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Customer Journey, Email Marketing

Key Email Marketing Practices for Today’s Customer-Driven Sales Journey

Emails are being used by marketers to communicate in almost every way imaginable: exclusive offers, customer support, order tracking, useful articles, apologies, warnings and customer service. The list is longer than the street I live on!

In a digital world where everything is public, email marketing moves the conversation about your business to a more personal environment — the inbox. How can you make the most out of it?

Map Out Your Plan: Road Trip!

Let’s begin with your marketing strategy. Where does email fit in?

With email being the most preferred messaging channel across all age groups, the fit should be relatively easy to discern.

A successful email campaign should do three things:

  1. Attract new customers
  2. Provide consistent and timely communication with those customers
  3. Help retain existing clientele

For every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return on investment is $44.25. It’s worth the fuss to create an effective marketing strategy to capitalize on this ROI. Every marketing strategy should include email, but the question is, How?

email-offers-1

First, think big! Assemble a team. You will not only utilize this plan for marketing, but incorporate the sales team for their input. R&D may be game, as well as IT.

Isaac Moche of HubSpot Academy emphasizes the importance of a team effort, otherwise the email strategy lives in a vacuum. This helps with messaging, which is addressed below. It’s a team effort and you shouldn’t leave anyone out.

Every Journey Begins With the First Step

It all begins with an email address. By having an email address, you have the key to the proverbial castle. It’s your responsibility to ensure the email is verified, permission-based, and respect the boundaries of the customer.

Here are some ways to build your list without waving red flags:

  1. Consider double opt-in at the time of sign-up as a way to keep your list cleaner
  2. Do NOT buy lists
  3. If you want to increase email sign-ups, try implementing a pop-up on your website to increase subscriptions

Emails are permission-based, so going slow and steady will help win the race.

Too Much of a Good Thing

Keeping a customer subscribed and engaged is a delicate balance.

While email providers may offer options for subscribers to adjust their email preferences (daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly), many do not use it. They actually would rather unsubscribe than adjust the settings most of the time.  

To avoid email fatigue, create a strategy that does not overwhelm your customer. Perhaps ebbing and flowing with emails may help with changing up the expectation. You may want to approach with a “Did you miss me?” campaign with hopes of a “You had me at hello” reaction.

email-return-on-investment-2016

 

If it sounds like a lot of work, it is. But according to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing yields an average 4,300% return on investment for businesses in the United States. It’s worth the attention to detail.

Guides Along Your Path

Stay authentic to your messaging. Along with authenticity is consistency. Is your branding, across all channels, conveying your company’s message?

Avoid the bait and hook and any deceptive terminology. This could be as simple as overstating or being overly dramatic (unless you are intending to be so to make a point or a joke – just make sure it fits with messaging and is TRULY funny if intended to be).

Brett Evans of Salesforce offers this advice, “Don’t lie in a prospecting email. Trying to capture attention with an RE: subject line is a great example, or pretending that you already have a relationship with the recipient. Violating trust will lose you more opportunities than gain you since trust is key to every sale.”

email conversion rates 2016

Email conversion rates are three times higher than social media, with a 17% higher value in the conversion. So stay on the straight and narrow and don’t cross the line into oncoming traffic.

To Pull the Trigger or Not?

Using triggered email campaigns might be a great way to reach your prospects with the right message at the right time.

Triggered email campaigns, which are based on a customer’s online behavior, preferences, and profile, can be utilized if it fits within your strategy.

According to yesmail.com, triggered campaigns:

  • are relevant because they respond to a specific action taken by the consumer
  • are timely because they immediately follow that action
  • show knowledge of each subscriber
  • demonstrate interest in their actions
  • invite interaction between the brand and the consumer

If you have the insight into your prospect’s online behavior, preferences, and profile, then it’s worth a shot.

User Experience: Test Drive

Email Marketing should help tie together all of your content marketing efforts. If you’ve created a new blog post, share it via email. If you’ve created a new infographic, share it via email, and so on.

Emails are used to introduce products to existing and potential customers, are receipts for items purchased, emails promote new items for sale, and emails are used to maintain a connection with a customer as a means of their user experience.

The long and winding road of today’s customer-driven sales journey may have some bumps along the way. Pay attention to the analytics and continue to improve. The numbers won’t lie. Stay creative, and enjoy the ride.

In the time it took to read about our road trip, you could have verified over 10,000 emails via NeverBounce. Click here to take a test drive: 

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About Brad Owen

Brad is the CEO and founder of NeverBounce. Formerly, Brad was the leader of an agency focused on entrepreneurs, and he had the unique opportunity to bring countless start-ups to market, from concept to year-over conversion optimization. Having spent the past decade creating online and offline disruptive mediums, Brad's wealth of experience now helps NeverBounce users reach more of their customers through email verification and validation.