"Email is a great way to stay connected with your customer base, and should form an integral part of your digital marketing strategy."
Reminding customers you exist with regular, engaging email content will strengthen your relationship, build brand loyalty and drive traffic to your website (or wherever else you want to).
With more and more brands fighting for attention in the inbox and the ‘Delete’ button just a tap away, it’s important that your emails stand out from the crowd.
Build your audience
Before you start sending emails, make sure you know the law surrounding email marketing – even if you’ve got a list of existing customers who’ve bought from you before, you can’t send unsolicited emails unless they’ve opted in previously.
Get round this by sending an email with a preference form, allowing customers to either unsubscribe or to fill out preferences for future emails. Most email providers such as Mailchimpwill have easy-to-use templates with integrated forms.
Once you’ve established a base list of opted-in subscribers you can use your website and social channels to build on this. Add an obvious and easy sign up form on your website (with minimal fields), set the Call To Action button on your Facebook page to Sign Up, and use Facebook and Twitter ads to incentivise sign ups and grow your database.
Write an editorial calendar
Think carefully about your email content. Getting the design, written content, subject line or frequency of emails wrong can cost you valuable engagement and potential conversions.
Draw up an editorial calendar with relevant dates, events or industry/seasonal trends that you can create engaging content around. If you’re a running store you might want to push winter running gear around the London Marathon ballot results in October, for example.
A healthy mix of sales, news, blog and social media content should be included, so as not to bombard customers with offer after offer. Keep it brief – you don’t have to include whole blog posts – brief snippets and clear calls to action to ‘Buy Now’, ‘Read More’ or ‘Find Out More’ will drive users to your website for more.
Nail the subject line
Perhaps the most important element of all in your email marketing strategy – if your subject line doesn’t grab attention your email won’t even get opened. With so many of us now reading emails on mobile devices and a flurry of brands competing for attention daily you’ve got just a few precious seconds to stand out from the crowd.
Keep your subject line short, simple and relevant. Avoid capitalisation, over punctuation and think about what would make you want to open the email as a customer.
Use A/B testing to try variations in design, content and subject lines on proportions of your database to see which performs best. Most email providers offer this functionality.
Personalisation goes a long way. Recent experiments in personalisation and audience segmentation with Bozboz clients’ email campaigns have improved open and click through rates by 20% in just a few months.
Adding fields in your signup forms for customers to provide their birthdays and interests allow you to address people by name and personalise email content such as unique reference numbers and birthday discount codes.
Optimise for mobile
Most mail clients’ editable email templates are already mobile-friendly but if you’re building your own make sure it works across all devices. Nearly 70% of all email opens were carried out on a mobile device in Q3 2014, according to recent statistics.
If your customer has to pinch, zoom and scroll their way around your email they’ll probably lose interest.