Most businesses, regardless of the industry, can benefit significantly from developing an email marketing strategy. Email marketing helps business owners develop strong customer relationships and build a superior brand, which keeps the company growing.
Email marketing is not only effective but profitable. Email marketing is relevant, powerful, and affordable.
Let’s discuss how your brand can leverage email marketing to its advantage. Here are our top tips for building an email marketing strategy that will grow your business in 2019 and beyond:
1. Get Down to the Basics
The first thing you should do is make sure the list you’re using is correct and up to date, especially if your list is older or acquired from unknown sources. If you send emails to addresses that are invalid, they’ll bounce. The more bounced emails you have, the lower your sender score will be. And a lower sender score will result in your emails being flagged as spam, eventually getting you blacklisted. Once you’re marked as spam or blacklisted, all of your email marketing dreams will come to a screeching halt, because your audience will never receive your messages.
To avoid that, use an email verifying tool to ensure that your list is up to date and correct before launching your campaign. Running that check ensures each and every email you send reaches a real person. As a result, you’ll increase your deliverability rate and open rate – and your revenue.
When sending a business email, be sure you keep your subject lines short and specific so they don’t blend in with all the other marketing messages in your recipients’ inboxes. The best rule of thumb here is to use a subject line similar to what you’d use for a close friend or family member so it stands out. Finally, whenever possible, make the content personalized to your recipient, and don’t talk about yourself and your company. Instead, focus on providing value to the prospect, so they’re more open to a conversation about your product or service.
2. Learn From the Experts
There’s no need to start building your email strategy from scratch, especially when there are countless effective email marketing strategies that are being shared online. Find a proven email marketing strategy through research, and begin tweaking it to suit your needs. You’ll need to revise it based on your goals, your industry, and your brand voice. Customize it to best engage and resonate with your audience.
Websites like Really Good Emails gather the best emails from around the world that you can learn from and emulate. They even break them down into categories such as referral emails, retention emails, product launches, and more.
Lastly, seek out courses and master classes taught by seasoned veterans of email marketing. Any edge you can get will pay big dividends as you scale your email marketing strategy efforts.
3. Master the Email Cadence
An email cadence is a structured system for the timing and pattern of emails sent to prospective clients. The best email campaigns include multiple emails. In fact, a series of three emails perform better than a single email: 90% more orders for welcome campaigns, 63% more orders for cart abandonment campaigns, and 75% more orders for customer reactivation campaigns.
While an email cadence is something you can do manually by sending emails at specific intervals, it can be quite cumbersome on a larger scale. For maximum efficiency, use a tool like Mailshake for automating your email cadences. You can easily write up the emails you want to send, or use specific templates. Then, you can set the interval between emails and customize the campaign to stop if you receive a reply. It doesn’t get much easier than that. Putting your email marketing on autopilot lets you spend more time on other tasks, like closing deals.
4. Make the Effort to Follow Up
The majority of salespeople give up if they don’t receive a reply to their first email. They drum up the courage to pitch themselves or their product, but if they hear crickets in response, they immediately move on. Don’t make this mistake. If you want true growth from your email marketing strategy, you have to be relentless. Take the story of Jason Zook, founder of the now-dissolved IWearYourShirt. Of the 2,000 deals he landed over the years, he closed nearly 75% of them through follow-up emails.
Many salespeople feel like they’re bothering or pestering someone if they repeatedly email them, but if you believe in what you’re selling and truly think it would benefit your prospect, then you should do whatever it takes to show them how you can make their lives better with your product.
If you don’t get a reply, it doesn’t mean they aren’t interested. It could very well mean they didn’t see your email, or the subject line wasn’t good enough to get it opened, or something about your pitch was off. The trick is to consistently follow up and get more creative with each subsequent email to get their attention.
5. Always Be Testing and Tweaking
The greatest email marketing campaigns aren’t built overnight – far from it, in fact. For most businesses, it takes serious time and commitment to a trial-and-error process to get the mechanics down just right.
Your journey will likely be similar. You’ll probably try out a three-email cadence and get a lackluster (or decent) response. If you don’t get the response you’re hoping for, don’t give up and think that your email marketing strategy is not working for your business. Focus instead on A/B testing, and making thoughtful changes to your strategy to slowly increase your open rate, response rate, and subsequently, your conversion rate.
Over time, keep testing and tweaking, maintaining those strategies that are effective and ditching those that aren’t. Eventually, you’ll find a winning formula, one that gets results nearly every time. That’s the ultimate goal. But you can’t stop there; the industry is always being disrupted by technology, shifts in the economy, and countless other variables you can’t control. What you can control is the amount of effort you put into continually testing and improving your email marketing strategy. That’s where true growth lies.
Remember to start with the basics like curating and cleaning your email list to make sure your messages are going to real people and not into spam filters. Don’t reinvent the wheel with your email marketing strategy. Instead, learn from experienced professionals and other companies’ successes. Emulate what works and make it your own. Master the art of following up, and use a minimum three-email cadence to really get your audience’s attention. Finally, always strive to improve your email marketing strategy, even if it’s just one percent each day. Do all that, and you’ll see serious results and serious business growth from your email marketing strategy this year.
Guest author: Sujan Patel, Partner, Ramp Ventures
Sujan Patel is a partner at Ramp Ventures, makers of Mailshake, Pick, VoilaNorbert, and Right Inbox. He has over 14 years of marketing experience and has led the digital marketing strategy for companies like Salesforce, Mint, Intuit, and many other Fortune 500 caliber companies.
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