We’ve all had them. Those emails from companies advertising their latest products, sales, offers, or anything really. You’ve put your email address into their signup form, and now you’re getting loads of emails about what a company’s up to. It’s another of those things you really should be considering if you’d like to make your online marketing strategy more effective.
There’s plenty of people out there to reach as well – according to Statista, last year there were 3.7 billion email users globally, with this figure set to rise to over 4 billion by 2021. So the numbers are pretty impressive. But you’re probably not so bothered about how many people receive emails across the world – you’re just wondering how you can approach your regular customer’s inboxes with a lovely message. Right? Or maybe appeal to some new people to grow your customer base.
Each company’s email marketing strategy is different – it depends on the size of the company, what they sell and who they target, amongst other things. On the bright side, it’s not difficult deciding what to write about – just a case of working out if yours is the kind of company that could send a weekly/monthly newsletter, or if you’re more a send-them-emails-when-there’s-product-information kind of thing. From what I’ve seen, a lot of companies do the latter so emails aren’t so evenly spaced out.
Even if you know exactly what you want to do with email marketing, there are still some tips we can offer to help with your strategy and ensure you get the most out of email.
Decide how often to send emails
This is sometimes tricky – it’s fair to send out a couple of emails over the course of an offer to remind customers, but too often and they’ll get bored. They might even unsubscribe. Let’s face it, if they’re getting emails every day from a company they hardly ever buy from, your subscribers might think it doesn’t seem worth all the spam. However, wait too long between emails and your customers might forget about you. They might find a competitor and start signing up to their emails instead. Sure, if they’re regular customers this is doubtful, but if you’re trying to grow your base you need to send emails out more than twice a year.
Really, only you can decide how often you want to send out emails. It might depend on your company – for example, if you sell beauty products you might send out more emails than a company who sells furniture.
Decide why to send emails
Because it’s Tuesday! Not so much. You really need a reason to send out an email – unless you’re working on more of a regular newsletter format because that’s what works for your company. If you are, this one’s a little different. But for the rest of us, it’s more a case of asking what you need to tell your customers through email. You’re having a sale? Brilliant, tell them. You’ve got some new products now in stock? They’ll love to know! But if you haven’t got anything to say and email them anyway saying ‘hi’, it’s going to look like spam pretty quickly.
By all means send them 2 or 3 emails about the same sale…but don’t just keep sending more because chances are your audience has already seen the message. After a point, it’s not going to help you get any more results. Email isn’t like social, where your message appears momentarily on a fast moving timeline – if something’s in their inbox, it’s there until they see it.
Make it brand-consistent
As well as having an engaging message, any email you send out needs to reflect your brand. The colour scheme for example, could be the colours of your logo – which might also be on there at the top. It needs to have the tone of voice you use online, and to be targeted at people who know your brand – even if they’ve never bought from you, they’ve still signed up to your emails. Making your emails consistent with your brand means it looks a bit more professional – so that even if your company is small, it can come across as professional as larger companies in your customer’s inboxes. Which is great news for you. They might be more likely to buy from you if you come across well.
Write an engaging title
This is fairly important. Mainly because it’s the bit that customers see when they spot your email in their inbox. If it doesn’t grab them, they might just delete it without even opening to see what’s inside. See? I said it was important. So to avoid this as much as possible, make sure there’s something to get their attention – like telling them they can save money, or that you’ve got new products. Definitely DON’T leave it blank or use capitals – doing this might actually mean your email doesn’t even make it to inboxes, just spam or junk folders. Make the title engaging and something that interests your customers whilst being relevant to the email.
Consider a sign-up offer
You know the ones. “Sign up to our mailing list to get 15% off your first order!” That sort of thing. Have you ever signed up to a mailing list just for an offer code? It means customers could be more likely to sign up, then to buy something because you’ve given them money off. The offer doesn’t have to be a percentage discount either. It could be a monetary amount, or something little for free on their first order. There are plenty of possibilities. But once they’ve signed up, you’ve got them on your mailing list. Ready for when you want to send out your next email.
Another version of this could be to offer priority access to offers when they sign up – like starting the sale a day or two earlier by sending a private link to the page to those on your mailing list. That way, people will want to sign up to get onto the sale early, especially if they love you brand.
Put sign up forms in a variety of places
On your website is pretty obvious. But what about on the footer of a site as well as on the homepage? Or having a tab on your business’s Facebook profile? Both are great places to advertise your mailing list – because if customers don’t know about it, they can’t sign up to it. The signup form doesn’t need to be everywhere…just somewhere.
Put social links into your emails
Alright, so this one isn’t exactly a way to improve your email signup…but it is a way to improve social media following. Including links to your profiles could help people find you on social media. Which can’t hurt.
As a side note to this last point, you can also post on social media about your mailing list, to gain subscribers through your profiles. Post more when you’ve just set up your list to make it known among your followers, then a little less regularly – if they’ve already seen you post about it 10 times this month, chances are they’re subscribing already, or never will.
Email marketing may sound daunting, but these tips are sure to help when devising your strategy. There are plenty of other things which can help – Automation, for example where emails can be set up to remarket your products to customers (or other things) – but those are best left until you’ve mastered the basics of your strategy.
You don’t have to be a coding genius to design great-looking emails either. Websites like MailChimp allow you to design professional templates for your emails to use again and again – just change your content. It can be free as well, depending on your amount of subscribers and monthly emails.
Email marketing is a proven way of reaching customers and getting them to engage with your website. If you’re not currently utilising this as part of your online marketing strategy, it’s definitely something worth considering.