Like any promotional channel that reaches a certain level of maturity, email marketing is often subject to the bad practices that wrongly give it a bad name. The fact is, for many companies, a smartly strategized and executed email marketing program is still the most productive channel to drive website visits, heighten engagement and increase conversion rates.
Whether your company is going it alone, or with an experienced digital marketing firm at your side, the key is to tap into email’s exceptional ability to communicate directly with defined market segments. This is accomplished through the continual optimization of content to create relevant messages that inspire both inquiry and action.
Map out a segmentation strategy.
While any marketing process involves some on-the-fly adjustments and fine-tuning, you want to be more proactive than reactive. Segment your customer/prospect database into subgroups with common issues/goals that are based around specific personas, company types, similar needs assessments and/or stages in their decision journey. Then map out an editorial calendar to disseminate relevant content in a logical and timely way.
Think about bettering vs. blasting.
Effective marketers today are moving away from the lock-and-load mindset of blasting singular messages to their entire list. Take a more measured approach to communicating with the audience segments you’ve outlined — starting out with just one or several segments to begin the engagement process. This enables you to focus on providing content and offers of real value to a specific segments, while guarding against the inbox overload that can cause people to unsubscribe.
Add variety with non-promotional content.
Do certain segments of your audience share common interests that are directly or tangentially related to your business or cause? Don’t hesitate to break things up by integrating content that is purely informational. For example, for a segment of followers who work with information systems, you might share a link to an intriguing article about a recent advance in AI.
Test multiple formats and approaches.
More than ever, it’s important to test your emails to maximize response and conversion rates. Try an A/B test with two versions of the same email, using a different subject line or headline for each. See if a succinct and highly visual email generates more clickthroughs as compared with a longer text-heavy message.
The art and science of optimizing your content is an intensive and ongoing task. But one that is well worth the effort for email marketers in search of high response rates and ROI.