I use WhatsApp or Hike to communicate on a regular basis with my friends. But when it comes to interacting with my colleagues I might extend it to Slack and Skype to make it sound a bit more professional. Although we communicate in the same manner, we choose different tools for different purposes.
Now, when it’s time to communicate with our clients, do we use WhatsApp or slack? – “NO”
We communicate through emails, professional written and sent with a clear agenda.
….That’s been the standard so far!
statistics on the reach of Email Marketing
The total number of worldwide email accounts is expected to increase to over 4.3 billion accounts by year-end 2016. – Radicati Group
Employees spend 13 of their working hours each week in their email inbox (on average). – McKinsey & Company
92% of online adults use email, with 61% using it on an average day. – Pew Research
90% of email gets delivered to the intended recipient’s inbox, whereas only 2% of your Facebook fans see your posts in their News Feed. – Forrester Research
That is the penetration of Email communication.
How to Get Started?
Even though Email Marketing is an easy task, most people don’t know how to do it right.
So, in the interest of furthering best practices and helping you succeed as a Marketer/Business owner, let’s get back to the basics and talk about how a great email campaign is built, from the ground up.
Step 1: Things to keep in mind
Email marketing demands you to behave and respect others privacy and rules. Although there are a ton of rules made by Internet Servers and Protocols there is a particular rule you should always follow and that is “Consumer/Customer’s preference”.
Step 2: The real battle
The secret of executing a successful email campaign is to build a great email list and the real battle starts here. You need to convert the people visiting your website into customers and to do that you need to provide powerful lead magnets to capture their Email addresses.
If you think about it, why should people give you their personal email address?
- Are you going to Spam them?
- Are you going to help them?
- Are you going to send them goodies?
- Are you going to sell their list?
All these questions will pop into your customers head and it’s your duty to communicate these details with them clearly.
- You need to describe the purpose
- You need to give them details on what you would be providing them
- How often would you be sending them emails
- Is it Paid/Free
…..and an option to Unsubscribe too
(Which we don’t want to happen. So stay clear on the agenda to avoid this)
Step 3: Choose the right partner
Now that you have established tripwires to collect email address on your website. It’s time to choose a good email service provider to send out welcome/intro emails.
You need to be careful when selecting an Email Service Provider(ESP). Selecting the right email provider can make the difference between winning and losing.
An ESP is a service that hosts email marketing services on their servers, which are specifically optimized for this purpose. While you control your email marketing account and send out emails using a Web browser interface, the ESP’s servers and Internet connections do the heavy lifting in the background. If you try to send mass email campaign through your regular Internet Service Provider (ISP), your campaign could be blocked or even result in getting your domain Blacklisted. Reason being regular ISPs are not set up for such activities. On the other hand, ESP’s are design & established to perform such monster tasks. They adhere to ISP rules and follow CAN-SPAM act to play safe.
While almost all reputable email service providers work very hard to make sure that your emails are not blocked by major ISP’s, they can’t control whether or not your emails hit the inbox or the spam box. Although double opt-in email address will give you a high possibility to deliver right to the inbox, getting whitelisted is the sure shot way to ensure that your emails will go as planned.
Essentially, getting whitelisted is equivalent to being marked as a friend, and the best way to achieve this is by being added to the prospect’s address book. We need to provide clear instructions to customers in the first intro/welcome email by asking them to mark your email address as “safe sender”.
Step 4: KEEP YOUR PROMISES
Your next step is to send your first email. In your first email, you set the expectations of the consumer. You need to explain on how you are planning to deliver the promises you made in the lead magnets and the time intervals.
For eg., If you have promised your consumer on daily updates on tech news. Delivering them once in a week will only lead to loosing your customer’s interest. If you have promised to give them a weekly newsletter comprising best trends of the week and bombard them with daily snippets you are stepping on a landmine.
The best way to keep your consumers happy is to deliver your promise at the right time.
It’s just the matter of living up to the expectations.
Step 5: POWER OF AUTOMATION
Everything seems great so far, but the key aspect of retaining your subscriber or converting them into your paying customer comes from being consistent and understanding their interest levels.
To achieve this, a simple email campaign will not do.
Your email campaign should be able to track and respond to your consumers interacting with your content.
This is when Email Marketing Automation comes into the picture.
With the help of Marketing automation, you can segment the email list into categories based on various factors. It could be a click to visit a particular page on your website , duration of stay on a web page, exit from a particular page, downloads and much more.
No matter what category you label them, they would fall under one of these stages.
In this stage, consumers would be introduced to the product/services that we offer for the first time.
In this stage, they are educated on the product/services
In this stage, the consumers would be looking around for similar products/services in the market
In this stage, the consumer would be negotiating on the extent of service, time period and price
Based on the stage, the consumer is sent relevant data to aid his pursuit.
For e.g., In the Discovery stage, we could send them an intro video explaining about the product/services and based on the Clicks Through Rates (CTR), we could promote the consumer to the Learning stage. In this stage, we could send a detailed article or a brilliant infographic explaining the benefits of the product/services. At this point, the customer is fully aware of our services and if interested he would be searching around for similar products to compare and evaluate. In this Evaluation stage, we could send our customer a series of interesting Case-studies explaining the gains and impact on their business. Now that we have filtered out customers to the final stage, we could wait for them to purchase/enroll or give them a slight push by sending them interesting deals or Combo offers to increase the Signups.