E-mail marketing. How to prepare an effective campaign?

main_email_marketing If today almost every internet user has at least one active e-mail address, preparing an effective e-mail marketing campaign shouldn’t be too much of a problem, right? Unfortunately, this only proves the potential of this channel, and where the potential is large, there are plenty of people willing to use it and its effectiveness must be fought. With around 269 billion emails sent each day, the competition for and distracted audience attention is enormous, but the game is worth the candle. According to a study by McKinsey & Company, e-mail marketing is still up to 40 times more effective than social media because it prompts customers to make a purchase decision faster.

What is an e-mail marketing campaign?

An e-mail marketing campaign is nothing more than a message sent to a specific group of recipients whom we want to encourage to undertake a given activity. It can be subscribing to a newsletter, visiting a sales website, downloading an e-book or making a purchase.

When is the campaign effective? Of course, when the recipients behave exactly as we want them to, i.e. sign up for the newsletter, visit our sales page, download an e-book or buy something.

E-mail marketing is an ideal tool for building and maintaining relationships with customers, which translates into generating sales. For this to happen, however, you need to take care not only when preparing a catchy advertising creation. The battle for customer attention begins much, much earlier, and the preparatory activities include gathering the contact database and its segmentation. Only then you can proceed to the preparation of the creation, which should be as closely matched as possible to the expectations of specific recipients. But first, you have to get to know them.

How to conduct effective e-mail marketing activities?

Successful email marketing campaigns start with a contact database, which should be composed of the email addresses of those customers who are interested in what you have to offer. So it’s best to create your own because although campaigns are still often outsourced, their effectiveness is usually much lower.

Own database of addresses gives many more opportunities that have a chance to translate into sales. It consists of addresses of people who are interested in what you have to say, and thus – can buy what you sell. But how to build your own base? The ideal way is to encourage users to subscribe to your newsletter. They must know that they have the opportunity but also see a clear reason for it. To do that, you can offer them a discount on their first or second purchases or free shipping. This process, although tedious and demanding, will certainly pay off, because – thanks to the analysis of the behaviour of our own users – we can personalize the content sent to increase their effectiveness.

A recent Forbes Insights and Arm Treasure Data survey of 200 marketing leaders found that where personalization is applied strongly, businesses are performing positively.

According to Forbes 40 per cent of surveyed executives say their customer personalization efforts had a direct impact on maximizing sales, cart size and profits in e-commerce.

Users who have decided to leave you their e-mail may, however, withdraw their consent to receive your content at any time, which is guaranteed by the provisions. So it’s worth making sure that they don’t want to do it by providing them with useful materials.

In e-commerce, however, it is not that difficult again, because you can create and send personalized content based on, for example, data showing the most visited product categories, a wish list, or create special offers (eg Back to school or the beginning of holidays). The pretext is not that important anyway, the point is to offer the user something that may interest him because even if he does not purchase at the moment, he will not consider the e-mail as littering the inbox.

How to segment the recipient base and personalize the message?

In each sufficiently wide customer base, several characteristic subgroups can be distinguished, which are used to be called segments. The following segments are the most basic:
  • potential customer,
  • new customer,
  • current customer,
  • inactive client.
By using this division, we can tailor the message to each of these groups to effectively encourage users to take up an activity. However, this is just the beginning.

We can create subsequent segments individually based on data that our users provide us directly or indirectly. To collect as many of them as possible, you can ask for them, e.g. in the form of a survey, but it is also necessary to constantly monitor your behaviour, e.g. using Google Analytics. You can divide your customers by demographics, behaviour, location, etc. It all depends on what products and services you sell.

A properly divided database will allow you to precisely match messages to its needs. The advertising creation itself should also give the client a feeling of exceptional treatment. The content that reaches users should not be overwhelming with either the amount of text or the number but should be visual, legible and understandable.

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Particular attention should be paid to the topics of the news. They should encourage openness, which creates a temptation to create them in a tabloid fashion. Click-bait style, however, should absolutely be avoided. “Fraudulent” headlines, even if they provide a large open rate (the total number of users who opened the message), will not translate into an increase in sales, and ultimately that’s what it is all about.

How to analyse the effectiveness of email marketing activities?

The click-through-rate (CTR) or open rate (OR) indicators should not be an end in themselves, as they cannot tell the truth about how our emails affect your business.

To properly evaluate the effectiveness of our e-mail marketing activities, you need to focus on sales data, and – to do this, you need to integrate the shipping platform with Google Analytics and – if we use it – with CRM. Linking sales data with data flowing from e-mail marketing platforms also allows you to better link the efforts of marketers with the actual business results of the organization.

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