What is email marketing?
As per Wikipedia, Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. It involves using email to send advertisements, request business, or solicit sales or donations.
Why is it important?
Email marketing can be a cost-effective way to keep in touch with your subscribers and potentially new opportunities. This is key to show that you are relevant and establish a position of authority. With email automation tools it is relatively easy to blast hundreds of emails in one shot. If done properly this can generate high ROI over some time.
What are your objectives?
Based on whether you are a startup v/s an established player, your objectives will be very different. Some companies might be sending emails for brand awareness, others may be doing this for increasing app downloads or seeking paid conversions, and so on. It is important to be clear on this before you get started. Also, there should be defined metrics that will determine the success or failure of your campaigns.
Define your budget
Although email marketing is not that costly, however, it is important to keep in mind that it does cost money to maintain a cross-functional team to regularly create email marketing campaigns. Also, depending upon the size of your target audience, it is important to keep a supporting sales, service, and marketing team to respond to customer queries and generate revenue.
Who is your target audience?
The clearer you are about your target market and audience, the easier it will be to get what you want from them. It is important to understand your audience’s needs and pain points for you to address the issues. Also, keep in mind that segmenting your audience will enable you to send personalized messages based on specific customer behavior and will help create trust quickly.
Types of emails
While there could be multiple types of emails sent, the following are among the most common:
- Transactional emails
- Lead nurture
- Part of drip campaigns
Create targeted emails
Once you know your audience and are clear about the objectives, now is the time to put your thoughts into action. Come up with crisp, concise email content with a hook and a call to action to do the magic for you, not to forget a catchy subject line, which often becomes the decider. All this is easier said than done and even big brands struggle to find the sweet spot. You can only attain your objectives by trial and error over a long time.
This might seem a bit daunting at the onset, but if you bring in experienced folks, this should go on like clockwork. Remember, this is the backbone of your email campaigns. There can be several approaches and tools available for creating and managing email workflows. Once set up properly, meaning according to your campaign needs, budget, etc. this should reap results for a long time.
Understand email scheduling
Just because you are free to send email blasts 24/7, does not mean just scheduling your emails at any time of the day is going to yield results. In fact, on the contrary, that will only amount to recipients ignoring your messages. Based on your target audience, nature of business, and email content, there are certain days and times which are proven to do better than others.
Run A/B tests
We can’t emphasize more on this point. Make sure to try out different email content, different subject lines, different delivery times, and so on to identify what works best for you. Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all solution here. You have to keep tweaking different parameters and double down on the winning strategies and ignore the losers.
Measure & Optimize
The good news is that almost everything that you will be doing can be measured. It is highly recommended for your benefit to keep monitoring the campaign outcomes in terms of email opens, app downloads, positive actions taken, revenue generated (as applicable) so that you can understand your mistakes and keep tweaking the process to generate maximum ROI.