Sometimes we let the discussion on this blog get a little too meta, covering topics and reports that assume you have years of experience in the email marketing business. However, if you’re just looking for something a little more introductory to get your feet wet before taking the plunge into a full-on campaign centered around emailing interested customers, we’ve got you covered. With the help of a great study on the subject, as well as a few other resources that offer some seriously potent insight, you can get up to speed in no time and see just how important email marketing is to your brand awareness.

Content

The first pillar, which also happens to be the most obvious, focuses on what your message actually says to the reader. Of course, shooting off an email that makes you and your customers sound like old pals getting back in touch – all while sneaking in a sales pitch – is easier said than done. Thankfully, there are a few simple tips that can help get your message across and beef up your email content in a big way.

To start, give your readers something they actually want. Is your newsletter just thinly veiled product links and descriptions? Chances are you’re not going to get very far with that kind of approach. Instead, tie your offerings into things that relate to your reader’s daily life if possible. Making things fun and conversational never hurts either – but more on that in just a little bit. Perhaps the biggest way to make great content is to make your message scalable by the viewer. Your audience is just as busy as you are, so make it simple for them and put an emphasis on the big points. From there, they can go the extra step and read a little deeper if you caught their attention.

Personalization

Getting back to that whole conversational thing brings us to the second pillar – personalization. If you can swing this one, expect open rates to jump by 29 percent when compared to the standard mass message approach. Just remember that personalizing your messages and adding a conversational tone can go wrong in a big way if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you want to avoid coming off like a creep, don’t go overboard with the name dropping. While it might seem like a great idea to have your emails insert the viewer’s name for “X” throughout the message, all you’re doing is making what could be a great newsletter or promo turn into the most awkward email your audience members have ever opened. That’s not a reputation you want attached to your brand no matter how good your prices are.

Segmentation

Last, but not least, is matching up your messages with the right audience at the right time. This process, called segmentation, looks pretty complex at first glance, but is a breeze once you set your mailing list forms up right. Basically, think back to any form you’ve filled out recently online. While it might not have meant much to you to tell the site your gender, location, and any other vanilla info, this stuff goes a long way when splitting up your audience into little groups. Digging a little deeper and asking simple questions related to your business gives you all the knobs and levers you need to push out your various emails to the right screens at the perfect time.

In many ways, you can use this data to make personalizing your emails go beyond “Hi, (insert name here).” Think of it this way; if you sell car parts and ask for the type of vehicle on the subscriber form, you can drop in a little nod to the car by asking how it is in the email. For all the brand diehards out there, asking how the Chevy, Ford, etc. is running to kick off the email adds a nice little touch that can reel them in for the rest of the pitch.

Bringing It All Together

Naturally, these three pillars are just the beginning of email marketing. Just like anything else, once you’ve mastered the basics, there is always more you can add to go the extra mile. To hit the ground running though, you really can’t go wrong by hammering out great, personalized content that segments your audience into manageable, unique groups. From here, the sky’s the limit for where your email marketing campaign can go as you learn to tweak all the moving parts of the process and score a win with your target viewers.

Pillars

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