Email marketing sounds old school, but here's the kicker. Email marketing isn't dead, irrelevant messages are. Over 85% of adults use email, and 99% of us with email check it every day. Over the years email has gotten a bad reputation for being spammy and we've heard from business owners that they don't want to "spam" or "invade" people's inboxes to get business. Guess what, we don't want you to do that either! We'll let you in on a secret, people like getting emails so long as it's what they're looking for. As a business owner, here are some ideas you should implement when creating an email marketing strategy.
Inform People Prior to Sign-Up
Different marketing strategies can be put in place to obtain email addresses. Whether that's a free download, a 15% off coupon, promise of information, etc. No matter what your call-to-action is, make sure people know what you're using their email for. If the first email you send to someone is not relevant to what they thought they signed up for, they will likely unsubscribe. Keep your message relevant to what the reader is looking to receive from you.
Follow Up Immediately
Send people an automated email after they sign up. Even if you prefer sending personalized messages directly, this initial follow-up email can set you apart. The first email sets the tone for the relationship and confirms you received their request or submission. It also gets them familiar with your company and branding while things are still fresh in their memory. I can't count the times I've requested information from a company without getting a follow-up email; only to get an email a few days (or months) later and it doesn't look familiar to me, losing its credibility.
Now here's the meat and potatoes: email segmentation. This email marketing tactic is extremely powerful and keeps your message hyper-focused for your audience. Email marketing services allow you to create tags or segments within your email list to target information to your audience however you like. Whether that be by services they're interested in, past purchases, interests, location, etc.
Once you've created segments, you can then send personalized messages that are tailored to each of them. This keeps the message relevant to all who receive it. As well as preventing confusion and the risk of having readers unsubscribe because they are getting emails that are not relevant to them.
Example 1: A wholesaler that also sells direct. You would want to create at least two segments, one for your wholesale customers, and another for direct customers. The wholesale segment would have information that just pertains to business and may have a different pricing structure, or even include marketing materials that businesses can use to sell your products. Obviously, a direct customer would not want that information. You may send them product tips, sale information, etc.
Example 2: A B2B business that sells products or services. You may wish to segment your email list by the industry your clients are in. If you sell to a restaurant and to a car dealership, their needs may be quite different, and your email content should be too.
It all starts with a little planning and processes. No one likes to go through thousands of emails on an email list to segment them after the fact. Although it's sometimes needed, we try to avoid that by creating processes to segment people as they subscribe to your email list. We start with:
- Determining your audiences which will guide how to best segment your list
- Create enticing calls-to-action to build your email list - getting people to subscribe
- Create automated emails for each segment, keeping it specific to each segment and the call-to-action used
This will create a good starting point for your email marketing strategy.