Wikipedia describes email marketing as, “in its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer.” Depending on the number of customers you have and the business you work in, you could be sending anywhere from hundreds to billions of emails every year. So, in sending these emails, you need to have clearly defined goals of what result you want to produce from your email marketing efforts.
1. Provide value to subscribers. Go back to basics and remember why a customer would join your email list in the first place. Was it for a coupon? Were they opted in by default? Did they want more information about a product? Whatever the reason, analyze the emails you’re sending to see if they align with the expectations you set upon sign up. Then make sure you are delivering on these promises.
2. Build a relationship with your customers. Email marketing is one of the best ways for a company to communicate directly with its customers. Use series of emails to educate customers on the benefits of your website or establish a weekly newsletter that delivers the latest news or sales directly to your customers. By giving them a sense of ‘being in the know,’ they will develop a connection to your brand and will be more likely to make a purchase from you in the future.
3. Drive conversions and/or generate revenue. If your business engages in e-commerce, email marketing can be a major driver of traffic to your website. Segment the subscribers in your email list using what you know about their preferences and demographics information. If data like this isn’t available, you can use previous email engagement factors – such as opens or clicks – to understand what your customers are interested in. You can then customize subject lines and email creative that speaks to each group that will ultimately drive your conversions and revenues up.
4. Fulfillment after an order. Nowadays, customers will expect to receive emails from you immediately after placing an order. Emails such as order confirmations, password reminders and shipping notices are considered incredibly important to customers and should be a high priority in your email marketing strategy. Since these emails are mostly transactional in nature, they should be sent in near- or real-time. You should also strive to have strong inbox delivery rates so the emails aren’t blocked or lost in the spam folder.
5. Cross-sell your product lines. If your company is comprised of several different brands, use email marketing as an opportunity to introduce them to the others. At the time of opt in, you may consider including a separate check box that will allow users to sign up to receive emails from companies other than your own. You can then ‘share’ this email list with yourself and send partner email offers for your other brands.
In the end, there is so much you can do with an email list full of subscribers. Every message you send is an opportunity to create a positive association with your brand in your customers’ minds. All email marketers should keep these simple goals in mind and capitalize on them as much as possible.