What’s one of the first things you do in the morning (besides hitting the snooze button)?
If you’re like me, you check your email. In fact, nearly half of all women keep their smartphones on their nightstands – allowing them to check email before saying ‘good morning’ or sipping coffee.
Email is a widely used and valuable marketing tool, which is why it’s so important to have a plan behind your email campaigns. Below are five ideas to help you get the most out of your email marketing.
1. Have a strategy
Great open and click rates are important, but converting prospective buyers is key to a strong ROI. Successful email marketing is tied to a campaign’s main goals and objectives. Here at Flint Group, we dig into the sales process, asking questions like, “Where in the sales cycle will email have the biggest impact on closing a sale?”
So, before you send one-off emails, look at the big picture. Test emails at different parts of your sales cycle to see where you have the most movement from your customers.
There’s no doubt email is a powerful marketing tool, but it shouldn’t be your only tactic. Incorporating email into your integrated marketing communications can create solid results for your entire campaign.
For example, leverage social media to share your content and grow your list. And make sure your emails are optimized for mobile – after all, more than half of all emails are now opened from a mobile device.
3. Be personal and relevant
Your customers are getting hundreds of emails daily; you need to cut through the clutter and grab their attention. The more you know about your customers, the more you can personalize your messaging and engage them with your brand. Use email’s power of personalization and real-time communication to give them relevant content that they’ve requested, when they need it.
4. Maintain a quality, growing subscriber list
When maintaining and building your email database, think quality over quantity. Before starting any email marketing campaign, we recommend evaluating your current list.
The first step is to review how your current subscribers are engaging with your emails, including your unsubscribe rate. Then, create a preference center that lets subscribers select the content and frequency they prefer to receive your communications. Based on these preferences, move them into nurture campaigns.
Once you’ve evaluated your subscriber list and engaged your existing contacts, you can work on adding new subscribers to your campaigns.
5. Test. Test. Test.
The best way to know what works best for you and your customers is to test, test and test again. You may think this will blow your budget out of the water, but simple testing can create big results. For example, most email service providers make it easy to test multiple subject lines, which is very valuable since this is first thing a prospect or customer will see.
But testing doesn’t need to start with the email; look at what’s working in other elements of your campaign. For example, if you have a headline, photo or button that’s outperforming in an online campaign, use it in your email and vice versa.
Now is the perfect time to step back and review your email marketing plan for 2014. How will you apply these tips to increase your performance in 2014? Share with us in the comments below.