Nowadays, many experts suggest that email marketing is becoming obsolete. However, email marketing wouldn’t be one of the oldest and most effective marketing strategies if it didn’t produce viable results even until today.
Just because other marketing channels, such as social media, for instance, are more popular these days, it doesn’t mean that email marketing is no longer important.
As a matter of fact, email marketing is a strategy that can produce the highest ROI (Return on Investment). Some of the top-performing companies in email marketing can generate more than $70 ROI per every dollar invested in this strategy alone.
Even companies that are not top performers can earn between $38 and $44 for every dollar spent on email marketing. That actually makes email marketing more effective than social media.
Therefore, email isn’t dead or obsolete. It’s still here and it’s one of the best marketing channels you can imagine.
All you need to do is learn how to use it as effectively as possible. Of course, the road that makes email marketing a truly valuable asset is long and paved with challenges.
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But once you make email marketing what it needs to be, it will become one of your most effective marketing strategies.
With that in mind, here’s a comprehensive guide on how to build an email marketing strategy. So let’s see it here in this article.
1. Create your email list
The first part of building an email marketing strategy is to create your email list. This is also the most time-consuming and most challenging part. The main reason is that you have to encourage people to subscribe to your email list.
Fortunately, people are more inclined to subscribe to an email newsletter than to click on an ad. All you need is a compelling offer. This usually involves giving people something they might want or need for free.
For instance, you can provide your potential subscribers with free content, an eBook, access to a webinar and so on, in exchange for a subscription. This will help you grow your email list which you can later use for your marketing efforts.
Here are some other tips on how to grow your email list:
- Make sure you’re targeting the right audience
- Add “sign up” forms wherever you can on your website
- Ensure that your sign-up forms are simple and that they don’t contain too many fields
- Use lead magnets on the content you publish
- Use the checkout page to ask customers to subscribe
It will take time for you to grow your list of email subscribers, but that’s just part of the whole process. Once your email list has grown, you can start implementing other strategies that will help you create a truly effective email marketing campaign.
2. Leverage email segmentation
Email marketing gives you control over who you want to target with your marketing promotions. Unlike social media ads, email marketing provides you with more qualified leads.
The main reason is that leads on your email list have chosen to be there, which means they’re already interested in your business or brand.
Furthermore, you’re the only one that owns your list of subscribers. That being said, how interested a lead is depends on how ready they are to convert into a paying customer.
Some leads are more interested than others but they are all at certain stages of your sales funnel. Identifying where your lead is in the conversion of the funnel is quite simple with email marketing. All you need to do is leverage email segmentation.
In other words, you create groups for leads based on their interest and willingness to make a purchase. That way, you can send specific messages and offers to different lead segments.
This has actually proven to be quite an effective method for lead nurturing. Some leads may need more convincing than others, but eventually, most of the leads will convert in one way or another.
By dividing your email subscribers into groups, you’re able to use more personalization. That personalization will spark their interest. And interest will help guide your leads further down the sales funnel.
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3. Use email content wisely
As you might imagine, email marketing isn’t effective without well-written content. When you send out an email to your subscriber or group of subscribers, it has to be meaningful and it has to have a purpose. This is where content comes in.
You have to ask yourself this: “Why am I sending out this email?”. For instance, you could be welcoming new subscribers, informing your leads, sending out custom offers and promotions or targeting leads that have abandoned their carts.
Therefore, each email needs a purpose and carefully crafted content that goes along with it.
Oftentimes, it may be difficult to come up with the right content for your email strategy. In that case, you can always procure the services of a reliable digital web agency to help you out. The main goal is to encourage your leads to take the desired action.
Regardless of the purpose of your emails, here are a few common practices you should consider to make your email content more effective.
- Write meaningful subject lines
- Avoid clickbait at all times
- Use personalization
- Address the lead by their name
- Create a sense of urgency. Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a powerful motivator.
- Be specific; shorter content is often better.
- Use calls-to-action.
The key is to encourage subscribers to open the email they receive from you. Once they do that, the content you’ve created should be able to do the rest.
4. Use automation whenever you can
One of the best things about modern email marketing campaigns is automation. This allows marketers to do less work and achieve better results.
Just imagine manually sending emails to thousands of subscribers. This was pretty much mandatory not so long ago.
Nowadays, automation does that for you. All you need to do is determine which types of emails need to be sent to which subscriber groups and at what time.
Email marketers refer to these automated email sequences as drip campaigns. The so-called drip campaigns can be designed to achieve any type of goal. Here are a few examples.
- Welcome campaign
- Cross-sell and up-sell promotions
- Cart abandonment retargeting
- Lead magnet campaigns
- Sales and discounts
Drip campaigns can be very useful, especially since they can be attuned to specific events.
For example, a welcoming drip campaign allows you to welcome and thank new subscribers for joining your email list. This also allows you to ask subscribers to confirm their email addresses.
That way, you can determine which leads actually provided a valid email address and are, therefore, interested in your future offers.
It also helps you identify those who provided false information so that you can exclude them from your email list. That way, you won’t have to waste resources on sending emails to leads who are not, in fact, leads at all.
5. Optimize your emails for mobile devices
Whether you like it or not, most of the emails you send out are opened on mobile devices. If your emails aren’t optimized for mobile, they’ll be discarded right away.
In fact, around 70% of online consumers will delete an email in just three seconds if it’s not properly displayed on their mobile devices.
Mobile traffic has long since surpassed that of the desktop, so it’s only logical to assume your subscribers will check their emails on their smartphones or tablets. That’s why mobile-friendly emails are of vital importance for your email strategy.
Here are a few ways you can optimize your emails for mobile:
- Write shorter subject lines
- Utilize device detection provided by your ESP (Email Service Provider) or use responsive templates
- Use larger fonts for words
- Use smaller images for faster loading
- Make the most of your buttons and CTAs
When your emails are optimized for mobile, you no longer have to worry about which device your subscribers use to open their emails.
A responsive template or device detection can easily adjust your emails and the content within to any screen size and any device. This will help you ensure that your emails are well-received by anyone on your email list.
Email marketing is still ranked as one of the most effective marketing strategies today. It even beats social media, SEO and affiliate marketing in terms of effectiveness and ROI. That’s why email marketing is more than capable of complementing your other marketing efforts.
No matter how old the technology behind email may be, people still prefer using this channel as a means of communication, either among themselves or to communicate with different brands.
That being said, creating an effective email strategy comes down to growing your email list and nurturing your leads until they are ready to convert.
Tomas is a digital marketing specialist and a freelance blogger. His work is focusing on new web tech trends and digital voice distribution across different channels.
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