Business

Email Marketing – Are You Doing It Right…Or At All?

It's a small investment that can produce big gains.
Photo Credit: Digital Breeze Media

Author: Cassie Scott

Email marketing does it all. It’s targeted, measurable, easily shared and cost-effective. It also increases brand awareness. Your emails inform customers and drive online and in-store sales. However, email marketing only works if you’re doing it and, more importantly, doing it right.

Plenty of data highlight the benefits of email marketing:

  • VentureBeat report found for every $1 spent, email marketing returns $38 on the investment.
  • Marketing Sherpa study reported 72 percent of consumers prefer to receive promotional content through email. In contrast, 17 percent prefer social media.
  • According to a McKinsey & Company survey, email marketing is 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined in helping businesses acquire new customers.

With numbers like those, you’ll wish you had hit “send” a long time ago … and more often. For optimal business growth, try email marketing. These five tips will help you reap its many benefits:

1. Make subscribing easy.


To ensure your content reaches your customers’ online mailbox, make it easy for them to subscribe. Keep the signup form short and simple. Post it on your website’s homepage, social accounts and wherever else you have active followers. Photo Credit: Intelligent VC

Your customers might seldom visit your website, see your Facebook posts or browse your Twitter feed, but they’re likely checking their email inbox. Your business needs to be there. To ensure your content reaches your customers’ online mailbox, make it easy for them to subscribe. Keep the signup form short and simple. Post it on your website’s homepage, social accounts and wherever else you have active followers. Collect special dates like birthdays and anniversaries, and then send coupons or special offers to show your appreciation and generate business. Learn how to get more subscribers here.

2. Always personalize.

Personalized emails can improve email marketing’s performance. People like hearing their name. They also like emails packed with content about products that satisfy their needs. To get started, read this Kissmetrics article, which describes six email personalization techniques that go beyond a name to help your business engage customers and enhance your marketing strategies.

3. Send different types of emails.


Multiple emails remind customers that you’re “ready to be of service.” They also show consumers you’re thinking about them, which instills a sense of brand loyalty. Photo Credit: Shane Indrebo.

Lisa Furgison, author of “4 Must-Send Emails to Keep Your Business Top of Mind,” says every business should send a newsletter, a holiday email, an anniversary email, and a feedback-requested email to stay relevant with customers. Why? Those four emails remind customers that you’re “ready to be of service.” They also show consumers you’re thinking about them, which instills a sense of brand loyalty.

4. Determine how often to send emails.

Most marketers send emails two to three times a month, but your audience is unique and you must tailor your frequency to them. An Adobe Email Consumer Survey found younger people (18 to 34 years old) prefer daily emails, whereas those 35 and older prefer monthly emails. Your customers’ demographics can give you clues about how often to contact them.

A good middle ground is weekly emails. When customers sign up, consider asking how often they want to receive emails, or let each subscriber control that flow through a preference center.

In addition, determine the best day and times to send emails to your customers for maximum exposure. Research suggests your best “send” days, in order, are Tuesday, Thursday and Wednesday; and the best times are late morning after 10 a.m. However, you might find the best day and time varies in your area, and depends largely on your audience.

Consider hiring an e-marketing service to eliminate the guesswork of scheduled emails. They’ll identify the best day and time to reach your audience after analyzing your customers’ open and read time histories. Or use your email analytics to learn what works best for your business. Read more on this below.

5. Read your analytics reports and adapt.


Before checking the analytics again, evaluate your email marketing strategies and try something different. Maybe you should change your content, send fewer emails, send emails on Tuesdays rather than Fridays, etc. A safe way to improve your strategy is to survey your subscribers to see what kinds of content they prefer and how often. Photo Credit: Shane Indrebo.

To better determine how often people like to get emails, read your analytics reports and adapt as necessary. An article on campaignmonitor.com, “The Surprising Data about How Often to Send Promotional Emails,” reports that subscribers react four ways to changes in email frequency. One, they unsubscribe/mark your emails as spam; two, they disengage; three, they make no noticeable change; and four, they buy more and get more engaged. If you detect one of those four trends, your subscribers are sending cues to change.

Before checking the analytics again, evaluate your email marketing strategies and try something different. Maybe you should change your content, send fewer emails, send emails on Tuesdays rather than Fridays, etc. A safe way to improve your strategy is to survey your subscribers to see what kinds of content they prefer and how often.

If you decide to send more emails out, you might see more customers walking in. Email marketing helps you generate sales, make money and connect with people. What if you still aren’t sure what to do? Consider reading Forbes’ 15 additional email marketing tips for small businesses.

Of course, while you’re focusing on your email marketing campaign, don’t neglect your website or social-media accounts. An updated website is crucial to your archery shop, as is an effective social-media strategy. After all, three methods for interacting with customers are always better than one.

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