You are making content to promote your brand. You want that content to be seen by the right people at the right time. But the online world can be a bit fickle when it comes to giving us the results we want. That’s why it is a smart idea to make use of every type of marketing tactic you can, including email marketing.
>> (Fun fact: the first email was sent in 1971!)
While it might seem a little outdated to some, don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a waste! We all have that friend–or maybe we are that friend–who has an inbox with a disconcertingly large number of unread emails. While situations like that can give you a bad impression, the reality is that people are reading their emails. In fact, Hubspot discovered that email open rates over the last year were about 18% higher than average.
As both our team and Peta Serras, founder of Professional Babe and creator of Give Good Email, will tell you, email marketing comes with its own benefits. Firstly, a strong email marketing strategy gets content right to where people are: their inbox. While there is no guarantee that every email you send to every person will be opened, if you have the right content in the ideal place, you are doing yourself a favor.
And it doesn’t stop there. It is estimated that around 81% of small businesses use email marketing to acquire customers and 80% use it to help keep those customers coming back. It’s also estimated that about 17% of people who open their emails end up making a purchase.
This form of marketing is known for being reliable too. After all, if a social media profile were to fail after you’ve worked hard to build up a hefty following, your email is a solid way to keep those connections.
“As marketers and business owners, we need to realize we’re building audiences on platforms we’re at the mercy of, “ Peta tells us. “I love Instagram, but I understand one day I could log in and *poof* my account could be deleted. For that reason I am regularly spruiking my list and lead magnets to funnel people from my socials onto my list. If there is one thing you start doing today it’s to get your peeps on your list and remember it’s the only social real estate we all truly own.”
So you’ve got reliability, more control, and even better sales support. Why not make the most of it? Your goal should be to create emails that increase awareness, build relationships and promote action in the long-run. Not sure how to create an effective email strategy or where to start? We can help you find your starting line and give you some tips so you can hit the ground running.
Kick off your email plan with the basics
If you are having trouble with figuring out what you need to nail down first, why not start with the technical details to kick things off?
- Choose your emailing service. Think you can mass email from your regular Google account? Sorry but no! Gmail, Yahoo and any other standard emailing service come with a limit to how many people you can email at once. That’s why you need to choose the best email service to allow you to create a large email list you can reach out to at once. Options include Mailchimp, Flodesk, Constant Contact, Convert Kit, Omnisend, Kajabi and more. Thanks to a good range of options, there is an email service out there that can find the budget of just about any brand or business. You may also want to take some time to find out how you’ll gather data about your email strategy’s impact such as conversions–or actions taken from customers–and click-through rates.
- Set up a way to gather more emails. Using the emails you already have will be a great way to start, but you don’t want to stop there. Make sure to start creating ways to gather more emails moving forward. You can add a fill form in the footer of your website, create social media posts that encourage signing up, or even add pop-ups to your website (possible through WordPress, Mailchimp etc.)
- Dig into your address book for your first audience members. People have purchased your products and subscribed to your page, so you have a place to start when it comes to who you are going to reach out to first. Don’t worry, as long as you include that Unsubscribe button, you won’t be reaching anyone who doesn’t want it. It is more than likely though that your fans, customers and followers will be happy to see that they are getting your creative content delivered straight to them.
- Divide up your audience: You have your list of recipients and your emailing service, so now all you have to do is….segment! Categorize the people receiving those emails to make sure you are getting the right content to the right people. We’ll get into this below, but segmentation is vital to allowing you to personalize your content–and that can keep people opening, reading and even sharing your emails.
Tips for creating eye-catching content for the modern inbox
So, you know the technicalities of how you want to send your emails but now the question is what do you want to send? Here are some ideas to start building out a well-rounded email content library.
- Use what you have on hand to start. You’ve made content for your blog or your social media pages, why not make it go a little further? Include introductions and a CLICK HERE link to your blog. Repurpose an especially successful Facebook post. Create an email specifically focused around a promotion you are running or a new product you are dropping (remember those stats on sales through emails!) You can even base new content off something you wrote before.
- Create content that can be personalized. Whether you are creating something educational or entertaining, make sure you are personalizing your content. Your audience isn’t going to take well to scripted content. If you have an email you are sending to new customers, it can’t use the same content to engage readers that the email to your longtime customers does. “The examples, words, and minor details change up for the audience listening to your story,” explains Peta. “Segmented and personalized content can get a 760% increase in revenue compared to content that isn’t.” Customize and personalize your emails accordingly and it can make a world of difference!
- Make content that is easily readable. Short sentences, small paragraphs, listicles and quizzes are all going to be not only eye-catching and engaging but also very readable. The truth is that brevity goes a long way especially in email. Plus, as Buzzfeed has shown all of us, who doesn’t love a good quiz? Peta also suggests looking at your own likes and dislikes when creating content. “It’s always great to remember what you love to engage with when it comes to emails. Think about the peeps you adore to hear from when their emails hit your inbox and ask how you take inspiration to include that format in your own style.” As long as you check on and work within the limitations for your email service provider and your budget, you’ll be in good shape.
- Welcome your people. Make sure that whatever you choose to include in your emails, you start by telling everyone, “Hello!” Sending out welcome emails can have an incredible impact even if this is the only email someone opens. In Peta’s opinion, this is one of the most powerful things you can do. In her words: “The most effective kind of email that every business needs (yup, that means you!) is a welcome sequence. It’s a proven fact that your welcome sequence emails will get the most opens, clicks, engagements and conversions out of any campaign you send.”
Working on creating an effective email marketing strategy but not sure if you are doing it right? Maybe you are starting to feel a bit overwhelmed? We get the feeling because we’ve been there too. The good news: we can help. RM Creative Services is the keen eye you need to help you build out an email strategy that takes your brand or business to the next level. Get the expert guidance you need by sending a message to email@example.com or visiting our Contact page.
Written by Brianna Fries, a California-based writer and editor. You can discover more of her work at briwritesthings.com.