September 19, 2017

Email marketing, email newsletters or EDM (electronic direct mail) are all terms used to describe one of the most valuable ways in which you can reach out to your customers and grow your business.

Unlike advertising on social platforms, in print or on TV and radio, your subscribed audience has already shown an interest in your brand and your products or services – they are warm leads which you can nurture through personalised communications direct to their inbox.  

One of the big trends in marketing in recent years has been the concept of ‘segment of one’ marketing – the ability to personalise messaging to an individual based on data gathered through tracking and understanding customer behaviour. Customers now expect personalized, real-time communications, and your direct email communications are a critical channel in this experience.

So how do you create effective email marketing campaigns?

Determine what success will look like

What are you hoping to achieve? There are two elements to this. Firstly, what is the key message or action you want to convey to your customer? It’s tempting to shove a whole lot of info into one EDM, but actually it just usually means your message is diluted (and deleted) so be crystal clear on what you want out of your efforts.

Three-quarters of companies agree that email offers “excellent” to “good” ROI.

The second thing to do is determine what metrics you will use to measure that success. Is it sales, page visits, open rates, clicks rate, or a combination of the above? If you are just starting out, look for industry benchmarks as a starting point.

Define your audience

83% of companies use at least basic segmentation for their emails.

‘Email all’ is rarely your best choice.   If you have not defined your buyer personas, spend some time determining how many exist for your business.  Depending on your product range or services, you may have more than one, which means you will likely need to craft your message to match that persona.

Note: There are also some pretty amazing marketing automation tools out there which are designed to enable you to segment your mailing list based on data gathered through their transactions and behaviour – they aren’t cheap but they can increase your effectiveness (and bottom line).

Create great content

Sounds easy huh? But there are some simple pitfalls you can fall into, undoing your good work:

Make it relevant – Your content should be a direct flow-on from what your goal is. Remembering the ‘segment-of-one’, craft content that is directly relevant to your message, your audience, and where possible, the individual.    

Make it eye-catching – cut the words to a minimum and aim for engaging imagery or graphics with prominent calls to action. Lots of businesses do email marketing so you need to stand out!  You also need to ensure your template is beautifully designed to represent your brand, and is responsive across all devices and platforms.

Make sure it’s quality – spend the time checking spelling, links and how your email displays on various browsers and devices. We use a tool called Litmus that helps with these tests and it’s invaluable.

Schedule it with thought

Don’t press ‘send now’ unless you have defined that ‘now’ is exactly when your recipients are most likely to open and click your email.  

CoSchedule did some analysis of data from ten top email marketing platforms and came back with an analysis that the best day to send emails is Tuesday, and Thursday if you send more than one per week. The best time is a bit varied with mid-morning being the number one option, and 8pm till midnight the second best option. But it really can vary by industry so it pays to test this with each email campaign you send until you get a good picture of what works for your audience.

Measure your results

While EDM platforms offer analytics such as open and click rates, it’s not often your EDM call-to-action won’t involve a visit to your site, so Google Analytics is a great tool to measure the real impact on your business (especially if you have set up goals in your analytics relevant to your email campaign.

Nearly half (47%) of marketers say they sometimes test alternate subject lines to optimize email performance.

You can further refine your marketing efforts by testing variables such as subject line, amount of content or different calls to action. A/B testing is a great way to do this (sending the same email with a variant and comparing the response rates).

Need help?

It can all sound a bit technical and involved, so that’s why we offer this service to our clients. If you want to talk about starting up EDM campaigns for your business, or you think they just aren’t performing as well as they could, give us bell 06 8777 478 or send us an email and we’ll get you sorted!  We offer EDM template development and Content Management Strategies that will get your business growing.

Statistics courtesy of Hubspot.