Need to start from the very beginning? Want to know the difference between an onboarding campaign and a nurture campaign? We’ve broken down email marketing into three parts, to help you feel ready to take on the world:
You’ve been building your business for a while now, and you’re ready to take it to the next level. You’ve been building a social media following, you have a website, you’ve flirted with paid advertising, but you still aren’t gaining the momentum you were hoping for. But your marketing investments should be bringing you a return! Or else, it’s not marketing, it’s just talking into the air.
Ya, you’re not imagining it – marketing has become more overwhelming than ever. It can feel so defeating when you’re doing the best you can but you just aren’t seeing results. Or if you feel like you can’t keep up with everything. And you know what? It’s not your fault! Please hear us when we say, it’s not because your business isn’t good enough, or you aren’t likable enough or talented enough.
YOU. ARE. ENOUGH.
There are a lot of reasons why marketing your business is difficult these days:
Or, in the profound words of Wendel Berry:
“AI can do a lot of things but it can’t do them with love.”– Wendel Berry
Only you can do that. AI is pretty incredible (when it’s not being creepy and Big-Brothery). Data is essential. Analytics are extremely important. But these things mean nothing if there’s no human on the other end to implement them with heart and a personality. .. YOU!
No algorithms. No SEO. No playing the hashtag game.
It’s just relationship-building.
True, authentic, real-life relationship building with every individual person on your list.
Somewhere along the way, email marketing got a bad reputation. We gave our email address at the cash register, we walked away, and we got 10 emails a day for the next month…
Ya. We’ve all been burned. And we’ve all got that one email address we give away so we can just have a confrontation-free check-out at the cash register. (And yes, it’s usually something embarrassing like “firstname.lastname@example.org” … ). But it doesn’t mean you can’t earn the trust of your target audience and prove that you are worthy of space in their inbox. People will give away their “real” email address to brands they care about and want to be associated with.
There’s a good reason why people are protective over their inbox space, and they have a right to be. That’s also why Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) came to be.
But since the days of “email@example.com” email marketing is now a sophisticated, and well-regulated segment of communications technology that in our opinion, offers far more effective opportunities to connect with your customers (and grow your business) than even social media.
But don’t just take our word for it.
In 2018, email marketing proven to be the most effective channel for driving sales.
… especially if it’s clear and not full of unexplained jargon. So, our goal for this blog is to equip you with the right information so you understand the goals of email marketing, what makes it different from other marketing platforms and how you can use it for your business.
Let’s do this thing!
Email Marketing: The use of email and automated email platforms to promote and sell a business’s products or services. Email marketing is also used to communicate with customers in between sales (before, during and after) to nurture relationships and increase customer retention (MailChimp).
There are three other things you should know about email marketing:
Okay, quick check-in.
Are you starting to see why email marketing is such a unique opportunity to speak with your audience?
Here’s a little summary of what we’ve talked about so far:
While we’re summarizing, this is probably a good time to remind you of a few other email-marketing points from our last blog post:
And here are a few things you need to put in place before you begin email marketing:
Like any other form of marketing, email marketing should never be sporadic. It needs strategy, planning and consistency. You need to know what purpose it’s serving in your overall marketing plan, and how you can use it to serve clients uniquely.
Here’s a quick list of ways you might use email marketing to connect with your customers:
In all of these cases, email marketing allows you the flexibility to talk to people in a specific way that matches where they’re at on their journey with your brand.
There are several different types of email marketing campaigns we use when designing a communications strategy. Each one has a unique place in your sales funnel, and in your customer’s journey.
Just to clarify, whenever you see the word campaign, we are talking about a series of emails. These sequences are designed to begin when your lead takes a certain action, like visiting your website, leaving items in their cart or making a purchase. This campaign, or series of emails, then helps your customer feel more and more comfortable over time with each email touchpoint and feel more compelled to make a purchase (or take whatever call to action you’re asking).
This is an automated email sent to a user based on an action (or incomplete action) they took. It could be the delivery of a lead magnet they requested, or after they made a purchase. One of the most common types of trigger emails is “the abandoned cart” email. This can be one or more emails delivering a reminder and incentive to a website visitor when they put items in a cart but leave your website before completing their purchase. Trigger emails are a great chance to customize the shopping or viewing experience for each of your customers, helping them feel noticed whatever stage they’re at.
Now let’s take a closer look at each type of email campaign.
Remember when we said that data and analytics are important? That is true, especially with email marketing.
When you’re just starting out, two analytics that you want to pay attention to are your open rates and click rates.
Open Rate: This is a percentage of the successfully delivered emails that were opened by subscribers. If you send an email to 100 subscribers, and 10 of them bounce, the open rate would be the percentage of the 90 emails that were delivered. To find this out, email platform providers like MailChimp send a tiny transparent image along with the email. They find the number of opens by counting the amount of time that tiny image loads. Not to worry, the image isn’t visible to your subscribers.
*Because images are used to track opens, it won’t always be 100% accurate. If the recipient’s email provider has images turned off, it won’t register as opened. You’d think there would be a fail-safe way to figure this out, but alas, the internet isn’t always the magical creature we think it is.
Click Rate: To help with the accuracy of the open rate, you can also track click rates. This percentage represents the number of successfully delivered emails that registered at least one click. You can count on every registered click contributing to your open rate.
Hot tip: In order to have clicks, you need to link to something in your email. We recommend linking to your website, social media accounts or informative or entertaining articles that will delight your audience.
Hotter tip: Your subject lines will make a HUGE difference on your open rates. The best subject lines open a story loop that the reader can only complete by opening your email!
Some of our best performing subject lines have been:
“You deserve a 122% raise”
“The only thing we have in common with The Spice Girls”
“You’re not alone, we’re feeling it too”
These subject lines ranged from 60%-66% open rate! But don’t be discouraged if you don’t get the same stats when you start sending out emails. A lot of industry averages sit around an 18-20% open rate. Keep track of the emails you receive over the next couple of weeks and pay attention to what kind of subject line gets you to open an email.
Now you know:
Refer back to this as often as you need to as you design your email marketing strategy. Start small! Don’t try to plan out the entire year today – start with one month and then go from there.
And here’s one more important thing to remember – START TODAY. Wherever you’re at, just begin. It doesn’t matter if you only have 10 people on your list, they need to hear from you! You can only grow your list if you start showing up consistently, so let today be the day you look back on and think – it all started with one email, and look where I am today!
Rooting for you always,
Julia & Val