In the age of social media, it can be easy to sweep email marketing under the rug. Some people believe that email is an outdated form of communication, and there are better ways to promote your brand through other, more modern forms of content marketing.
Research from Forbes shows that 91% of consumers check their emails daily. With this in mind, email can be an extremely effective tool for promoting your business. But how do ensure that your email marketing efforts are successful? We’ve created a guide on how you can create an effective email marketing campaign.
What are the benefits of email marketing campaigns?
Email marketing is a great way of communicating with your customers or clients and has a multitude of benefits, including:
- Personalisation so you can tailor your campaign to reflect your brand
- Reaching your target audience quickly on any device
- Reaching a significant amount of people for free or at a low cost
- Strengthening customer/client and business relationships
- Building brand recognition and establish your brand’s authority
- Allowing you to measure your results and see what has worked
- Generating leads, sales and conversions
Any of these outcomes would be worth the short time investment it takes to craft your email. With that being said, let’s walk through the steps of creating an email marketing campaign.
Define your goals
Before you dive into creating your email marketing campaign, set some time aside to brainstorm what you want to achieve from it. It is important that you establish your goals before you create your email as the goals you choose will influence various aspects of how you craft the campaign.
Some common goals for email marketing campaigns are:
- Driving traffic to your website and social media channels
- Generating leads, sales or conversions through promoting products and services
- Building brand awareness
Choose your email marketing tool
There are many options out there when it comes to email marketing tools. At J&R, our preferred tool is MailChimp.
Some other options include:
Create your email list
Once you’ve defined your goals and chosen your tool, you need to construct a list of contacts that you will be sending the email to. If you already have a list of contact details for clients, then you will be able to import their details into whichever email marketing tool you choose.
If you don’t yet have a list of contacts, there are a few ways you can go about attracting relevant subscribers. You need to give people an incentive to subscribe. If your emails won’t add any value to people, they won’t be inclined to sign up to your mailing list.
One incentive you could give is that you will be providing your audience with free content that will benefit them in some way. For instance, at J&R we send out content marketing tips as well as free, downloadable ebooks. By sending our audience free, helpful advice on digital marketing, we provide them with content that is relevant to their interests as well as their industry.
You could also offer people discounts off a product or service if they subscribe to your newsletter. This incentive could kill two birds with one stone as people will most likely make a purchase as well as subscribing.
It’s very important that your mailing list complies with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
To ensure that your list GDPR compliant, make sure you:
- Audit all of your existing data to make sure that fits the required standard
- If there is a data breach, notify anyone affected within 72 hours
- If someone requests for their data to be erased, you must erase it as soon as possible
Choose your campaign type
The type of campaign you choose depends on the goals you have initially set. There are a few different types of campaign that relate to individual goals such as:
- Invitation (events)
- Company announcement
- Offer (promoting a discount or selling a product/service)
Email marketing tools offer pre-designed templates for different campaign types. MailChimp offers multiple designs, allowing you to:
Educate – ‘Explain your products or share knowledge about a topic’
Tell a story – ‘Send a newsletter to people to let them know what you’ve been up to’
Sell products – ‘Market a line of products or promote seasonal items’
Make an announcement – ‘Share details about a sale, event, or other big news’
Follow up – ‘Send a tailored email to people who have engaged with you’
These templates are self-explanatory, acting as a good starting point for constructing your campaign.
What are you going to speak about?
You need to decide on the topic you are going to cover in your email. Again, this depends on the goal and purpose of the campaign.
If you have a goal in mind but are still stuck on what to write about, here are some ideas for potential topics you could cover:
- A company announcement such as moving offices or advertising a new job role
- Educational, valuable content such as sharing an infographic, discussing industry news or promoting a recent blog post
- Company culture such as introducing a new team member or sharing an interview with the company founder
- Company promotion such as attending an event, winning an award or sharing a case study
Write the email copy
You want to make sure your copy is compelling, relevant and easy to digest. Here are some of the best practices for writing effective copy for emails:
Include key information
Add in the most crucial information in a format that is easily digestible. Always make sure that the information you provide adds value to your audience.
Make sure it’s relevant
Once you’ve decided what topic you are going to address, avoid going on a tangent about something else.
Address the reader
Address your audience by using ‘you’ wherever it is relevant. This will make your email more personable, friendly and relatable.
Don’t come across as too salesy
When promoting a product or service, avoid using overly ‘salesy’ language. This will most likely put your audience off. Aim to explain the benefits of your product or service rather than its features.
Whenever you mention a source such as a blog post, article, or social media post, always include a link.
Match your brand’s tone of voice
You want to make sure the email is in line with your brand’s tone of voice. Write like you’re having a conversation with the audience.
Keep it short and sweet
You need to make sure your email is quickly scannable. Aim for the copy to be about 200 words at most.
You want to make sure that your email copy, subject line and preview text all fit together nicely. Use the same keywords throughout each part of the email campaign.
Customise your campaign
Once you have written the main body of text for the email, it’s time to customise your template. Include eye-catching social share buttons, CTA’s and images.
Remember – don’t include too many images or images of a large file size. This will make your email slow to load which will result in people clicking off your email before reading it.
Write your subject line & preview text
The subject line and preview text of your email marketing campaign are very important. They are what initially grabs the attention of your audience and persuades them to open the email.
Here are our top tips for writing a subject line and preview text:
- Be as specific as possible. Subject lines are short, so avoid using filler words
- Make sure it doesn’t look spammy or too salesy. Don’t write in CAPS
- Tailor the subject line to your audience. Think about what key terms are most relevant to their demographic or industry
- Add emojis if it fits with your brand’s tone of voice and is relevant to the subject
- The preview text compliments the subject line, giving your audience an extra incentive to open the email. With this in mind, make sure the two fit together well
- It should be direct and to the point
- Get your main point, keyword and buzzwords out at the very start of the preview text
- The preview text is a CTA, so make sure to create a sense of urgency with how you word it
Send your email
Go ahead and send your email once you are happy with the content. Make sure to do your research on the most optimal times/days to send an email and schedule it for the most relevant time for you.
Once your email marketing campaign has been sent out, it’s a good idea to use analytics to measure what has worked. Email marketing tools have analytics that allow you to measure a number of useful metrics so that you can tailor your future emails to be more effective.
Some of the most useful metrics to measure are:
- Open rate – Measures how many subscribers opened your email
- Click-through rate (CTR) – Measures how many people clicked on a link
- Conversion rate – Measures how many people clicked a link and then completed an action, such as downloading your ebook
- Bounce rate – Measures how many of your subscribers didn’t receive your email
- Unsubscribers – Measures how many people opted out of receiving your emails
TOP TIP: Use A/B split testing to give you more insights on what content your audience prefers. A/B split testing is where you send out two emails that are the same apart from one detail. This could be using a different image, subject line, or CTA.
You’re good to go!
Good luck with your email marketing campaign! If you would like to know more about creating effective marketing campaigns, check out this infographic that explains the 7 trends you need to know in order to create a successful digital marketing campaign.
If you wanna know how you can measure the success of your marketing efforts, check out our guide on how to create a content marketing report.