Email marketing works. That much is clear, considering the fact that it returns $44 for every dollar spent. But if it’s so obvious, why do so many companies see little return on their efforts?
The biggest reason is noise. Every day, we receive and send more than 200 emails to both personal and business contacts. In that plethora of messages, it’s easy to get lost and go unnoticed in the eyes of your audience.
How do you find a way out of that conundrum? The path to effective email marketing is easier than you might think. By applying the following 5 steps, you will be able to leverage your efforts for better audience attention, lead generation, and customer conversion.
#1 Segment Your Audience
First things first: in email marketing, relevance is key. Ideally, no recipient should find an email in their inbox that doesn’t actually relate to their interests or needs. To achieve that goal, it makes sense to segment your audience.
Rather than sending blasts out to your entire lead database, consider splitting up your contacts and prospects based on information you already know about them. That can include information you gathered on a sign-up page, or recent behavior. For instance, consider sending a different email to your most engaged leads, or customers who recently did business with you, compared to those who don’t tend to open most of your messages.
#2 Keep Your Focus Singular
Once your audience is segmented, it’s time to focus on the individual messages. Here, each email should keep a singular focus. The Attention Ratio principle, which states that the number of links and calls-to-action you include in your content should equal the number of your conversion goals, applies to emails as much as it does to landing pages.
Think about the goal of your email. You might want your recipients to visit a page on your website, fill out a sign-up form, or RSVP to an event. Any link, and even every sentence that doesn’t lead toward that goal will drive your audience away from it, and decrease your chances of success.
#3 Provide Actual Value
In addition, it makes sense to separate your email from the countless spam messages your audience receives every day. The simplest way to accomplish that goal is to provide actual value to your audience.
That value can come in the form of free and helpful content, answers to pressing audience questions, or a coupon for your products or services. Whichever you choose, it needs to be something your audience might actually like, and will gladly read an email for.
#4 Personalize Everything
Without personalization, it’s almost impossible to succeed in modern email marketing. In fact, personalized messages increase your click-through rates by an average of 14 percent, and your conversion rates by 10 percent.
You can personalize your emails in a number of ways. The most natural point is the address line, where a recipient’s first name is much appreciated. But other steps make sense as well; for instance, make sure to include a personal rather than a generic sender and email address. Some email tools even allow for ‘smart content’, which allows you to substitute in entire paragraphs and images based on information you know about your leads.
#5 Track, Test, and Improve
Finally, no effective email marketing strategy is complete without a structured effort to track and improve your success over time. Every email should be measured, not just in terms of open and click-through rates but also in how many conversions it ultimately brings.
Another opportunity is A/B testing, which allows you to run two slightly different versions of the same email to randomly sampled segments of your audience. Through this technique, you can learn valuable information, such as the success of a question in a subject line, or a numbered list in the email content. Over time, you can use this information to improve your email strategy.
The success potential of email marketing is tantalizing. Used the right way, it can significantly enhance your lead generation and nurturing efforts. The above 5 steps help you get closer to that point, increasing the effectiveness of both individual emails and your overall messaging strategy.
Of course, you might need help on the implementation end. In that case, contact us at McAllister Marketing. Our experience with email and its integration into a larger digital marketing framework is perfect to help you get the most out of this tactic.