Although an email marketing strategy might appear to be a simple, straightforward endeavor that demands little more than some catchy verbiage, there are some intricacies that must be reconciled and understood to make the campaigns work. This is not to say that the projects need to be exceedingly difficult, nor that a given advertiser cannot get them right, but rather that flippant approaches can have the exact opposite impact on the brand image that the business would hope and expect.
Because of consumer and purchaser behaviors with respect to the email accounts and utilization, one wrong step can make your company look like a spam-ridden, shoddy enterprise to your target markets. This is essentially a worst-case scenario because it at once ensures that you will not enjoy any returns on investment and hinders your stature as a brand in the eyes of your customers and clientele, meaning it simply cannot happen.
Instead, focusing on not only getting the campaigns of your email marketing strategy right, but optimizing every single communication sent to go above and beyond the call of duty will be a righteous cause for your business to pursue. After all, studies indicate that email marketing campaigns are in fact the most effective means of generating new leads and converting prospects into loyal customers, while they can also help to maintain engagement among loyal ones for longer periods of time.
The complexities of developing an email marketing strategy are a bit more subversive than those of content advertising, search engine optimization and social media. However, this does not mean that they are more difficult to understand, but rather that too many companies do not respect the challenge. To get rolling on a progressive, effective and efficient email advertising campaign, consider incorporating these seven key components into your approach for optimal success rates:
1) Informed decisions
Market research, surveys and other insight-generating practices need to be involved in your email marketing strategy right from the start, and there is plenty of information to be had. Consider leveraging analytics and other solutions, including outsourced ones when necessary, to get the right information about your target market’s expectations and preferences before even sending one email ad, and you will likely enjoy higher ROI as a result.
Remember, many businesses will over-estimate the simplicity of an email advertising campaign, leading them to never even consider the prospect of training employees who will be overseeing the email marketing strategy. Make sure your staff members understand the best practices of email marketing before the campaign is deployed, and this will help you to avoid major issues or challenges that come from a lack of experience and expertise on behalf of the sender.
Regardless of which marketing medium is being discussed, modern consumers simply respond better to communications and content that include imagery, visuals and video. Make sure that your emails touch upon this preference by including at least one image in every one sent, perhaps showcasing a new product or service, and eventually working to include more robust visuals such as infographics and videos in there.
However, it is worth noting here that including too many images, or the wrong ones such as stock photos or irrelevant fare, will hinder success in this regard. Keep them simple and within the bounds of reason.
Hypebot recently reported that localized email marketing campaigns can be highly effective, especially when they engage the recipient in a more progressive fashion, such as through the use of voting polls and surveys that are embedded right in the main ad. Because of how consistently consumers check their email accounts through their smartphones while out and about, the source stated that targeting nearby prospects might be the most effective path toward conversion.
The news provider added that timely delivery of promotions through localized email campaigns can be a boon to the bottom line and brand image.
5) Mobile-enabled email marketing
In that same vein, mobile-friendly advertising campaigns are critical today, as smartphones, tablets and other portable devices are growing in prominence among all consumer markets. What’s more, a growing majority of email ads will be read on these devices, and the ways in which consumers interact with these communications through smartphones and tablets are changing rapidly.
Small Business Computing noted that one study found mobile-targeted email ads can be highly effective so long as they are very concise and to the point, as few consumers will look for longer than a matter of seconds. In addition to brevity, make sure the formatting of images and other components will be consistent on desktops as well as mobile devices.
6) Have a catchy subject line strategy
Let’s get real – a recipient is simply not going to open your email advertisement unless the subject line instantly draws him or her in, and this is somewhat of an art. You do not want to come across as spammy or overly promotional, but you do want the subject line to be provocative, informative and reflective of the content that is contained within the body of the communication.
As such, make sure your staff members know how to craft a unique and tight subject line to get those emails read, otherwise you can bet you’ll soon watch the conversion rate drop.
7) Planned delivery
Frequency and timing are critical in email advertisement delivery, and there are some best practices that all marketers can oblige to get these matters right. This is not to say that you should not conduct your own research to figure out exactly what your customers will respond best to, but you can get a strong start by following the industry-recognized procedures with respect to frequency and timing.
Independent Retailer cited research that found Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the best days to deliver an email ad, and that three or four emails a month appears to be the optimal frequency for the greatest number of businesses.
At the end of the day, you are going to need to personalize and customize your approaches to email marketing for the highest possible ROI, and much of this will take some trial and error. Make sure analytics are in place to manage reports and better understand the successes and failures of each endeavor for continuous improvement as time goes on.