Email marketing is one of the oldest forms of online marketing and it's still extremely effective when done right. While experts like to periodically proclaim the "death of email marketing," the sheer number of emails sent every day proves this false. Email is, however, extremely competitive now. It takes a well-planned strategy to get your customers and prospects to open and respond to your emails. Let's explore 7 email marketing strategies for better responses.
There are various expert opinions on how often to email your list. The real answer is to test different schedules and find out what works best for you. Part of email marketing is building familiarity and trust with your audience. For this, it's necessary to contact them consistently. If you send out fewer than one email per week, they'll start to forget about you.
On the other hand, too many emails are annoying. Even if people don't unsubscribe, too many emails tend to cut down on your open and response rate. Start with a certain baseline number, such as once per week. Then try increasing or decreasing it and see how this affects your results. On a similar note, identify the best times to email. Many marketers enjoy better responses from emails sent at night or on weekends. This is, however, another thing to test with your own list.
Internet usage and online marketing are rapidly shifting towards mobile devices. In fact, recent statistics reveal that 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices. This number will only increase in the coming years. That's why it's essential to assume that many of your subscribers are reading your emails and, hopefully, clicking on your links using smartphones and tablets.
Make sure your website or sales page uses responsive design, which automatically adjusts pages to fit any screen. Test your emails and links using different devices. You want to make it as easy as possible for subscribers to read your email, click on links, and make purchases from their mobile devices.
One mistake many businesses make is sending identical emails to all of their customers. This is fine if you're email list is brand new and you only have a handful of subscribers. Once your list gets above 100 or so subscribers, however, it's time to take a close look at it and identify important differences.
Segmentation means sending targeted messages to people based on criteria such as their location, age, gender, budget, or buying history. The specific factors you consider depending on what you're selling. It's always helpful, for example, to separate potential and existing customers. Otherwise, you'll be bombarding people with promotions for something they've already bought.
Effective segmenting means identifying the relevant points on the customer journey. For example, suppose you're marketing a variety of information products related to weight loss. You might send prospects a series of emails enticing them to order your basic course. After someone buys this course, you send more advanced information marketing a higher end course. Always identify the particular phase in the journey where each customer is and send him or her relevant emails.
Abandoned shopping carts are a common problem with online shopping. People place items in their shopping carts and exit the site before completing the purchase. One of the best ways to remind these people that they have items in their carts is to send them emails.
It's important, however, to do this in a way that doesn't annoy the potential customer. Always include an opt-out link in these emails. Don't send out more than one of these emails per week. One way to motivate these people to complete their purchases is to give them a special discount.
Emails that end up in the recipient's spam box don't do you any good. Unfortunately, there are a number of factors that lead to this. One of the most common reasons is that the email contains certain words or phrases identified by spam filters. Some of the most common words to avoid are "free gift," "make money," "lose weight," "get out of debt," and "credit cards."
Be especially wary of using spammy words in subject lines. One positive consequence of spam filters is that they inspire a certain amount of creativity, as spam filters tend to pick up marketing clichés. Another thing that triggers spam filters is using URL shorteners for links in your emails.
One of the secrets to a more responsive list is to reward subscribers with special offers that aren't available anywhere else. Create promotional codes that aren't visible on your website. This gives people a strong incentive to open their emails. It's also a good idea to reward people who actually buy something from you.
Provide promotional discounts that are only given to past customers. Make sure you spell this out so that people understand they are getting a special deal not available to all subscribers. So you want to make people feel special for subscribing and even more special for buying.
One study found that including videos in email messages increases click-throughs by 200 to 300 percent. It's not difficult to embed videos into your emails and it immediately makes your message more engaging. Many leading email platforms, including Gmail, don't currently support video streaming within emails. However, if you display an image of the video, subscribers can click on it and watch the video on your landing page. This is one of the best ways to entice people to visit your website.