Digital media marketing has taken over all other forms of advertisement worldwide and has usurped the throne of marketing. There are many channels that can be utilized in the digital marketing realm, but the essential one is email marketing. There are some secrets and little tips that go into devising effective email marketing campaigns, and their applications by Pakistani companies, which I will discuss in detail in this article.
Understanding the Importance of Email Marketing
With new forms of communication developing at the rate of lightning, email is thought to be dying out. What most people don’t know, however, is that email is a bigger channel than ever. There is a yearly increase in the number of email users, and 74 trillion emails are sent per year on average. It has also been found that 86% of people prefer email as a means of communicating for business purposes.
Contemporary Trends in Pakistan
In Pakistan, companies such as Careem, Uber, many clothing brands, and banks such as Meezan and Faysal Bank are the most prominent ones using email marketing methods. Email marketing has always had importance, but now, if you don’t have a good email marketing campaign in place, you need to figure one out immediately.
Let’s discuss the reasons why a business needs a strong email marketing campaign:
First things first, it’s easy on the pocket. When we compare email marketing with other traditional methods of marketing such as billboards, pamphlets or brochures, we see that it is much more cost-effective.
Careem shows us how effective email marketing can be with a simple example. When we pay at the end of our ride, we are emailed a receipt instead of being given a paper receipt. Not only is this much cheaper for the company, it’s also easier for their customers, ensuring their complete satisfaction. We can often also use these receipts to avail certain deals and discounts. Again, this is extremely convenient for the consumer; we can access the receipts on our phones instead of misplacing them like we do with most paper receipts.
Email reaches specific target audiences.
Now, because your email list normally comprises of subscribers or those who have given you their email address at some point, they are expecting you to send them emails. This way you aren’t wasting your time and resources sending emails to individuals who aren’t interested.
Email has a good return on investment.
Compared to other forms of digital media like social media platforms, for example, email is supposed to have the highest ROI. Since you own your email, you have control over what you send and when you send it. On the other hand, your social media account isn’t really yours. It can be taken down due to a variety of reasons resulting in you losing valuable customers.
Email results in increased sales.
Email can be used to directly communicate with your customers. Khaadi is one of many companies that uses email to increase sales by getting the message to consumers directly. They use social media to increase sales but also send emails to their customers, thus leading to an increase in viewership of their websites, as well as greater customer satisfaction.
Devising an Email Marketing Campaign
As we mentioned earlier, email is still considered a major marketing tool. So, when you get down to building your email marketing campaign, there are many services to choose from. I will just list a few of the thriving ones:
- Constant Contact
There are many other options available in the market, but these are a few of the best ones you can start with.
Steps to follow while devising an Email Marketing Campaign:
1. Build an Email List.
The first step you need to take is to build a healthy email list. Buying email lists or adding a personal email to your list after it’s been handed to you on a business card is not the preferred method to do this. Instead, you need to have email addresses of individuals who wish to receive emails from you, such as your subscribers or potential customers. 77% of people prefer to receive permission-based promotional emails. You can do this by offering a benefit to a person browsing your website in exchange for their email address. This can be in the form of a free e-book or access to a guide or a webinar, amongst many other options.
You can also build an opt-in form. This is basically a method whereby you are enticing the person viewing your website to submit their email address for receiving updates in the future. You can tell them the benefits of a particular product and service, and encourage them to give you their email address for further information regarding the topic. Building an opt-in form isn’t better than the first option, but it can still be effective. The location of your opt-in form is also important, so keep that in mind when designing your website.
2. Segment the Email List.
Once you’ve built your list, you need to segment it. This just means that you need to divide all those on your email list into categories, depending on their customer journey.
Your email list needs to be broken down into those who have just subscribed, those who purchased something for the first time, those who are steady customers and those who act as advocates for your brand on social media. For example, a customer who uses your brand frequently can be given special offers to further encourage them to make a purchase.
Other than that, you can also segment your list according to location so that you can inform people in a certain locality about an event in the area, for example. You can even ask your customers to tell you what their preferences are. For example, if you are a brand centring on sports equipment, you can ask your customers which sport they are more interested in and send them emails regarding those sports specifically instead of spamming them with general information.
While segmenting your emails is a way of personalizing, it is not the only way to do so. You can personalize your emails in other ways as well. You can send emails from a specific person’s id instead of a company email. It is also advisable to send emails on certain occasions such as the customers’ birthday or maybe on the day they made their first purchase. It is best to avoid no-reply emails as they are highly impersonal and most people will never read them. You also need to respond promptly to whatever queries your customers send your way; no one likes waiting to have their questions answered.
A good example of this is the company Kitabain. They are a local company facilitating the buying and selling of books. They email a seller once their book is sold, has been dispatched, and has been received. They also send relevant emails to the buyer. Again, this is extremely cost-effective as they aren’t sending paper receipts to the relevant seller or buyer but instead are emailing them their receipts, ensuring the same level of transparency. Whenever there are any problems, they reply to their emails from an account which bears a person’s name and not the company’s, making the customer feel like their problem is being heard by an actual individual.
Improving Your Email Open Rates
The one thing that you simply cannot ignore is ways to improve your email open rates. This plays a pivotal role in effective email marketing. Setting up a good email list and segmenting your list is important but you also need to get the attention of your subscribers and make sure they’re reading your emails. I will discuss this in detail and try to break it down so you can understand better:
Okay, so here is what you need to do. Start off by making sure your emails aren’t going to the spam folder. If your email is being marked as spam, you might as well not send it. There are certain words that you need to avoid while sending your emails such as ‘free’, ‘buy’, ‘order now,’ and many more. A comprehensive list is available on HubSpot; check it out before you begin writing your emails. You also need to add your address to your emails and send them from a reliable IP address. Your subject lines should not contain lies. You should also try and urge your subscribers to add you to their email address book, white-listing your emails in the process.
Get in Touch ASAP
Once you have a subscriber, you need to email them as soon as possible. Sending a welcome email results in an increase in revenue by 320%. Make sure you have automated workflows in place because if you don’t, you might lose out on some valuable additions to your customer base. Email potential consumers when your brand is on their mind and tell them more about yourself. Set expectations; tell them how many times you will be emailing them and why you will email them.
Figure out what days and what time of the day you should be emailing your customers. This depends on many things such as location, age, what you are selling, and so on, but you should try and determine this accurately to get the best results. Many companies have made it a habit to email their subscribers on Mondays and Thursdays. You can choose a different day but again, try and determine what works best for your particular target audience using analytical tools.
Have the Perfect Subject Line Every Single Time
Compelling subject lines are crucial for your email marketing campaign to succeed. Your subject line needs to be clear, concise and very interesting. Our inboxes are mostly cluttered as it is. If you’re trying to get someone’s attention, you need to work hard for it.
The subject line is what the reader will see first and what makes him or she open your email or ignore it. If it’s boring, the reader will simply skip it and move on to the next email. Try to create curiosity, urgency, and excitement. Also, use simple language and talk about something you know your customer understands and is intrigued by.
Another very important thing that I mentioned earlier was the importance of being honest in your subject line. If, for example, a subject line reads ‘Get a new lipstick today,’ but you aren’t giving away a free lipstick, then you can be sure the person you’ve emailed will never open your emails again.
Set Your Preview Text Smartly
After your subject line, your preview is what holds the most importance. Email service providers such as Gmail and Outlook will show the viewer the first few sentences of your email. If it is boring, your subscriber will just not open that email. In your preview text, you can mention what exactly your email is about, and give the reader some introductory information. Try to engage your customer, ensuring he or she is interested enough to open your email. Also, try to address the customer using their name instead of using a generic ‘Hi’ or ‘Dear Customer;’ no one wants to read emails beginning with those age-old openers, so try to be original.
Content is Key
Of course, the importance of content cannot be downplayed; the actual text of your email is vital. You should try to be concise; if you’re rambling, the reader will lose interest and move on. Try and pack as much information into the email as you can but in a comprehensive manner. Make your email witty and add images as well.
Design a Great Call-to-Action Button
You also need to focus on having an attractive call-to-action button. It should be big, preferably brightly coloured, and should also be placed somewhere the viewer can’t possibly miss it. Often, email readers will quickly skim through the email, skipping most of the content so you need to have a call-to-action button they can see easily.
Another thing you need to be careful about is how many people have blocked images by default. In such a case, your call-to-action button will not even be visible, thus wasting all your effort. What you can do to avoid this is to add alt text to your image; this will act as a call-to-action button, minus the colourful designing you may have added to the original button.
Don’t Forget to Link Social Media
You also need to add social media sharing buttons to your email. This will encourage the reader to share information regarding your product or brand and can lead to an increase in customers. A simple method by which you can do this is by adding ready-made tweets to your emails. These ready-made tweets are known as “lazy tweets,” and can be generated using ClickToTweet. This makes sharing your content even easier as the recipient has to make hardly any effort and will also appreciate how well your company facilitates even the smallest of actions.
According to Litmus, emails containing the call to action ‘Share with your network’ are 13 times more likely to be forwarded compared to those without. You need to encourage your subscribers to forward your emails. Most of them might not do it, but the ones who do will cause enough of an impact to increase lead generation.
Mobile-Friendly Content is Essential
The last thing you need to know for increased click-through rates is that you MUST optimize your content for mobile users. Today, around 56% of emails are opened on mobile devices.
With the never-ending boom in Smartphone usage, your email needs to be formatted in a way that it can easily be read by the viewer on their handheld device. The size needs to be adjusted and should be larger but not wider than 600 pixels. Your call-to-action button also needs to be big enough to make it easy for the recipient to tap it in the first attempt.
The following example is a nice demonstration:
Notice how the email from Spotify is much easier to read and how clear the call-to-action button is. Such an email is a lot more effective than one which is cluttered with too much information and designed poorly.
Automate Your Email Marketing
The last thing you need to do for a solid campaign is to automate your email marketing.
49% of businesses use some form of automation. The way you do this is by creating an autoresponder sequence. Your autoresponder will automatically send a particular email to a certain group on your email list once they have completed a certain action.
This action could be anything, from them, subscribing, to them making a purchase for the first time, downloading a book or guide or even after every purchase they make. Once you have set up an autoresponder sequence, your emails will be sent automatically, thus allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business.
When you are setting up a series, you need to first have your goals in mind as this will affect your sequence. If your campaign is running for a short period of time, you can send emails more than once a day, but if it isn’t, you need to limit yourself in the number of emails your autoresponder is sending.
The image above illustrates how marketing automation facilitates your campaign.
Today, every email marketing service will recommend marketing automation as its significance has increased markedly with the number of email users.
If your business isn’t using email marketing to further sales and increase buyers, you need to develop a strong email marketing campaign immediately. Like all forms of digital marketing, email marketing is also rising in significance in Pakistan.
Companies such as AdvertNama, Megamarketer, and Webinar are just a few names from a long list, which specialize in email marketing. Make sure your business contacts an appropriate agency and sets up a good email marketing campaign before the lack thereof leads to a loss you find it hard to recover from.