Email marketing is the kind of practice you know everyone is doing, but somehow rumors about its disappearance keep on flying around the room. So, sometimes it all feels a bit confusing. Yes, you would take up email marketing, but a little voice inside your head asks you if you are really, really sure
Because let’s face it, email marketing might be popular, but it sure is a messy business. You need to create the emails and send them to your recipients. But wait, where do you get their addresses and how do you know if they enjoyed reading them? How do you even know if they opened the emails? It’s all much too complicated and do you really have something to gain?
So, yes, you could say that it’s pretty messy and yes, not all strategies may function as you might hope, but there is that one argument that really puts you in the spot, the one argument you can try and try to ignore, but you just can’t. Everyone is doing it. Everyone. All your competitors. Don’t you just feel left out?
Why should you play with email marketing in the first place?
Well, we’re just going to repeat ourselves, but it seems like too much of an argument to miss. Everyone else is doing email marketing and this is not the kind of thing you want to be left behind. Your efforts need to be similar, if not greater than the ones made by your competition.
Plus, there is one more aspect we needn’t ignore. Email marketing is not only necessary, but it’s actually very effective. Combined with other marketing campaigns and of course done in the correct manner, you could witness a real growth in your ROI. All your marketing efforts have better results when you manage to establish more personal relationships with your customers. Obviously, emails can get you there, closer to your customers.
By means of emails, you are speaking to your clients in a direct manner, offering an actual solution to their problems, providing them with personalized offers, sharing discounts, offers and so on. Everything is simpler, more direct and more effective. And it doesn’t even matter that you sending the same email to 1000 subscribers. In their inbox, they see you as the sender and themselves as the recipients. So, it’s a closed conversation. And that’s worth more than you think.
And yes, we’ve mentioned email marketing done right. Because this strategy has been used so much, your subscribers have grown pretty accustomed to receiving offers or information via email. And they’ve seen all sorts of approaches. This is why, if you decide to invest resources of all kinds in email marketing, make sure you are doing it right. You are going against a pretty picky email consumer, so you need to do your homework and really impress. The stakes are high, but so are the potential earnings.
Email Marketing Best Practices
Best practices actually refer to optimizing your email marketing strategy. It’s true, it’s adding one more step to the probably already long list of things you need to do to succeed, but it’s necessary. This step makes the difference between your email opened and read or your email in their trash. We all know where option B gets you and that is nowhere. On the other hand, option A could launch a relationship between you and your customers. So, are you willing to optimize? If you’ve said yes, then here are a few aspects you should consider.
Set a goal for your email marketing campaign
You can’t just send emails without having a target. You need to be Oblio and have a point. Email marketing can bring you subscribers, buyers, new partners and so on. The purpose of your email will dictate the steps that follow, as well as the content of your email. For instances, the cold reach strategy is all about obtaining new leads. As you know, in the B2B world, cold reaches are popular when it comes to gaining new leads and potential partners. Having this target, your strategy will start to unravel. You might have scenario 1, in which your potential partner replies and in that case your follow-up will look in a certain manner or you could have scenario 2, in which no reply will come to you and the follow-up email will focus on reminding that partner that you are still waiting on him to make a decision on whether or not he is interested.
Goal determines approach, future steps, and measuring method and it is the starting point of your email marketing strategy.
How to measure success
This usually comes last in terms of order but in terms of importance, it is clearly among the first aspect that interests you. The manner in which you measure the success of your approach also depends on your goal, although at times, some methods tend to be misleading.
However, as a general rule, when running an email marketing strategy, all marketers need to consider the following metrics:
Click Through Rate
Number of email subscribers
The open rate, as well as unsubscribe rate, can at times be misleading. For instance, some readers might not bother to unsubscribe from your list, but they don’t necessarily read your emails and they are not particularly interested in your offers. At the same time, with a rather descriptive subject line in which you are announcing an offer, they could just as well go on your website and still enjoy that offer, without having to open your email.
Therefore, try to look at all metrics or at least at several of them and don’t choose a single method to measure the success of your strategy.
How to write awesome emails
Prepare yourselves. This is going to be a big chunk of text, which by the way, is something you desperately want to avoid in your emails.
1 Imagine talking to an actual persona, as opposed to an imaginary audience.
We know that the B2B world is trying to be a bit more personal in its approach. When writing emails, whatever the purpose, you need to address the recipient in a direct manner. You have his/her data. Use them. Start with a friendly Hello followed by the name of the recipient. Use a less formal approach, unless you are sending him the monthly invoice. Otherwise, be friendly.
2 Go promotional when the situation calls for it
When you are focused on sharing offers, you could really make use of a promotional approach, especially if it’s strengthened by visuals. However, even then, if you can, try to maintain that friendly tone.
3 Just spill it out already
Chunks of text, stay away! Your emails to your customers should not be a long, never-ending message that you would rather cut off one hand just to get it over with. Emails need to be friendly, informative, concise and well structured, especially in the B2B world. Of course, if you have a lot to say and in the business world this can happen rather often, try breaking that text into smaller paragraphs is one solution. However, we should remind you that your email will also contain visuals, perhaps a Call-to-Action and links. So, organize your text well, but try to not to sacrifice essential elements, which would be announcing the existing problem and your solution.
4 Play with elements
In your text, if there are aspects, ideas, benefits you want your reader to remember, try making them stick out. Make them noticeable to your readers. By mapping out different elements all throughout your text, your readers will return with a clear message, the one you wanted him to remember.
5 Take care of your subject line
One of the reasons for which readers don’t even bother to open an email is because it doesn’t have an interesting subject line or it doesn’t have a subject line period. We tend to overlook this field in the email message creation and it’s not good, it’s not good at all. It’s like receiving anonymous messages. Yes, you know where they are from, that is if you are indeed familiar with the sender. And surely, it has happened to you to receive messages from people or companies you hardly knew anything about. And on top of the fact that you don’t know or remember the sender, you receive an email, but you have no idea what it is about.
Treat your reader’s inbox as if it were your own. Avoid stuffing it with information that is not useful, and assume that a lot of marketers are already sending messages of this kind. So, make sure you offer your message an identity by means of its subject line.
Testing is sometimes overlooked by marketers because it is known to take a long time. And while this may be true, we still think it’s best to do it anyway. You might think you know your audience and it is highly likely that you do, but testing can reveal new things which could not only improve your results, but it could help you gather insights which could be used in other directions. And when it comes to emails, you are never sure what sparks the attention of your customers, at least not until you start testing versions. Now, your email campaign could be structured in several messages. These cannot be hundreds, template we mean. So, testing them is not that difficult really.
The only aspect that could complicate things a bit might be the fact that you could test ( and you should) everything about your emails, from your message with everything it includes to your subject line and evidently, your target audience. Collect insights, interpret them and make the necessary changes. Adapt the following steps of your strategy, considering the insights given to you by testing. For instance, when you are sending emails to your customers? Remember that this is the B2B world, so your audience, most likely, has a strong connection with the inbox and they are verifying it on a regular basis. So, timing matters. If you notice that 9 AM is better than 8 PM, for instance, make that adjustment in your planning.
We could be repeating ourselves at this point, but it’s too much of a thing to let it slip our fingers. Testing functions as long as it has an effect on what happens next. If you go through the trouble of making tests, you need to take into consideration results and implement them as soon as possible.