How to grow your customer base with email marketing

Your inbox is probably overflowing right now, isn’t it? From work emails to notes from far flung relatives, promotional mail from businesses, and spam (no I don’t want to send you my bank details to receive $1m, thanks!).

But undoubtedly some of those emails in your inbox will be valuable – whether on a personal level or because they offer a product or service you could genuinely benefit from, either at work or in your home life. Likewise, to promote your business to your potential and existing customers, email is one of the key ways to do this. In fact, 73% of marketers rate email as the number one digital channel for ROI.

So, in a world where we’re bombarded with content across multiple touch-points, how do you cut through the noise to reach your target audience and increase turnover, while remaining GDPR compliant?

Read on for our top tips for successful email marketing campaigns:

1. Start with eye-catching content

Design can be everything – if your email looks unprofessional or is hard to read, the recipient will probably just delete it straightaway. Ensure your layout and imagery is eye-catching for all the right reasons. Most email marketing platforms enable you to design basic templates, so if you don’t have access to a professional designer these can be a good place to start.

2. Use your words wisely

The copy in your email should be relevant, engaging and easy to read. Make sure it has the human touch too – down to earth enough for the recipient to understand, and devoid of technical jargon. It’s also a good idea to personalise the greeting of the email, so you’re addressing the recipient directly, e.g. ‘Hello Catherine.’

3. Ensure you’re GDPR compliant

B2B emailing is still acceptable under GDPR, provided that the company sending the emails can evidence that they have a legitimate interest in contacting specific groups of people in their work capacity, and they provide the option to opt out of future communications.

Ensure you produce a Legitimate Interest Statement that can be made available to those you’re emailing before carrying out any campaigns.

4. Timing is everything

Make sure you send your email at a time that is likely to secure the most engagement. For example, sending a B2B email to a work email address is more likely to be opened during the working day (or commuting hours) than an evening or a weekend – by which time it could slip down the recipient’s inbox and be forgotten.

5. Think like your audience

To create an effective email, it’s important to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and think about the value they’ll gain from engaging with your email. From the content, the time you send it, and whether it’s promoting a product or service that will appeal to them, the email should always have the customer in mind.

6. Provide value

Emails that offer the reader something helpful – like a link to a blog post or whitepaper – tend to receive more engagement than a straightforward sales email. Delivering something that the reader values can help to build brand awareness and engagement, and ultimately lead to conversions.

7. Focus on the subject

Although ambiguous email titles can help to capture attention, your audience may be more likely to open an email when they know what the subject is about. For example, ‘20% off metal components in May’ might garner more interest to a manufacturer than ‘You need these in your life.’

8. Include a clear call to action

To increase the likelihood of the reader making a purchase, getting in touch to find out more about your company, or engaging with content you’ve provided, it’s vital to include a call to action.  Make sure this is placed in a prominent position – such as a pop-out box – and has clear wording, e.g. ‘Contact us’, ‘Shop now’, or ‘Learn more’.

9. Analyse your analytics

All good email marketing programmes will provide integrated analytics, including details of open-rates, click-throughs (CTRs), and bounce backs. Make sure you analyse this data to check which campaigns are working well, and why.

10. Test, test, test

Use your email marketing platform’s A/B testing function to test different wording for the same email – from subject lines to content – or try different pictures and send to select groups of your audience. See which version gets the most opens or engagement and send the best performing campaign to the remainder of your audience.

11. Segment your audiences for future campaigns

If your business supplies a range of different products or services, you might want to segment your audiences so that you can send future emails based on a recipient’s demographics, purchase history or interests.

Still unsure of how to nail your email marketing strategy? Give Sugar Marketing a call and we can talk you through where you might be going wrong – and how to put it right.