Email is thriving thanks in large part to the channel's familiarity, flexibility, and universality. A whole new generation of mobile smartphone and tablet users are also driving anywhere, anytime email usage. Listed below are what we believe to be the top 10 tips for a powerful email marketing strategy.
Build an acquisition strategy
If you've prioritized audience growth, begin by analyzing the places where customers are already engaging with your brand. Then, determine how to enhance those experiences and drive interactive engagement with new tools and techniques.
Optimizing for mobile is extremely important
For brands that do not optimize email for mobile, the penalty is stiff. Offer an elegant mobile experience from the get-go, beginning with your initial welcome email.
Your data should always be relevant
Assess your current data to make sure you're sending targeted communications, not “batch and blast” messages. Using simple data points like gender and location can dramatically improve the subscriber experience.
Personalize email whenever possible
Your subscribers will appreciate your messages even more if they're personalized. Adding personalized product recommendations into marketing emails can increase sales conversion rates by 15-25%, and click-through rates by 25-35%.
Email drives accessibility across channels
The ability to easily archive and access messages at a later time influences consumer channel preferences. Email remains a powerful channel for its ability to bridge the three-device environment of smartphone, tablet, and PC.
Thanks to the good work of author and marketing guru Seth Godin, the email channel is permanently linked with the concept of "permission marketing"—namely, that brands should first seek permission before sending customers email marketing messages. Equally important, the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003—a law that set the standards for commercial email usage—dictates that it must be easy for subscribers to opt out of receiving emails, and those opt-out requests must be honored in a timely fashion.
Email drives deals
If you're not making deals available via email, you're ignoring the largest direct audience for this content. According to The Audience Growth Survey, 91% of survey respondents reported being involved with email marketing on a regular basis—because it's a channel that drives results for their businesses.
Sharing isn't just for social networks
If your brand is emphasizing only that consumers share via social networks, you're reaching just the tip of the iceberg. Private communications are extremely valuable to brands, as a friend's thoughtful personal endorsement will often realize a better response than one broadcast to thousands.
Did they abandon before they bought?
Tailor the frequency and number of abandoned cart emails to the purchase at hand, and that item's typical purchase window. Pay attention to your industry's typical sales cycle, and send abandoned cart emails accordingly.
Automate your post-purchase messages
Automate a re-engagement campaign for a week, a month, and 90 days post-purchase. Determine the point when subscribers typically purchase from your brand again (or disengage), and start from there to further personalize the send dates.
Email, in combination with a strong website and customer experience, forms a stable foundation for digital marketing. Email's ability to deliver targeted and exclusive content continues to make it a sound investment of your brand's marketing time and money to reach your customers where they anticipate hearing from you most.