Email Marketing 101

Email is a part of daily life for many. You know you need a solid email marketing program as part of your 360-degree email marketing platform, but you are stuck. You don’t know where to start or how to take it to the next level. We hear you! 

We’ve helped clients of all sizes grow their email marketing as part of their overall strategy to increase leads and sales. Check out our 8 Tips for Driving Sales Through Email Marketing below, and when you’re ready to level up your email marketing, get in touch!

An image showing 3800% ROI

Tip #1: Start Today

You’ve heard the saying, “the best day to start was yesterday. The second best day to start is today.” The same is true for email marketing. With an ROI of 3800% according to Hubspot’s latest measurements, email is among the most effective marketing methods, and you likely already have a head start by utilizing your existing contacts.

Whether you are starting from scratch or reviving a tired list with new methods, getting started is the first tip. It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time (nothing in marketing is!). Just get started so you can figure out what resonates and what doesn’t.

Tip #2: Grow Your Email List

Starting from the ground up or reinvigorating a stagnant email marketing strategy all starts with your subscriber list. Your list is a living document that needs to be nurtured and grown. Over time your list has turnover, with subscribers’ emails going dead or unsubscribing. Actively managing your list’s growth is imperative to a successful program.

Email addresses are valuable. If someone is going to give you theirs, you’re going to have to offer something of value in exchange. Simply “staying in touch” probably isn’t going to do it.

Here are a better few ideas.

E-commerce Offers

One way of growing your email list in a retail or e-commerce business is to provide a no-strings-attached offer to website visitors. Free shipping, a percentage off, or a gift card with a specific purchase amount can make the difference between someone just looking and pulling the trigger on that product. When they check out, they’ll provide a legitimate email and be captured in your CRM as a customer. Because they purchased, you gain valuable insight into what they are interested in, to better market to them in the future.

Gated Content

Another tried-and-true method for building your list is to offer valuable, relevant content in exchange for the user’s email. Offering an upgraded version of an article or case study or an in-depth guide delivered to their email gets them into your list, and you get essential info about what content they find valuable. From there, you can market products or services they are more likely to be interested in, increasing your sales.

Woman looking at a smartphone in her right hand while she edits a document with her left.

Tip #3: Segment Your List

Along with growing your email list, you also want to ensure that you properly segment your list. Like any form of communication, context is everything. The way you communicate with an existing customer should be very different from the way you talk to a prospect.

Segments allow you to deliver relevant content to the right audience at the right time. Additionally, segmenting your list can help you nurture leads and convert them into customers.

Send Relevant Content

How many emails a day do you delete without reading? If the content isn’t relevant to you, the email gets deleted, and you’re on to the next. By segmenting your email marketing list, you can send the content that is right for each group, which increases engagement and retention of subscribers. While each list is unique, segments commonly fall into the same categories. 

Awareness: subscribers who are just getting to know your brand. 

Consideration: subscribers who interact with your emails, visit your site, and more. 

Decision: subscribers who are ready to buy your product or service.

Customer: subscribers who have already made a purchase with you.

Each segment finds different content relevant to their needs, so by adequately segmenting, you avoid sending irrelevant content, reducing the amount of unsubscribes and spam reports. Meanwhile, sending offers and new products to someone primed to buy can be the catalyst they need to make the purchase.

Nurture Leads

Once you have a subscriber interested, don’t lose them! Most customers won’t make a buying decision in the first few times they see you, so you have to nurture them until they are ready to buy. Think about the most common questions and objections your prospects have, and answer them! Providing helpful content positions you as their go-to source for information and showcases your expertise, making them more likely to convert when they are ready. Don’t have the experience to write copy that nurtures leads and converts them into customers? Let us do the heavy lifting for you!

Tip #4: Engage Your Subscribers With Automation

Once you have an email marketing program running and are gaining new subscribers regularly, creating an automation workflow is key to keeping new subscribers engaged and connecting with them on other platforms to reach them in multiple locations.

Welcome Emails

When a person subscribes to your email marketing list, they expect to receive a welcome email. An automated welcome email is an excellent opportunity to introduce new subscribers to your company and the type of content they’ll receive in future emails. Additionally, welcome emails are a great time to showcase popular products or an introductory offer that could spur a purchase.

Connect On Other Platforms

Don’t forget to include your social media and other contact information in your welcome email! Providing easy ways for subscribers to connect on other platforms allows you to reach them in multiple locations and gain valuable insight into their demographics and additional marketable information that can carry across all your marketing efforts. 

A screenshot of a welcome email from Mint Mobile
An email marketing subject line with an emoji

Tip #5: Subject Lines Are Key

You have limited space in your subscribers’ inbox to make an impact, so make your subject line count! Mobile screens allow between 30 to 40 characters to convince people your email is worth opening. Using power words, numbers, and offers, and emojis, if they fit your brand, can drive opens which drive sales.

Use Power Words, Numbers, and Offers

Short, actionable subject lines outperform others, especially when they contain words that evoke an emotional reaction, like excitement or fear of missing out on a deal. These powerful words can be used to great effect to spur readers to take action. Likewise, our brains are naturally drawn to numbers, so a subject line that incorporates them through a “top 10 list” or similar increases clicks.

Offers in the subject line are another compelling way to engage users. People love deals, and seeing the offer upfront primes them to buy, especially if there is a limited timeframe for the offer. Consider which subject line you’d be more likely to open: “25% off new sweaters. This week only!” or “New sweaters in stock. On sale this week.” 

Use Emoji, but Sparingly

If your business and brand allow, using emoji in your subject line can help you stand out in the crowded inbox. Be sure not to overdo it, though! One relevant emoji per subject line is fun and eye-catching; four emoji that mean nothing is an eyesore. If you’re considering using emoji in your email marketing, think of them as supplemental. Never replace a word with an emoji, as they are too vague to convey your message appropriately.

Tip #6: Make Your Emails Interesting

Reading uninteresting emails with paragraphs of text is the 2021 equivalent of seeing someone’s vacation slides—BORING! Make your emails attractive and engaging with short, to-the-point text, images, and motion to keep your users opening them to see what you came up with this time.

Short, Engaging, and to-the-Point

No one wants to read a three-paragraph email. Keeping your messaging short and scannable allows your subscribers to digest the info quickly and act on your call to action. Making your content relatable to the audience drives success as well. Utilize user-generated content such as reviews or testimonials, or tell a story of how your products are made to get readers invested in the items, and they are more likely to make a purchase.

Images and Motion

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Use that to your advantage! Photos that tell a story about your product or service or a video showing a process or a product in action are engaging, shareable content that users love. Combine that with subtle motion such as GIFs or animated buttons, and your emails will be the envy of marketers everywhere!

Tip #7: Re-Engage Abandoned Carts

We’ve all been there. You’re about to make a purchase online, but you get distracted, and you forget about it. That lonely item sits shivering in your abandoned shopping cart, wishing you would come back for it. Abandoned shopping carts are a genuine concern for eCommerce. Almost 70% of online shopping carts are abandoned, and the number is even higher on mobile. 

There is good news, though! Enter the abandoned cart email. 45% of users open abandoned cart emails, and businesses can recover a large percentage of abandoned carts simply by sending an automated email and offering free shipping! And don’t just stop at one — we’ve seen huge success for clients by building out a 5-part abandoned cart series. If you want to start recovering abandoned carts but don’t know where to start, we can help.

Tip #8: Analyze, Iterate, Repeat

The final tip applies to all elements of marketing and business. Like we said at the start, your email campaigns won’t be perfect on Day One. You should constantly be analyzing your results, changing what didn’t work, and improving what did. Testing new approaches to your email marketing, the content, or the offers you provide can all reveal valuable insight into your subscribers’ wants, needs, and buying behaviors. 

Compare your results to industry benchmarks and your other marketing methods. Develop a strategy to improve what isn’t meeting your goals and double down on successes. Never settle for good enough, and you’ll be amazed at how you can drive sales through email marketing.

DSM is a trusted digital marketing company in NJ working with clients who use email marketing to generate leads and drive sales every day.