There are three jobs of marketing: Attract newcomers to your brand, convert newcomers into customers, and nurture customers into loyalists with high lifetime values. When it comes to those last two points, email is critical.
We recently went live inside of Strong Brand Social talking all things email marketing for business growth, and wanted to share some of the goodies on how to grow your business with email marketing right here with you.
Why focus on email marketing?
It’s not flashy and it’s not shiny, but email marketing is a foundational component for a strong business. Through social media algorithm changes and bugs, email is steadfast. It is a consistent and unique way to engage your customers, because you always have a personal invite to their inbox.
What are the five email sequences that every business should have in place right now?
All businesses, whether B2B or B2C, should have the following sequences in play:
- Initiation email or sequence. Otherwise known as the welcome sequence. It begins when someone makes a first point of contact with your brand, whether it’s in exchange for a free resource download, signing up for your newsletter, or completing a purchase. The goal of this sequence is to train your new subscriber on what to expect from you and how to engage with you. It should take the customer through a series of emails that explain who you are, what your business is, and where else they can interact with you. It is a perfect way to let your customer know what your brand’s unique value proposition and point of view are within your larger industry. As always, the content should be couched in what is important to them.
- Purchase confirmation. Let your customers know their order has been received, but take the opportunity even further by breathing life into your relationship with this new customer by flexing your personality and expressing your gratitude for them.
- Experience follow up. Ask them if the product experience has met their expectations. If it has, see if they’d be willing to provide a review for other prospects to know whether or not they should buy this product.
- Nurture emails. This is different from a welcome sequence because it is ongoing. It’s not a cornerstone piece that you write ahead of time. This can be newsletters, blog teasers, interviews, promotions, personal anecdotes etc. Use this series to engage, drive traffic to your website, sell, and nurture loyalty among your community.
- Review requests. The approach for asking customers for a review will differ from brand to brand. For some brands, adding value to your follow up email is the way to go. Introducing relevant content to your email that is complementary to the product they just bought makes them much more likely to actually submit a review. On the other hand, some businesses might find that a two line email will do the trick. Something quick, conversational and not overly designed can give the impression that this request is coming directly from you to only them.
How designed should my emails be?
Some audiences will respond to highly produced emails and others will prefer short and personal. The best way to find out what works for your customer is to get to know them and test, test, test. To help with this you can check out these 15 questions that will help you better understand your target persona.
When thinking about the style of your email copy for your customer, consider the idea of pattern disrupt. If you are only sending out beautifully designed, lengthy emails every week, your audience could become blind to it. Break your copy and design patterns up so that it catches your audience’s attention.
What’s the best way to build an email list?
You can build your email list through “gated” content that’s high-value but free, in exchange for an email address. You can solicit emails on your homepage in exchange for a 10% discount. You can collect subscribers at checkout.Another great way of acquiring emails is through social media giveaways. This is especially true if you are partnering with another brand with a similar target persona. Platforms like ViralSweep give you the option to gather emails as a requirement before entering to win. Even if they don’t win, give them an offer and convert them on the spot.
Ideally, you’d have a mix of more than one way to capture email addresses. What’s best for you depends on your brand, goals, and customer.
What are some industry benchmarks for email campaigns?
Any benchmark conversation is relative to your list and your brand, but benchmarking against other brands in your industry is a great place to start. This article is a good resource to reference when considering email marketing benchmarks, and here are a few general stats and tips:
- Open Rate: For retail business there is an industry benchmark of 13.9%, with the highest rate being on Sunday. For service providers the benchmark is 19.3% with the highest rate on Tuesdays. To increase your open rate, play with your subject line.
- Click Through Rate (CTR): Across all industries the benchmark for CTR is 2.6%. If you’re seeing that your CTR needs a boost, try improving your copy with stronger calls to action and add value-driven links to your emails. However, try not to go over four links per email so you don’t land in the subscribers promotion tab in Gmail. Benchmarking your CTR is also a great way of testing email copy length. If you find that links only at the top of your copy are clicked, chances are that people are opting out. Maybe shorten things up. If links are clicked throughout, your subscribers are reading it in full.
Ready to outsource your email copy?
Make sure your copywriter gets to know the brand. Have a meeting where you talk about their learning style and set them up for success early on with strong training to the brand identity, personality, and tone of voice. A style guide will help your copywriter sound much more authentic. If you’re looking to learn how to do this for a service-based business, check out Brittany’s website here.
In your corner,