What Is Email Marketing and How to Get it Right
For many years, companies have found innovative e ways of advertising their products and attracting new customers. In the recent past, e-mail marketing has grown in its popularity as an innovative and effective marketing tool. However, the concept of what is email marketing still remains elusive as no unified definition exists. Nevertheless, when contemplating a definition of e-mail marketing, we should consider the elements of email and marketing. Essentially e-mail marketing implies the act of sending out emails to customers, both existent and prospective, with the goal of influencing their action towards the company brand or specific products and services. Some types of e-mail marketing campaigns, based on the goals served, include:
- Retention email sent to existing customers
- Direct email, sent to prospective and existing customers
- Email placed ads, which are marketing adverts placed within emails sent by others.
In general, implementing an effective e-marketing campaign involves various tasks like creating a permission-based list of recipients, managing the email list, identifying the proper content for segmented lists, delivering the message, and assessing the progress and outcomes of the campaign. In this article, we explore the attributes of good email marketing by looking at email marketing best practices, as well as services and agencies critical to effective e-mail marketing.
Email Marketing Prospects
Successful companies list email as one of the most potent marketing channels. In fact, even among the most successful e-commerce companies, the size of the company email list is considered to be a demonstration of the company reach and thought leadership. Nonetheless, it is important for your email marketing campaign to be part of the holistic approach to reach more clients and to maintain a relationship with your consumers. As such, your marketing emails ought to be complemented by other efforts such as content creation, search engine optimization, behavior-based nurturing, and social media engagement.
A major draw-back of marketing through email, especially when not conducted properly, is the stigma of SPAM. Just like other forms of internet marketing, e-mail marketing is fast paced, requiring marketers to adapt quickly. Nevertheless, going by recent studies showing that email marketing has a high return on investment, there is need to focus on success factors that will make sure your marketing email campaigns are a success. We also want to reiterate that responsible marketing through emails is permission-based, meaning that, before you decide to send out an email to a recipient, you should make sure that you have his or her permission.
Some Important Email Marketing Services
Given the significance of marketing emails, various software programs have been developed to help you create the best emails that increase your open rates. There are various providers of email marketing services who are also referred to as email service providers (ESP). Some popular ESPs include EmailDirect, Constant Contact, Xert Communications, iPost, GetResponse, ContactLab, Boomerang, and L-Soft, among many others. Working with these email service providers is important to getting bulk emails sent to existing and prospective clients. In most cases, trying to send out bulk emails can get you blacklisted. As such, working with the best email marketing service provider helps you sent a large amount of marketing emails. The service providers also offer other services like marketing email design. Choose your provider carefully based on the needs of your email campaign. You should also the examples highlighted in the following section.
Email Marketing Best Practices Worth Considering
Whether you are a savvy veteran in email marketing or you are novice to e-mail marketing, there are some tested strategies that you should follow to optimize your e-mail marketing campaign. The recommended email marketing best practices cover such areas as:
- Opt in
- Unsubscribe options
- Clear and catchy subject line
- Relevant content
In terms of opt-in for instance, effective email marketing is permission-based, meaning that you must start by seeking the permission of your recipients. You should also give your customers an obvious and easy way to opt-out or unsubscribe from receiving emails. If they opt out, please remove them as quickly as possible from your mailing list. However, in some cases, customers may unsubscribe by mistake. To reduce unsubscribe rates, you could try to find out at the point of unsubscribing why the client wants to unsubscribe. Two-stage processes like the one illustrated below allow the user to correct a mistaken unsubscribe.
The next important best practice relates to the subject line. It is imperative that you ensure that the subject line reflects your email content. A catchy and clear subject line piques the interest of your reader and increases open rates. In terms of content, make sure that the email content is relevant to the recipient by conducting a market list segmentation. Be creative. A wise practice in writing good marketing emails is to be beautiful in your design. As shown in the figure below, combine color and images to create eye catching content. Make sure that the call-to-action stands out.
Important Considerations in Email Marketing for Small Business
As a small business, make sure to remind your recipients where their contact information was obtained. In other words, your email list should have been generated through proper ways, with proper permissions sought. In some cases, the recipient may have forgotten that they signed up to receive email. Reminding readers of their sign up will increase your reputation and reduce complaints and spam. A good practice for email marketing for small business is to maintain the frequency of sending emails to your list to establish an ongoing relationship with your customers, without the recipients feeling overwhelmed. You could also ask your recipients to add you to their address books to allow them to recognize your emails as they arrive.
Choosing the Ideal Email Marketing Agency
Starting and running a successful email marketing campaign can be a daunting task, and you may need the services of a reliable email marketing agency. Numerous reliable agencies exist, including BrightWave, FulcrumTech, and Trendline Interactive. Most reliable agencies offer the promise of elevating your e-mail marketing strategy, thus helping to drive your revenue, and building relationships with clients. However, before you engage the services of email marketing companies, please ensure that the agency has a demonstrated track record, and can provide you with a list of previous clients. BrightWave, for instance, is a leading email marketing agency that works with works with such clients as Equifax, Chick-fil-A, Aflac, Mizuno and Mattress Firm. The company offers end-to-end e-mail marketing as well as eCRM. Compare various attributes of the agencies before deciding on a provider.
In conclusion, e-mail marketing is not only here to stay, but also presents an immense opportunity for growth or marketers as long as it is well-managed. As you consider email marketing, you should note that the market place is changing and the challenges are changing. If you need more information or help in creating and running a successful e-mail marketing campaign, all you need to do is contact us.