PressPoint goes in-depth with ideas that will drag your email marketing into 2017, looking into the platforms you may want to consider as you progress further as well as winning email templates that will boost your current click-through rates.
Email marketing is dead, they said. No one likes to receive SPAM, others say. Whilst it’s true that few relish receiving unsolicited emails of no value, email marketing is just about the most effective form of marketing going.
Consider these statistics:
– “Automated email messages average 70.5% higher open rates and 152% higher click-through rates than ‘business as usual’ marketing messages” – Epsilon Email Institute
– “Email marketing has an ROI of 3800%” – DMA
– “The average order value of an email is at least three times higher than that of social media” – McKinsey
2017: the up-to-date dos and don’ts
The dos . . .
1. Create eBooks for each of your long-form blogs
Long-form blog articles are those that run for longer than 1000 words – they’re in-depth, useful and they provide value; they may also include plenty of media, such as images and videos (this blog right here is a long-form article – and if you arrived via Google, it’s clear that this approach really works).
Alongside valuable free content, the most effective way to grab emails is to offer the individual something in return – such as an eBook or guide that will help make your prospect’s life easier.
The most powerful and still overlooked way of making the most of an eBook is to create long form content that has a very specific eBook created for it to extend the readers’ knowledge (if you’ve kept their attention for 1500 words, why wouldn’t they want to know the next steps?).
2. Segment your audience
Segmenting your audience can boost your conversion rates as the messages you send can be based around the products that the receiver purchases, as well as their interests and concerns. Putting this into an example, say that you’re an equine wholesaler – your customer base primarily covers two core customers, equine stable owners and equine trainers.
While you could tempt a stable owner with a guide as to how they could double their revenue (with tips including minimising empty stable time and offering add-on services) this wouldn’t be suitable for trainers, who you could instead provide a guide for finding higher paying clients.
3. Have a pre-defined goal in mind prior to hitting the send button
If you lack a clear vision as to what your latest email is trying to achieve, then don’t expect your recipients to know what they should do either. Goals can help focus your content and sharpen your approach, and could include:
– The completion of a contact form
– Contacting you for more information
– The redemption of a coupon or purchase of an offer
– Partaking in a competition
It’s also ok to have multiple calls-to-action and links – but they should all ultimately serve your final goal.
The don’ts . . .
1. Don’t overlook mobile
Emails are opened via mobile 54% of the time, so it’s essential that your email template is responsive (e.g. it fits to suit whatever device it’s displayed on – whether on the traditional PC or on your customer’s smartphone). An email platform can help here – which we cover in a little while.
2. Don’t break SPAM laws
Let us stress again – you need to collect email addresses that are voluntarily provided to you (don’t ever be tempted to send emails without permission – asides from annoying your target market and tarnishing your brand, you may also ensure that your sender address gets blacklisted).
This also means that you should never ever buy lists – this cheap and dirty trick is exactly that, and will serve only to impact the deliverability of your emails, mark your reputation and downgrade your domain.
3. Don’t send your emails without testing first
How do your emails appear when your recipients view them? Is the design responsive so that it appears nicely on all devices? Are there any typos? Do the links all work? What about images? Over-zealous email programmes that wipe out images can make your once beautiful email rather ugly. Moral of the story? Proof read and test your email before unleashing it to the world (which any good email platform can help with – and helpfully this is what we move on to next…)
What’s your email platform?
In our last focus on email marketing, we avoided talking about email platforms as they could really demand an entire feature of their own. However, as you invest more time and money into your email marketing (and become more advanced at it) you’ll certainly benefit from choosing and using an email platform that’s right for your needs.
For those with no budget at all, MailChimp makes for an obvious choice – providing plenty of features and offering the service for free up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month.
If you have a slight budget to work with, Constant Contact may be one to consider, starting at £15 per month. It is user-friendly, provides insightful tracking and reporting, has ready-to-go social media features and offers exceptional support should you need any help. You can also try it out for free for an entire 60 days without committing financially (no credit-card required).
Is an investment in a marketing automation platform worthwhile?
The most sophisticated of email platforms extend their features to all forms of marketing (to automate things such as emails, blogging, social media and additional website actions) and build in certain CRM features; these are known as marketing automation platforms. The widely considered top five of which are: HubSpot, Eloqua, Pardot, Act-On, and Marketo, each of which are undoubtedly feature-rich, however for many the price tags that accompany them rule them outside of a marketing budget. To provide an example, HubSpot starts from £165 per month, while Act-On begins at $900 per month. Whether this is the case very much comes down to the amount of time you can save by using such a platform and how valuable the insight could be. Here’s an overview of the features to help you make up your mind.
Winning resources for superior email templates
Perfecting the key elements required for an email that converts is an absolute art form – and a challenge that can feel impossible for those who aren’t marketing experts. With this in mind, here we’ve sought out the best and most promising resources for free email templates. Many of these platforms will help you choose the right layout for your needs. You simply download the template and then upload it to whatever email platform you’re using.
Antwort keeps things simple – providing three templates that offer lots of room for your customisations – these templates are: one single-column, one two-column, and one three-column – each of which are mobile friendly.
For the desktop these will work in all mainstream email clients (such as Gmail, Yahoo!, Outlook, and AOL) while on mobile they’re also compatible for Mail on iOS and Email on Android.
Litmus provides a simple interface that helps you select a template as according to your goal – such as launching a product or managing accounts. All of these templates have been extensively tested to optimise them for readers who take action.
ZURB Ink can be considered a platform more suited to those who are a little more advanced with their design abilities and with plenty of creative vision – as can be seen from the newsletter template above.
This is less a template platform and more a pretty incredible resource – a collection of 45 free email templates that have been professionally designed. This collection spans newsletters, promotional messages, and personalised email responses. Each of the templates is mobile-friendly too. All you need to do to grab this collection is to leave your email.
Themeforest provides more than 500 email newsletter templates, and whilst this is the only addition to our list that costs money, it’s certainly worth considering as the difference in quality between these and freebie email templates is often very apparent.
Pricing: Between £5 and £25
Email marketing is capable of delivering impressive returns – however there’s no escaping the fact that it demands both time and on-going commitment. If you’d prefer to leave your email marketing to the experts, you may want to begin with our team. Contact PressPoint Countryside & Equestrian – call our experts on +44 (0)1953 851513 or email: [email protected]