Best Email Marketing Ideas and Strategy
Make Email Marketing your secret weapon
- Why should I do email marketing?
- What types of emails can I send?
- What are the best ways to measure my email marketing’s success?
It’s easy to take email for granted. It’s something that’s almost too available, you use it fairly often, you have it at work and at home…wait. Let’s think about that.
How many times have you checked your email today? Once? Twice? Are you checking it right now?
The answer is 91% of people spend quality time with their inboxes every day. That means email is probably the one channel that ALL of your customers and fans will be on, which is pretty amazing. And that’s where email marketing comes in.
Email marketing is great for a lot of reasons, but here are 4 good ones:
- Email marketing connects you directly with your customers. People’s inboxes are often their “To DO” lists – and your email can be part of that list.
- You can also get really targeted. It’s possible to send a different message and different call to action to every single contact you have.
- It’s pretty easy to set up and get going quickly. A lot of businesses use it as one of their first marketing channels.
- Lastly, it’s easy to tell if you’re reaching your marketing goals. Tracking email engagement rates help you figure out if your email marketing is working.
Tip: To set your email marketing up for success, think of any email you send as a nice bonus for your customers. That means every email you send needs to offer something valuable to the person reading it.
Valuable emails are useful, timely, or interesting to people. Let’s check out how a real business did it right.
A useful email form wedding registry site Zola gave engaged couples insider tips and valuable advice from recently married couples.
It’s safe to say that Valentine’s Day is highly relevant to engaged couples. And with V-Day comes forgetting to buy a gift for V-Day. So Zola sent a timely email with last-minute gift ideas.
A lot of wedding gifts have one use only. A cake stand, for example. But Zola found interesting ways to make them multi-use and emailed those ideas to their customers.
Okay, great, you can create some useful, timely, and interesting emails like Zola did, hit send, and ride off into the sunset, right?
Sure, as long as that sunset includes the golden glow of measuring your email marketing success.
You can measure a lot, but let’s look at these 4:
- CLICK-THROUGH RATE (CTR) – % of people who clicked on your email links.
- CONVERSION RATE – % of people taking the action your email asked them to do.
- OPEN RATE – % of people who opened your email.
- UNSUBSCRIBE RATE – % of people who decided to unsubscribe after getting your email.
Why are we looking at them? Because 2 of them are the most important email marketing rates to measure, and 2 of them aren’t that crucial. Let’s see
CTR and conversion rate are the most important things to measure. You can stop looking at open and unsubscribe rates.
CTR tells you if your emails are useful, timely, or interesting enough. Tracking it will show you if your message or offer can successfully get people to click your links and learn more. You can also measure how your CTR changes over time to know when you should update or tweak your email content.
Conversion rate tells you if your email marketing is helping your business. A potential customer becomes a “conversion” when they take the ultimate action you wanted them to take, like buying a last-minute Valentine’s Day gift for your online store. Conversion rate, then, is one of the most important things to track if you want to know how much your email marketing is helping you reach your goals.
Open and unsubscribe rates are unreliable. An email is only counted as opened if the person also gets the images embedded in the email. Unfortunately, a lot of people have automatic image blocking.
You also can’t tell how many people actually unsubscribed, as a lot of them don’t bother using the unsubscribe button. They’ll just stop opening or reading your emails, or send them to the spam folder.
Do this now: Even if you’re not quite ready to launch a full email marketing campaign, you can start thinking about the types of emails you’ll eventually want to send.
Let’s make a list:
- Send an appointment reminder.
- Announce your new products or services.
- Let people know you’re having a sale.
- Suggest products based on their last purchase.
- Send them birthday greeting and discounts.
- Create emails based on the season or holiday.
- Let them know about fun events happening in your store or community.
- Update them on news about your industry.
- Give them tips and tricks to live by.
Now you can take these starter email marketing ideas and make sure they lead to a business goal you want to reach.
References: Google Webmasters, Think With Google, Google Primer