5 Keys to Strong Online Presence: Understanding Email Marketing

Well hello, and welcome to Aftershock Weekly. This week we’re going to continue in our dive on a well-rounded digital marketing campaign, and we’re going to talk about email marketing.

First, I’m going to dispel something that might be in your head right now. Does anybody actually still use email marketing? Is it still effective? Well, the answer is yes, it’s very effective. All the major players, all the major brands do it. Now, the reason behind it, and really the function of it, has been a little bit different. It’s not the main way that you’re going to get brand new people to try your product, but it’s one of the best ways to engage with your current customers to keep them informed on specials, new products, and any sort of events that you have coming up. So when you’re looking at how am I using email marketing, you want to say, how can I engage my current audience and customers rather than how can I attract a whole bunch of people that don’t know who I am, because it’s just a too-crowded space. So let’s talk about some of the best practices you can do with emailing to your current database and audience.

Number one, personalize it. Personalize it in both the subject line and in the body, meaning that if you’re talking to Adam, it’s “Hi, Adam” comma, whatever your subject line is. Make sure your subject line is very engaging. You can also A/B Test your headline to see which open rate is best. Most companies, like MailChimp, Constant Contact, those, you can do ten percent of your total audience. Whichever subject line outperforms, you can have that delivered to the other 90% with that subject line. Next, in the body, again: Adam, comma, whatever you want to tell them about the products, services, events that are coming up. Next thing, use images and graphics to help support your text.

Also, break things up in very easy, bitesize pieces. You may want to tell them everything that’s going on in your business—and that is fine, however, you want to make sure that they’re sectioned and chunked to where they’re easy to digest that information, because the reality is most people only really want to read a very little bit, and they want to be able to scan headlines, headlines are important, they want to be able to see a picture that’s going to tell them kind of an idea of what this is about, digest that information, and then take action. So you want to get them to your site, sign up for this, buy this, get on the schedule for this new product launching. So again, with email marketing, best practices—personalize it. Make sure that you’re doing that in both the subject line and the body. Make sure that you’re putting things in sections as you’re telling the story of what you want people to digest in your email, and make them bite-sized. Then give them a call to action with that piece of information so they can take action and get people to your site.

Next, segmentation. Now, not everybody that’s listening to this has thousands of people on an email list, so I’m talking to those people that have thousands of people on an email list now, but even down to the hundreds. Segmentation is important. Any time you can look at an audience in your email, look at analytics and think, hey, I want to engage people that actually open my emails. If you see through data that fifty percent of your audience has never opened one of your emails, ever, well they’re probably someone you need to engage a little differently. Because whatever you’re doing currently is not doing a good enough job. With that, one of the things you can do is, “Just wanted to make sure you wanted to stay on our email list.” Check in. “Is this Adam? We’re going to take you off our email list if we don’t hear back, because we don’t want to bug you.” You can put that back into an email, and I guarantee you’re going to get a better response from that audience, because now you’re saying, “Hey, we’re going to take you off if we don’t see an open.” That usually is dictated based on the subject line.

But now let’s look at the other fifty percent that have opened an email recently. You can have a very specific message for them. You can talk to them about your new product, event, knowing that they’re going to open it and maybe even have some sort of call to action that is for—you can segment by clicks, right? So you can have open rate but you can also have clicks. You can have a separate email go out to people that are more likely to click on it that is far more powerful, because you know that that is the eighty percent that is going to buy from you, so you want them registering for that event, because you know if they show up for the event they’re going to buy. You want them to get on that list for that new product that’s going to come out, so segmenting by clicks a lot of the time is a good way to do it. Then you can segment by who your audience is: male, female. You may have data about the age ranges, depending upon what information is gathered into your CRM and gets passed onto your email platform. These are all different things you can take into account when you’re looking at what exactly I’m trying to do with this segment of the audience, how am I engaging them rather than—for example if it’s a male from 18-23 than a male that’s 35-40. They’re at different places in their lives, and although they both like Nike tennis shoes, one might be doing it more for basketball at the LA Fitness, the other one might be doing it hiking with his sons. There’s a completely different audience and message that you can create when you segment your data. And email marketing is definitely a way that you can get a different open rate from your segmented data.

So thanks for tuning in to this week as we continue our series on a successful digital marketing campaign where we talk about email. Next week we’re going to talk about Social Media—the organic part of it. I look forward to seeing you then!