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Email Marketing Effectiveness: Get The Most Out Of Your Emails

Email marketing is a powerful tool, but using it effectively is not as easy as it used to be.

Gone are the days when marketers could quickly compose an email, load it up in their email service provider, and successfully send it to thousands of people, who in turn, would buy whatever was being advertised. 

There are many sides to email marketing that you need to consider in order to have an effective campaign. 

This article covers all the details of running an effective email marketing campaign including segmentation and list hygiene, writing effective subject lines and copy, as well as other tips for keeping your campaigns going strong month after month.

Let's get right into it.

Industries Where Email Marketing Is The Most Effective

While marketers can use email effectively for any business, some industries lend themselves better to email than others. The following is a list of the top 5 industries where using email marketing makes the most sense.

Financial Services

Financial services is a huge industry that regularly uses email marketing. Lead generation plays a huge role in this industry. As a business that deals in finance, one can use email marketing to get subscribers and leads for everything from credit cards, mortgages, loans, and even retirement funds.

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Image Credit: http://enginemailer.com

Technology

Technology companies have a more tech-savvy audience, so it's easy to come up with relevant content that will keep these subscribers engaged and coming back for more. 

With new gadgets, mobile devices, and apps being launched all the time, subscribers in this industry want to know about what’s happening around them. In addition, technology companies can use email marketing very effectively because they can easily create unique offers based on the latest and top-of-the-line items that are constantly launched in the marketplace.

Healthcare

Healthcare is another industry where email marketing is frequently used due to the highly competitive nature of this business.  Since it's so important that your subscribers trust you as a source of information in this industry, there are lots of ways that you can use email marketing to build that trust and keep it strong every step of the way.

Non-Profits

Nonprofits are another industry that has to compete with other similar and potentially bigger businesses for their customers. This is where email marketing can be especially effective because it's relatively inexpensive to use over a long period of time.

As a non-profit, you might not have the funds to do extensive campaigns that bigger businesses can afford, but there are lots of ways you can make sure your subscribers see your messages by getting creative with subject lines, offers, etc.

As long as you provide value in some form or another, your subscribers will appreciate it and will be much more likely to open your messages again in the future while taking the actions that you want.

Education

Lastly, many educational companies use email marketing to show the areas in which they specialize. Whether it's educational books, materials, or learning a new skill, there are tons of ways to use email marketing to promote your products and services.

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Image Credit: http://jerrybanfield.com

Marketers in this area already know their audience will be interested in learning more about the topics they specialize in. This information allows marketers to teach their audience specific lessons on hundreds of topics.

Why Email Marketing Is Important

Email marketing has been around for a long time, and it's still extremely popular with both large and small businesses. It costs virtually nothing to send an email, so there are very low barriers to entry for marketers who want to try it out. In addition, getting started with an email marketing service is quick and involves a relatively short learning curve.

Email marketing is important to master because most people have access to their personal email on their phones all the time which also brings up a notification (often as soon as it hits their inbox) and is available even if they’re not connected to the internet. 

People check their emails constantly throughout the day at work, including when they wake up, before they go out, and after returning from work. This makes it easy for you to market directly to the people interested in what you're offering.

Moreover, your emails can be personalized and targeted to precisely show the offers that your customer is interested in. Personalization helps make your offer more relevant, exciting, and often more valuable as well.

For instance, let's say you're a fashion designer, and you want to send an email to all of your fashion-savvy subscribers who live in the NYC area. 

You could tell them about a one-day sale happening this weekend on some dresses that are typically very popular with fashionistas like them. This way, you’re able to frame the email as being highly relevant and topical at that very moment.

This is a great way to increase their trust in you as a marketer. Whether or not they end up buying something from you that day or in the future, they are sure to remember you if you can show them that you have their best interest at heart.

How To Set Up An Effective Email Marketing Strategy

The best thing you can do to increase your marketing efforts is to add value to your subscribers' lives. This could mean a variety of different things in different industries, however, some examples might be sending them high-quality information for free and informing them of anything that’s relevant to them which could end up saving them money.

Effective marketing campaigns will ensure that you get the best possible result from every message you send out and keep your subscribers waiting for the next email to arrive in their inbox.

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Image Credit: http://smartinsights.com

Setting up an effective email marketing strategy involves understanding your target audience. As small business owners, knowing your audience's pain points, interests, and buying habits is the best way to connect with them. By knowing what makes your subscribers tick, you can send them relevant information when they need it most.

Let’s have a look at the specifics when setting up an effective email campaign.

Write A Great Subject Line

One of the essential email marketing metrics to consider is your open rate, defined as the number of people who open your emails when compared to all the emails sent. A critical factor in getting subscribers to see what’s inside an email is having an eye-catching subject line that elicits curiosity. 

At the same time, successful campaigns have subject lines that are very specific to the content they are about to read. You don't want your email subscribers to feel like you're sending generic emails all the time, which is why you must be tailoring your message as much as possible.

The goal is to encourage people to simply open your email and check out what’s inside. The right subject line might also serve to grab the attention of those who have already read an email and need another nudge to take action now.

Personalization in your subject lines also increases the number of opened emails and, as a result, the click-through rate (defined as the number of people who clicked on a link in your email divided by the total number of people who received it).

When writing subject lines keep in mind how often you use promotional language because this can be off-putting to subscribers. Avoid words like "free" or "offer" unless you are giving something away at no cost. 

When it comes to subject lines, you never want to be too vague. You can't sit on the fence when it comes to what your subscribers are expecting, so instead of saying, "Check out this week's deals." you could say, "See our newest arrivals - 10% off today."

In a nutshell, subject lines need to give your subscribers all the information they need in just a few words. Experimenting with different styles and lengths to see which ones work best for your audience is a good idea if you want to have more effective email marketing campaigns.

The Importance Of Segmenting Your List

Email marketing campaigns are most effective when they are targeted at the right people.

One of the best ways to increase your email marketing open rates, click-through rates, and engagement,  is by segmenting your list into smaller groups, then tailoring each message specifically to that particular group of people.

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Image Credit: http://business2community.com

This way, you're not sending out one generic message with the same subject lines for everyone on the list; instead, you're creating multiple versions of your email and sending them only to those who happen to be interested in the topic you've chosen.

Segmentation is one of the most significant advantages of email marketing in the sense that you can specifically target people who are most likely interested in what you have to say. It always helps when you don’t waste your time (or theirs) by sending emails about stuff that people don't want or need.

Compared to other marketing channels, setting up segmentation as part of your email campaigns is straightforward and can be done with a few clicks of a button.

Factors To Base Email Segmentation On

Figuring out the best way to create segments might be the most difficult part of the process. That's why it's helpful to ask yourself specific questions about your subscribers to help narrow down the possibilities.

Here are some examples of questions that can help you structure your segments:

  • Can I segment by email subscriber location?
  • Does segmenting by subscriber age make sense?
  • Do people on my list work in a particular industry and do I have this information readily available?

If you're running an email marketing campaign for people who live in the suburbs and have children, then you could tailor your campaign differently to those with teenage kids as opposed to newborns. 

Perhaps you're sending out emails about exercise equipment, so you might want to target stay-at-home moms in one segment and empty nesters in another. This means that both of these groups can investigate what sort of workout regimen would be most appropriate for them.

Connect Your Email Marketing Strategies With Your Social Media Campaigns

Email marketing is an effective strategy on its own, but it's even better when combined with other forms of marketing like social media. When you do this, you can reach a larger audience because the people interested in your brand will subscribe via their favorite social network, then receive your email updates when they happen.

Another benefit of connecting your email campaigns with social media platforms is that it can help decrease subscriber churn. People are more likely to stay subscribed to your emails if they feel like a level of friendship is established between them and your brand. This means avoiding sending generic emails at any time.

Social media has made tailoring your message easier and is yet another reason why email marketing has remained so influential over the years. Without the need to spend money on sending out physical mail, you can focus all of your efforts on reaching as many people as possible through their email inboxes and then following up on social media (or even vice versa).

If a special occasion is coming up, you can set up an email campaign specific to that occasion. Holiday email marketing campaigns are very popular since they give the recipient a more personalized experience. Combining such emails with say, a competition that’s running on your social media page, is a great way to get people to follow you on both social media and email. This is ideal in case one of these platforms had to be shut down.

With most social media advertising (such as Facebook Ads), you can also take things to the next level. You can import an email list of subscribers to your business manager and either advertise to that particular segment on social media or even allow the social network to form lookalike audiences of people that have the same characteristics as your email subscribers. 

This means that you’ll be able to get your message across to people who are more than likely interested in what you have to offer.

Understanding The Metrics And KPIs

Email marketing metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) are pretty simple to track, and at the same time, they're also what separates successful campaigns from ineffective ones.

Tracking your metrics and KPIs is important because it lets you figure out if your email campaigns are working or not, which determines whether you should continue sending out emails in the way you’ve been doing or whether a drastic change is needed.

If your open rates suddenly drop off for no reason, then that means something in your process is wrong - this could be anything from how often you send out emails to how you're segmenting subscribers. 

On the other hand, if your open rates are on the rise, chances are that everything else is going well and people feel like they can trust your brand enough to keep considering your emails. This can only be understood through measuring the right metrics.

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Image Credit: http://litmus.com

That also brings up another point: you should continuously optimize your email marketing strategies for increased conversions. Increased conversion rates will help grow your company faster, so consider changing things up if you find yourself stuck at a plateau with these types of metrics.

Understanding the proper email marketing KPIs and metrics is one of the main steps towards growing your company and figuring out what to change if you find yourself hitting a wall. There's no sense in sending out emails that nobody wants, so always track this information closely.

What You Should Do When There's A Problem With Your Email Service Provider

If you find yourself stuck with low open rates and high bounce rates (emails not getting delivered), then chances are good that something is wrong with your email marketing service provider (ESP). 

If there's a problem with the mailing service — either due to downtime or multiple spam complaints — this could cause your open and click-through rates to plummet. This is another important reason for tracking what subscribers are doing after they get their emails.

To solve this, you'll need to contact the ESP in question and figure out what's wrong. More often than not, it can be something simple that they can fix to get you back on track with email marketing.

You should also ensure that you are not triggering spam complaints by doing something that you shouldn't. A quick checklist to ensure that you remain compliant is as follows:

  • Do not send the same email to the same subscribers over and over again
  • Always test your links to make sure they work before you send anything out.
  • Do not purchase a mailing list from someone else and mail it without asking for the subscribers’ permission first. This can cause problems with your email sending capabilities being blocked by your email service provider and/or internet service provider.
  • Don't try and mail your entire list when you know that only a small percentage of subscribers are active.
  • If you have a lot of inactive subscribers, then purge your list every so often by removing those that haven’t interacted with your emails over the last few months.

Email Marketing Statistics

Finally, let’s consider some numbers when it comes to the effectiveness of email marketing and why it’s important to use this in your business. These are the top statistics related to email marketing in day and age.

"There are 4 billion daily email users."

That's right, 4 billion. While it’s great that so many people use emails, chances are good that your subscribers are already getting bombarded with low-quality emails from other marketers. 

It's important to stand out from the crowd by making sure your emails offer a great experience to those that decide to open them. That means that you should be providing constant value in your emails and keep this same level of quality over time.

It's also the only way to maintain a successful brand. This will help bring in more subscribers through a variety of methods including referrals.

"64% of small businesses use email marketing to reach customers."

Using email as a marketing channel is an excellent idea for small businesses and larger ones to grow their subscriber lists. 

Of course, it's not the only good marketing channel out there, but it is one of the most affordable and most accessible ways to reach your target audience. Sending promotional messages out regularly is one of the best ways to connect with customers already familiar with your products and services or those that are just now discovering what you can offer.

"Nearly 1 in 5 email campaigns is not optimized for mobile devices."

In a day and age when more and more people are using mobile devices to connect with each other, you need to ensure that your marketing efforts don't end up falling flat. That includes optimizing your email campaigns for portable devices with a touch interface. 

Since most modern smartphones have large screens, this shouldn't be a problem unless you end up using some super early-2000s design. At any rate, it's best to make sure everything is optimized to be seen on mobile (as well as a desktop) before you send anything out.

"Marketers who use segmented campaigns note as much as a 760% increase in revenue."

Segmentation is one of the best ways to bring in more money because it allows you to find your prime audience and target them with an offer that they are most likely to take advantage of. This means that they will convert faster than people who are faced with a "one size fits all" approach.

Keep it simple and segment when it's worth it, so your efforts allow you to reach the goals that you set.

Conclusion

Effective email marketing remains one of the best ways to bring in more leads, convert them into customers and keep them coming back for more.

It always helps to stay on top of your email marketing efforts because this is vital to make sure everything is working as smoothly as possible. Track what works and what doesn’t and learn from the data that your market gives you. This might be the only way to ensure that your email strategy remains on point as time goes by.

About the author 

Mike Vestil

Mike Vestil is an author, investor, and speaker known for building a business from zero to $1.5 million in 12 months while traveling the world.

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