Elevating Your Email Marketing

Many people assume that email is ineffective today because no one reads it or even worse its is dead as a marketing strategy. So why should you be wasting your valuable time and effort on a dead media?

The reality however is that this couldn't be further from the truth because email marketing done well has statistically better ROI that just about every other marketing activity.

In the latest episode of the Marketing Strategy Show I was lucky enough to interview Dave Charest who is Director of the content marketing team for Constant Contact, one of the world's largest suppliers of email marketing software, to dispel the myths around email marketing . The interview was a gem with Dave providing a 5 Step framework around the best practices to ensure your Email Marketing success. As well as dispelling some of the Email is dead" myths. Here is the 5 Step framework that can help Elevate your Email Marketing:

1. Planning

When it comes to email marketing you need to have clear goals in mind before you start - otherwise you are doing Email Marketing without a purpose. There are an endless number of different goals you can have with your email marketing anything from:

  • increasing revenue
  • attracting new prospects and potential customers
  • strengthening relationships
  • bringing people to your website
  • getting people to purchase a product

Having an email marketing plan helps keep you focused and allows you to keep everyone involved accountable,  which means you will never wonder what you need to do next and when you are going to email. There are three simple steps you can use when planning your email marketing strategy by simply grabbing a calendar for the year and plotting down:

  1. The dates you need to remember - Take a few minutes to jot down the dates you need to remember during the year to see a 'big-picture' view of your year. Do you hold an annual sale? Do you have any scheduled yearly promotional events? Are there any low or slow points during the year?
  2. Fill in any annual holidays - Write down any holidays that occur every year. Are there any promotional opportunities for your business that you could centre around a holiday? Fill in any empty months with little holidays that are relevant to your business and would make simple short messages such as World Chocolate day or Book Lovers Day.
  3. Write all the times you want to be emailing contacts  in your calendar - Once you have decided when you want to email during the year then decide email by email if you want make the email a time-based promotion or a non-promo event (you should include a nice balance of both).
  • Time based promotions include things like:
    • an announcement of an upcoming event or promotion
    • a reminder to attend an event or check out a new product or website
    • a 'last-chance' to take part in a prom or an event
  • While non-promotional emails include things that aren't sales driven and are focused on building relationships and providing value to your customers.

2. Designing

When designing your emails, the whole process is simplified if you consider the design through 7 elements;

  1. Header -  The header is the first thing people will see so it needs to be thought out and concise, The header contains:
    • The From name (use a clearly recognisable name so the person receiving the email knows straight away who it is coming from)
    • The Reply name (make sure you use an official email address from your company that will be regularly checked so you can see responses that comes through)
    • The Subject line (you should keep this between 4 to 7 words that let the reader know what the email is all about is  a concise, eye-catching and exciting way)

  2. PreHeader - The pre-header is essentially the second subject line when read on a mobile device, which should entice people to open your email. The first 6-11 words of your email become the pre-headers giving readers a better idea of what the email is about

  3. Logo and Colours - After the header and the pre-header you should remind the reader about your brand by placing your logo at the top of your email and including your brand colours. If the colours and logo are consistent with your website, your subscribers will instantly recognise your brand and emails.

  4. Image -  Next you should include an image to grab the attention of the reader and draws them to the next section. The image should relate to the email content and it should also be at least 600 pixels wide, it should also be linked to the same destination that the call-to-action links to.

  5. Text - Below your image, is where all the email content goes or "the meat" of your email. Make sure you are using dark text on a light background to ensure that it is easily readable and double check that the headline is larger than the body text and that the body text is left, or centre aligned

  6. Call-to-Action - The call-to-action or CTA button highlights the action you want the reader to take, whether it be visiting a page on your website, make a donation or redeem a coupon or promotion. You need to ensure that the CTA stands out and clearly states where clicking the button will take them

  7. Footer - This is the final element of email design and should show readers how they can connect with you. Include useful information like contact information (email, website, phone number) and links to all relevant social media pages

3. Creating

Creating a successful email is all about considering your email from 3 different angles;

  1. The offer - Headline = You need to clearly state what your business has to offer - whether it's a good deal, a guide that the reader would find useful or an event that is in the nearby future. Regardless of the offer, the reader should understand the theme of the message in few seconds

  2. Helping the reader - Message body = Under the headline you need to write a few sentences to elaborate on your offer and provide any important details of the offer.  Explain why they matter to the reader. Keep your message short and sweet, emails with 20 lines of text or less get the highest engagement

  3. What's next? - Call-to-Action = What is the goal of the email? Your CTA should be compelling and convenient NS tell readers what they should be doing next and exactly how TO do it.

If you are experiencing writers block use any of the following ideas as inspiration:

  • Introduce a staff member
  • Ask for feedback/advice
  • Share a video
  • Feature a happy customer
  • Provide a "how-to" tutorial
  • Share an interesting article
  • Highlight your social media profiles
  • Answer the question - what do you do?

4. Measuring

Email marketing without measuring and modifying your emails is like throwing a message-in-a-bottle into the ocean.  It doesn't matter how important the message, or the target is, you'll never know what happened to it.

Measuring your emails is as simple as:

  • Assessing your email reports - measure whatever you are trying to improve, if you want website visits on a website page measure the click-through rate of the email
  • Assess whether the emails are supporting your goals.
  • Here you need to look at the numbers and assess what they are saying about your marketing efforts. The five main metrics or statistics associated with your emails are:
    • Total sent - the number of people who were sent the message
    • Open rate - shows the percentage of the total number of people who were sent the message that actually opened the email
    • Click through rate - tells the percentage of clicks an email receives based on the number of contacts who opened the email
    • Bounce rate - is the percentage of subscribers who were unable to receive the message
    • Unsubscribe rate - will show how many people opted out of receiving future emails form you

5. Growing

OK so now you've planned your email marketing strategy, formulated a design, crafted a compelling email and decided what you have to measure so you can be successful.

Next you need to grow your email list to maximise the opportunities you have to convert prospects to customers and build long-term customer relationships. As long your list is growing your business will grow as well.

There are three questions that you need to answer in order to efficiently grow your email contact list. These are:

  • Why would someone subscribe to your email list? Think about the value that you offering to the reader. People mostly subscribe to emails for three primary reasons. They want: a) promotions and discounts; b)  exclusive content or c) to show support for an organisation

  • Where should you ask for an email address? You can collect emails through meeting people in person, via printed materials or online. If you are collecting in person leave a sign-up sheet or poster clearly visible in the shop that gives people who sign up VIP benefits. If you are collecting contacts via printed materials encourage shoppers to use their phones to join your email list. When asking for addresses provide an online link to your sign up form on all your social media posts / profiles

  • How should you ask people to sign up? The key to this is thinking about these four questions and answering them:
    • What's in it for them?
    • What objections do they have?
    • How easily can they sign up?
    • What should they expect next?

Put these 5 elements into practice and you will be well on the way to Elevating your Email Marketing!

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If you need any help with finding the right Email Marketing software for your business or with making the most of Email marketing for your business don’t hesitate to call us on (02) 91250520 or visit our website themarketingstrategy.co and book in an obligation free consultation.

Kym Heffernan

Kym Heffernan

Kym works with Businesses and Professional Practices through The Marketing Strategy Company, to increase their revenues through analysing, improving and optimising their marketing and sales activities.

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