A guest blog by Faye Napigkit (Demand Gen Coordinator at Campaign Monitor)
Email is definitely one of the most effective digital marketing channels used by businesses today. No other channel has been able to surpass or even match the level of return that email marketing offers.
However, in order to generate the kind of revenue that email marketing can provide, you have to follow all the best practices.
Not familiar with what they are? No worries. Read on to learn the current email marketing best practices.
1. Use the right email service.
Regardless of the product or service or the size of your organization, choosing the right email service or platform is critical to your email marketing success. Consider your budget carefully and choose a platform with most, if not, all of these features.
- Integrations - Streamline your entire workflow with a platform that allows you to integrate your CRM as well as other third-party applications into it.
- Analytics - Your platform should have analytics capabilities to help you accurately measure email performance.
- Scalability - Avoid the hassle of switching platforms every so often by choosing one that can scale with you as you grow.
- Automation - Use a platform with powerful automation functions so you don’t have to send emails manually.
2. Make it easy to subscribe to your list.
If you want to grow a list of engaged subscribers, you need to make it easy for your website visitors to subscribe. You can encourage signups with these kinds of subscription forms:
- Landing pages - Place landing pages to capture leads on high-traffic pages on your website such as your homepage, contact us page, and about us page.
- Buttons - Place subscription buttons throughout your website (ex. home page, blog page, specific blog articles, etc.).
- Social media - Use a platform that gives you the ability to add subscription forms directly from your Facebook page.
By giving visitors plenty of chances to subscribe, you won’t miss out on valuable leads that could potentially convert into paying customers.
3. Ask for sufficient information.
It’s not enough that you create eye-catching signup buttons and place them on various pages throughout your website. You also need to make sure that your forms are designed to capture the right information from potential subscribers.
Your segmentation efforts (more on that later) will be much easier if you have a treasure trove of data to work with.
In addition to asking for standard information like their age, gender, and geographical location, you can also ask for other information that might be specific to your brand and the type of product or service that you offer.
4. Always confirm subscriptions.
Building a massive subscriber list is one thing, but maintaining the health of that list is another. If you don’t know how to keep a clean and healthy list, you could end up with a list filled with unengaged—or worse, non-existent—subscribers.
When it comes to protecting the health of your list, early prevention is better than cure. Avoid getting unengaged subscribers on your list by using the double opt-in method of confirmation.
With double opt-in, you send an email to people who’ve signed up and ask them to confirm their subscription by clicking on a link within a confirmation email. Only after they’ve completed this action will they be added to your list of subscribers.
This email marketing best practice prevents invalid emails from being added to your list, thereby helping you maintain the health of your list. Using the double opt-in method also ensures that you are in compliance with the GDPR, which requires companies to get the consent of customers before processing and storing their information.
5. Segmentation is key.
Use subscriber information already at your disposal to create different subscriber segments. You can import or synchronize the customer data stored in your CRM or any other software you’re using.
Here are examples of subscriber data points you can use in your segmentation efforts:
- Geographical location
- Job title
- Seniority level (ex. entry level, middle management, executive, etc.)
- Industry or field of expertise
When you segment your list into smaller sets of subscribers that have common denominators, sending relevant content to each segment will be much easier. Proper segmentation also makes it a lot easier for you to hold the interest of your subscribers and keep them engaged with your brand.
6. Personalize your messages.
According to data, personalized emails generate six times higher transaction rates than non-personalized emails. Furthermore, marketers state that they receive 760% more revenue if they segment and personalize their campaigns.
It’s clear that email personalization carries a lot of benefits for your business, so don’t take it for granted.
Even the most basic personalization strategies can yield amazing results. For instance, did you know that simply including your subscriber’s first name in your subject line can boost your email opens by 26%?
7. Power up your campaigns with automation.
As previously mentioned, it’s best that your email platform has automation features. Leverage these features and automate the sending of various emails.
Let your platform do most of the work—after all, it is what email platforms are for. All you have to do is set up the workflow and determine the appropriate triggers, and your platform will take care of the rest.
You can start your automation efforts with these core campaigns.
- Welcome series - Set it up to send within 24 hours of a visitor signing up to your list.
- Holiday emails - Set up all your holiday emails at the beginning of each year and just wait for conversions to roll out throughout the year.
- Announcement - Update subscribers in a timely manner whenever you have important announcements such as the arrival of a new product.
8. Use email marketing benchmarks to your advantage.
Spend the necessary time and effort to learn more about the email marketing benchmarks across different industries.
Doing so gives you an idea about how your brand is performing compared to your competitors, as well as brands from other industries.
It also allows you to determine which areas of your email marketing strategy you need to improve, which can include the following:
- Open rate - How many recipients are actually opening your emails?
- Click-through rate (CTR) - How many are clicking on the links included in your emails?
- Unsubscribe rate - How many users unsubscribe after receiving a specific email from you?
- Bounce rate - What is the percentage of emails that bounce back to you?
Whether you are just beginning your email marketing journey or you’re a savvy veteran looking to take your email marketing campaigns to new heights, keep these best practices in mind.
They’ll enable you to improve your strategy across the board and help ensure that you reap the full benefits of the awesome digital channel that is email marketing.
A little about Faye:
Faye Napigkit is Demand Gen Coordinator at Campaign Monitor. If you’re looking for a leading email platform full of automation, check them out!