Leads are great, but they really only matter if you can turn them into paying customers. Here’s a rundown of 2018’s email campaign best practices to help you get started.
A few years ago, digital marketing experts and social media marketers were telling the marketing industry to prepare for the death of email marketing as social media stormed on like a runaway train.
Social media is a great tool for marketers to increase awareness about their brand, but using it to drive sales is an entirely different monster.
While Instagram and Facebook are powerful tools in the hands of a fashion or travel brand, they are much harder to leverage into sales for a SaaS startup or app developer. In 2018, email marketing has taken the crown when it comes to digital marketing.
A recent study found that email marketing has an ROI of 122% placing it four times higher than other digital marketing formats.
Keep reading to learn about email campaign best practices and how to use your email list to convert leads into paying customers.
5 Email Campaign Best Practices
It’s not enough to just collect email addresses and set up an automatic weekly email. The great thing about an email list is that you’ve got a curated list of people who are already interested in your product.
Now, you just need to convince them to make a purchase. Here’s how.
1. Give Your Readers an Incentive to Open Your Email
Keep in mind that the majority of commercial emails are filtered as spam by email providers. Not only that but some of the major email providers have recently introduced inbox tabs which filter emails into different categories.
Basically, getting into your subscribers’ inboxes is a feat in and of itself. So, when your emails are successfully reaching your readers, you want to give them every incentive to open your email.
Giving specific, monetary incentives such as, “Free shipping with purchases over $30” provides a concrete incentive for readers to open your email. That said, don’t overwhelm your subscribers with this offer.
The key to this method is to use it sparingly. Otherwise, you risk devaluing your product when your subscribers are always expecting to receive discounts from you.
2. Get Personal
If you’re sending emails addressed to, “Dear User” or something else equally anonymous, you’re basically asking your readers to delete the email immediately after they open it.
Using a personalized greeting has the opposite effect of grabbing their attention. Depending on your brand, you may even want to try a casual greeting. Many brands have found success by starting their emails with friendly greetings such as, “Hi Chris” rather than the more formal “Dear.”
The tricky thing about this technique is that it means you will need to expand your email collection form to include names. But other than that, it won’t require any extra work on your part if you have an email marketing tool that allows you to set custom greetings for your email campaigns.
3. Segment Your Email List
Creating different segments for your email list it going one step further with personalization. It allows you to target users who are at different points in the buyer’s journey.
Consider that if you run the email marketing campaigns for a travel agency. Does it make sense to send the same email to people who are dreaming of someday taking a vacation and people who are in the planning stages of a trip around Europe?
The first group is still at the beginning of the sales funnel. With no idea of when or where they want to go, you would send them content like, “5 Stunning Beaches You Need to Visit” or “Architecture Around the World that Will Take Your Breath Away.”
For the second group, on the other hand, you would want to include targeted content and CTAs like, “Must-See Sights in Paris,” “The Top 5 Cafes in Shoreditch” and “Click Here to Book Your Tours Now.”
View here an email marketing software that provides a fully customizable interface for everything from segmenting your list to analyzing your open rates.
4. Include Reviews of Your Product
What’s the first thing you do every time someone mentions trying a new restaurant or going to see a movie? If you’re like most people, you get online and read reviews before you jump in the car.
Reviews can make or break your business. Take advantage of that by including some of your good reviews or customer testimonials in your emails.
5. Make It Easy to Make a Purchase
What not to do: Write compelling content about your product or service with a generic link to your website and then leave it up to your readers to navigate to the product and sales page.
Most people have a short attention span, and any barriers to purchase mean that they’ve moved on to something else. Obviously, not all products can go from email to purchase in a few steps but make sure you’re only making people sign up for an account when it’s absolutely necessary.
Considering even airlines let you book under a guest account, you should only be including this step if your product comes with follow up service.
Bonus: Test Your Emails
Along with following the best practices above, you need to also be constantly testing your email campaigns. Email service providers track many different metrics. Test different subject line formats and try sending your emails at different times of the day.
Track how your CTAs (calls to action) and click-through rates are performing. Over time, you’ll find strategies that work for your industry and specific product. The most effective way to run tests on your email campaigns is through A/B testing.
Remember to only test one thing at a time, otherwise, it will be hard to get any insights from your results. If you change both your subject line and the layout of the email, then it’s impossible to tell which change is having a positive or negative effect on your CTA.
As long as you’re testing one element of your emails at a time, you’ll be able to craft emails that effectively turn your leads into customers.
Start Turning Leads into Paying Customers Today
These email campaign best practices are a good starting point for your email marketing strategy. But this is just one part of your overall marketing strategy.
From YouTube to promotional giveaways, we’ve got tons of marketing resources to help support your small business.