Email marketing - a cost-effective classic of online marketing

01 Jul, 2021

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Email marketing has been around for a very long time, but it's still an unbeatable marketing channel. You can stay in touch with customers who have specifically permitted you to do so. Keep them updated about your products and services. You can also launch special promotions like coupon campaigns, ask satisfied customers for reviews and much more. Good email marketing is key to customer engagement and the best part is that it's relatively easy and most importantly, inexpensive! 


What is email marketing and why is it so essential? 

First of all, emails generate sales with relatively little effort and have a great impact on your potential customers' buying decisions. Also, email is still one of the most commonly used strategies by businesses. You can create automated contact with customers and use this medium as a form of acquisition. Your subscribers will keep you in mind if you occasionally let them know you're still around. An email is a great tool for engaging with customers and can help you to generate leads. If you're unsure and think email marketing is too intrusive and you're afraid of "scaring away" your customers, don't worry, if you send information they perceive as relevant, your emails are not spam. Furthermore, by sending out relevant updates and information regularly your customers will see the value of being a subscriber! That said, the rule is to err on the side of caution, when it comes to quantity!


What to keep in mind before you start and where to start? 


To begin with, you should try to think from your customer's perspective and imagine all the steps that they will go through when engaging with your company. This way, you have an overview and can create a map of the customers' journey. This is important to identify possible or even necessary interaction points. Find out where your customers potentially need help and offer it proactively, rather than waiting for them to contact you. It's much easier to interact with a customer who is contacted and offered help in advance than a customer who approaches you with a pre-existing problem! 

The most important thing is the first contact.  The first impression is crucial and can decide whether the subscriber stays with you or unsubscribes. So decide exactly what you want to communicate to your customer. Create the emails and test them. You can use e.g. A/B testing and then use the message that worked better.  Make sure you know how the email will be displayed. Do you know what devices your audience uses? Is your email well suited for mobile devices? Make sure your email is "good to go" for smartphones/tablets too! 


5 different emails you should send

  • Welcome emails: This is very important because the first impression will determine how you are seen by your customer! So, let them know what your product/ service is for and how it works. Also, you can thank them for being your customer.
  • Trigger emails or transactional emails: These emails are especially important because they are personalized and reach the customer at very specific points in their customer journey. For example, after a successful purchase, you can confirm it to the customer and inform them about other products that match their previous purchase. These emails should be sent by all means, but they should not be too frequent in order not to scare away the customers.
  • Newsletter:  Newsletters are a way to connect with your customers by providing them with quality content. Thus, the main purpose of a newsletter shouldn't be to sell, but to provide the customer with knowledge or entertainment, i.e. an idealistic value. In addition, of course, the newsletter offers the chance to increase traffic to your website. But newsletters can also be used to introduce new products, share special offers or discounts and encourage engagement from your customers.
  • Reengaging emails: Even if you put a lot of effort into your newsletter, it's unfortunately inevitable that up to a third of your subscribers will eventually unsubscribe. But you have a chance to reconnect with them: well-done engagement emails can be very effective! An email, in this case, could go something like this: "we miss you, do you want to come back?" or "let us know what we did wrong". Ask their opinion by sending them polls, questionnaires and of course you can also send promotion codes.
  • Emails after issue: If you notice that there are problems, you can write an apology email to your customer and even offer a small discount if necessary. This will help you to rebuild trust.

Things you need to remember when you create the emails. 



Now that it is clear which emails should be sent, you should also pay attention to the following points: 

Personalization: Always try to make your emails as personal as possible and of course, adapted to your customers! People like to feel seen and recognized. 

Subject line: The subject line is the very first thing readers see and they use it to judge your email! So, the subject line of the email may be the most important part of your mail. Keep the subject line short, don’t use too many keywords or punctuation marks. Try to create a sense of urgency or a spark of curiosity. Your subject lines could contain words like: low-stock, limited time offer, special offer, special discount. 

CTA: Call to actions is a way to optimize your emails. They should lead to a relevant destination. Make sure they stand out from the rest of your email content! 

Images: Building in pictures can make the email appear more interesting and strengthens your message. They can also boost engagement and click-through rate. But make sure they also work for mobile devices!  

Monitor your campaign: It is important to stay up to date with how your emails are performing. You need to keep an eye on your opening, most campaigns have an opening rate of around 24%. Check your click-through rate as well, most campaigns average at around 4%. Also, check your Conversion rate, this will show you how many people clicked on a link from your email. 


When and how often should I send emails? 


Before you start, you should make sure that you adjust the email schedule to your target audience rather than sending emails at random times. The best time to send emails depends a lot on your target audience. Remember that your audience already receives a lot of emails and you want to be sure that your email doesn't get lost in all the mix. Depending on your product or target audience, it might not make sense to send an email in the middle of the night or on a Sunday morning. According to different studies, the best days to send emails are Tuesdays and Thursdays. The best time of day when your subscribers have regular working hours would be at 8 am, 1 pm at noon and 5 pm, as these are the times when email open rates are highest. If your audience does not work regular office hours, you need to get to know your audience and adapt the sending times to them. 

But how often should you get in touch with your audience? 

Take into account that customers are most engaged in the first few days, their interest can be seen as a curve that drops steeply quite quickly! 

Generally, people tend to lose interest in things that require action within a few days. If people don’t become active within these few days, they are highly unlikely to do so in the future. Therefore, it is important to use these first days in which the interest is still high! 

Keeping this in mind, it makes the most sense to contact a customer more frequently during the first 3- 4 days of subscribing. Even daily emails are not a problem at this stage!


Use a email marketing tool

If you're wondering how to send such a large number of emails, the answer is easy. You need to resort to a tool. There are numerous free and paid email marketing tools. Depending on your needs, you should check whether a free platform is too limiting in what it allows you to do (e.g. you can only send a certain number of emails). 


But what exactly do these platforms do for you? All these tools have a similar structure, as they are all about sending emails to customers. So you can use them to create sign-up forms for your website, set up automatic emails and most importantly, do A/B testing with your emails. You will usually get detailed reports that help you monitor the performance of your email campaigns, such as open and click-through rates. Some platforms have a particularly user-friendly editor for designing emails, while others offer intelligent templates. Depending on your needs and your customer base, you will have to decide which one is right for you. Many of these platforms can naturally be connected to your CMS. 

For example, Shopify Email is built directly into Shopify's eCommerce platform. The tool allows you to send up to 2500 emails per month for free. It is also incredibly easy to use and perfect to get started with as an SMB. With Shopify Email you have everything you need presented to you simply and easy to find right in your Dashboard. Just go to Campaign, edit the subject, the recipients and enter your content. You can even upload images if you like! You also immediately get a preview of how your campaign will look on desktop and mobile devices and can get started with reaching your customers right away!

If you want to learn more about online marketing or need support with your online marketing, you can also use our rankingCoach application. It provides you with the most important aspects of online marketing on one single platform.

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