Email marketing is still one of the most powerful and cost effective ways to reach both current and prospective customers. Compared to other marketing channels, email costs less and can have an immediate impact on demand generation and sales.
Here are 5 rules to keep in mind for your next email campaign:
Know your customer. One of the best ways to understand your target audience is to create "personas" for each specific segment you serve. What do your customers or prospects look like in terms of demographics and psychographics? Personas should include characteristics such as job title, industry and company size for B2B customers; gender, age, income, interests for B2C customers.Once you've segmented your customers and prospects by persona, you can create customize email campaigns to fit each group.
- Collect information. Having a huge list of email addresses is a great start, but you can do so much more if you have more data. One way to achieve this is through lead-capture forms to learn prospects' complete names, their company names, phone numbers and preferred method of communication. Or, you can have this type of data appended to the records by using a 3rd party source. By adding valuable business or consumer data to your list, you will learn more about your customers and be able to market to them more effectively. You can also integrate this data with your marketing automation software and/or contact management solution so you can track which content has been downloaded and look for similarities by segment.
Use the right messaging. The tone of voice and wording you use in your emails should align with the persona or segment you are targeting. For example, the messaging you use may be different for a family with children at home as compared to empty nesters; or the way you speak to an IT Manager of a company with 100 employees may be different than how you speak to a CIO of a company with 5000 employees. You must be able to understand how your product or service will help or benefit each particular segment and speak to their needs.
- Present a clear call-to-action (CTA). An ideal CTA should be specific about what will happen when the reader clicks the button and should reinforce the benefit the reader will get from clicking through from your email. Instead of using words like 'Buy' or 'Download' that imply your reader has to do something, replace them with words like 'Get' or 'Learn' that imply a benefit. The design and placement of the CTA is also important. Make sure the CTA button is appropriately sized for the rest of your email and that the placement is relative to the complexity of the offer.
Track and measure. It is important to track the success of each of your email campaigns so you can determine which types of content, offers, subject lines, call-to-action and time of day are most effective for each persona or segment. Most email platforms have built-in reporting tools which make it easy for marketers to run reports and integrate with their marketing automation and/or contact management solutions.
Email marketing can be a very effective tool when it's used properly. If you keep your email brief and show that you have done your due diligence by tailoring your message to each persona, I guarantee your results will improve.