At its core, email marketing encompasses any email sent from a business to a customer, though it typically refers to targeted campaigns with the ultimate goal of growing business and gaining consumer loyalty.
Email marketing can help your business do the following:
- Drive revenue and profit
- Create and increase brand awareness
- Retain loyal customers
The U.S. Small Business Association notes that response rates on email marketing are strong, ranging from 5 to 35 percent, depending on the industry and format, whereas response rates on traditional mail campaigns barely crack 3 percent.
The Power of the Inbox
For every $1 spent on email marketing there is a $44.25 average ROI. To get the most out of email marketing, it’s important to build a robust email list of customers and prospects.
Growing a Healthy Subscriber List
- Encourage visitors to join your email list on your website landing pages.
- Include a subscriber link to all of your social media channels and blog posts.
- Promote your email newsletter at networking events – use a sign-up sheet or business card drop box.
Before adding a user manually, be sure to have expressed consent (or opt-in), respect their privacy, and offer email opt-outs.
Once you have a strategy in place for building your email list, look at ways in which you can make email marketing work for you. Segmenting your customer list by demographic ranges or industry preferences can help you get the right message in front of the right audience at the right time, and increase your chance of engagement.
Creating Great Email Content
Email marketing campaigns can have a high ROI, but only when done well. It’s worth the time to make sure you’re creating content that is targeted to your readers, and adds value to their inbox. If you’re only advertising your products with a ‘buy’ button, don’t be surprised when your readers hit the unsubscribe button.
Types of email content include:
- Industry trends and insider news
- Ongoing education and thought leadership
- VIP offers and discounts
- Corporate culture updates and company philanthropic efforts
There’s not just one formula for a successful email. It really depends upon the nature of your business, your brand, and the needs of your customers. Intangibles aside, most successful emails meet a few criteria:
The header contains the cues your recipient will see in the inbox.
- Use a recognizable and friendly “from” name and address
- Use the right “reply-to” address
- Create a killer subject line and compelling “preheader” text
The body of your email template is where you have a chance to really tell your story.
- Keep design visually simple and responsive
- Contain placeholders for personalization
- Use images strategically
- Focus on one easy call-to-action
- Include your company’s contact information
- Add clear, easy-to-find unsubscribe and messaging preference links
Including these key elements will help give you the structure you need to focus on what really matters: communicating a message that connects to your customers and drives the sort of engagement or response your business wants.
Timing is Everything
Timing is key when it comes to sending emails and actually getting people to open them, and even taking the next step of clicking through to your website. It can be the difference between engaging your customers or losing them forever.
Coshedule Blog recently conducted an analysis of 10 studies about the best time to send emails. While many of the studies had varying results, here is how your can prioritize your send time based on data:
- The best days of the week to send emails are Tuesday, Thursday and Wednesday – in that order
- They also found that sending an at 10 a.m. EST, 8 p.m. EST, 2 p.m. EST, and 6 a.m. EST will give you the highest open rates and chances of receiving a response
The success of your emails may also vary depending on your audience. Are you targeting consumers for your products or services, or other business professionals? Consider when these people may be checking their emails throughout the day. Are they checking their work emails or their personal email accounts?
Like what you read? Looking for additional tips and tricks to help your small or medium-sized business succeed? Check out more of our blog posts here.
At Times-Union Media, we can help grow your business. We offer a full suite of digital marketing services that reach real customers who want to do business with you. Not only do we have proven local capabilities along the First Coast, but also because we are part of GateHouse Media™, we have extensive technology and resources at our disposal for your success.