In a world where everything is continuously changing, one form of marketing seems to reign true no matter what happens. Email marketing is still a robust and powerful way to reach an audience and sell to them. The United States is expecting to grow its number of email users to 255 million. That's pretty much every grownup they have.
And having a solid email marketing strategy is the key to getting to those users. Out of those people, there have to be a few you could market to and make some money, right?
The problem is, a lot of businesses don’t understand how to handle their email marketing properly. As a result, they think it doesn’t work. The conversion rates are low, their emails end up in the spam box, and so on and so forth.
These 7 email marketing strategy tips will ensure none of the previously mentioned falsehoods happen to you!
1. Email Segmentation
If you’re not segmenting your email subscriber list, you’ve already lost. It’s critical to the success of your emails that you don’t keep all your eggs in one basket. Think of why Google ads are so successful.
We’re online looking up vegan food markets, and all of a sudden, we see a bunch of ads for vegan related foods, ingredients, etc.
Would it make sense for those same companies marketing to us to send ads related to pork and beef?
Of course not, but some work goes into that.
Businesses should split up their email leads into different lists based on location, age, education, job, knowledge, preferences, and anything else you can find. Luckily, there are plenty of tools out there to help with this.
How can you learn more about your audience's desires through email? What if you already have a list, but you want to segment them to personalize your marketing? Here’s how you do it:
If you want to know more about your audience, go ahead and ask them a few questions? If you’re a personal trainer and want to know more about your audiences' goals quiz them and offer a reward for their effort.
Another great way to split up a list is by the individual action of the lead. This strategy is popular in e-commerce and emails will send based on actions. For example, whether the lead added something to their cart, abandoned it, or made it into the funnel.
You can go as far as creating hot zones on your website. When a potential lead hovers over a particular area of your website and backs out, that's the trigger. Send them an encouraging email about how close they were to completing X and getting Y.
Why waste any time when you don’t have to? As soon as the subscriber opts into your list, have them fill out a little survey for an instant reward. Think of it like when Burger King or Mcdonalds ask you to go online and do a survey to win a free sandwich.
You can ask them personal questions based on your niche. For example, if you're running a digital marketing agency that helps other agencies grow their business, you could ask questions like:
- How much revenue do you make?
- How many clients do you have?
- What is your biggest struggle?
- What is your biggest triumph?
Once this happens, you can use your email automation tools, and it will segment the audience for you based on their answers.
2. Personalization is King
Personalization and email segmentation go hand in hand, you can’t have one without the other. Once you have all that precious data about your subscribers and you’ve segmented them properly, now you can get down to some incredible marketing.
Experian found that when they personalize their emails, they experience a 6x growth in transaction rates. That’s nothing to bat your eyelash at!
What do we mean by personalization? We don’t mean you need to customize every email to the last period. But you do need to include some of those aspects that you’ve acquired from the previous section.
First, let’s start with your email headline.
When an email lands itself in your inbox from something you’ve subscribed to, what does it say?
“50% off SALE for 2020” or “GET IT NOW (emoji emoji emoji), these are spammy as heck, and they don’t work. These headlines can be ineffective and may land you in the spam folder. And once you get too many emails flagged for spam, you’ll end up getting your entire domain flagged.
We’ll get to some finer details at the end of the article on how to stay out of the spam folder.
Your email header needs to scream, “I wrote this email for you.” If you can do that, you’ll experience 50+ percent open rates, no problem.
A little email marketing psychology might help.
A favorite header that I use is “Question about [company name].”
It’s simple, but it works because it uses personalization, is concise, and invokes curiosity. You would have to know the company name for this to work, but the added effort results in better open rates. You won't have to worry about getting emails opened with this simple headline.
Now let’s talk about the body of the email.
The body needs to have talking points from the client based on the information they gave you. Maybe they’re struggling with something, and you used that to segment them. Use that information to your advantage!
3. Make it Mobile-Friendly
If your emails don’t look amazing on mobile, forget about it. By 2020, this shouldn’t be news to anyone. That said, almost half of all emails sent aren't mobile optimized. How is this possible?
If you don’t understand what mobile-friendly means, let’s take a second to bring back the basics. Websites and emails appear differently on different devices. If you build your email on a desktop, you need to make sure it looks great on mobile and tablets as well.
You might be using a font that is too large and mashing too much content into your emails. As a result, someone opens the email on their phone, and it looks like an intro to the next Harry Potter book. They’ll never read it!
Here are a few ways to ensure your email looks beautiful on mobile:
Use responsive email design
Most email marketing tools will have the ability to create mobile-friendly emails. You don’t have to worry if you’re using one of them. It helps to ensure they look good by checking them out for yourself on every device. Keep in mind that emails can look different depending on the recipient's ESP and whether they’re using Apple or Android products.
Keep it short
Shorter emails convert better. Write clear and concise email copy. Keep your subject line concise and make sure the pre-header is clear. This is the section of text that pops up in your inbox before you open the email. That way the potential reader understands what's in your email before they open it.
Test your CTA (call to action)
One huge mistake we see a lot of people make is they use graphics in their emails unnecessarily. Your cute call to action button might look great on desktop, but on mobile it's clunky, takes forever to load, and is hard to click on. Keep it simple and don’t include too many graphic elements if you’re trying to make your emails look great on all platforms.
4. Automate Where Possible
You should have a wide assortment of trigger emails throughout your funnel that takes the human aspect out of the game. For example, you should have an email when someone subscribes to your list.
This is where you want to get to know them. Ask them personal questions to understand how to market to them down the road.
When someone purchases something from you, there should be a thank you email with information about what they need to do next. You shouldn't have to send all of these emails yourself.
There should be negative trigger emails; we talked about this a bit before. If you’re in e-commerce, you should have an abandoned cart email. If you use Facebook Ads, you should have an email for when someone opts in but doesn’t purchase or follow through on the funnel.
A popular marketer by the name of Dan Henry does this well. If I click on a piece of content from him and back out within five minutes, I will see another ad saying something like:
“Hey, so I see you clicked my ad but never opted in, that stinks. My course does blah blah blah blah here have a free gift.”
You get the point.
This strategy is done automatically without him having to lift a finger; you need that in your business.
5. Sending Times Matter
We’re getting down to some nitty-gritty expert tips now. Believe it or not, the time that you send your email matters tremendously. It’s not so much the exact time you send but the variations of times you use.
If I was trying to sell someone a course on opening a barbershop I may use good content to build an email list first. Then later, I would try to sell more courses on the back end.
If I send emails to my list at 10 am, and I haven’t had any results. Do you have any idea why I’m not getting results?
Maybe people are busy at that time. I should experiment with different days and times to measure when the subscribers will interact with me. My subscribers might be working at that time, playing with their kids, eating breakfast, or whatever.
The bottom line is, you need to send your emails at all different times and days, so you eventually hit that sweet spot.
6. Get to the Point
You want your call to action to come as soon as possible in the email. That is the main point of this section and one of the most significant aspects you should understand about email marketing. People don’t have a lot of time, and our attention spans continue to get shorter.
No one cares about your trip to Aspen and how you dreamed of starting your own ski shop in the mountains. And now you’re coaching others about living their dreams. They don’t care!
Your email should do the following things (and only these things):
- Catch their attention with a headline
- Relate to them in the first sentence
- Explain why you’re emailing them
- Ask them to do something
That is it! If you’re doing anything else in your email, you’re wasting time and hurting your conversion rates.
7. Stay out of Spam/Promotions
If you’re stuck in the spam or promotions folder, you’re paying the ultimate price. There are a few critical things you can do to ensure this never happens to you.
Limit links and media – If you include too many links, pictures, graphics, or gifs in your email, you’re setting yourself up for failure. There are constant algorithm changes that impact the way Google determines if an email is spam. You’re putting a target on your back if you have more than three different links in your email. (this includes your signature).
Recipient not found – Make sure you’re cleaning out your list frequently. If you bounce too many emails, Google will see you as a spammer, and you’ll end up there. Most email marketing tools provide a way for you to clean up your list and remove inactive emails. We do this for you automatically at mailfloss.
Stay away from spammy language – You should rarely write free, sale, 50% off, buy now, get this, or similar things in your emails. Save them for the big sale occasions if you must. You want the email to deliver, and you need to have a positive reputation for your domain. If you’re always pushing sales and deals to your audience with aggressive and promotional language, you’re increasing your chances of getting labeled as spam.
Final Thoughts on Email Marketing Strategy
It’s no secret that your email marketing strategy is a direct reflection of your success. The power of email shows no signs of slowing down. So make sure you utilize these seven tips so you can have a successful campaign in 2020 and beyond! And don't forget to use an email marketing checklist.