Understanding customers is fundamental to any business. The more you know about your target audience, the easier it is to create excellent products and run effective marketing programs. And how do you create a brilliant email marketing program? The trick is to look at individual campaigns from the perspective of both the business and the subscriber. Today we’ll focus on the latter.
I believe that in order to make your marketing goals a reality, you need to be able to step into the shoes of your customers. That’s why in this blog post I will focus on the things that are most important for me—the guy who receives your emails. I hope this will help you improve your email marketing campaigns and marketing automation workflows.
Look at the subscription process.
Increasing the number of subscribers is one of these everlasting goals on an email marketer’s road map. We constantly search for new ways to expand our audience. That’s why I suggest looking at your web forms first. Whether it’s a fixed bar, a download box, or a pop-up, make sure you:
Explain why I should subscribe.
Why should I join your mailing list? What’s in it for me? Provide clear answers to these questions to appeal to your target audience. Let potential subscribers know what they can expect.
You can use promo codes and discounts as incentives, but remember that it’s the meaningful content that attracts the right people into the funnel.
Require only necessary information.
Personal information has been a major currency in marketing for quite some time. So bear in mind that you need to decide how much you want to charge for your subscription.
If you ask for too much information, you can expect low subscription rates. On the other hand, if you offer high quality content that will meet your audience’s informational needs, you can easily ask for some information in return.
Decide what data you need for a start. Most subscription forms contain only one or two fields (e.g., name and email address). That’s OK. You can ask for more details along the subscription process.
Collecting chunks of information about subscribers over time is called progressive profiling, and you can learn more about it here.
Use responsive design.
Can I use it on my mobile?
When you look at any statistics, you’ll see that mobile is the most popular technology in email. According to Litmus (December 2016), mobile represents 55% of all email opens:
• 55% mobile
• 29% webmail
• 16% desktop
Using responsive design makes your email templates look great on any device (or at least easy to read). It is especially important, if you use email marketing strategically and want it to be available along the customer journey.
Do you know why people unsubscribe from mailing lists? Because at some point they find your marketing messages irrelevant. It seems that they were initially interested, but something went wrong along the way.
Of course, there will always be people unsubscribing (you want to be relevant to your target audience, not to everybody who signs up), but, according to various benchmarks, the average unsubscribe rate is around 0.5%.
Relevance is crucial from a business perspective. It implies lower cost and more revenue:
• By staying relevant to your target audience, you don’t waste resources on communicating with people who won’t become your customers.
• You influence customer purchasing decisions. 57%—that’s how far the average B2B buyer is through the purchase decision before engaging a supplier sales rep.
Consider the following factors when developing a strategy for relevance.
What’s the purpose of this email?
If you know your business goals and your target audience, you can develop a strategic approach to email marketing. And by strategic I mean a comprehensive approach where email is an integral part of the overall marketing strategy. When email marketing is tied to business goals, it’s easier to define specific goals for each email. Such an approach will also help you prepare a business case and justify the budget for the future.
A good email marketing strategy should satisfy the informational needs of your customers and lead them towards purchase. Emails with a purpose always have a clear call to action (CTA) so that subscribers know exactly what to do.
You’ve been sending a lot of emails lately.
It’s not easy to guess how often to send marketing messages. So don’t :)
Instead of making educated guesses, rely on data to learn the optimal frequency for your audience. Analyze your customer journey and figure out the steps from subscription to purchase. Create emails and run A/B tests to see how your audience responds. Test each email carefully: look at click-to-open rates, unsubscribes and conversions, and optimize the journey regularly.
Oh! That’s interesting.
It might sound obvious, but creating relevant content along the subscription journey requires a lot of methodical work. You need to continuously develop insights about your target audience: collect demographic and behavioral data, and segment your email list accordingly.
However, you will quickly see the benefits of sending the right messages to the right people: increased engagement, higher conversion rates, and more sales.
Review your campaigns.
Email marketers often focus completely on their goals, to the extent that at times they hardly ever find time to look at email campaigns from a different angle. Make sure your emails are aligned with your business goals and relevant to your target audience. This approach will certainly help you design customer journeys that provide value and best possible experience at each stage.