For any business looking to build a presence online or even increase visibility, most think of social media, writing blog posts or optimizing their site for search engines. One opportunity many overlook in their online marketing mix is email marketing.
Before you say email marketing is dead, let me clue you in on something. Based on research from Junta42 and MarketingProfs, 61% of B2B marketers use email newsletters in their marketing mix.
With such a large amount of investment in email marketing, wouldn’t it make sense to use it effectively? Well, even if you invest in email, it doesn’t mean you’re doing it the right way.
To ensure you get on the right track, here’s some essential ingredients for a yummy recipe of email marketing stew:
Create a Plan
Let’s face it, if you’re not planning out your content, you really don’t know if it will work. Not to mention, you would have some issues with consistency and targeting the right readers to your content.Well, this goes for your email marketing too. Just like a blog calendar, put together an editorial calendar for your email marketing. Email newsletters, lead nurturing and lead generation email all need planning and a calendar goes great with your overall content strategy.
Keep Sign-Up Simple
Ever go to a site that wanted everything including the name of your first-born to sign-up for their email list? Well, maybe not your first-born, but you get the picture – keep sign-up simple. Just ask for their name and email address.
Offer Up a Cookie
Not everyone does it, but most really should – offer some kind of free “cookie” content in exchange for their email address. Simply put together a free report, video, podcast or free training and offer it to someone to get them to sign-up. I’ve written many training courses and reports for clients and they do make a big difference in conversion rates.I don’t have mine up on my site just yet, but it’s in the works and will be up very soon. Why not sign-up for my list to get it when it’s available?
Make Sure They See Your Opt-In
I see many sites that have a sign-up box at the bottom of their site or on just one page. To really make them take notice, place the opt-in box in places like the top of your sidebar, in it’s own visible landing page and at the bottom of your blog posts as a call to action.
Choose Effective Subject Lines
Just like a compelling headline of a blog post, the subject line needs an extra punch to it. Look to draw emotion, solve a problem or tell your reader how to do something within your subject line.
Make It Shareable
Sharing great content isn’t just for blog posts anymore. Look at adding some shareable elements in your email newsletters such as asking them to share it, provide links to share on social media and always create great content they want to share with colleagues and friends.
Make Readers Do Something
To have truly effective email marketing, you need the reader to do something – this is called the call-to-action. Some ways to do this would be adding social media contact info, invite readers to an event, look at your new product or add links to other content such as your blog.
Test Things Out
It would be pretty embarrassing to send out an email that had a major flaw that looked “funky” in certain email clients or made mobile users squint their eyes to read your message, right? Well, to ensure this doesn’t happen, try testing out your email, before you send it. This includes testing on different operating systems, email clients and even mobile devices.
No my friend, email marketing isn’t dead, but for those not practicing best practices, it might as well be. To create the optimal content marketing strategy, make sure to include email in your top ways to connect with clients and prospects.
How do you use email marketing in your marketing mix?
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