Are you underrating your emails? Did you know that 80% of SMBs credit the humble email as their primary source of customer acquisition and retention? Despite some negative vibes flying around emails, open rates are still high – at 82%. Emails are effective, fast and can deliver impressive business growth. The secret to healthy marketing emails is no secret, it’s two very simple things.
Give your subscribers want they want
With the best will in the world, it’s pretty darn hard to write an email that will appeal to everyone. It’s near on impossible, that’s why so many emails are ignored or head straight to SPAM.
What gets people’s attention is:
- Stuff they want to read
It’s that simple. Our world is still crazy about emails. The latest research predicts that our love for email will only grow, with an estimated 4.3 billion users by 2020. That’s half the population. So it’s more important than ever to create something that will grab your reader’s attention. That’s the ‘stuff they want to read’. Some of this is down to you. You know your business, and you know your customers. But you don’t have to do all the leg work. Take email further and let customers tell you exactly what they want.
Let us introduce you to self segmentation.
What that means is that your subscribers ‘segment’ themselves. You don’t have to. Take BuzzFeed for example. If you spend hours and hours looking at puppy posts, it will ask you if you want to subscribe to a newsletter that will fill your inbox with puppies galore. You can do the same.
Email preferences ask your readers what they want to see before they subscribe, and provide you with a self-filtering process on which to base your campaigns. Suddenly you have more targeted streams for your campaigns. Happy subscribers mean steady retention rates and increased engagement.
The second step is to personalize your emails by making them ‘dynamic’. Interspersing emails with dynamic fields will personalize them without having to create separate emails for every person. For example, you may have a sale you want your subscribers to know about. Dynamic fields help target sections of your campaign to regions with content and images that swap in and out according to the email’s destination. You can even set them up to address every person by name. Which email will get your attention amidst a sea of generic headlines? It’s probably going to be the one that speaks to you by name and tells you what’s happening in your home city. In fact, emails with a personalized subject line have a 50% higher open rate than those without.
More than words, it’s revenue
This is the crucial part for growing your business with segmented email campaigns. Email campaigns alone offer a fantastic return on investment. For every $1 you spend on marketing campaigns you can expect a $32 ROI. But marketers have seen a 760% increase in revenue from segmented email campaigns, so it certainly pays to personalize.
The key is automation
Automation is the angel of email campaigns. It saves you time and keeps your emails efficient. While ‘automation’ sounds impersonal and cold, that’s simply the process. Your emails will still be full of the good stuff. Each one is curated by you – so put all of your personality, your dynamic fields, crucial calls-to-action and personalization into these emails. It may not be you pressing the button but you’re sending quality content at the right times and in response to your audience’s needs.
You can also use automation to deliver a complete nurture sequence. Nurture sequences gently nudge along someone who has expressed interest but not yet acted upon it. You can water the seeds of interest and create confidence in your brand, with minimal stress for you. Integrations for automations, like Campaign Monitor, will be your best friend, especially if your eCommerce site is hosted on Magento or Shopify.
Power up your analytics
Email campaigns are a wonderful way of discovering more about your audience. Access to data is plentiful. See where they’ve clicked, what they’ve downloaded, which are high engagement and those that are low, your best regions and your demographics – just to name a few. If you’ve got Google Analytics plugged in (or any other data capture), use it to build accurate customer personas.
And so starts the cycle to healthier marketing. Great email engagement is self-perpetuating, once you’ve nailed your segmentation and dynamic, personalized emails. You’ll not only free up time to focus on other areas of your business, but your customers will be more engaged, responsive and active.