Marketing over email is one of the oldest outreach methods that can be used to effectively generate leads, get more traffic, and ultimately more customers. Considering that emails originated roughly 50 years ago, some may think they are outdated and ineffective. However, that is not the case as emails are considered to be one of the most effective marketing methods.
Emails are constantly being improved in pair with the ever-evolving technological progress. That way, some of the latest trends like AI and automation are already used in email marketing, offering versatility and more effectiveness in conducting these campaigns.
Having a good email marketing campaign can be challenging, as many businesses fail to do it the right way. That’s why it is important to know precisely what are the best email marketing practices and how to apply them.
In this article, we will cover some of the most powerful ways you can use your contacts for email marketing campaigns.
Before We Start
Never use bought email contact lists for your email marketing campaigns!
The reason is that they are ineffective and will highly likely finish in the contacts’ spam folders. Add to this the legal issues coupled with violating GDPR’s rules of consent and you are headed for an unsuccessful, annoying, and profitless email campaign.
That is why we strongly advocate using your existing contacts for email outreach campaigns for the best possible results and a noticeable increase in your business digits.
The goal of relationship marketing is to nurture and strengthen relationships with customers or clients. This approach increases customer retention and satisfaction which translates to customer loyalty that will inspire them to vouch for your brand.
What’s more, relationship marketing focuses on personalized approaches for every client. That means that the client should feel special and appreciated, which will open doors to further promote your service or product.
Some elements of email campaigns include these activities:
- Sending welcome emails
- Providing value
- Encouraging interactions
- Creating and sharing engaging content
- CTA (Call to action)
When using email marketing campaigns it is important to do a proper contact segmentation. That means breaking your contact list into several smaller and more personalized groups. You can segment your contacts by:
- Purchase history
Using automated email campaigns after segmentation can come in handy to save time and money while creating more personalized content depending on your groups. Automated emails can be adjusted with many parameters to give you better control and thoroughly-defined actions for each group.
For example, you can schedule a specific email triggered by predefined conditions — sending automated birthday wish cards and offering discounts on products based on subscribers’ purchase history.
One final insight that email marketing campaigns can provide for relationship-building is the quality of your content. In particular, you can track down your unsubscription rates, try to figure out the whys behind them, and even win those contacts back. That way you can have an even better understanding of your subscribers and improve the content or the quality of your email marketing campaign.
A/B testing is a UX research method and it’s great in determining which version of the same variable (webpage, app, etc) performs better. It uses statistics as the main tool to measure the performance of each version and to give you a clear picture of which converts better.
A/B testing can be also used for testing two or more email marketing campaigns to measure a lot of things. It can give you a practical notion of which email marketing campaign works better, is more engaging, or simply generates more click-throughs. You can test these things to see what performs the best:
- Subject line — you can test which subject line version will draw more attention and get higher open rate in return
- CTA — you can measure which format of CTAs has the best impact. For example, CTA inside a clickable button or through a clickable link.
- Copy length
- Structure of sentences
- Visuals — images vs gifs or images vs videos or no visuals at all. It all depends on your audience, campaign’s layout, etc.
- Personalization — depending on additional information about your contacts like company name or industry, you can make emails more personal. Experiment with various levels of personalization to see what gives the best results (like click-throughs, acting upon CTAs, etc)
- Different templates
It is important to make sure you are testing one thing at a time in the beginning. At later stages, you can apply and test more than one variation in each version and see how they compare. You should always aim to test your entire list for the most accurate results.
However, there are some instances (limited-time discounts, etc) where you should limit the test groups.
For the most effective A/B testing of email marketing campaigns, stick to these rules:
- Have a clear goal of what you are testing — make an initial hypothesis
- Prioritize what you will be testing
- Set a measurable goal — for example, “Trying different versions of subject lines to increase click-through rate by 5%”
- Do it in many iterations as not every test will be successful
- Learn and build upon results and experience you obtained from tests
LinkedIn Email Marketing Campaigns
LinkedIn is a business platform that companies and professionals use for networking, learning, employment, and of course, marketing. LinkedIn lead generation or sales prospecting are just some of many examples of marketing over this platform. Therefore, you can use your LinkedIn contacts for email marketing campaigns or simply import the ones from the email client you use.
Using LinkedIn messages can have a similar effect as emails, and you can use them for:
- Positioning yourself or your company as SME (Subject Matter Expert) in a specific field
- Raising brand awareness
- Conducting research — sending surveys to your contacts to gather valuable insight
- Asking for testimonials
- LinkedIn advertising
One of the main benefits of LinkedIn for email marketing campaigns is that the platform is already narrowed down to professionals in business or work environments. That means that you already have a segmented group to start with and can further drill it down using various LinkedIn features. The general advice is to use LinkedIn messages as an extension of your email marketing campaigns for the best effect.
Lastly, it is important to consider using LinkedIn for sales, especially when more and more B2B buyers use LinkedIn for purchase decisions.
Email marketing campaigns are a great way to market and advertise your brand, service, or product. The technology around emails is emerging more than ever since marketing nowadays is aimed to be contactless because of a global pandemic. Email marketing campaigns should be included as one more source of marketing, coupled with the other ones, especially if you’re in a tight budget situation.
Using existing contacts for email marketing campaigns will bring the best results as those are the contacts who already heard of you. Nonetheless, you’re not limited to marketing only to those contacts, as long as you’re making efforts to build your email contact list properly.
You can also use the contacts outside your list to build relationships or conduct UX & other research. There will be some differences and potentially lower success rates, but you will have a more diverse pool of audience to target.
Stefan Smulders is a SaaS Entrepreneur | Bootstrapped to €3M ARR in just 1year | Founder of Worlds safest software for LinkedIn Automation Expandi.io | Vegan | Father.