Growing and utilizing your email list is a must for any business that’s committed to building their brand awareness and increasing conversions. It’s not just as simple as sending an e-newsletter every month. A thoughtful, robust email strategy can help your business by leaps and bounds.
Here are 15 effective tactics to get you started.
1. Use Automation
If you do anything to take your email marketing to the next level, then this is it. Automation allows you to place your customers and leads into automatic sales funnels rather than stewarding (or more likely, dropping the ball on) individual relationships. This process allows you to nurture them from the initial brand awareness stage all the way through the planning and purchasing stages.
2. Create Specific Follow-Up Campaigns
As you start to automate your email campaigns, you should segment your audiences to make sure they’re receiving content that is actually relevant to them. For example, a bank that receives an email sign up through a partially completed mortgage application could place that person in a drip campaign that specifically prompts the next steps in the home loan process, such as finishing the loan application, house hunting tips, and what to expect as they go through the steps of buying a home.
3. Promote Educational Content
Ideally, you’re creating valuable content as part of your digital marketing strategy, whether through blogs, videos, podcasts or a combination of multiple platforms. Your email list is an ideal audience to send this content to because they already have an expressed interest in your brand. On top of that, educational content serves as a genuine touchpoint that demonstrates your company’s expertise without being salesy.
4. Send a Newsletter
While educational content is a cornerstone of email marketing, there’s still a place for a company e-newsletter. This keeps your customers and leads updated on exciting changes, new products, and other initiatives that are in the works. There’s a fine balance, however, in making e-newsletters too “you”-centric. Get creative to make it feel like sending the news is still about helping your customer so they feel that extra value your company adds.
5. Send Consistently
One mistake many businesses make is not having a set schedule for sending emails. Consistency is key in order to stay relevant among the hundreds of emails people receive every single day. To help, create a monthly email content calendar so you’re not constantly scrambling for ideas of what to send.
6. Use Engaging Subject Lines
The toughest part of creating an effective email strategy is standing out amongst all your competition. Think about how many promotional emails you personally receive each day. Creating thoughtful subject lines that speak to your audience is a core part of actually enticing people to open up and read your content inside.
7. Make a Visual Design
Email is not just a text-based form of communication anymore. Visual content is a great way to capture your audience’s attention, reinforce your branding and create a better user experience. A header with your logo and other graphics throughout the email help your readers process information more quickly and better remember your content.
8. Institute Double Opt-In
Another best practice for emails is to implement a double opt-in process. A single opt-in simply requires that someone enter in their email address on your website to get added to your subscriber list. The downside to that is that spammers can add in addresses to disrupt the quality of your list.
A double opt-in, on the other hand, doesn’t add someone to your list until they respond to a confirmation email. This is a classic case of quality over quantity because, ultimately, you want a loyal list of subscribers who take action when you send them something.
9. Track Your Successful Emails
While open rates and click-through rates are important, tracking conversions is the most important gauge of the effectiveness of your email strategy. Not only can you track which emails are the strongest, but you can also track which customers have opened or responded so you can further segment future email lists.
10. Find Your Best Times to Send
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to picking the best time to send emails to your audience. Perform A/B testing to determine the more successful days and times for your specific email list. This gives you data-based insight to hone in on that perfect ratio for sending. Also, remember to re-test every few months to make sure your audience’s habits and preferences haven’t changed.
11. Make It Mobile-Friendly
People are checking email on their phones more and more frequently so it’s critical to make sure your emails are mobile-friendly. Test your email’s visuals on a phone to make sure it displays well. Best practices include keeping your subject lines short and making sure the copy works even if images are blocked on a user’s phone.
12. Cross-Sell Your Products and Services
Cross-selling (or up-selling) your products is one of the best ways to increase your sales through email. Send offers on relevant products that make sense to existing customers. For example, if a credit union customer takes out an auto loan, your follow-up email could offer a deal on gap insurance.
13. Clean Up Your List Regularly
Good hygiene is important, and your email list is no exception. You should periodically remove unengaged subscribers from your list. These people are clearly not interested in your brand and only serve to skew your metrics, like open and click-through rates. With a clean list of people who truly want to hear what you have to say, you’ll be able to consistently execute quality email campaigns.
14. Create Outbound Campaigns
While you want to keep your email list clean with engaged recipients, you can also try outbound campaigns to individuals who haven’t signed up for your email list. This is legal in the U.S. as long as your email includes an address and an unsubscribe list. Outbound campaigns are a form of digital cold calling and can start to establish your company as a resource to this new audience.
15. Grow Your List
A final tip for marketing through email is to continually grow your list. Encourage your sales team and other customer-facing employees to add contact information to your CRM when meeting new leads. You can also create gated content on your website that can only be accessed when a visitor subscribes to your email list. To truly improve your sales, it’s important to balance content creation with growth strategies to expand your brand.
Create Your Email Marketing Strategy Today
A great email marketing strategy takes time and effort to put together, but it’s worth it. The right strategy can grow your business by reaching a wider audience and convincing people on the fence to finally buy your product or service. If you’re ready to grow your leads and sales, start implementing these 15 tactics today.