6 Steps to Effective Email Marketing
Email is the go-to marketing strategy choice for many B2B marketers. The problem is, there are a lot of things that you can do wrong that will essentially render your email marketing ineffective.
Don’t worry; we can help! Email marketing is easier than you think if you can follow these six steps.
Step 1: Put Together a (Clean) List
Your list is one of the most important parts of your email marketing. An ineffective list can immediately render your email marketing campaign worthless. Even worse: it could run you into legal issues and/or lead to your domain being blacklisted.
Here are some tips to follow to help ensure that your list contains quality contacts:
- Check Permissions - Your list should NOT contain any emails in which you have not received explicit permission to contact via email.
- Clean Things Up - Take the time and effort to remove junk emails, duplicates, and inactive emails. We also recommend removing any generic “sales@”, “marketing@” or similar emails as well.
- Segment, Target, Position - An effective email campaign won’t be one where you throw in every email in which you have permission to contact. You’ll get more opens/clicks by creating a smaller list of similar contacts who would benefit from your offer. This also enables you to make your email more personalized to your audience, which we’ll talk about in the next two sections.
Step 2: Hook Them in Your Subject
If you fail to craft an intriguing subject line, your email will be moved to the trash or spam folder before you even get the chance to showcase what your email is promoting.
Here are some tips about crafting a good subject line:
- Personalize It - Most email marketing programs have a way to personalize subject lines and content with re-replacers so that you can insert the first name, last name, and other information about the recipient. If you do this, it’s VERY important that you’re sending to a person and not a generic “marketing@” or “sales@” email.
- Keep it Short - This is especially important because if your recipient is viewing your email from a mobile device, they have a smaller screen that (typically) truncates email subject lines.
- Use Extended Text Preheaders - Extended text preheaders can be used to supplement your email subject line, or even summarize your email’s contents. This text is visually hidden and only appears in the inbox preview, not in the email body.
- Don’t Sound too Sales-y - Even if your email itself is very sales-focused, we recommend not showing that in your subject line. Otherwise, you run the risk of having it automatically filtered into the spam folder by the email service provider.
Step 3: Keep Them Reading
If the recipients of your email don’t read your email in its entirety, it’s likely that they’re missing out on some valuable information from its contents and won’t do what you’re trying to get them to do.
Here are some tips to keep your audience reading your email in its entirety:
- Don’t Bore Them With Your Opener - Your introduction should capture their attention, not put them to sleep.
- Keep it Brief - Be as straightforward and to-the-point as you can be. You can direct readers to a place on your website to get more information if needed.
- Personalize the Content - Personalized emails tend to be more effective than ones that aren’t. That’s why segmenting, targeting, and positioning can be so beneficial in step 1 - it allows you to categorize like-minded contacts together. This makes personalization easier.
- Make it Visually Appealing - An email with a bit of color, and maybe even an image, is going to be more interesting than one that is just text.
Step 4: Get Them to Act
The reason that you’re contacting those in your list is probably to try and get them to do something, whether it’s to purchase one of your products or services, download a deliverable, take advantage of a deal, sign up to attend a live event, or read an announcement or blog on your website.
Here are some things that you can do to increase the chances that they act:
- Have an Incentive - What’s in it for the reader to read your email and respond to your offer? Do they get a discount? Some sort of deliverable? Or, is it just the benefit to their business of having that product or service? Whatever it is, you should talk about that incentive before you get to your call-to-action.
- Make it Easy to Do - This should be obvious, but if you’re trying to get recipients to do something on your website, you should actually be linking to the page you want them to go to! To make things even easier, link that spot on multiple places: any image in your email, in the specific instance in which you reference your offer, and on a call-to-action button.
- Write a Clear and Effective Call-to-Action - Your call-to-action can make or break your email. Make it count! Like we already mentioned, put it on a button so it’s easier to find.
Step 5: Time it Right
After you put together your email, you actually have to send it (after thorough testing, of course). The time you send your email at can affect how many people read your email.
Here are some tips regarding timing your email marketing:
- Consider the Time of Day, and the Day Itself - Emails sent early in the morning will probably be read when your recipient gets into the office and checks their email to kick off the day. Recent studies have shown that the average open rates are about the same between emails sent Monday-Friday, but surprisingly, Fridays tend to get slightly higher click-through rates.
- Holiday and Seasonality Considerations - Use the excuse of a holiday to send an email. You can also use the seasons to frame your email itself, like promoting your Business Continuity solutions just before storm season in your local area.
- Local/National News Events - Did some large security breach just happen to a multinational corporation? If so, then send out a series of emails promoting your network security or business continuity solutions.
Step 6: Make Additional Touches
Are you sending a single email to promote something? Think of how easy that is to ignore!
We recommend doing at least a 3-email drip campaign for most of your email marketing efforts. You can make things even more effective by pairing it with other marketing.
Some ideas include:
- A feature in your newsletter
- Social media posts (boosted or paid advertisements for additional reach)
- Google pay-per-click ads
- A blog article
- A feature on your website (your homepage slideshow and/or ads at the top/bottom/side of your pages)
- Direct mail pieces, including letters and postcards
Note that what you should choose to pair with your email marketing campaign is going to depend on what your email is promoting.
Need help with the execution of it all? The MSP Marketing experts at Directive can help you execute your own email marketing campaign, in addition to helping you with any other marketing touches to go with it. Contact us for assistance.