Email has been growing at a steady rate for years. Currently, there are nearly 4 billion email users worldwide. That figure is set to grow to almost 5 billion by 2024.
What’s more, email marketing has consistently impressive ROI. Currently, it brings an average of$42 for every $1 spent. That’s four times higher than any other marketing channel.
It’s clear that email is incredible at driving sales and revenue for brands. But how can you start taking advantage of this potential? What steps must you take to get started, and to ensure that your campaigns succeed?
Here, we’ll talk you through everything you need to get started with email marketing. This guide will help you to hit the ground running and achieve great things with your first campaign.
The days when you could simply type out a marketing email and blast it out into the unknown are gone. Modern email marketing is all about strategy.
Before you dive into designing your campaign, think about what you want to achieve. Setting solid goals will help you to understand the kind of campaign you need, who your audience is, how you measure your success, and more.
Think about the ultimate end goal you’d like to hit with each campaign. Perhaps you want to drive new signups, or generate new leads. Perhaps you want to gather attendees for an event, or to build your email list. Each of these goals will involve different tactics, and different customer journeys. So it’s very important to define your goals at the outset.
Setting clear goals will help you to create focused, targeted, engaging campaigns that perform.
You’ve established some goals, and you know what you want to achieve with your campaign. Now, you need some clients to send that campaign to.
The next step is to build an email list. There are several ways to do this:
Import a pre-existing client list.
If you already have a list of existing customers, you can import their details provided you have the consent to do so.
A word of caution at this point. It’s important to check that you have permission to send marketing emails to your clients. Data regulations like the GDPR and CAN-SPAMapply even to B2B marketing. If anyone on your list is an identifiable individual, you could breach regulations by emailing them. Even if they are acting in a professional capacity!
If you’re not sure about this,download our GDPR toolkit, orcontactour support team for advice.
If everything checks out, transfer your client list to your email marketing tool.
Vuture customers can importan existing list to your Vuture source or CRM connection. This will automatically sync your customer data into your Vuture account.
Build a new list from scratch
List building is all about making your email subscription visible and enticing. Give clients an incentive, and make it easy to sign up, and your email list will grow fast.
What makes a good incentive? It really depends on your audience and the kinds of things they find valuable. Audience research will help you to determine these things. However, for now, here are a couple of ideas:
Once you’ve picked your incentive, you need to make it easy for clients to receive that incentive. Offer as many subscribe opportunities as you can without being obnoxious.
For example, McKinsey links to their email subscription in their sidebar. When the customer hovers over the link, their subscription form pops up. It’s very easy to find and subscribe to their newsletter.
Deloitte has their subscription link as a footer. It’s prominent, clear, and easy to find.
Boston Consulting Group’s subscription link pops up in a lightbox at the bottom of the screen. It doesn’t disrupt the reader’s experience of their site, but it does make it very easy to get on the email list.
You should also make your subscription process simple and safe. Check out ourblog post on subscription forms to learn how.
For well-targeted marketing, it’s a good idea to segment your list. To do this, identify targetable qualities – for example, location, or firm type – and divide your list according to these qualities.
This helps you to target your campaigns in ways that make them more relevant for your readers. For example, you can send London-relevant content to firms in London, and Boston-relevant content to firms in Boston.
You may well have worked this step out back at step 1. Now, it’s time to refine your campaign into a precise category.
There are many different kinds of email campaigns. Here are a few of the most common types:
An email newsletter is a campaign that’s distributed at regular intervals. Typically, email newsletters contain relevant brand news, and content on topics of interest.
For example, recruit consultant Indeed’s newsletter provides recent, relevant content. It also links to personalised recommendations for the subscriber.
Newsletters are useful for keeping in touch with your clients. They keep your brand on top of your subscribers’ minds, and are great for driving web traffic.
Any campaign that you send with the goal of driving a direct response is a marketing offer campaign.
Marketing offer campaigns come in many forms. For example
Take an email from TIAA, for example. It highlights their series of webinars, and encourages readers to sign up. The promotion itself comes at the start of the email, and the rest of the content tells the reader what’s on offer.
Announcement emails tell your subscribers about things like changes that might affect their service, new services, and so on.
For example, Google is announcing a change to their Domains terms of service, and
informs subscribers about updated terms of service.
Announcement emails are perfect for keeping your customers up to date with your brand. They may also have the added benefit of driving traffic to your website.
You’ve defined your goals, you’ve built an audience, and you know what kind of campaign you need to send. Now, it’s time to get down to building your emails.
Vuture’s email marketing tools make it easy to produce fantastic campaigns. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know the fundamentals. Combining Vuture’s tools with your own knowledge and creativity will help you get the best results.
Make it scannable
The average adult attention span is eight seconds. This means that people won’t be settling down to read your email in detail. Instead, they will scan your content quickly, looking for the pertinent points.
Huge blocks of dense text aren’t scan-friendly. Structure your emails in a way that leads the eye to the most important information. Break up text into shorter paragraphs. Enhance the most important information. Use graphics and colour schemes to draw the eye. And make sure that your call to action stands out.
Personalize wherever you can
Personalization is as relevant for B2B marketers as it is for B2C. Perhaps even more so. According to Folloze, 77% of B2B marketers believe that personalization builds better customer relationships.
What’s more, with the amount of personalization technology at our disposal, there’s no excuse not to. Far beyond simply using first names in subject lines, we can now send dynamic content that adjusts to suit the reader, in real time!
Paying close attention to your segments will help you target campaigns for relevance. Plugging customer data into dynamic content blocks can make that campaign more relevant than ever.
Any reader is more likely to give their precious attention to content that’s relevant for them. Data technology, segmentation, and automation can ensure that every email is as relevant as possible.
Brand consistency is key to building trust, recognition, and relationships.
If you don’t already have a brand voice and consistent branding, create them. It’s vital that your emails align with the branding you use across the board. Think about colours, graphic style, and the kind of persona you want your brand to portray.
Consistent branding will make your campaigns seem familiar, and therefore trustworthy.
Make it easy to convert
To achieve the goals you outlined in step 1, make it as easy as possible for customers to convert.
Guiding the reader through to your CTA with a scannable flow (as outlined above) will help with this. However, there is more you can do.
As a priority, make sure your content looks good and works well on mobile devices. If your emails don’t load or display properly on mobile, you’ll lose out. More than 50% of all email opens happen on mobile devices.
Think also about accessible tech. Companies are investing heavily in text-to-voice-technology. This will open the internet for millions of people with visual impairments. However, smart devices like Siri and Alexa only ‘read’ out plain text. They can’t ‘read’ images. Make sure that your email is accessible to those who may hear it, as well as those who may view it.
Useful metrics will start coming in the second your first email hits inboxes. You can start tracking your results straight away.
Most email marketing tools have an analytics suite for reporting. (Vuture’s certainly does!). This will keep you up to date on all the key metrics and help you to draw insights about your progress. Web analytics tools like Google Analytics can also help you to gain a more complete picture.
The key metrics of your email campaign include:
These metrics give an overview of how your customers are receiving your campaign. Once you’ve sent a few campaigns, you can compare them.
Spend time analysing these metrics. Learn how people interacted with your email campaigns. Determine why things happened the way they did.
A/B testing is the best way to systematically work out what your customers like, and to improve your metrics.
For example, to improve open rates, you would A/B test a factor in your email campaign that affects open rates – like subject lines.
When designing your subject line A/B test, you would start with two emails identical in every respect. Only the element being tested would differ – in this case, the subject line.
Let’s say that you are testing whether emojis can improve your open rates. You would then create two subject lines – one with emojis, and one without.
Then, you would take a portion of your audience and divide it in two. One half would get the email with emojis in the subject line, and the other would get the emoji-free version. Send each email out at the same time, and make sure that the audiences are as similar as possible. This will reduce the chances of your test throwing up false positives and negatives.
If the emoji version gets more opens than the emoji-free version, you’ll learn that emojis in subject lines improve your open rates.
There are many elements you can test and improve, including
Email is incredible at nurturing customers and driving engagement. Understanding the intricacies of email marketing can bring amazing ROI.
There’s a lot more to email marketing than we’ve outlined here. If we had the time, we’d go into things like list hygiene, data protection, and more (check out the rest of our blog to dig into these!)
But, if you follow the six steps we’ve outlined here, your email campaigns will be off to a great start.