Creating a top tier email marketing campaign can be a bit of a daunting task when you’re looking at starting, but it really doesn’t need to be
By the end of this blog you’ll;
- Know what to look for
- Feel more comfortable in creating a campaign and steering it in the right direction
- Know what to do to increase that ROI!
With over 200 billion emails being sent out each and every day and high use rates from adults and teenagers alike, using marketing email campaigns can boost return customers and get new ones coming through the ‘real’ or ‘virtual’ doors.
What is an Email Marketing Campaign?
An email marketing campaign is a series of emails sent out by a company, to potential or existing customers, with the aim of increasing use of a product, interactions from leads/contacts or simply to get more leads and sales.
Sadly, it’s not as easy as just writing up a few emails and firing them off; there’s a bit of prep work needed before clicking that send button.
Build an email list
Without a list of email addresses there won’t be anyone to email, so first things first; you need to start to build an email list of people interested in your product or service. The best way to do this is by getting people to sign up for your newsletter or general correspondence and the best place to do this would be on your website. You should include a nice big call to action button on there or a targeted pop-up perhaps, with access to a special deal. This can be a great hook to use. However, these will only really work if you can keep a site visitors interest when they load your website. Make sure that your site is well made, in keeping with your brand, interesting, clear and that it doesn’t take all day to load! You can learn more about ‘What to include in your website’ here.
Another way of obtaining contact information, such as emails, is by creating lead capture ads on platforms such as Facebook. You get your targeting right when setting up your ads and anyone that leaves their details via the lead capture form is a potential customer and a warm lead; just what you are after. Learn more about what is possible with Facebook for business here.
No doubt you will be aware that it is possible to buy lists from 3rd party companies, containing email addresses associated with any given particular niche such as printing, hospitality or publishing perhaps. However, these are very much cold leads, having probably not even heard of you before, let alone contacted you, and your email list needs to be built up of warm leads and people who have expressed interest in what you have to offer. There will be a time and a place for purchasing lists such as these, especially during a sales run, but they are not particularly useful for the purposes of building an email list in order to kick off an effective marketing campaign.
You need to have a plan and outcome in mind before you start writing your email copy. The easiest way to do this is just to think about what you want to achieve with the specific campaign. Is it;
- To nurture your existing subscribers?
- To welcome new ones?
- To boost engagement?
- To get some more traffic sales?
Once you’ve decided what you want to achieve then it’s time to move onto the next steps of deciding what kind of email fits the aims that you have in mind.
When approaching your email marketing campaign, you’re going to want to be thinking a few steps ahead. Have a think about your aim and how you want your leads/contacts to show interest in what you are offering. In an ideal world you would only need the one email and that would get the traction that you want, however, people may not be persuaded by that first email, or might even miss it, so you’re going to need a few more follow up ones. These emails should fit into the aim you have in mind and provide value to who you’re sending them to! To find out how you should approach these emails to offer value and get the best results, see here.
It is important that you don’t go in with a barrage of emails, as this can be overwhelming for your leads and result in low open rates as well emails being labelled as spam by most email clients. Make a schedule and try to stick to it. It is good practice to wait for 2-3 working days in between outreach emails within your workflow, for best effect. If a lead engages with a particular email in a particular way, perhaps they can move into a separate email workflow with applicable copy changes made to any further emails sent.
For example, your initial outreach email workflow may have 3 emails in it and you may have an automation set up within your CRM to send the emails in succession, with 3 days gap in between each. However, you may wish to add a condition within this automation that results in the first email being sent multiple times, again with a 3 day gap in between each, if the contact does not open it, until they do, in which case they go back to the original workflow and receive the 2nd email some time after opening the first. There is much that can be done with automations within your CRM to benefit your email campaign. See here for more information of what is possible.
Along this same vein, it is also important to make sure that all outreach emails are sent at the right times. In our experience, emails are more likely to be read if sent at particular times of the day, such as just before work, so between 7am and 8.30am, around lunchtime, say 12pm and then towards the end of the working day, around 4pm. This is likely to do with what time people have to check through their inbox and sort ‘the wheat from the chaff’. It’s also worth noting here, that for all you global businesses out there you will need to be aware of what time zones each lead is in and send emails in line with their working day. You can gather this data and set these preferences within your CRM.`
Treating each one of your leads as potential customers will only work in your favour. Consider them at every opportunity and offer them value at each and every turn. Adding value to your contacts leads us nicely to our next point, which is…
Knowing your audience
Before you start writing up your emails you’re going to need to know who they’re going to and what kind of people they are. You can find this information from services like Google Analytics (which if you haven’t already set up you need to) and Facebook insights. Both of these services show information on age, location, interest and more, helping you to make an informed decision on who your audience is, giving you the ability to tailor your copy and design it to that audience.
What kind of emails to send
When coming to send an email, there are a few options to consider, each with their own tone and design.
- Promotional emails – These tell the reader all about offers and include lots of images of products that have special deals on them.
- Chatty emails – These are most commonly newsletters, keeping subscribers up to date with what’s been going on in your company or what’s coming up in the future for example.
- Confirmation emails – These are the other most common emails sent out and can be for confirming subscriptions, order details or confirmation of detail changes.
So, pick which one fits your goals for any particular campaign and you’re good to go. Let’s get writing!
Crafting the perfect email
When coming to tackle your email copy, you should start with the first thing that your recipient will see, and that’s the subject line. This heading, phrase or sentence is responsible for catching the eye of the recipients and convincing them to open and read the email itself. Because of this, it needs to be eye catching and intriguing. One of the best ways to improve your open rates is to personalise your subject line using the recipients name. However, just using somebody’s name doesn’t guarantee that they will open the email; the rest of the subject line needs to draw them in too. Some of the best ways to do this would be to:
- Explain what they will get out of reading the email
- Keep any important pieces of information towards the start of the subject line so that it shows up in a recipient’s inbox.
- Make sure that you don’t use spammy language, with words such as ‘free’ or ‘sale’ or capitalisation or exclamation marks. This tends to go down very badly nowadays as if it isn’t reported as spam by any given email client then people tend to lump it in the category of ‘sales – do not open’.
Once you’ve crafted your subject line to hook them in, it’s time to get into writing your email copy and letting your creative side out. Some of the tips for your main email content are the same as for the subject line; personalise the email so it seems more tailored to the individual and get the hook in early to get them to read on. Now, this doesn’t always mean pitching straight away as you want the reader to get comfortable first, but if the email is very much a marketing one, perhaps containing graphics for a sale for example, then by all means open up with that as its a pretty nice hook.
Make sure that your marketing email isn’t too long as readers will tune out pretty quickly. You want it to be short and really pack a punch, whilst still feeling personal to the reader. This is a difficult line to tread but once you have run a few email marketing campaigns you’ll be able to nail the balance needed for your particular company and message. It doesn’t take long in business to get a few email campaigns under your belt after all, as they are essential for lead nurturing in almost all cases.
When emailing a lead, the main outcome you are looking for is essentially for your contacts to then do something, to react to your outreach. With this in mind, it is really important that you include a CTA, or ‘Call To Action’, in your marketing emails, taking the reader out of the email and to where you want them to go next. This is usually a button containing a catchy tag line such as ‘Get involved’, ‘Jump on-board’ or ‘Learn More’ with a hidden hyperlink. It could, however, also be an image, such as the ‘clearance sale’ graphic, used in an example above, or links to share your content on their social media. Your CTA is the main outcome that you want from any particular email within your email campaign and would have been decided on during the planning for it. So, in theory, the subject of your email, the copy within it, any graphics included and the overall messaging of its contents should lead up to your CTA and push your contacts towards wanting to click it, follow it or complete it.
If you want to brush up on how to create the perfect sales email to use within an upcoming campaign perhaps, then check out our blog; ‘Creating the perfect sales email’.
Here are a few generally useful tips to bear in mind both throughout and after activating an email marketing campaign;
- Try not to overload your emails with images unless it’s necessary
- Generally speaking, you want more text in your emails than graphics and any important information to be kept separate from the graphics used
- It’s good practice to test and iterate on your emails. See what works and what doesn’t work as well and be sure to track results based on changes.We advise you only change one aspect each time to avoid confusion. You won’t know what had the effect, either positive or negative if multiple things are changed at once.
- Always check the email campaign reports! Make sure that it’s not getting a high bounce, unsubscribe or spam rate. If an email within your campaign does in fact have any of these, turn it off and figure out what is causing the issue, make your amendments and then try again. There is something very wrong if these are high and it can affect your ability to send emails quite badly in the long run.
So that’s it for now. You now know a little more on how to approach building an email marketing campaign and the best practices involved. You want to get it right after all and nurture leads further down your sales funnel. Make sure to keep iterating and improving both the emails within your campaign and the campaign workflow itself if needs be.
Save your business time, money and stress by checking out our other articles for more useful information around this or if you have any questions about it, ask away. Doyle can help. Just shoot him an email; firstname.lastname@example.org