Small businesses experienced an average ROI of 122% with email marketing in the past couple of years, higher than any other marketing channel.
However, the competition for open rates and click-through rates (CTR) remains fierce.
At MGG Digital we bring a team with years of experience leveraging email marketing to increase conversions like newsletter subscriptions and eCommerce sales for our clients.
If you take away anything from this article, let be that a simple cookie-cutter approach is not enough to make a significant impact on your email campaigns.
That’s where we’ve learned that a white-glove approach makes a difference.
In this blog post, I’ll share:
- The common mistakes businesses make with email marketing
- 9 tactics to supercharge your email marketing strategy
- Why we recommend them
- Additional recommended best practices
But first, let’s dispel some far-too-common misconceptions about how to run a successful email marketing campaign.
What Everyone Gets Wrong About Email Marketing
Many businesses treat email marketing as a one-size-fits-all solution. They send out generic emails to their entire email list, hoping to grab the attention of a few potential customers.
However, this approach is more often ineffective than not. The reason is that your customers receive dozens, if not hundreds, of emails every day.
A strategy that’s being used repeatedly, by nearly everyone, defines what is generic.
Generic emails are far more likely to be ignored, lost, redirected to the trash bin, or worse.
The cause for this poorly-performing approach comes from businesses neglecting to focus on the customer’s needs and preferences.
Essentially, these emails make no genuine effort to solve a problem for the client or customer.
Instead, they treat email marketing as a way to promote their products or services without providing any real value to the customer.
Below we’ll cover a few common tactics to avoid, and why.
3 Approaches That Don’t Work
If you’re guilty of any of the following tactics, don’t feel bad. After all, you were probably under the impression that it was a proven and viable strategy. In some cases, these approaches can be tailored to work.
If you’re currently using any of these, you don’t have to scrap your entire strategy and start at the drawing board. Instead, think about how you use the information below to modify your current approach.
1. The Spray-and-Pray Approach
Like spam in your inbox? Neither do your customers. This is a good way to inspire them to unsubscribe. There are even laws in place to prevent this kind of thing in some industries.
The approach involves sending out generic emails to a large email list, hoping that a few people will respond positively.
The problem with this approach is that it lacks personalization and relevance, making it unlikely to generate any meaningful engagement.
2. The One-and-Done Approach
While sending a continuous flood of generic emails to your customers will almost certainly not produce the results you’re looking for, doing the polar opposite is not a good idea either.
The one-and-done approach refers to sending out a single email to a customer and then moving on to the next one.
The problem is that this approach fails to build (or even try to build) a relationship with the customer over time.
If you’re trying to start a conversation with someone and they didn’t hear you the first time, it doesn’t hurt to speak up and try again.
3. The Hard Sell Approach
Ultimately, you’re sending emails to prospects because you want them to buy and become customers.
Asking for the sale is a necessary step but, it requires proper timing.
It baffles me that so many companies, even marketing agencies, still use this approach (and wonder why it’s not converting) as a first point of contact with cold prospects.
The hard-sell approach involves bombarding customers with promotional emails and offers, hoping that they’ll make a purchase.
The problem with this approach is that it can quickly become annoying and lead to high unsubscribe rates.
What to Do Instead & Why It Works Better
At MGG Digital, we offer our clients a more tailored approach to email marketing.
We believe in a white-glove mindset that hyper-focuses on our clients’ needs and preferences, rather than our own.
The reason it works better is that there are so many variables and minute factors involved that every email campaign is unique.
We simply account for these extenuating factors and then employ them intelligently.
To better illustrate how that’s done, we’ll go through a number of best practices below and how you can use them strategically in your own campaign.
9 Key Tactics to Supercharge Your Email Campaign
1. List Segmentation
List segmentation is one of the most tried, true, and nuanced best practices commonly used in B2B and B2C email nurture campaigns.
It entails dividing your email list into different segments based on audience factors like:
- Demographic data
- Purchase history
- Any other relevant factors
At MGG Digital, in addition to demographic data and purchase history, we like to segment our lists based on customer behavior, such as website visits or email opens.
This approach allows you to send targeted emails to customers who have shown specific interests or behaviors, leading to much higher engagement rates.
2. Subject Lines
In terms of best practices, it’s recommended to use attention-grabbing subject lines that are both concise and relevant to the email’s content.
We like to go a step further and personalize subject lines by incorporating the customer’s name or other relevant information.
We also encourage our clients to share their past subject lines to use as data for A/B testing. Analyzing and then testing out new subject lines allows you to see what’s resonating with different segments of your email list.
3. Relevant Valuable Email Content
Providing valuable content that is relevant to the customer’s interests and needs is paramount for any nurture campaign.
If you’re not regularly providing value to your customers then how can they regard your brand as one that has their individual pain points and business goals in mind?
We use a customer-centric approach that focuses on providing value to the customer, rather than promoting our products or services.
That means it’s normal for us to focus on optimizing metrics such as open rates, response rate, and CTR as opposed to signups or form submissions.
Strategies for creating value-based content include:
- Sharing helpful resources
- Offering exclusive discounts
- Providing behavior-based personalized recommendations
While it might seem counterintuitive at first, we find that it works to form the missing connection needed to drive more sales-focused conversion metrics.
4. Consistency – Frequency & Tone
Consistency in the frequency and tone of your emails helps to establish trust and build relationships with your subscribers. I
t’s important to set proper expectations for your subscribers and meet them consistently to avoid losing their interest or even having them mark your emails as spam.
At MGG Digital, we find that the key to frequency and tone is to work closely with you to develop a schedule.
Establishing the right tone means finding alignment with both your brand voice and what resonates with your subscriber base.
The key is to prioritize consistency by creating a content calendar and scheduling emails in advance to ensure that they are sent out on a consistent basis.
By doing this you establish a cadence with your audience and the ability to optimize that cadence in the future.
We also analyze engagement data to determine the optimal frequency for each client’s audience.
By customizing our approach to fit each client’s unique needs, we can establish a consistent frequency and tone that resonates with their audience, leading to higher engagement rates and better overall performance.
5. Clear CTAs
Clear calls-to-action (CTAs) are one of the most repeated marketing tactics out there yet, for some odd reason, are one of the most common issues.
To effectively guide your subscribers to take a desired action, you must specify what that is as clearly and simply as possible.
Common CTAs instruct customers to do the following:
- Making a purchase
- Download a whitepaper
- Clicking through to read more on your website
At MGG Digital, we work with our clients to create compelling CTAs that successfully align with their email content and drive the desired action.
We also strategically place the CTA throughout the email to ensure that it’s easily visible and accessible to the subscriber.
By customizing our approach to fit each client’s unique needs, we can create CTAs that are more relevant and effective, leading to higher click-through rates and conversions.
Once we’ve got a winning CTA that effectively conveys a value proposition and compels a desired action, we adapt it throughout the content.
6. Mobile Optimization
With mobile devices accounting for over half of all email opens, it’s crucial to ensure that your emails are optimized for mobile viewing. This includes using responsive design, larger font sizes, and clear formatting.
For that reason, we at MGG Digital design all of our emails with a mobile-first mindset, ensuring that they look great on any device.
We use responsive design and test our emails across multiple devices and platforms to ensure that they are optimized for mobile viewing.
By prioritizing mobile optimization, you’ll reach more subscribers and provide a better user experience, leading to higher engagement rates and improved overall performance.
7. Analyzing Data
Analyzing email performance data is crucial for understanding what is and isn’t working in your email campaigns. This includes metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversions.
Ours is a data-driven approach that analyzes our clients’ email performance and makes data-backed decisions for future campaigns.
We track and analyze a wide range of metrics to gain insights into subscriber behavior and engagement.
By leveraging data to inform our decisions, you can continuously improve your email campaigns and achieve increased conversion rates over time.
Understanding subscriber behavior is key to creating personalized and effective email campaigns. This includes tracking actions such as email opens, clicks, and purchases.
As we mentioned above, MGG Digital uses behavior-based segmentation to create targeted and relevant email campaigns.
The practice of tracking subscriber actions and segmenting based on behavior is crucial for tailoring our messaging and offers to better meet your needs and interests.
By focusing on subscriber behavior, you’re certain to create more personalized and effective email campaigns.
9. A/B testing
A/B testing involves sending two versions of an email to a small segment of your email list to determine which version performs better.
Next, it involves sending the better-performing version to the rest of your list.
This optimization strategy allows you to test different elements of your email, such as subject lines, CTAs, content, and images, to see which ones resonate better with your audience.
At MGG Digital, we use A/B testing in our email campaigns to constantly optimize our email performance and endlessly improve your ROI.
To do that, we test different variables in particular, such as subject lines, email content, and CTAs to determine the best-performing version of an email.
Other Best Practices We Employ
While there are a number of email best practices you should consider employing, we wanted to focus on those in which we could offer some additional advice.
Below are two more that we consider to rank higher than others in importance.
Personalization & Timing
For personalization, we look specifically at how to use the recipient’s name, location, or past behavior strategically to improve two key metrics: engagement and CTR.
Additionally, sending your emails at the right time can significantly improve open and click-through rates.
It’s easier to first experiment with different send times to find the optimal time for your audience before A/B testing for personalization.
Email marketing is a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes to connect with their audience and drive revenue but you can’t follow a strategy blindly and hope for good results.
The key to running a campaign that converts is to explore your brand and how your customers want to interact with it.
At MGG Digital, we combine proven best practices with a white-glove approach to help you achieve whatever your email marketing goals are.
Thank you for reading our guide.
If you’re ready to discuss a strategy for launching a campaign and generating qualified leads, you can schedule a free consultation with us by clicking the button below.