When you run a business, a strong email marketing campaign is a great way to connect with customers, engage your audience and drive your conversions. And for most brands, this channel will form a key part of the digital marketing strategy.
What is the purpose of email marketing?
Email marketing can be used for various things, such as:
1. To directly sell to motivated existing customers or to convert potential customers
2. To educate customers on your service or product offer, with explainers
3. To talk about business news and encourage event sign-ups if you’re in the B2B space
4. To promote your social, blog, and other digital marketing content as part of a digital marketing ecosystem
5. To continue to move customers along the sales funnel, towards conversion.
6. To build your brand reputation – primarily in the customer market, but also in employer and stakeholder markets, depending on your goals.
What types of emails can you send to customers?
But what types of emails can you think of to send to your lists? After all, there are only so many promotional messages that your customers and leads will want to hear. Too many of those, and you risk a spike in those dreaded unsubscribed.
The trick is to mix up your content with a planned schedule of different – but extremely engaging – content types. This content needs to always be:
1. Completely relevant to the reader, and this means segmenting your email lists carefully and then targeting as tightly as possible, ideally with a degree of personalisation.
2. Value-driven. So that your customer can immediately see why they received the email and know that they will get something worthwhile from it.
3. Timely – in terms of its seasonal relevance.
4. Well-written, beautiful to look at, and fast to load, for that optimum reader experience.
Email ideas to try
So, with this in mind, let’s look at some different email ideas.
A welcome email is the first chance you get to connect with your customer. It reinforces your brand, shares your values, and creates a sense of excitement. It’s also the perfect opportunity to share a special welcome deal, encourage your customers to complete an action (such as joining a Facebook group) and leave the customer wanting more. Show your great commitment to service by flagging up contact routes in case your customer has any queries.
Every customer loves an offer email! And what better way to start the day than with a snap deal of some kind? Make it seasonally relevant and, if possible, consider tailoring the deal to your customer’s purchase history and interests (if your tech allows this.) A simple 10% off code or free delivery code with a personal message from the business owner or CEO will create a real feeling of goodwill.
Survey and testimonial emails
Customers read online reviews and value them, so share your finest testimonials to stimulate awareness and desire to try your products. This is a great time too to launch your own short satisfaction survey, to give customers the chance to give their views and input. This helps people to feel listened to and important – just make sure you act on what they say!
A good, branded newsletter is one worth reading. So, pack it with relevant, quality content, rather than just advertising for your business. A few product references and a deal or two are great, but the newsletter should offer value, such as expert guides, ‘how to’ explainers, inspiration, ideas, and so forth.
Free gift emails
Again, a free gift email is one that gets opened! Offer a free gift with every purchase, such as a mini sample size of something that you sell, or a relevant add-on. If you sell luxury tea in small batches, you could add a small box of fancy biscuits from a partner. If you sell beauty products, then add a couple of samples from a new product line. Free gift wrap is also a lovely touch before Christmas.
Explain the value of your brand and its offer. How does it change your customer’s life or enhance it in some way? How have people benefited from using your products or brands? Value attributes are vital to customers, especially in today’s cash-strapped period, so really focus on how you deliver value and the benefits.
It’s another legitimate reason to email your lists, and it’s also a great way to talk about your company values, mission and ethos, and show that you’re a successful business that’s growing. Customers and jobseekers are interested in businesses with real purpose, and clear ethics, so talk about diversity, sustainability, giving back and community initiatives to really boost engagement.
Product update emails
Launched a new range? Enhanced an old favourite with new features? Talk about it and offer an incentive to try, such as an offer code, or product bundle. Remember to include a link to buy – and optimise the process for simple, hassle-free purchasing in just a few clicks.
Tools you can use to help with email marketing and reporting
Most businesses today use commercial email marketing tools that allow them to:
Create and build impactful, beautiful and branded emails
Create and manage distribution lists, with segmentation and targeting
Easily manage signups and unsubscribed
See rich analytics in the background that show which email campaigns have been successful.
There are a huge array of email marketing tools on the market and some of the most popular include Mail Chimp, Active Campaign, and Gist. Before deciding which tool might be the best for your business, here are some things to consider:
1. Is the email marketing tool cloud-deployed, so that it can be licensed on a user basis and bought in as needed?
2. Does it offer the features that you need, such as rich analytics to show open rates, engagement rates, unsubscribes, social proof, conversions, etc?
3. Does the tool integrate with your other digital marketing tools and systems, such as AdZooma and social media platforms, so you can easily manage your entire digital marketing strategy within an integrated and holistic digital environment?
4. Is it easy to use and intuitive, with features such as high-quality templates and the ability to import media?
5. Can you add, adjust, edit and segment your email lists with precision?
6. Is the system cost-effective?
7. What support does it offer?
8. What do other users think?
Email marketing is a powerful tool and a valuable part of your brand or business’s digital marketing strategy. There are various types of promotional emails you can send to customers on a scheduled basis. There are also various marketing systems to consider and the best fit for your business will depend on your particular needs and objectives.