Despite Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg famously decrying the “end of email” in 2010, email marketing is more relevant than ever today. This form of digital marketing continues to provide an array of benefits, from building strong relationships with target audiences to providing some of the greatest ROI of any digital channel. Whether you’re considering starting an email marketing campaign or want to strengthen your existing strategy, here are four tips to help improve your email marketing results.
1. Content Is Still King … but Make It Relevant and Provide Value
By giving your audience current and valuable information, you will create a positive, long-lasting relationship that leads to new clients now and in the future. Quality content is also highly shareable, creating the opportunity to grow your email contact list (see #3 below). When brainstorming content ideas, think about what keeps your clients up at night and then provide a solution. The information can take a number of forms, such as a tip sheet, a link to a valuable article or an interview with an industry expert.
Content ideas include:
- Answering frequently asked questions about a particular issue
- Highlighting changes in the law that could affect your audience
- Providing industry news
- Repurposing other firm content, such as your most-read blog posts
- Sharing interesting or relevant activities in your local or professional community
2. Segment Your List to Send Targeted Emails
Segmentation allows you to create email campaigns that are more appropriate for, and thus more apt to connect with, a particular audience. Email list segmentation often results in increased open rates and lower unsubscribe rates. To segment successfully, create mailings that contain content particularly relevant to selected groups.
Here are some segments or categories you might want to consider.
- Current clients
- Past clients
- LinkedIn contacts
- Social media contacts
- Industry-specific segments
3. Focus on Ways to Grow Your List
Growing your list is one of the most-effective things you can do to expand your marketing reach and increase business development leads. This is especially important because your list is probably shrinking faster than it’s growing, due to hard bounces and opt-outs.
Here are three proven ways to increase your readership.
- Gated Content: Creating compelling, relevant and shareable content is one of the best ways to expand your reach (see #1 above). By making your content gated (hidden until a visitor enters their email address), you are automatically adding to your list every time someone wants access to your information.
- Webinars: Webinars are a popular and effective way to access and increase your audience. Here are a couple of ways you can strategically use a webinar to grow your list.
- Make a blog post about your latest webinar
You held a webinar, and now it’s time to promote it. One easy way to do this is to write about it in your next blog post.
- Create a lead magnet on your website
Publish a signup form on your home page that promotes your webinar.
- Promote on social media
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn all have a place in promoting your webinars. Tailor the message to the platform and be sure to link to the webinar signup form.
- Social Media: For marketers, social media is more relevant than ever. Content you create should be published on your social media platforms and linked back to your website. If just one social media post catches fire, it could be shared to thousands of potential new clients. To expand your email audience, consider running a social media “drip campaign” — one that involves sharing a series of marketing messages with useful, relevant and actionable information at scheduled intervals on all of your social media platforms. The key is to include a call to action that encourages viewers to sign up for your email list. Try sharing these different types of educational content to garner the widest reach:
- Blog posts
- Online courses
- White papers
4. Back to the Basics
Finally, some things never get old. These tried-and-true e-marketing essentials should never be ignored or forgotten.
- Subject Lines: The success of an email marketing campaign is highly dependent on the kinds of subject lines you use. This is undoubtedly the most-crucial part of your campaign success. However, it’s not rocket science. Use subject lines that compel people to open your messages. Make them short and descriptive. Include words that suggest urgency, ask a question or challenge a common notion.
- Optimization for Mobile: Nothing will turn off a potential reader faster than opening an email newsletter only to see that it’s not optimized for a mobile device. If your reader has to pinch to zoom in and out, they probably won’t bother. Most email marketing software will handle this for you automatically, but make sure you don’t overlook this important step. To ensure a mobile-friendly email, make sure to consider the length of texts and visuals. Some image files may not display on smartphones, and others may slow downloading time.
- A/B Testing: One of the most-effective email marketing tricks is A/B testing. This can improve the success of your campaigns by providing data that can help you analyze and optimize a variety of factors to increase conversion rates. Here are just a few of the things you can test in an email campaign.
- Best time/day to send your emails
- Subject line
- “From” name and sender address
- Mobile responsive designs
- Call-to-action buttons
Email marketing is still an important and essential arrow in your marketing quiver, so don’t overlook it. By reviewing and updating a few of your current practices, your efforts can be rewarding. If you need help getting started, contact me, Jennifer Faivre, at email@example.com.