Marketing trends come and go, but email marketing shows no signs of fading away anytime soon. Instead of letting email marketing fall obsolete like so many other marketing tactics of the past, digital marketers are becoming savvier – and email campaigns are becoming more necessary than ever in helping businesses engage with their audience and drive traffic to their website.
Now that we’ve covered the questions you should ask yourself before starting your own email marketing campaign, we wanted to hear from professionals who successfully use email marketing in their business. We asked them how email marketing has benefited their business, as well as their #1 tip for all budding email marketers:
Find Valuable Partnership Opportunities
We recently partnered with BizHive, a small business resources site. Through our paid partnership, we were able to send content to BizHive’s subscribers. The results? A 25-43% open rate, which is great—especially for prospects.
Outside partnerships can give you access to an engaged email audience. Just make sure you test out different audiences and find one that delivers the right open and click through rates for your company.
-Karen Sopron, Marketing Manager at Insureon
Stay Fresh in your Readers’ Minds
I email a newsletter 3 to 5 times a week but during the holidays I do it every day. I found that an emailed newsletter is the best way for me to reach my clients because it keeps ZINK constantly and consistently on their minds.
In each newsletter I do a daily inspiration with images that relate back to the products/items I am trying to sell. This way my clients don’t think I am always trying to sell them something. I also put a couple of inspiring quotes so that the recipients want to open the newsletter to get a daily dose of positive vibes.
The results have been wonderful and my clients often forward the newsletter onto their friends or get their friends to subscribe to it. It has been a tremendous help with the branding of ZINK and getting people to know more about what we design, how it is made and where the brand is headed. I often get clients telling me that they save their favorite newsletter to reflect back on at a later date.
-Ben Freedland, Owner/Designer of ZINK
Use Customer Logic, Not Company Logic
The biggest mistake we were making with our emails was using company logic as opposed to customer logic. You really need to put yourself in the mind of your customer when crafting your emails. Run your email copy by friends and strangers, [and] get feedback because it’s so challenging to get out of your own skin.
The goal of the email is to get a click. Do not try to make or close the sale in the email.
-Bryan Clayton, CEO of GreenPal
Utilize Social Activity
As a predictive analytics company focused on building complex, and sometimes custom B2B sales and marketing data solutions, it was difficult boiling our offering down into short emails. Even after working with copywriters and branding agencies our messaging still wasn’t resonating because of the overall complexity as well as the low adoption / awareness rate for predictive analytics solutions in the B2B space.
We had to figure out a simple way to find and reach thought leaders in our space that understood our solutions, if not actively endorsed similar solutions, so we started using social activity as an indicator of knowledge and interest. If an individual has followed just two or more of our direct competitors, they are more than 400% more likely to respond positively to our email outreach when compared to using title, industry, or other standard B2B targeting criteria.
This is just the start of a total profile we build about not only the target accounts, but also the target individuals based on what they’re most interested in. We also personalize the content towards that individual’s interests.
-Josh Natella, Chief Growth Officer at DivCom Group
Write for Humans
The best advice that I can give to anyone email marketing anything is to communicate in emails like a real human being. Do whatever you can to avoid losing a personable tone in the email. You won’t get far by being overly formal. Write the email as though you are speaking to the recipient, and be friendly and playful with the message.
Focus most of all on the subject line. Use it as a way to grab attention and get people to want to know what’s within the message. As a question, introduce with an uncommon salutation, or say something colloquial and intriguing. Break information down into digestible chunks—roughly three sentence paragraphs long at maximum.
Some people suggest that using images is the best attention grabbing tool to use, but I’ve been able to triple my engagement rate using the suggestions above without any images.
-Nicole Silver, Inbound Marketer for TrustedPros Inc.
Give Back to Your Subscribers
For my holiday newsletter, I usually send a letter with an included Starbucks discount, which I can get a discount for mass purchases. I usually give around 5 dollars, enough for a hot chocolate at Starbucks. This method has been extremely useful because most of my clients are thankful for me remembering them and they usually sign up for more of my services after the holiday.
-AJ Saleem, Academic Director at Suprex Home Tutoring
Take a “Less is More” Approach
I’ve taken a minimalist approach that has worked well. By removing all formatting and branding traditionally associated with an email marketing campaign, our emails look personal, and therefore have gotten more views and replies. Our emails are simple text, with the only image being the logo in the signature. Since our email blasts are sent mostly to existing clientele, we get a large percentage of replies and inquiries.
-Amir Watynski, President at Watt Media, Inc.
Provide Educational Opportunities
Providing education opportunities rather than directly marketing my services have yielded positive results. I publish a daily blog on financial topics which I then use to create a weekly e-mail with the prior week’s posts. I also do bi-weekly webinars which I also market via e-mail. When folks read the blog and attend the webinars, I know they have an interest and I can reach out to them directly rather than through mass e-mail. Also, I’m less likely to get unsubscribes from my mailing list when it’s not a direct marketing effort. And since people engage with me every week, even though they may not be interested now, I’ll be at the top of their list when they’re ready for my services.
-Ryan McGuinness, Founder of CTR Financial
Target Notable Influencers
What we did was target a very small influential group of individuals (realtors) that had the ability to spread the word about our business. We then did an email campaign to explain that we built a feature for them specifically, a multiple properties feature. Making it personal in the email really helped our growth. Since the launch of this campaign, we have seen an 30% uptick in our multiple property feature and an 10% growth on our growth overall.
-Gene Caballero, Co-Founder of GreenPal
Consistency is what builds traction. Sending on a regular schedule – even down to the same day and time each week – sets expectations and familiarity.
We have consistently seen these tips drive results with our most successful customers and in our own business. Since we started sending out a short “Tech News Tuesday #TNT” tip each week in place of a longer monthly newsletter, I’m regularly told, “I look for your email every Tuesday morning,” and new projects come in regularly as a result of the emails.
Create Triggered Email Campaigns
My biggest email marketing success story is using triggered email campaigns. At the top of the SuperOffice blog, we use a page wide call-to-action to promote our CRM Buyers’ Guide. To access the guide, website visitors need to enter their email address and in return, we send an automated email that includes a link to the PDF.
The results of this email marketing campaign have been phenomenal. Our open rate for this email is 177% and our click-through rate is 105%! These results can be replicated, providing you create timely and personalized email campaigns.
-Steven Macdonald, Digital Marketing Manager at SuperOffice
Send Birthday Emails
We’ve been experimenting with email marketing since we first started to collect the email addresses of our customers. Although we’ve tried a variety of different tactics, undoubtedly the most successful was sending birthday emails to our customers every month.
Because we collect such specific information about our customers, we could really personalize each email which I believe helped us to stand out amongst the various other emails that people receive on a daily basis. We included the first name of the customer in the subject line, and kept our birthday message fairly simple.
We also included a link within the email so the customer could share the fact that they just received a birthday email from us on their Facebook. We’ve sent over 700 birthday emails in the last 3 years, and have had over 150 shares to Facebook.
-Max Robinson, Owner of Ace Work Gear
Personalize Based on Past Habits
A couple of tweaks have made a tremendous difference to our results but I’d like to share one of them: Personalize your email. I don’t mean by putting in the customer’s name, that’s old hat and since everyone does it it has lost its value. Rather send emails to customers selling them products related to what they’ve purchased, in effect split your email subscribers by product category for best results. This cuts down on unsubscribes-customers aren’t getting spammed; raises opens-it piques the interest of customers; and ultimately creates more conversions.
-Jeremy Levi, Director of Marketing at Mars Med Supply
We have found that email marketing works much better when the emails are formulated in a way that adds value to the end user. For example, a newsletter format or an email that has other related services have a much higher click-through rate.
Users in today’s digital space the modern consumer has become extremely aware of blatant advertisements. If you aim to provide value to the recipient, your email will be viewed as something that has pertinent information and may even get dragged out of the ‘promotions’ folder.
We have even found that if you include a few articles or industry news in your email marketing campaigns, users will even ask for more information! There is nothing better than a potential customer reaching out and asking for more emails!
-Evan Harris, Co-Founder of SD Equity Partners
Stay Timely and Relevant
Time of day and day of the week can have a huge impact on click-through rates and sales, so ensure your email is sent out at the right time. We have found that early in the week and early in the day produces our best results. [Additionally,] the biggest mistake any marketer can make is by overloading an email with useless information. Ensure content is kept relevant and interesting to make prospective customers want to read on.
-Tom Brown, Marketing Assistant at Shiply
How has email marketing helped you interact with customers and grow your business? What are your top tips for anyone looking to start their own email marketing campaign? Let us know in the comments!
Unlock the Full Potential of Email Marketing
When done correctly, email marketing has the highest conversion rates amoung all digital marketing methods. In this free ebook, we explain 10 simple tips to improve your email marketing strategy.