Email should form the part of any content marketing campaign. Unlike other distribution models for your content such as Social Media and Search Engine Optimisation, with email you remain in control of the platform.
Whilst Facebook, Twitter and Google may change their rules and have an impact on your ability to reach your audience. If you have someones email address and permission to email them, you can decide how often and what exactly what you want say.
So what constitutes a successful email marketing campaign?
1. Understand Your Audience
Like all other forms of marketing, with email it is critical you understand what appeals to your audience. If you don’t capture their desires, needs and concerns at best they won’t open your emails and at worst will unsubscribe.
Ensure that the emails on your list have opted-in to receive your emails, this way you can be sure they are expecting to receive email from you. Do not buy email lists from 3rd parties. Whilst tempting, you have no way to verify the quality of these lists and the chances of your content appealing to them is low.
2. Create A Captivating Subject Line
You can have the most appealing content in the world, but if your emails are never opened it may never get read. Reflect your audience concerns, try to catch their interest. Personalisation can work for some sectors, you can even try leading with an offer.
3. Include A Call To Action
Don’t be afraid to ask your readers to perform an action once they have open and read your email. It could be a simple request to share your content, a click here to read more or your could include an offer.
The objectives of your emails may vary, but they should all lead to a business objective. It should not only provide value to the reader, but also deliver a measurable return on investment to your business.
4. Segment Your List
Performance of your email marketing campaigns can be greatly enhanced by segmenting your lists in to like-minded groups.
For example, if you sell pet food you might have a segment for cat owners and one for dog owners. Dog related content is likely to have more appeal to your dog owner segment. Therefore, it will perform much better if sent just to this segment, than if you sent it to your whole list.
Provide ways for your subscribers to join the lists of their choice or to tell you their interests when they sign up.
5. Test Everything
Email is a highly cost effective marketing channel. The amount of spam we receive is a testament to its low cost. Taking advantage of this fact you can afford to test everything.
Try testing variations of the subject line, times of day, days of the week and even the frequency of your despatches.
Email marketing platform MailChimp is brilliant for this. If your email list has less than 2,000 subscribers you can even use to for free. It includes the ability to integrate your Google Analytics, segment lists and perform many test variations on both content and subject lines.
Putting It All Together
We highly recommend you plan your email campaigns in conjunction with your other marketing to maximise the return. If you create the content and schedule ahead of time you can be well prepared and even more effective.
Take control of your online marketing and leverage email marketing for your business.
For more tips on email marketing listen to our podcast episode: 6 Email Marketing Mistakes To Avoid.