What is good email marketing?
As the name suggests, email marketing is really just marketing via email. That is, as a business, you send out emails to your subscribers with the intention of driving traffic - and preferably the converting kind - to your business. This is true for physical stores, but email marketing is especially effective when it comes to online commerce.
Good email marketing - like all good commerce - puts the customer first. That is, most successful email marketing strategiesthat sends out emails focusing only on the company and its products or services.
Most people working with email marketing today work with a combination of newsletters and marketing automation, i.e. automated email marketing. The latter is an effective and time-saving channel, and there are now many different platforms that make it easy to get started with marketing automation - for example, ActiveCampaign.
First of all, it is important to comply with the GDPR regulation. This means, among other things, not sending out promotional emails to anyone other than those who have voluntarily signed up for your newsletter. It also means providing clear and easy unsubscribe options in every email. The opposite - signing up people who haven't opted in and trying to keep them against their will by hiding the unsubscribe button - will only lead to unhappy customers in the long run, and it will hurt your business.
What does the right email marketing strategy look like?
Exactly what type of emails you send out will, of course, depend a little on the type of business you have. How big your business is. What product or service you offer. Still, there are some benchmarks that are good to start from.
- Make sure you give the customer value with every email. It gets them used to the fact that opening emails from you is a good experience because they get something out of it. It not only benefits your open rates (how many people open), but also prevents too many people from unsubscribing immediately. Value can be anything from offers, discounts or just something interesting. Think creatively here.
- Make sure it's not just about you. Think like the customer here: Wouldn't it be nicer to receive an email that focuses on you and your needs? Instead of just getting emails that brag about how superb some products the company has a offer?
- Make sure you personalise your emails. Talk directly to the customer. Imagine you are writing an email to a good friend. Start with "Hi". Ask inviting questions like "Did you have a good Christmas?" or "Are you ready for summer vacation?" Feel free to use emojis and colloquial language. This not only makes the email much more inclusive and interesting for the customer to read, it also takes the focus off the "hard sell". It doesn't have to take oceans of time to compose a personalized email once you get used to it.
- When you need to sell something, do it "soft". Make sure the email with a sale is about something other than just getting the sale. If possible, tell a funny anecdote about the product or something else that the customer will connect with. Then you can make your offer. This makes the sale soft rather than hard, and increases the chance that the customer will actually choose to buy.
- Automation, automation, automation. Make sure you set up a welcome sequence. That is, one or more emails that your customers receive automatically after signing up, welcoming them to your newsletter. One of the great strengths of email marketing is precisely how little time it takes. And with automation, it becomes even less.