Back in September, Americaneagle.com hosted a forum for our clients to help educate them on the different opportunities to grow their business online. During the forum, I gave a high-level presentation on email marketing and how it’s important as well as some tips to consider. To follow up, I’ve written a couple of blog posts on the same topic.
In this blog post I will discuss why you might choose to use email marketing and how to get started with it. Check back to our blog on Monday for Part 2, for information on creating email, sending email, measuring performance and information on how we can help with your email needs.
Why Email Marketing?
Why even bother with email marketing especially with all these new innovative social media channels everyone’s talking about? Email marketing campaigns can be hugely important in driving revenue. Here’s a few statistics to demonstrate just how important it can be:
Email has an average ROI of $38 for each $1 spent. One in five companies report an ROI of 70:1
- 74% of consumers prefer to receive commercial communications via email
- 66% of consumers have made a purchase online as a result of an email marketing message
- 138% more is spent by consumers who receive email offers than those who don’t
- 95% of online consumers use email, and 91% check email at least once a day
Sources: CampaignMonitor, Exact Target, Return Path, Salesforce
Maybe you’re new to email marketing, or maybe you need to get reacquainted. Either way, it’s important to have everything setup properly to be effective with your email marketing campaigns. This involves everything from the initial setup of your ESP (email service provider), having a sign up form, setting some goals, and acquiring readers.
- Choose a reputable email service provider (ESP) that fits your business needs:
- Ensure you’ll receive quality customer service support
- Look for excellent deliverability
- Find out if they provide any educational resources
- Find out pricing and payment terms (contracts)
- Take note of set up fees (if any)
- Verify toolset and functions available through the email system:
- Can you edit the HTML of your email templates if needed? Or how easily can you edit the HTML?
- Can you send automated emails?
- Are there reporting tools? Do they provide all the insights you need to track performance?
- Does it give you the ability to A/ B test?
- Are there limitations to the number of subscribers?
- Can you segment your list the way you want to?
When evaluating your integration needs, determine what you want to do in order to meet your business needs.
Do you want to:
- Sync your contacts?
- Send triggered emails?
- Merge your analytics?
Once you determine what you want to do, you can identify which tools need to speak to each other. Examples include but are not limited to:
- CRM tool
- CMS tool
- Sales tool
- Marketing tool
And always, always, always, tag your emails with campaign tags for Google Analytics!
Did your mother ever tell you, “Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean you should”? She was right. The same goes for email. There needs to be a purpose behind each email you send. So define your strategy and goals. What do you want to achieve through email marketing? While this may change over time, it’s important to consider the purpose of your emails and set goals that are both measureable and attainable.
- Define your strategic goals and KPIs:
- What do you want to accomplish with email marketing?
- How will you measure the success of your email marketing efforts?
- Is it realistic? Use Industry benchmarks to make sure it is! Sources such as KISSmetrics, HubSpot, and MailChimp can provide these through a quick Google search.
After you have set your goals, you’ll need to be sure you can achieve them:
- Determine tactics to achieve your goals:
- Will certain tactics be better for specific audience types?
- Understanding your ideal customers will help you determine the best way to connect and communicate.
Email Signup Forms
Once you have your initial setup figured out, you will need to have an audience to send your emails to. So let’s talk about standard email sign up forms.
- Quick Forms: these typically live in the header or footer of a website since they’re smaller. Quick forms are strictly to the point – the user simply submits their email address and possibly their name.
- Long Forms: Long forms will most likely have a dedicated page where the form resides. These are great if you need to capture more demographic information such as location, interests, company name, etc. This can really help with segmentation. However, this is something you can always present your subscribers after they have signed up. You can do this through a follow-up email or a double opt-in process.
- Pop-Up Boxes: Sometimes, a pop-up box that displays upon entering the site can be used to capture email addresses. And while you might cringe at the idea of using a pop up on your website, studies have shown this can actually work pretty well. Especially if you’re providing an incentive, like receiving 5% off your order, or a free white paper download if the user signs up.
Thank you for reading! I hope this gives you a good idea of what to consider when starting out with email. Check back on Monday for Part 2, including information on how to create your emails and measure performance.