Elements of a Great E-mail Marketing Campaign

email marketing best practices

Why is Email Marketing Still Relevant?

With the advent of new technology coming to the fore every day, it is understandable to ask “Is Email marketing is still relevant?”. People usually believe that email marketing means spam and that the very idea of it is old-school. However, with over 4.5 billion email accounts in the world today, 91% of the people report that they check their emails at least once a day [1]. The fact that email is a medium of 1:1 personalized communication would help one be sure that it is a viable marketing channel. The one single-most important point that would clarify any doubts regarding the effectiveness of email would be that email marketing offers a 4300% return on investment and has consistently been acknowledged as the most effective digital marketing tactic [2].

 

Scope of Email Marketing in Buyer’s Journey

The following flow chart gives a picture of the buyer’s journey from an inbound perspective i.e. a pull-marketing perspective – from a visitor to a delighted customer.

After a visitor has been converted as a lead, the next important step is to nurture it. Lead nurturing involves educating the customer instead of pitching the product. The key here is to remember that potential customers would like to be prescribed a product and not sold to. Sending relevant emails to the leads at the convert stage helps the company build a relationship with the customer and let them proceed further in the buyer’s journey by closing a deal.

Also, one must continue to use email as a way to communicate with someone who has become a customer. Customer delight only happens when the customer’s decision is reinforced to him to be a great decision.

 

How to Send the Right Email for Maximum Impact

An effective email marketing strategy simply gets two things right – Content and Context. The four steps to an impactful email marketing strategy are as follows:

  1. Determine the buyer persona
  2. Segment the audience
  3. Content
  4. Email design essentials
  • Determine the buyer persona

Email marketing is best when personalized. Personalized doesn’t just end at referring to the lead with his/her first name but also by personalizing the content as per his requirement. This can be best done when buyer persona is brought in to picture as a persona is common group of audience with similar behavior, needs and expectations.

  • Segment the audience

While one might think that buyer persona is enough, it is crucial to go beyond and segment the audience further. One could simply segment the audience based on geography or based on the size of the company (in case of B2B). One could go delve deeper and even segment based on their behaviour on the company’s website or even the number of social friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter. These just a few examples segmentation can be done and the possibilities are endless.

  • Content

Email marketing is best when personalized. Personalized doesn’t just end at referring to the lead with his/her first name but also by personalizing the content as per his requirement. This can be best done only when the buyer persona and segmentation have been utilized to slice and dice the database. The content of the mail could include anything from plain and neatly formatted text, videos and blogs (awareness stage) to CTAs for webinars, whitepapers and eBooks (consideration stage) to free trails, product demos and consultation offers (purchase stage).

  • Email Design Essentials

As much as the content is important, the design elements of an email is also extremely important. It goes without saying that having a clear goal of an email is of utmost importance which should also reflect in the subject line and the entire communication. A clear goal means having a singular goal per email. So if an email is intended at propagating a particular CTA, there should not be any other CTA in that mail. Secondly, personalization is the key. It has been researched that 40% of the consumers buy more from companies who personalize the experience as per the consumer [3]. Moreover, it has also been found that personalize emails improve click through rate (CTR) and the conversion rate.

Thirdly, a mail should have CTRs, not just once but multiple times spread across the mail in different ways. The following email from Hubspot, Inc. depicts an example of a great email. In the exhibit, the CTR is not just included in the button, but also in any image that is there in the mail.

 

Conclusion

A great email campaign is not just about the email in itself but about the timing and the context. When utilized correctly, marketers benefit from email marketing immensely. At the end of it, the KPIs that sets apart a great email campaign are the delivery rate (did the mail reach all the contacts), open rate (how many people who received the mail opened it) and click through rate (how many people follow the CTA and end up on the website.

 

Bibliography

[1] http://www.radicati.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Email-Statistics-Report-2015-2019-Executive-Summary.pdf

[2] https://www.thebalance.com/email-marketing-a-4300percent-return-on-investment-2533577

[3] http://www.gigya.com/blog/5-stats-that-prove-businesses-must-personalize-to-win-customers/

 

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About the Author:

Darpan has worked as a Marketing and Product development strategist at an edu-corporate in New Delhi. He has also worked at a multinational business process outsourcing company in their Marketing & Artificial Intelligence business. He is an engineer by qualification and is currently pursuing MBA from Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Udaipur.