addresses can also be collected only after a sale is completed thereby creating a list that is full of already on-board customers.
The manner and effectiveness of any segmenting plan is dependent on a number factors, not the least of which is your overall marketing campaign throughout the year.
At the end of the day, all email campaigns can be more effective by using these three methods. Byrd Digital supports email campaigns for businesses with everything from just a little help on list management to full, turnkey solutions.