Email is still an important part of digital marketing, even when critics say it’s dead. If you’re an entrepreneur, checking emails is one of the first things you do each morning, sometimes even subconsciously. Like you, most successful business owners still include email as part of their morning routines, and some do it quite regularly throughout the day.
Email marketing offers one of the best platforms for engaging with current and prospective customers. As you well know, it’s becoming harder to engage with customers, especially with the ever-increasing numbers of gadgets and digital marketing channels.
Email remains one of the oldest forms of digital marketing that is still effective at driving customer engagement. Each email received and opened is a unique opportunity for brands to engage with their customers and potential clients.
However, not all email marketing strategies will be effective at fostering engagement. The following best practices will help you create effective email marketing strategies that are guaranteed to engage customers.
1. Timing is everything
Emails can graduate from helpful and effective to annoying and spammy very quickly. When designing an email marketing campaign, every marketer wants their emails to engage with the readers in terms of getting more opens and click-throughs. More of these ultimately lead to more shares, traffic, leads, conversions, and subscribers.
Therefore, timing your emails so that the recipients receive them when they are most likely to open them is of utmost importance. The number of emails sent and the frequency will largely depend on your industry.
If you want something more accurate than guesswork, you can do a test with your most reliable customers over a predefined period, say three months. Check for open and unsubscribe rates over this period and use the resulting data to come up with a frequency.
2. Design an engaging subject line
If you think about it, one of the main reasons why you open any email is because you were led on by the subject line. A good email subject line will bait the reader into opening and interacting with the email. Thus, the subject line is essentially more important than the email itself since an awesome email has no value if it never gets opened.
An effective subject line should be humorous, witty, clear and concise, mysterious, and whenever possible, a single-worded statement. Subject lines that make reference to current events can also be effective at baiting the reader into opening the email.
3. Include a call-to-action button they won’t resist
If your email campaign strategy does not employ CTA buttons, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to engage with customers. CTA buttons have been known to increase engagement via clicks by up to 42%.
Invest time to experiment with different buttons and see which ones get the most clicks. Your CTA buttons should have logical placement and a good number of contrasting colors to increase the number of clicks.
4. Offer a re-engagement offer or deal
So you’re going through your email list and stumble upon some customers who you were able to convert via a previous email campaign and completed a purchase. If these customers never bought anything else in months, it would be a good time to re-engage them with an offer or coupon. Re-engagement email campaigns are usually very effective at encouraging your email subscribers to become active customers again.
Re-engagement campaigns are also useful when targeting customers who signed up for a purchase but didn’t follow through on payment. Just remember not to flood them with emails. Work out an email frequency for different customer groups according to their response rates.
5. Know your customer
As a rule of thumb, never design an email marketing campaign without a clear description of your customers’ demographics. A well-designed demographic profile will help you identify your customers’ habits and preferences. It will also help you save marketing resources and avoid the pain that follows when customers unsubscribe from your email list when they receive irrelevant communication.
Once you’ve described your customer base, use one of the many tools available on the internet to segment your list. A segmented email marketing campaign can improve open and click-through rates by up to 15% and 60% respectively when compared with non-segmented email campaigns. Customers will also appreciate the fact that you have taken the time to know them, which is more likely to lead to conversions.
Email marketing has gotten considerably harder, mainly due to reducing attention spans among recipients. Still, that doesn’t mean it isn’t doable. If anything, it means it’ll only become more powerful as more marketers shy away from the challenge of creating impactful campaigns.
Embrace tech tools and modern metrics to measure email marketing engagement. Then use the results to audit and improve your campaigns, always making sure to add value with every email that you send out.