Full inboxes; unopened emails. Maybe you’ve heard the whispers, but is email marketing really dead?
But it’s definitely getting more difficult…
What is email marketing?
Email marketing does what it says on the tin. It’s a very direct form of marketing, using email to promote a business’s products and services; it involves sending any number of things from product announcements, discounts, audience education, or other services to a pre-set list of recipients. Email marketing will always work as long as everybody owns an email address. There’s just one problem…
Most Americans see between 4,000 and 10,000 advertisements a day.
Email marketing isn’t dead, it’s more alive than ever; every business and their dog are doing it. These days, you’ve got a lot of clutter to cut through to make an impression. Done correctly, email marketing is still an essential marketing tool for any business. So, strap yourselves in; you’re about to witness a resurrection.
We’ve got absolutely everything you need to bring your email marketing campaigns back from the dead.
Why should I bother email marketing?
Judging by the length of this article, you’d expect email marketing to be hard work. Amongst the million other tasks you’ve got to do today, the thought of having to follow a set of rules to maybe hit a few more leads doesn’t sound very appealing. You probably want to focus your time on modern outreach channels like social media. But don’t give up on email marketing just yet.
- Email marketing is customer-centric.
There are no boundaries to email marketing. Your marketing team is free to get as creative as they want to either re-engage old customers or to butter up new ones. Freebies and discounts, product announcements, dog videos; everybody loves free stuff. If you’ve got a HTML wizard in your ranks, even better! As a business communication platform, email still rules supreme.
- Email marketing is convenient.
81% of users check emails on their smartphones. That means you can ping a notification straight to a recipient’s phone in less than a second. Even if they don’t read your email there and then, there must be some kind of subliminal advantage of having your company’s name read every time someone picks up their phone.
- Email marketing is easy.
In fact, it’s probably too easy; that’s why my inbox is full of old job recommendations, airline firesale coupons, and discounts for chicken and chips. Email marketing is especially easy because most of the process can be automated using modern technology. Mail merge, templates, and reporting can all be done in the click of a button… but we’ll get to that a little bit later.
- Email marketing is cheap.
After you’ve paid your internet bill, it’s always free to send an email. Still, even if you do install a CRM system for its bulk email features, subscription plans are very reasonable. For example, NetHunt lets users send an unlimited amount of email campaigns every day, even though Gmail is capped at 2000!
Who can I send my email marketing to?
You need a mailing list. Hopefully, all your existing customers are on one and ready to be reached out to. Going further, far from bashing your head against the keyboard and sticking “@gmail.com” at the end of whatever comes out, there are a lot of ways to develop a good reliable list of email addresses to market to.
For example, you can create a sign-up section on your website for people to opt-in if your content tickles their fancy, drive sign-ups through social media, or use a good, old-fashioned signup sheet in your brick and mortar store.
Alas, it’s important to stick to three golden rules as you look to build your mailing list.
- Don’t use third-party lists. Even if you do magically manage to find one with an audience relevant for your business, a lot of purchasable mailing lists have been illegally obtained and are illegally sold.
- Get permission. Don’t cut corners. You need to make sure that your recipients have understood that they will be emailed regularly as part of your marketing campaign. Without permission, you are spam.
- Include an unsubscribe link. This is similar to the second rule. Users don’t want to feel as if they are being fleeced or forced to do something. Besides, having users on your mailing list who don’t want to be there just means you’re lying to yourself.
How do I format email marketing?
You know how to write an email somewhere along the lines of subject line, opening line, body, closing line, CTA, and signature. I hope. If you don’t, you should check out our totally bodacious Sizzling-Hot Guide to Cold Emails ebook, where you’ll find everything you need to craft an email. When I talk about the format of your marketing email, I’m talking about whether it’s mobile friendly or not.
60% of people read emails using mobile clients.
Your recipients are on the move, and so you need to make sure your marketing email is suitable for mobile as well as computers. This means you need to use a one column template, make sure the width is up to 600px wide, write in a larger font size between 14px and 18px, and if you absolutely need to attach a picture, it should be done as an attachment. Avoid stacked links; my fat thumbs can’t click on the one I want.
Finally, always check your spelling, grammar, and send yourself a test email to see how it works across different devices.
Email marketing tips and tricks
The following list is made up of email marketing best practices to bear in mind whilst you’re knocking up your next email marketing campaign. As you try different techniques to find out which style of marketing works for you, you should conduct A/B testing of each of these variables to hone the efficiency of your campaigns.
1 - Segment your contacts
You don’t want to end up in the spam bin, AKA email marketer hell. Instead, you need to make sure that you segment your customers based on any number of variables and send each segmented group information that is relevant to them. For example, you can divide your customers based on where they are in their buyer journey, and design content that helps push them towards conversion. Personalisation is key in this customer-centric world.
Did you know? 🤔
The email term spam comes from a 1970s sketch from the BBC television series, Monty Python. The sketch, set in a cafe, sees a waitress reading a menu where each dish includes Spam canned luncheon meat. I’m sure it was funny at the time.
2 - Smash the subject line
The subject line is the shortest, most important part of your email. William Shakespeare could have written your marketing email for all I care, but if it doesn’t have a catchy subject line then nobody is going to read it. Keep it short, personalise it, and try and squeeze the word free in there somewhere. You’ll knock ‘em dead.
- Keep it short and sweet.
Subject lines with 6 – 10 words are 21% likely to be opened, but 21 – 25 worded subject lines are only 9% likely to be opened. [HubSpot]
- Add some urgency.
Subject lines that are urgent in the language they use are 22% more likely to be opened than ones that aren’t. [HubSpot]
- Say it with a smile.
Brands that use emojis in their subject line have a 56% higher open rate. [Experian]
3 - Add some urgency
You need to convey some urgency in your message. These days, everybody is busy enough to say ‘ah, I’ll just do it later’. Without being too pushy, you need to make sure that the language you use in your email marketing is persuasive enough to make a recipient act there and then.
Give your recipient some FOMO; a Fear Of Missing Out by using time-related vocabulary. Oh, and a cheeky exclamation mark makes things sound urgent as well. Not too many though!
Price is going up
Once in a lifetime
One day only
Now or never
4 - Tell a story
Clever marketers use storytelling as a way of building empathy, opening their customers up for more insight, and accessing their customers’ emotions to develop a hyper-personalised customer experience. Humans like stories, it’s as simple as that. Consumers tend to respond well to Aristotle’s familiar plots pf plot, character, theme, melody, and decor.
“The Happy Client” is the easiest, most effective kind of story to tell. Testimonials are a great way of providing real-life customer reviews in an open, accessible way. Do not make something up. If you’re stuck for inspiration, head over to the NetHunt Customer Success page and read one of our stories.
5 - Personalise your message
Simple. If you know their name, insert it where it feels natural. Selfishly, our names are the most important words to us as humans; we are wired to sit up and notice when somebody says it. Going beyond that, if you know that a recipient or their company has achieved something notable recently, congratulate them. Any kind of personal information you can leverage with a recipient is a good thing, just don’t be a creep!
6 - Give them somewhere to land
A solid CTA gives a recipient a way out of an email, opening up any dead ends. Before you’ve written your email, you should decide what goal it wants to achieve and the very final line of your email should push the recipient towards that goal. Here are some examples.
Welcome email: Join the NetHunt User Community on Facebook and say hello!
Promotional email: Sign up for 20% off!
Content email: Head over to our blog to see what all the fuss is about!
Cart abandonment: Sign in and finish your purchase!
Competition: Put your name down here!
You always need to link your recipient to somewhere else. The homepage or blog of your website are good, but if you were a real email marketing pro then you’d have a dedicated landing page for each separate email campaign you send out. Dedicated landing pages show relevance, professionalism, brand unity, and prevent customers from getting lost on your homepage.
What kinds of email marketing can I send? [+ email marketing templates]
The type of marketing email you send depends on your goals as a business and the brand story you are trying to tell. So, i’ve had a look through my inbox and looked at the five most common email marketing emails I came across, matched them with a template, and stuck them below for you to enjoy. Knock yourself out.
Welcome emails are 42% more likely to be opened by a recipient than a regular, promotional email. That means you need to get it spot on, making sure that your emails get opened in the future. Help your recipient to feel like part of the family and offer value straight off the bat.
Subject: Welcome to the NetHunt Club.
You’ve just signed up for a 14-day free NetHunt CRM [Professional Plus] trial… great choice! You might notice over the next two weeks that we really like to help. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of the next steps you should take to get up and running with your shiny, new CRM system.
1. Install the NetHunt CRM extension from the Chrome Webstore.
2. Import all your data. Don’t worry, it’s easy [find out how, here!].
3. Invite your team to join the workspace.
4. Schedule a free onboarding session with our lovely Customer Success Team.
5. Join the NetHunt User Community on Facebook and say hello!
If that’s not enough NetHunt action for you, you should check out our YouTube channel. We’ve got loads of useful hints, tricks, and tutorials to help your business grow.
Oh, and if you need some live help -- call us! Our Customer Success Team is ready and waiting.
Thanks for choosing NetHunt; let’s get growing.
I speak, perhaps unprofessionally, as a consumer on this one, but give us more free stuff. Everybody loves free stuff, and a good offer or discount can be a timely reminder about just how generous your business is.
Subject: Here’s a free month, because we love you…
Just a quick one front the NetHunt team.
Times are tough for small business, we get it. That’s why for the month of January, we’re running an offer for a free month’s worth of NetHunt Professional subscription to our existing customers. Hit the link below to get it. No strings attached.
That’s all we wanted to say.
We’re all about red-hot content. Make sure you talk the talk when you’re walking the walk. Give your content the spotlight it deserves in an inbox and highlight all that lovely value you’ve got for your recipient. A how to guide, newsletters, and industry news are all winners in content email marketing.
Subject: You’re invited! Free webinar on Google Data Studio for business reporting
We’re excited to invite you to our live webinar ‘Report, Action, Profit: Take Back Business Control with Google Data Studio’!
The event will be hosted by our CEO, Andrei Petrik, on July 28, 2020 6PM GMT. You'll get to know how to transform your raw sales and marketing performance data into live dashboards and make in-depth pipeline data analysis in NetHunt.
Competitions work two ways. You can set a form up on your website for users to sign up and harvest that data to build your mailing list. For existing users, they can be a fantastic re-engagement tool and a chance for sharing in some circles.
Subject: Free! Win some lovely goodies
We feel like celebrating our fifth birthday, so we’re going to do a bit of a special giveaway. If you want to be in with a chance of winning a free year of subscription to NetHunt Professional, all you need to do is upload a picture of yourself in the office to Instagram with the hashtag #ILoveNetHunt. Don’t forget to tag us, too!
We’ll choose the best one at 5pm, Wednesday 15th March.
Apparently, every year, $4.6bn of e-commerce products are given up on when they’re already in the cart (Source: Business Insider). Shopping cart abandonment emails are a free hit; 45% of them are opened. Gently remind a recipient that yes, you are still about and they should finish what they started.
Subject: Come back, Jerry! We miss you
We saw that you didn’t finish your purchase.
Was it something we said? If it’s nothing more than a simple slip of the mind, you can go and finish up what you started [here]. If it was something we said, we can be better!
Leave us some feedback, [here], and we promise we’ll be in touch.
All our love, NetHunt.
Which email marketing automation tools are available?
There’s a lot to bear in mind when you’re formulating a cold email campaign. Thankfully, with us living in the future and all, we can employ technology to do the dirty work for us. Modern CRM systems that live inside Gmail can help us leverage all our lovely customer data alongside our email campaigns. We don’t want to brag, but we’ve really souped up NetHunt’s email campaign features recently, making the whole process as easy and frictionless as possible to give you the best return possible.
Email marketing automation made easy within a fully-fledged CRM.
- CRM designed specifically for Gmail;
- Mobile app;
- Mail merge;
- Pre-set template creation;
- Automatic recipient field fill;
- Duplicates, errors, and broken macros automatically corrected;
- HTML template support;
- Simplicity in building a recipient list;
- Personalized bulk emails using customers’ data;
- Sending options: schedule, alias, unlimited;
- Email open and click-through reports;
- Native and Zapier integrations.
How much is NetHunt CRM?
Professional: $24 per month
Enterprise: $48 per month
Sign up for your free trial, here!
Meanwhile, dedicated email marketing software provides the specific tools to really make your email campaigns pop, as well as extra features to help you build a solid list of subscribers.
An email marketing automation platform.
- In-house email editor;
- Over 130 adaptive templates;
- Subscription forms;
- Automated notifications, sending, and SMS flows;
- Email reporting opens and click-throughs;
- User access levels;
- Mobile app;
- AMP campaigns.
How much is SendPulse?
Professional: $40 per month
Email marketing software for small business.
- Automated email flows;
- Segment-specific sends;
- Schedule send;
- Automated social media and email sharing;
- 500+ ready templates;
- Over 1000 stock images to choose from;
- Built-in mobile preview of emails;
- Track the effectiveness of campaigns.
How much is GetResponse?
Email: $15 per month;
Pro: $40 per month;
Max: $165 per month;
Enterprise: $1,199 per month.
Phew. That was absolutely everything you need to know about email marketing.
See you in my inbox.