There are countless ways to put your business, service, or product in the spotlight. The world of digital marketing has grown exponentially over the past few years, and it has become a challenge to have your product or service stand out from the crowd. In our blog about social media marketing, we’ve told you all about choosing the right social media channel for your business. However, there’s another way of digital marketing that can greatly improve the visibility of your brand: Email marketing. Advertising your business via email and newsletters is a practice that dates back further than the currently popular trend of social media marketing, but still has the advantage of reaching the right audience and retaining them for the long term. Although email marketing has been around for a while now, strategies have changed and been optimized along the way. Here are 5 ways to lift your email marketing strategy to the next level.
Why use email marketing in 2020?
Email marketing is still very relevant, especially if you look at all the benefits of it. With a proper email marketing strategy, you can build closer relationships with your audience and stimulate engagement with your content, products, and services. Regular email content keeps your prospects interested and informed which helps you retain your audience for the long term. While social media marketing can be very effective, it is mostly meant for grabbing the initial attention of your followers, rather than retaining them for a longer period of time.
Email marketing is also a very efficient way to personalize the content you share with your followers. Posts on social media are often aimed at a general audience, while with email marketing, your followers can specify their interests and you can personalize the content they receive. While personally calling every single individual follower is close to impossible, email marketing, especially when automated, can bridge that gap. Email marketing software like Mailchimp and Constant Contact are specifically designed to allow businesses to create their fully personalized and branded content, unlike social media posts which are restricted by the guidelines of the designated social media channel.
Optimize your email marketing strategy in 2020
Because proven email marketing strategies change with the times and with new technological innovations, it’s essential that your strategies are changing as well. Whether you already use email marketing for promoting your business, products, or services, or you’re interested in starting a new campaign via email, here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind when you start your new journey with email marketing.
1. Define your audience segments
Like any other product, service, or type of content you share with your followers, it is of great importance that you know exactly for whom you are creating the content. As noted above, email marketing is a great way to offer personalized content to individual followers or specific segments of your audience. By diving into your target audience and their interests, passions, likes, and dislikes, you can base the contents of your email newsletters on these specific elements.
One way to categorize your audience is by creating customer personas, which represent a specific individual, or a bigger customer segment within your target audience. You dive into the characteristics of this persona, which allows you to create different types of content for different customer segments. This way, your audience receives the content that is perfectly tailored to their interests. You can make use of online tools such as Google Analytics in order to determine what functionalities of your application or product your users are using more, and tailor the contents of your email campaigns to these statistics.
2. Create unique ways for your audience to subscribe
Of course, you need your readers to subscribe to your newsletter before you can send them interesting and personalized content. First of all, your audience needs to be aware of the existence of your newsletters. You can raise awareness via your social media channels or implement newsletter subscription Call To Actions (CTAs) in your blogs, web content, or app.
Unfortunately, email newsletters tend to have a negative reputation, likely because of all the spam and chain emails that continuously assault our mailboxes day in, day out. Step one, therefore, is to convince your audience of the fact that your newsletter is interesting to read and will add value to their inbox. You can do this by making use of a loyalty & reward program, with which you offer your subscribers a reward in exchange for their subscription to your newsletter. Keep in mind that growing an audience for your newsletter can be slow and tedious, contrary to gathering readers through social media. However, every loyal subscriber to your newsletter is a step closer to a possible long-term prospect.
3. Automation is key
Business process automation is unavoidable nowadays. More and more businesses are steering their company towards a digital transformation, and automation is an indispensable part of this change. Not only does automating your emails saves you or your email marketeer a lot of time and effort, it also makes sure that your audience receives their content in a consistent way, on recurring dates and times. There are many online (and free) tools available for the automation of your recurring newsletters. The only thing you have to do is prepare the content, and the tool does the rest.
4. Use interactive content and a responsive design
We love to be entertained, and one way to achieve this is by offering interactive content. In our blog about interactivity and gamification we told you how types of interactive content can greatly stimulate user engagement. Not only is it a fun way to stand out from the crowd of email newsletters, it also motivates your readers to interact with your content and stay tuned for future newsletters. Examples of interactive content to make your emails more engaging are surveys and polls, video content, clickable infographics, product/service price calculators, small games and quizzes, or even competitions with rewards.
In order to make sure your interactive content works on all types of screens and devices, it’s essential that your email newsletter is created with a responsive design. A responsive design is made in such a way that the layout of your interface gets adjusted to different screen sizes, so it’s visible and usable on any type of device, from laptops to tablets to smartphones. A responsive design makes sure that you reach the broadest possible audience.
5. Allow user-generated content
Probably the most effective way to optimize the engagement of your readers is by allowing them to create content for your newsletter. This can be in the form of a Q&A, in which you directly answer questions sent in by your audience. You can also ask your readers to write short articles, reviews, or opinion pieces for your newsletter or highlight a specific customer success story. This way, you’re gaining content for your newsletter showcasing your successful work, while your customer gains some added (free) advertising for their product at the same time. It’s a win-win strategy that leaves both parties satisfied and engaged, and a great way to build personal relationships with your target audience and keep them interested for the long term.