It’s no surprise email marketing is one of the most popular digital marketing tactics. It has the best conversion rates when compared to social media, SEO, and even advertising. You may be wondering why. Well, it comes down to the fact that people willingly sign up for your newsletter. They already know about your brand, and they’re expecting you to share more information about yourself or your products and services.
The keyword there is “expecting.” Are you disappointing your subscribers? If you’re not sending them any emails or sending too many, you might be. Even sending emails that are not related to the topics they want to know about would be disappointing. Keep reading this blog post and discover a few tips to avoid disappointing your subscribers and start charming them with your awesome personality and great value products.
SETTING UP YOUR EMAIL MARKETING
The first step to bling up your email marketing efforts is having an email marketing strategy tailored towards your offerings and audience. Although it sounds straightforward, here are some questions you should be asking yourself:
- Where on your website is your sign-up form? And of course, do you have a sign-up form? Check if it is on your homepage, or in your product or service page. It will help you figure out what people are most interested in and what they want to receive. If you have more than one, make sure you’re able to track what where each subscriber is opting in.
- Is your sign-up form working? Is your email service provider (MailChimp, ConvertKit, or any other you’re using) tracking every subscriber that signs up? It might seem silly, but you would be surprised to know this is one of the most common email marketing mistakes. Perhaps you changed email providers, but your developer missed this step? Or maybe it stopped working because of an update? It’s ok, these things happen, but make sure you fix it pronto.
- Do you know how frequently your audience wants to receive emails? That’s a harder one to determine, but it’s not impossible, test it out! Try sending once every two weeks, every week, and once a month (we recommend at least once a month). Review your analytics and see how each test performed. Did you get more unsubscribes when you started sending more emails? Or was it the other way around? Digital marketing is all about testing, so don’t be afraid to try it out.
- Do you have an email template? People should be able to recognize your brand the moment they open your email. You have different options to make sure this happens. You can create a sophisticated template in HTML, using Photoshop or any other design tool that allows you to turn your beautiful designs into HTML emails. Email service providers also have straightforward and very pretty customizable templates that are easier to set up but are still great. Or maybe you want your brand to be minimalistic by using only-text formats. It can work as long as you make sure there are recognizable branding features (logo, greeting, or any other creative trait).
- Is your audience segmented? When you’re starting, this might be useful to you only for organizational purposes. Still, once you start growing your audience, you’ll start seeing the advantage it is to have your “clients” and your “leads” tagged. You’ll be able to send them specific emails with promotions, news, or resources.
Once you have a sign-up form that works, an email provider that you know how to use, an ideal frequency for your emails, an email template, and a segmented audience, it’s time to start strategizing about content. Are you ready for the best part of email marketing?
CREATING YOUR EMAIL MARKETING EDITORIAL CALENDAR
Now, this is not just about coming up with topics you would like to cover, although that’s very important to note. If you have an item you want to cover, please take 5 minutes to write them out, and they will be useful in a little bit.
One of the most important things you should be doing when creating your email marketing editorial calendar is taking notes of important dates. It’s crucial that you just not note Holidays, but every important date related to your industry. Perhaps you work with finances, would you audience profit from receiving information when tax date is coming? If it does, get that into your editorial calendar. If you don’t work with taxes, then don’t bother! Email marketing is not about sending EVERYTHING to your subscribers; it’s about addressing the best and most useful information.
After you have noted all your important dates and you created a list of topics you would like to discuss, it’s time to check your Google Analytics. I know this might not be what you wanted to hear. We’re all about creativity and finding the most useful content for our audience and mixing them both, yes! We don’t yet know what our audience finds most valuable, and data is going to help us.
Google Analytics will be able to tell you what blog posts or main pages are most visited. It will also tell you about your demographics, interests, and device they used to get into your website. If they signed up for your newsletter, they came from your website!
If they’re mostly women, would it make sense for your brand to talk about women’s day? If they’re high school students, would it make sense to talk about SAT prep? That’s why demographics are essential. You should write primarily about the topics on your most visited pages.
It’s not like we want you to talk exclusively about the incredible pumpkin cream you’re selling (your most visited webpage, hypothetically). But maybe you can talk about it in October when it’s on sale. Perhaps you can note that you will mention the product in May as well, but focusing on the experience one of your clients had with it.
Or maybe you wanted to cover the topic of facials during the fall–and if you think your audience wants to know about this, find a way to include your pumpkin cream. It’s the best moisturizer after the fall facial!
It’s your time to start mixing the topics, the dates, and the data with a touch of creativity. That’s how to get the best editorial calendar. By sending emails, your audience will feel excited to know about the subjects they enjoy the most during the times they need them. Start planning your topics!
How to put it all on paper (o Google Spreadsheets like we do)? We love Google Docs and Spreadsheets, and we use them for everything in our agency. The best way to organize your editorial calendar is by creating a spreadsheet that includes the topic, responsible team member, subject line, preview text, and send date.
CREATING YOUR EMAIL AUTOMATIONS
Email automations are one of our preferred ways to share information with people that are signing up from your website form. It’s a way to create emails that reach the right people with the right message at the right moment — without doing the work every time!
Although it’s not the easiest thing to create, it’s one of the most valuables in your email strategy. You will be able to send ten emails (or 3, or 50 if that’s more your style) that will be sent automatically to the people that subscribe to your newsletter at the pace you define.
The main reason why we love it so much is that it saves you time! Instead of regularly writing a new email to everyone that subscribes, you will have to do it just once, and the rest is MailChimp’s work. It makes your marketing strategy scalable, as you won’t have to limit the number of customers your staff can reach.
It doesn’t only have to be a “welcome” sequence. You can create a series of automated emails tailored to different subjects and topics to personalize your customers’ experience. You can create an automation for people interested in buying a house in San Francisco, another for people interested in renting an apartment, and another for those who want to know more about getting a mortgage.
How does it work? With triggers. A trigger is an action that starts the automation. You can choose from a variety of triggers: campaign activity, audience management, and workflow activity. You can decide even to send different versions of the person who opened your last email or not.
We’ve been talking about the internal process so far. These steps are necessary to guarantee your email marketing strategy will work, but now comes the actual work: creating the emails and delivering at your preferred frequency.
Here are some of our top tips when crafting your emails:
- Use incentives. Effective incentives will help you increase open rates.
- Write compelling and concise subject lines.
- Optimize the email preview text. Make sure it invites people to open the email.
- Include an email signature. A signature will make people feel welcome to reach out.
- Keep the main message and call-to-action above the fold. Make sure the most critical information can be seen on a person’s screen by opening the email, without the need to scroll.
- Personalize the email greeting. Email service providers like MailChimp lets you use the merge tag *|FNAME|* to put the person’s first name automatically.
- Conduct tests. Send the email to your team before sending it to your audience. Make sure they can quickly identify the call to action and that there are no mistakes.
And the most important of them, use your voice. People that have subscribed to your email want to hear from you. They chose to start hearing from you. If you’re very friendly on your blog, don’t send overly formal emails because people will be put-off. The same if it’s the other way around. When it comes to digital marketing and any other type of marketing, it always has to sound like YOU (and by YOU, we mean your brand). You can’t be a persona on digital and another face to face, that seems fake, and the actual trick of marketing is to be real.
MEASURING AND TESTING
Here comes the data again. Not the most fun part of email marketing, but like everything else, truly necessary. You’ve set up your rhythm, your template, your automations, and your strategy. You’re sending weekly emails now (as your audience prefers), and you’ve been doing it for a year now.
Does it work?
If you can’t answer that question at the top of your head, then it doesn’t. To make sure all this effort is working and giving results, you have to check your data every month; ideally every time you send an email. Track responses, open rates, click-through rates, unsubscribes, and subscribes. All the data the email service provider can give you is useful to know if what you’re doing is working or if you need to make updates.
Test, test, test. That’s our favorite phrase when it comes to marketing. Only by testing do we get better. And that’s for you too; if you’re not testing, you don’t know what works. And we just gave you some tips to make sure it works, so start testing right now.
Are you ready to bling up your email marketing? Let us know if you have any questions via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be happy to answer!