In the global soup of information and marketing messages, email remains one of the most reliable, direct lines to your consumers’ ears. It is also one of the most abused forms of marketing. According to a market report conducted by the Radicati Group, there are more than 290 billion emails sent daily. Let that sink in, 290 billion… and they estimate that it will increase to 347 billion by 2023.
Imagine you meet someone once. Next, they show up on your doorstep day and night, send WhatsApp messages every ten minutes, and phone you on the hour, every hour. I don’t know about you, but I’d be putting my running shoes on in an instant. It’s the same with email. There’s a fine line between staying in touch by sharing useful information and making a nuisance of yourself.
But there’s much, much more to email marketing than just a divine sense of timing. Before we delve into some details: like almost everything in marketing, there is much more than meets the eye. This article will point you in the right direction and provide you with useful links to businesses that specialise in email marketing content, machines, and learning. So, see it as a guideline rather than an instruction manual. Let’s get into it.
Timing is everything
When is a good time to send out emails? Well, when you have something to say that your customers want to know about. Here’s a summary of different types of emails you can send out, according to Hubspot:
- When there’s new content or a new offer on your site
The most important factors to keep in mind here are that you should ensure that the offer is clear, concise, and that your call to action is engaging. An obvious button in your mail can help with that.
- New products or features
People are not always that keen to receive these emails, yet companies can’t wait to send them. There’s a middle way. Send these emails when you really have announcements to make about new product releases and updates. Apple seems to get this right most of the time.
- Newsletters and magazines
Make them visually appealing and send them periodically, not every day (unless the person has subscribed to it). News outlets and blog sites often use this kind of outgoing mail channel.
Personalised invitations to new store openings, launches, galleries, and wine tastings, for example, can be very effective. Also, consider using direct messenger channels on social media for this kind of invitation. You won’t believe the difference in attendance rates when you personalise an invitation.
- Social media
You can also send messages to groups on social media. Use this option carefully when you do because you’ll have to use the platform’s engines to send the message, not your own. Various groups have very strict rules that describe what kind of content is suitable for group-sends. In short, it boils down to one of the most basic rules of communication: The information should benefit the whole group and not just one member in it.
- Transaction or confirmation emails
These are triggered by specific actions and you need specialised software to send these out.
- And, as a bonus, updates in your company
This is an internal mail sent to your employees. Remember that your employees are your greatest, or worst, word-of-mouth marketing tools. Stay in touch with them to build morale, connect the team, and boost your brand.
Hubspot also provides a downloadable guide that will give you insight on how email marketing works, how to get started and build your email list, send emails, different email regulations (remember data privacy), and how to analyse your email marketing efforts. The Hubspot Academy is a source of endless information and learning. Join them and subscribe to some courses. You won’t regret it.
Everything in marketing circles back to measurement and strategy. According to various sources, email marketing still delivers the highest Return on Investment (ROI) compared to other channels. If you consider that you need to grab someone’s attention in the sea of emails they receive every day, it makes sense to have a marketing email strategy. There are ways that you can stand out from the crowd and increase your returns on investment.
These ways include personalised emails, segmenting subscribers, mobile-friendly content and emails, A/B testing, and automation. SuperOffice goes into further details in their article, go and have a look.
The first thing you see when you receive email is the subject line. Question is, what makes a good one for whom? There’s a whole lot of theories about what to do and what not to do. The best is to A/B test it to get to know what your customers respond to. Write a couple of subject line options, take a sample of your audience, send mails with either subject line to both segments and see which email is opened the most between the two groups. For the remainder of the mailing list who weren’t in the test pool, use the winning subject line.
Speaking about testing, according to an article published by Forbes on tried and tested email marketing trends, you should split test your campaigns as well. If you want to try something different, send the risky campaign content to half your audience and see if they respond better than the other half who received your normal campaign. We can’t reiterate the power of testing and data enough. It’s what successful ecommerce businesses are built on, and that will never change no matter how much everything else does.
Funnily enough, one of the other successful strategies Forbes talks about is sending fewer emails. Yes, you read right. Send fewer emails. Send them at the right time to the relevant audience with an offer they want and are likely to respond to. Provide a clear call to action and make sure people are funnelled to a landing page that gives them what you promised in your email. Simple. Right?
Speaking of simple, here is a clear rundown of email marketing tools that will help you reach the right audience at the right time. Once you’ve worked out how and what you want to share, amplify your message and add to those billions of emails that are sent daily.