In a world dominated by Facebook ads, Tik Tok trends, influencers, and all the other types of “modern” ways to advertise and market your brand, people quickly forget about the simple yet effective use of email marketing. 

Did you know that email marketing can lead to 180% more conversions? But it’s more than just spamming your customers with emails to their inboxes. There is a reason people will subscribe to your newsletter, or decide to ‘Opt-In’ when prompted to receive emails from your brand. The reason is that they want to see relevant, personalized information. 

We’ve laid out our top 5 best practices below when it comes to email marketing. Because although it may sound simple, the last thing you want is people clicking the ‘unsubscribe’ button. 

1.  Identify Your Goals 

Make sure you have a clear strategy of what you are trying to achieve. If you are a new business just starting out, it’s understandable to want to get as many conversions as possible. But you have to remember, customers will only buy from you if they feel they can trust you.  

Building up authority within your industry is key. You may want to start out with a few educational newsletters, to begin with, with some smaller CTA enticement, such as a discount code for their first order. You could also offer a “free trial” or “money back if you aren’t happy” type of deal, which will encourage new customers to try your product first. These kinds of strategies and deals will help lead to more conversions further down the line. 

If you already have a dedicated customer base and conversions are going well, maybe focus on encouraging customers to sign up for a loyalty programme, which will help secure future conversions. Setting up email reminders are particularly important if you sell a consumable product. If you don’t offer a subscription service, this could be particularly helpful in reminding customers to top up on their product 

2.  Plan, Make a Schedule 

There are many occasions throughout the year that creep upon us. However, if you make time to plan your campaigns ahead of time, you won’t miss important opportunities to get the most from your email marketing campaigns. There are events that come around every year such as Black Friday, Christmas holidays, social media celebration days. I’m sure your business has unique corporate events during the year to generate new business and boost sales.  

By planning ahead of time, you get all your ducks in a row. Email marketing does not only consist of creating and sending emails. What about creatives for those emails, content to complement your key message, social media posts to align and sales teams to agree on price points. It’s likely you will need to collaborate with more than one team to create a successful email marketing campaign so being organised is imperative to keep your strategy on track. 

3.  Segment Email Marketing Lists 

One of the best tips we can give to you is to segment your email marketing contact lists. By doing this you can ensure your marketing is most effective by sending compelling content to the right audience at the right time.  

Purchasing data lists will give you many email addresses but these contacts aren’t necessarily interested in your product or service. Also making it a very risky business is the governing of GDPR and the fact that you should only be marketing to people who have explicitly given their consent for you to do so. There is also a large investment involved in purchasing email marketing lists which is non-sensical when you can do it for free and get better results doing it this way. 

You can segment your contacts list by using shared data and a range of demographics. When a contact subscribes this is the ideal time to collect segment information via the typical form fill route. Here are some examples of segments you could create that may help you to understand why a blanketed message wouldn’t work for all segments: 

  • Subscribed contacts who already have a high engagement rate 
  • Newly subscribed contacts who have not yet made a purchase 
  • Preference-based. Did the contact sign up to receive email newsletters, blogs, the latest special offers or all three? 
  • Use location data for event-specific communications 
  • Use age groups to ensure you speak to the right target audience 

4.  Email Marketing Automation 

Using marketing automation software can also help you to plan ahead by doing the work for you without you even having to think about it. Rather than manually scheduling marketing emails, marketing automation software will nurture a contact based on pre-set triggers based on their behaviour, preferences and/or previous sales. Marketing automation uses triggers to send marketing based on pre-set rules that you decide on. Email marketing drip campaigns are a perfect example of automation and a great way to nurture a lead through to conversion.  

An example of automated emails is abandoned cart emails. According to Baymard Institute, the average cart abandonment rate based on 44 studies found an average of almost 70%. A user has added items to their basket but has not checked out. In this instance, you can set triggers to send an email to a contact with an abandoned cart after so many hours or days to remind them to complete the purchase. 

Another example would be a welcome email to new contacts. Whether you want to educate them on using your service or encourage them to buy your products with a special new customer discount – this email can be created and triggered to send whenever someone signs up to your email marketing list. 

5.  Use Email Marketing Results to Drive Future Decisions 

The two forms of email marketing results to focus on are performance and results. Performance is measured using metrics such as open rate, click-through rate (CTR), unsubscribes. Then there are results, most commonly being the revenue generated from the overall campaign. To ensure the best results you must optimise your email marketing performance.  

Of course, you want high open rates and engagement but if the campaign doesn’t generate sales, the leadership team won’t care so much. You might have a fantastic subject line that has encouraged a high percentage of opens. However, if the content within the email doesn’t resonate and provide a high CTR to encourage conversions then something needs to change.  

By evaluating these key metrics, you can pinpoint the problem and change things next time around. The key point here is to focus on the results generated from the campaign to optimise elements of the campaign that are not performing as well as others.