Email marketing outperforms every other marketing channel when it comes to driving revenue. Great results can be achieved for your business through email marketing. However, they come with some challenges.
One of the biggest challenges for B2B marketers using email marketing is worrying about effectiveness of their emails.
It’s no surprise, then, how hotly contested your subscribers’ inboxes have become. Even more so after the changes regarding data protection in email marketing (GDPR).
However, we want to make one thing clear – you can still be successful with email marketing. You just need the right strategy!
In this article, we’ll show you 7 ways that will help you get started with email marketing.
1. Create a plan
Before you create your next email campaign, you need a plan.
Having a good plan will clarify your goals and approach, and you’ll quickly see what follow-up emails you need to send. So, what content should be included in your plan?
Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you begin:
- What are your goals?
- What is your target audience?
- How often do you want to send emails?
- What content will the campaign have?
- How long do you want the campaign to last?
- How will you measure success?
Your plan doesn’t have to be detailed. If you are short on time, then a bullet-point list is perfectly adequate. The advantage of such a written plan is that you can refer to it at any time.
2. Keep your campaigns simple and structured
In a common email tactic, multiple pieces of information are packed into one email message to generate as much interest as possible.
But our advice is:
Do the opposite.
Keep your message concise, easy to read and factual.
If you’ve never written a newsletter before, don’t worry Jack Price’s “Four Ps” of Persuasive eMail Copywriting is a good resource to learn more about.
The premise is simple. The four P’s will help you structure your campaign in a way that will get readers’ attention and make a response more likely.
The four P’s are:
- Promise (Promise)
- Figurative language (Picture)
- Action (Push)
Start by promising your customer something, such as the solution to one of his problems. Use figurative language so that the reader can picture the solution in his mind’s eye.
Then, prove your touted solution with case studies or references.
Finally, communicate clearly what you want the reader to do next. For example, if you want him to buy a certain product, you should include an appropriate link. For readers who are still hesitant about buying, you could alternatively offer a free download for e.g. trial versions etc.
3. Test your emails
There are several ways you can test your email campaign. This doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming either. However, each email should be read through by at least one work colleague before you send it out.
It’s also important to test your emails on different platforms. How do they read on mobile devices and tablets? Do the images display correctly in all email clients?
Customers will continue to use multiple platforms to access your emails and you need to ensure that emails can be read on every device.
4. Correct timing
Customers read emails at different times and for different reasons. So you should send your campaign so that your email lands in the inbox when it’s most likely to be read. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Think about whether your customers read their emails first thing in the morning or maybe at the end of the day from the comfort of their couch. The answer to this question will affect when you should send your email.
Unfortunately, there is no standard answer here, you need to test it. Send your mails at different times and on different days of the week. This way you can quickly see at what time and on what day you get the best results.
If you decide to send the campaign on a weekday, for example, we have found that Tuesday has the highest open rates, and more emails are opened in the afternoon (after 14:00).
5. Personalize your emails
Your customers may have things in common, but on your own, you’re all different. And let’s face it, everyone likes to be treated as if they are Unique and Special.
You can achieve this with the help of CRM software.
With CRM software, you can add personalized elements to your email campaign so that it looks tailored to the individual recipient. How much you personalize your email is up to you and can include the following personalized information, among others:
- Purchase history
- Last login date
- Recent activities
6. Ask for permission before sending emails
Asking permission (permission-based marketing) has become more relevant in marketing in recent years and is now standard. You may wonder what is meant by permission-based marketing?
Not only is it decent to ask your recipients for permission before sending, since the GDPR came into effect on May 25, 2018, it is also necessary.
Well, it’s just decent to ask the prospect for permission first before you start sending emails to promote your products. In certain countries, this is even mandatory by law.
Marketing guru Seth Godin summarized the practice of permission-based marketing back in a blog post from 2008. This is still true today – over a decade later!
“Permission-based marketing is the privilege (not the right) to send expected, personal and relevant messages to people who want to receive them…. [it’s] like selling. You don’t ask for a sale on the first contact. You earn that right over time – step by step.”
Permission-based marketing requires that you ask your recipients for permission to receive emails. This contrasts with buying a list of thousands of addresses from recipients who have never heard of you.
Although it takes much more effort to build an email list yourself, you will get a much better response rate because recipients want to hear from you.
7. Measure the results
As with any other marketing channel, you need to measure the results of your campaign. You can gauge the success of your email campaign by following these email marketing Key Performing Indicators (KPIs):
- Delivery rate
- Open rate
- Click-through rate
The delivery rate is calculated by comparing the number of emails delivered to the number of emails sent. For example, an email might not be delivered due to an invalid or deleted email address.
The open rate is calculated by comparing the number of delivered emails with the number of opened emails.
Click-through rate is calculated by comparing the number of emails opened with the number of emails in which an image or link was clicked.
When you evaluate these key performance indicators, you can see what is working best in your campaigns. For example, if you see that campaigns with a short subject line have better open rates compared to a long subject line, then you should use short subject lines in the future.
The key to becoming a successful B2B marketer is to spend your time and resources on activities that will get you the best results.
One low-cost way to get good results continues to be email marketing.
Email marketing allows you to approach your customers in a way that no other marketing channel can.
Therefore, use email marketing to acquire customers. Send emails that people love to open and that lead to follow-up activities.
And if your email campaign doesn’t give you the success you were hoping for right out of the gate, believe us, even the biggest and most successful companies don’t make everything work on the first try.
Take stock of your success, test and … just try again!
Do you want to get started with email marketing? Contact Enkronos today.