I remember watching the Tom Hanks romantic movie “You’ve got Mail” where the two mail crossed lovers interact on e mails. How many daily mails do we get and how many different accounts do we maintain. How did something so important to have a movie named after it become so trivial?
The big question for marketing agencies and managers, is it still trivial?
My mail box says not and I disagree whenever I see the huge pile of mails I do not care to open.
E-mail marketing isn’t a new concept to the marketing world. It is one of the “old is gold” tool which when used in complement with other marketing tools can drive your business. Like all the other tools it requires proper planning and strategy before execution.
Anyways, e-mail marketing just like offline marketing has lost lots of shine but it will survive. In fact it is doing better than offline marketing. It is still a very good tool and surprisingly gives steady returns. To get the best out of e-mail marketing one needs to have strong basic knowledge about the same.
What is e-mail marketing?
Basically email marketing is an internet based marketing strategy to reach your customers via electronic mail.Mails sent with the purpose of delivering any form of information to existing customer or with the aim of acquiring new customer is called e-mail marketing. Among all the other tools of digital marketing e-mail marketing is one the most efficient way to communicate with your customer.
What are basic concepts of e-mail marketing?
E-mail marketing is a direct form of communication with the targeted consumer base. Companies updates its customer about the latest news, offer, concessions on its products or services or promotional advertisement. It also acts like a reminder to the customer and serves the most important purpose of delivering information. It is a very effective tool in getting a top of mind recall whenever the need arises.
It is a personalized way of bonding with the customer. It tells the recipient with a feeling that that his presence is important for the company.
The aim of e-mail marketing is to build customer relationship and also introduce the business to a new customer in a more personalized manner. The targeted customer reads the mail at his own comfort and takes action accordingly.
How do I get email Ids?
There can be two possibilities when you are sending someone an e-mail. Either the customer has voluntarily opted to receive e-mails or gets a direct mail from the company. Whatever be the case the aim remains the same- build a consumer base.
Users can be asked to sign up when they use a particular platform through which they enter the funnel of the business. The acceptability of the mails by them increases in this case as they vaguely remember having signed up somewhere for such mails.
The email addresses of users can also be purchased from marketing agencies that provide bulk email marketing data at a nominal price. But the problem with such data is their credibility. If you dig in deep, you’ll see lot of ids not in use anymore. Most of such email ids will be professional and not personal; made irrelevant the moment they leave the organisation. Results from such email data will be quite lower than the earlier ones.
A good targeted email campaign should contain a good mix of the two types of data. This will ensure a good response and also expand the funnel size. However, do not mix the two data and keep separate files and move ids only once they act on your call.
Transactional e-mails are those mails that are result of an action already taken by the mail recipient. For example it includes mails about e-mail verification or signs in and follows up process. Transactional emails are supposed to be to the point and deliver specific information about the thing that the recipient has already shown interest in.
Direct mails are those mails which are sent randomly by the company to a bunch of recipients irrespective of whether they had been in contact before or not. These types of mails are more detailed in comparison to the transactional mails and communicate the ongoing offers or simply create awareness about the product and services of the company
How e-mail marketing is beneficial for your business?
E-mail marketing is one of the most effective, efficient and powerful tool for marketing your product on internet. In fact it is one of the leading ways in which companies communicate with their prospective client.
Below are some obvious reasons which prove that e-mail is one of the most preferred ways to contact customers.
Simple and easy: It is very easy to get started with e-mail marketing. There isn’t any complicated process. All you need is one simple e-mail account for your company which you will be using to send mails to the audience.
Cost effective: There is little cost involved in email marketing form. Getting email data and a good service provider are one of the biggest challenges and cost incurring factors. It is comparatively cheaper than all the other marketing tools.
Convenient and prompt: Despite a lot of technical advancement and involvement of ways of communication e-mail never got outdated. It is still in use besides being one of the oldest tools the applicability of e-mail marketing had been modernized. Its speed is what makes it more easy to use. The easy feedback process and convenient revert back feature adds to its efficiency.
Measurement and flexibility: It is an extremely flexible tool. You can schedule mails, design content and layout according to your strategy. Besides being flexible it has an advantage of tracking exact ROI.
Personalized: All of us prefer e-mails for various professional as well as non professional dealings and all the internet users tend to check mails at least once a day. The personalized form of communication is delivered at door step of gateway that leads consumers to act on information delivered.
Implementation of e-mail marketing
The basic blue prints of steps of execution have been explained below.
Planning is simply deciding what to do, how to do and by whom is it to be done. Before getting on the board you need to get answers for
- What is the purpose for sending mail?
- Whom do you need to send it to?
- What do you want to achieve from this?
- What strategies would you be using to make your action effective?
These are just few examples of how to start because it very important to have a clear idea about what we are doing and why are we doing that.
Designing the mail
After a proper plan has been worked out and you now know what your objective is, you need to design the mail. Designing is important for a mail is because you are making an impression on an audience and you surely don’t want it to appear vague or any less professional that you ought to be.
Following are the components of designing the mail:
- Styling- You should keep the tone of the mail user friendly but no less professional. Nobody is going straight into action just after reading your mail but it is proven fact how is it written is a driving factor.
Consider below points before finalizing the template:
- Color combination of the template
- Font style, images and tables used.
- Avoid using words like sales, offer, discounts.
- Use more of text and less of image.
The next important is the content in the mail. Make it simple, easy to understand and clear enough to be self explanatory. Your content should push user to act upon the mail in recipient. Don’t overload the recipient with information. Be specific and just don’t leave any questions in the mind of the reader. Nobody likes to be overloaded with texts.
Mind the below points:
- Exciting heading to make the readers curious enough to open the mail
- Avoid spamming text like: discount, offer, prize, last date etc.
- Put things in bullet points like features of your product.
- Links of your digital assets for customers to access
- A link to unsubscribe to your emails. Yes you must
It is important that your content should be flawless because you cannot afford to make any silly mistake while presenting yourself. That is why proof reading of the content should be done.
Optimizing includes having a creative and decent approach towards layout, main body of mail, subject line, images, link and everything that is the part of the e-mail. Go for formatting and the outline that looks attractive and coherent as well.
The best part of e-mail marketing which is the personalisation of mails. Emails can be addressed specifically to the reader by entering their name in specific columns of email database. Knowing your audience goes a long way in this.
Scheduling and timing
Timing of mail plays an important role and you have to make sure that all the mails whether direct or transaction are properly scheduled. It would fetch you better results if you schedule your mails during the working hours because that is the most of us are active but that also depends on the nature of mail. Keep check on the limits of the mails.
8. Integrated approach: To achieve the goal of the plan made in the first step its important that your email marketing plan should co inside with other marketing tools such as social media marketing and website. Make sure your other digital assets are in sync with the mail.
9. Call to Action: Your call to action should be clear and specific. If you want the customer to visit your website and check the products there, write accordingly. If he mail is just for information purpose, make sure the link to the complete information is provided.
10. Analysis: After the implementation of the mail strategy the final step is to test the effectiveness of your campaign because e-mail marketing has an edge of measurability.Do regular analysis of your email marketing campaignsand you will bump into metrics like open rate, click through rate etc. These metrics will provide a good indication of how your campaign is going.
- A high bounce rate shows your database is not good enough.
- A low open rate shows either the subject line o timing is not good.
- A low click through rate will show your email content is not exciting enough.
Keep improvising all on this and adding new members to the list.
You can use software such as mail chimp or any other software to test the success rate of your campaign. Be consistent, expressive and don’t stunt your efforts by not using the right strategy.