Are email campaigns part of your business’s marketing strategy? For the majority of small businesses, the answer is yes. Almost every small business use email marketing to connect with readers, share industry news, or promote products. Along with emails, there are other marketing tools like push notifications, ads, and text messages to promote websites or communicate.
Email marketing works. Half of the consumers buy from marketing emails at least once a month. And at $36 for every $1 spent, email campaigns offer the highest return on investment compared to any other form of marketing.
But despite their popularity and potential, email campaigns can be difficult for small businesses to create, implement, and manage. Luckily, you can integrate many email marketing best practices into your campaign to boost subscribers, open rates, and sales.
Here are 9 things to consider when building your next campaign.
Nine Tips for Your Next Email Marketing Campaign
1. Get personal
The average person receives over 100 emails per day. This avalanche of emails means you have to find a way to stand out from the crowd for your email campaign to be effective. Getting more personal in your messaging is one way to do this.
Start personalizing your subject line. Customers are more likely to feel like you know them by name and 29% more likely to open your email. If your tone is too formal or sophisticated, you could be turning off readers. Instead, take a conversational approach and throw in a little humour. You can boost open rates and retention by humanizing your brand and approaching subscribers more personally.
Websites can also implement personalization in push notifications to reach and engage their users.
2. Limit promotional content
Despite its name, an email marketing campaign should focus on more than just product marketing. While sharing new products and services with customers and leads is ideal, a successful email campaign will include a balance of promotional emails and messages that add value or solve a reader problem.
Not sure how many promotional emails to send per campaign?
It depends on the subscriber audience and campaign goal. But by monitoring each email’s performance, data can help expose how many “buy this” emails are too many and how many “let us help you” emails are just right.
3. Segment, segment, segment
If you’re sending the same message to everyone on your list, you’re missing out on an incredible opportunity for higher engagement. By segmenting your email streams based on different attributes, you can tailor your message for a more personalized experience that readers respond to in either engagement, loyalty, or purchases.
Not sure where to start? Consider segmenting your list by:
- Recent purchases
- Geographical location
- Engagement levels
- Position in the sales funnel
- Time since the last purchase
- Personal interests
One common and easy-to-implement segmentation strategy is to separate prospects from leads. Building a prospect list is just as important as nurturing leads, but each deserves a custom email campaign.
Bonus tip – Segmentation isn’t just for emails. Use segmented push notifications for targeted audiences via online ads for maximum conversion opportunities.
4. Test Your Emails
Testing emails against one another is the only way to know what readers respond to and what turns them off from your brand. Testing is a skill, so start simple. Run an A/B test on subject lines or a call to action. Collect and store any data.
This data makes it easier to see what sat well with readers or missed the mark. You can then use this information to craft more successful future campaigns or rework an annual campaign to be more successful next time.
5. Don’t sweat unsubscribes
Unsubscribes are normal. You can expect them with an email campaign. Unless your opt-out rate exceeds the expected 2% rate, don’t sweat it when people leave your email list.
People opting out of your email campaign can be a good thing. Unsubscribes can curb spam complaints and improve your email deliverability as a result. Unsubscribes also enhance the quality of your lists and, ideally, advance readers through your sales funnels faster.
6. No list is too small to prevent you from getting started
Before implementing an email marketing campaign, are you waiting until you hit a certain number of subscribers? Now is always the best time to start a campaign. Even with a handful of subscribers, you can begin to develop your voice, test different approaches, and gain confidence in your email marketing skills, all while growing your list.
What about the opposite end of the spectrum? Is there such a thing as a list that’s too big? Perhaps. While a large number of subscribers is an accomplishment to celebrate, you should always monitor a substantial email list for engagement. If open-rates lag and engagement is down, it may be time to clean out your email list and reward those who stick around with a free offer or bonus value.
7. Balance value and consistency
Consistency is crucial for a successful email marketing campaign. The best campaigns are planned out well and typically involve content flows that can’t be successful if disrupted.
At the same time, sending emails to meet a self-imposed deadline can do more harm than good (email fatigue is real).
When crafting a campaign, focus on consistency. But also ensure you build value into every message. Focusing on quality over quality is a better strategy than rapid-fire emailing.
8. Optimize campaigns for mobile readers
On average, mobile users check their email accounts about three times more often than desktop users. And at least half of all emails are opened on mobile devices, so failing to ensure your content (including emails, websites, social media, etc.) is mobile-user-friendly can have serious consequences.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Always choose a responsive email template. This responsiveness ensures your email will automatically fill the screen of any size device.
- Keep it short. The ideal email copy length is between 50 and 125 words. Sticking to this guideline is even more important for mobile users who don’t have the time to read a lengthy message.
- Keep your images clean and simple. Too many large files can take too long to load on a mobile device.
- Include a clear CTA link or button. Either will work, but buttons are easier to click on a mobile device.
Bonus tip – Optimize your landing page as well. Chances are, an optimized email can lead a reader to your website. However, all that work could unravel if your landing page isn’t equally as inviting and user-friendly.
9. Respond to growth with backup
Email marketing campaigns can have several goals. But as you realize those goals, whether they involve better engagement, higher sales, or additional subscribers, don’t hesitate to call in backup.
This backup could involve a combination of email marketing tools or hiring a team of freelancers to manage content writing and design work. While a small business team can handle email marketing management internally, there eventually comes a breaking point where backup becomes necessary.
But if you’re not ready to hand over the reins just yet, make sure your inbox is as organized as possible. Knowing how to organize your email can help ensure you quickly respond to subscribers who reach out after receiving a marketing message.
Dead Email List? Revival Tips to Know
Have you gone silent on an old email list? A revival email marketing campaign can help you re-engage email subscribers.
Here are some helpful tips for reviving a dead email list.
- Decide on an approach for re-engagement. You can address your absence or dive back into regular email deliveries. The best option depends on personal preference, how long you’ve been silent, and how deep of a relationship you have with your subscribers.
- Go overboard on value. Some subscribers may not welcome popping back into someone’s email box. One way to ease the sting is to offer an incredible freebie that makes them forget past transgressions. This freebie may vary by industry and company, but e-books, cheat sheets, or courses are great ideas. And if you sell physical products, consider a discount or free shipping offer.
- Prepare for some unsubscribers. Maybe their needs have changed, or they’ve already connected with a competitor. Remember that unsubscribes leave room for more valuable (and ideally profitable) relationships with engaged readers. Especially when reviving a dead email list.
- Stay consistent. Now you’re back to sending regular emails and developing marketing campaigns, don’t make the same mistake of disappearing on your readers again. While they may have been able to overlook the first occurrence, they’re much more likely to walk away from your brand for good if it happens again.
Better Results with Better Campaigns
Email marketing campaigns allow small businesses to build relationships with past customers, current customers, and potential leads. It’s an automated yet personal approach that, when done correctly, can yield truly impressive results.
Whether you’re struggling with email marketing campaigns, wondering what to do with a dead email list, or thinking about sending your first campaign, our email marketing tips help you create an efficient and effective campaign that helps grow your brand and business.