March 11, 2019
Email marketing is loved by B2B and B2C marketers alike and it’s by far the most cost-effective channel to advertise in. Compared to social media, emails are likely to drive 147% more conversions. Additionally, the average return-on-investment for email hovers around $38 per each dollar spent, all the better for brands with a tight marketing budget.
In stark contrast to the promising figures of email effectiveness, only 26% of small and medium businesses use email marketing for sales and only 7% use it to build their brand. That alone is a huge opportunity to invest in email marketing this year as it is very likely that your competitors aren’t there yet.
In the best case scenario, email grants you direct access to your customers’ inbox, driving direct revenue from each send. However, if you don’t play by the email marketing playbook, you may fall short on the mail game. Read on to uncover the three most typical mishaps and how to avoid them – you’ll be sending stellar content to engaged readers in no time!
Mistake 1: Not Looking The Part
Email title aside, what do you first pay attention to when your inbox rings? Most likely, it is the sender. It’s surprising: three-quarters of small business owners don’t own a professional email address. If you were thinking about blasting sends from your personal mail, let’s hit pause and go over the basics of obtaining a business address. In short, your professional email follows a formula that can look like this: Your Name @ Your Business Address Dot Com. You should have one for many reasons: it helps you look credible in the eyes of your current and potential customers by doubling as a branding element. How to get a business email address free or at a low cost? Look into small-business friendly providers that can also help you obtain a website domain as you’ll need that, too.
Mistake 2: Not Investing in Building a Subscriber List
The potential of your email marketing directly correlated with the size of your subscriber list. If you have an existing CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool, chances are you already sit on top of an email list you can start using right away – great! While your existing audience can be a source of recurring revenue, a common mistake amongst budding email marketers is to overlook the task of building a subscriber list.
Website: you’ll need a place to capture the address, so your first step is to build a website. The good news is, it’s relatively easy to get started and many tools will even do the designing for you. Once the site is up and running, include CTAs (call-to-actions) across the site to make sure users know where and how to complete the form. Also, make it fun or useful to sign up: can you incentivize sign-ups by giving a discount or a perk like free shipping? Additionally, you’ll need an email marketing service that makes both building and sending emails a breeze.
Social Media: share your new or existing site with your followers and encourage them to sign up. Remember to tell them how they’ll benefit from your emails. Will you run exclusive promotions? Share product news via email first? Make your audience feel like they are the insiders to your business.
Paid Ads: you could also look into generating new emails from paid channels like Google and Facebook – just make sure that you are comfortable with running paid advertising overall and understand how budgets, bidding, and messaging play into your success. For this, you’ll also need a website and a customized landing page to direct people to from the ads.
Mistake 3: Not Testing Your Content – Constantly
Once you have your program up and running, it’s easy to just resort to “getting that send done” and not optimizing for better performance. For example, while it’s is universally proven that certain times and days of the week are the better than others to send an email, you should test different times and days with your audience to see how they behave.
Subject lines are paramount to getting that coveted click-to-open. You should look into best-performing subject line strategies and build a plan to test them. You can try out tactics like creating a sense of urgency (Flash Sale!) or exclusivity (Insider Look Into New Product Updates). Keep track of your open rates and adjust your content accordingly.
Lastly, you should also play around with your body copy: test out different lengths, different CTAs, and even try incorporating images and GIFs if you’re design-savvy. How to measure your content performance? Look at it from the business perspective: if you’re getting click-throughs and conversions, you’re likely on to something.
About the Author
Christine Göös is an award-winning marketing and creative leader with a decade of experience in integrated advertising.