When establishing a brand, it is important to think of the various marketing channels to promote your brand whether it is to raise awareness, increase trust with the consumers, establish a reputation, or convert prospects to customers. One of the most important marketing channels for many brands across a variety of industries and no matter the business size is email marketing in order to retain existing customers, gain new customers, or win back former customers. With many existing technologies, it is important to set up a carefully and well thought through email marketing strategy that works for your business and market positioning. Email marketing with all of the available technologies has become increasingly complex and each industry has a wide variety of platforms and strategies that make the most sense for that industry and its niches. Therefore, rather than pulling the trigger or just diving in, consult with professionals. For instance, consider hiring a boutique marketing agency, which specializes in digital marketing and branding, see for example amraandelma.com, or if the budget is strained, hire someone part-time to at least set-up a plan of attack. Consider the importance of maximizing the impact in a given time frame – we all have limited time on this planet!
Without further ado, below, I list out the top 5 tips to build a successful email marketing campaign.
1. Know Your Competitors
I can’t emphasize the importance of understanding your competitors and your brand’s positioning in the marketplace. Parce out who are your major competitors and then others who you may aspire to be like in the next 5 to 10 years. How are they making use of email marketing? Is email marketing a major marketing channel for them? If so, how?
For example, for beauty brands, one of the commonly used strategies is to set up a subscribe for an email newsletter for the website visitors. The way to incentivize the visitors to subscribe is to offer them free product samples in the mail. With beauty and eCommerce having a customer sample a product is everything because that in-store experience is missing where one can rub-in the cream and feel its texture and smell before purchasing the product. This way any prospect who lands on your page is happy to provide you with their contact information so that any future promotions or new products can be delivered directly into that person’s inbox. For other industries, there are other strategies on how to incentivize the site visitors to sign-up for your newsletter but the point being – you must literally study, I mean almost like doing your homework in high school, your competitors. As the saying goes – the devil is in the details and that can make or break your chances of major success and have that large piece of the market share.
2. Set up a Strategy
Once you’ve studied your competitors, lay out a list of strategies that you think would best work for your brand. Keep in mind your market positioning, the newness of your brand, how distinct is your product and how will you communicate that differentiation, and does your product fall into the luxury category or the affordable category? This will all play a part in how you set up your email marketing campaigns from visuals to messaging. For example, on the one hand, if your product falls into the luxury category, say a fashion brand, you will need to invest into visuals – from working with a high quality photographer and models to hiring a top quality creative director. The aesthetic will be the main point of differentiation in the marketplace for this luxury fashion brand so much so that people are willing to pay top dollar for your clothes. If aesthetics is not your strong point, get a creative partner to help you set up the content on your eCommerce site and your email campaigns.
On the other hand, if the brand falls into the affordable category, your email marketing campaign would be more easy going and casual. The need for high quality visuals is not as imperative. Your customer is about affordability and ease; they want something for everyday that is practical. Hence, make sure to communicate that friendless through your messaging and aesthetic! Here is one of my favorite articles on how to improve your content marketing that is equally applicable to email marketing.
3. Know the Available Technologies
There are many platforms on which you can set up your email marketing campaigns. The point is to make sure they are automated and easy to use. Some of my favorites are Salesforce, Sendgrid and MailChimp. Here are some other email marketing platforms to check out. The latter two have particularly helpful templates to get you started. You will have to either know or hire someone who knows HTML and CSS to set up the templates and campaigns. As technologies develop at almost a speed of light, make sure to keep up and constantly explore the new features to stay ahead of the curve.
4. Use Technologies to Track
Some useful metrics for email marketing campaigns are the number of opens, the number delivered, the number of bounces (incorrect emails or serve blocks!), and the number marked as spam. All of these insights are extremely useful to help you adjust your newsletters – are they working and why? Or are they not working – at least for the most part – and why not? One of the technologies I love, available in Salesforce and Sendgrid, is that you will know the number of forwards by your recipient. Make sure to track that prospect and devise a further strategy what to do with warm leads.
Follow-up, follow-up and did I say follow-up? 🙂 With that said, make sure that your email campaigns are cleverly devised so that your prospect finds them entertaining and not overbearing. Are they clever? Do they make the prospect smile? Does the prospect find them useful and helpful in his/her life? For example, provide informational tips on a particular subject matter, e.g., if you are in the food industry, say healthy trail mixes, provide the recipients with recipes on how to make acai bowls using your trail mix. This way, you curry favor with your prospect, and get to market to them for free on a daily basis delivered straight to their inbox!