Email marketing is one of the oldest digital communication methods between businesses and customers. It is by no means obsolete, though—if you stick to your well-defined strategy, it will work like a charm even in today’s day and age. Not only does it still work, but it also has the highest ROI out of all marketing activities.
Developing a high-performing email marketing campaign might seem like a mission impossible—businesses have tried just about any strategy you could think of, which is why we now have a pretty good idea of what works. There are no certainties, though—you still need to figure out what works best for your target audience.
If you’re familiar with your target audience’s needs and issues, the chances that your strategy will flop are minimal. As long as you keep your current and potential customers interested, your conversion rates will grow.
Before we get to the steps on how to run a successful email marketing campaign, let’s clarify what email marketing is.
Email marketing is the act of sending commercial emails to a group of people you want to sell your products or services to. Any message you send their way can be considered part of it.
Effective email marketing converts leads into paying customers and therefore boosts your revenue. You can practice this marketing method to:
Get new customers
Keep your customers engaged between purchases
Make your customers aware of new products or services
Increase brand awareness
Bear in mind that not all the people you reach out to will be ready to purchase from you instantly. Using email marketing, you can nurture your leads until they’re ready to make a buying decision.
What makes email marketing one of the top marketing methods is its cost-effectiveness. You don’t have to invest in anything other than email automation software.
A recent study paints a clear picture of just how powerful email marketing can be—the average ROI being $38 for every $1 spent.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of what email marketing is, let’s see how you can run the most successful campaigns to increase your conversions.
Developing an email marketing strategy is no easy feat. There are several steps you need to follow, each of them being crucial in the process:
Think about your goals
Identify your buyer persona
Set a campaign timeline
Build a targeted email list
Create engaging copy
Insert eye-catching CTAs
Perform A/B testing
Allow the subscriber to opt out
Keep an eye on metrics
Before you even get to figure out who your buyer persona is, you have to think about your campaign goals. What are you trying to achieve with your emails? Is it brand awareness, new product promotion, boosted conversion rates, or something else?
Each of these goals requires different tactics—you can’t approach a person who’s already bought from you the same way you’d address a prospect who’s never even heard of your brand.
Once you determine your email marketing campaign goals, you should think about the targets you want to hit, such as:
Number of conversions
Before you launch any type of campaign, you need to be fully aware of your buyer persona. Most businesses don’t have a clear comprehension of their ICPs (ideal customer profiles), which is why their marketing efforts don’t pay off.
If you wonder why it’s crucial to understand your audience, take a look at this example.
You’ve been working on a fruity, youthful fragrance for a year now, and it’s just perfect. The scent and packaging are outstanding—something the market has never seen before. You think to yourself—Who wouldn’t want to get their hands on this gem?
You begin to advertise your product to everyone. The budget seems like it’s more than enough to get you thousands of sales within the first three weeks of your campaign launch.
The first two weeks go by, and you’ve made less than 100 sales. You’re in utter disbelief—What went wrong? You were expecting at least triple that amount.
The answer is simple—the advertisements never reached your target group. They showed up on a 34-year-old John’s screen, and he scrolled past them.
The conclusion is that not everyone wants to buy your product. Even if it might seem like it’s the most universal one the market has seen, some people won’t even bat an eye.
Since plenty of businesses don’t understand their buyer personas, it might lead you to the conclusion that it’s difficult to create one. This isn’t true, though—it just requires some time, patience, and thinking.
To make the process easier, we’ll show you a few questions you can ask yourself:
How old is my target audience?
Are they employed? What is their job title?
Which social media networks are they the most active on?
Which problems are they looking to solve?
Does my product solve any of them? How?
How does my product make them feel?
Do they use any of my competitors’ products?
What fuels their buying decision?
Are they ready to make a purchasing decision right now?
What kind of approach would turn them away from my product?
Once you manage to answer all of these questions effortlessly, you will have a thorough understanding of your ICP. From that point on, you will start generating a lot more sales.
As soon as you determine your ICP, you should start thinking about your email campaign timeline. Do you want to launch a short-term campaign with one or two emails or a long-term one that’s supposed to nurture your existing customers?
You should also take your sales cycle into consideration since it’s going to help you adjust the longevity of your email marketing campaign for each target group.
You need to have a thorough comprehension of where your leads are in their buyer journey as well. You’ll figure out your timeline more easily if you know which stage different groups of potential customers are at.
Without a targeted email list, you won’t be able to reach your goals as quickly as you expect. You need to ensure that all of the emails you send are targeted at the right people, which will increase the likelihood of your campaign’s success.
To make the process easier for yourself, you can segment your email lists based on events and triggers, their engagement in your previous emails, etc. Once you do that, you will have a clear image of the prospects you should be looking for to grow the email list.
This allows you to create highly personalized content for each buyer persona. The more you align the email with your target audience’s needs, the better your conversion and click-through rates will be.
You need to have a thorough comprehension of where your leads are in their buyer journey as well. You’ll figure out your timeline more easily if you know which stage different groups of potential customers are at. It will take longer for a lead to warm up to your offer if they’re in the first stage, so think about which group you want to target.
Building a targeted email list might take a while, but it will pay off through your ROI once the campaign is over.
The best way to intrigue the recipient is to offer them value. For example, if you’re promoting a new product, offer them a discount. It doesn’t have to be more than 10%–20%, so it shouldn’t hurt the budget.
You can also explain why your product is valuable or worth investing in in the email copy. If you can achieve that, it won’t be difficult to keep them engaged. Think of the initial email as breaking the ice—everything that comes afterward is much easier to handle. This doesn’t mean that you should stop trying to produce valuable content, though. Your goal should be to boost engagement for as long as possible.
The first section the recipient will see is the subject line, meaning that you should put the majority of your effort into writing an enticing one.
The subject line is what will get the recipient either intrigued or inclined to move the email to the junk folder. You don’t have much space to grab their attention with, so make it as concise and interesting as you can. If the subject gets the potential customer to open the email, you can consider it a success.
Once you get the reader’s attention, you need to keep them interested through the copy. Don’t try to go overboard with the attention-grabbing, though—an overly aggressive approach turns most people away.
You can also use visuals to add context to your emails and grab your leads’ attention, which will boost your click-through rates.
Your email needs to contain clear, strategically positioned CTAs that allow the recipient to act on their interest while it’s still there. Make sure that there are no distractions around the CTA—making it clear what the lead is supposed to do will increase the chances that they click on it.
As you can see in the example image below, there are way too many confusing options included. If you were to receive an email with this visual in it, you wouldn’t know what to do except to mark it as spam.
A/B testing is an essential step that will instantly let you know what works and what doesn’t. As soon as you launch your email marketing campaign, you need to start testing your CTAs and subject lines if you want optimal results.
A/B testing multiple variables will allow for maximum campaign optimization, which will boost your ROI. Using this method is the easiest way of ensuring top-quality content that converts.
To have a successful email marketing campaign, you should start testing your emails early and keep doing it frequently. This will generate better results and will make you aware of the campaign performance early on.
The most accurate results are generated when you test only one variable at a time. If you want to test multiple elements, you should look into multivariate testing.
No matter what you do, you need to make sure that your email marketing campaign is fully compliant with all the applicable CAN-SPAM rules. One of the most significant ones is allowing the recipient to opt out of your campaign.
If you don’t include the unsubscribe button, the recipient can file a complaint against your business. This could result in severe financial losses, so make it as clear as possible to your recipients that they can stop receiving your emails by following the steps you provide them with.
The link is usually located in the footer of the email, so you can place it there as well.
Don’t wait for the campaign to end to look into the metrics. You need to stay on top of the campaign performance at all times—waiting it out could be detrimental. Tweaking certain aspects of your email marketing strategy along the way will generate better results.
Once you’re past the campaign deadline, you will be looking at quantitative results that will make it clear whether it was a success or not.
Track all of the goals you set for the campaign. If you do it consistently, you won’t be surprised by the end result. Your click-through rates are likely to change as the campaign unfolds, so try to keep an eye on them if you want to boost the performance on time.
Paying attention to metrics is going to start a learning process that will be beneficial to your future campaigns. If the first one doesn’t generate the results you were hoping for, you can ensure that the next ones perform a lot better.
If you follow all of these steps, there’s no doubt that your email marketing campaigns will be more optimized. We would still encourage you to look into email marketing services, though, if you want to get optimal results.
An email marketing service is a software solution that optimizes and automates all of your email marketing efforts. It usually comes with several features, the most common ones being:
Email marketing services are important because they both streamline your email activities and ensure that you stay on top of your campaign performance at all times. They allow you to personalize your emails even further by offering features such as smart tags.
If you’re interested in email automation and data enrichment software solutions, we’ve reviewed over 20 of them. Some of the most popular ones are the following:
Clearbit is a popular data enrichment solution that’s going to accelerate your sales in the blink of an eye. The platform is capable of revealing your website visitors, eliminating tiring lead hunts, and so much more.
Zoominfo will be the best choice for your business if you’re looking for a solution that optimizes your lead generation efforts. The platform offers data enrichment, allowing you to create highly personalized campaigns.
If you’re on the lookout for a platform that’s going to optimize all of your sales-related activities, Yesware is the perfect option. The software allows you to track emails, create templates, schedule meetings, and so much more.
Act-On is a growth platform that’s going to scale your customer base effectively. This solution is the best choice for you if you’re looking to automate your marketing processes while staying on top of your campaigns through analytics and reporting features.
InsideView is a B2B data and intelligence solution which is perfect for any business looking to discover top-quality prospects. The platform offers various features, among which you can find analytics, lead enrichment, and sales intelligence.
You can’t develop an email marketing campaign with no one to send your emails to. Have you thought about where you’re going to look for leads?
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All you need to do is upload a CSV file, and we will handle the rest.
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Use our chatbot solution to capture and convert all of your website visitors into leads.
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