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Email, it’s become part of our everyday lives, taken with us everywhere we go thanks to our trusty smartphones. 

For businesses, the email is much more powerful than you may think, thanks to the ever-popular, and ever-successful email campaign. 

Sent from a business to potential and existing customers, a successful email marketing campaign will effectively entice prospects to engage with your business, and help generate sales and leads 

However, despite the UK having an email opening rate average of 18.39%, and an email being five-times more likely to be seen than a Facebook personal message, marketing with emails is still a much-overlooked element of digital marketing.

Below, we break down why email marketing is still as important today as it was before the dawn of social media, alongside what you need to know to ensure you’re marketing with emails effectively.

The benefits of email marketing

One of the biggest and most important advantages of email marketing is; people use email widely, and daily. When looked into, the statistics behind emails are quite eye-opening:

  • 21% of emails are opened within the first hour of being sent
  • 73% of millennials prefer business correspondence via email
  • 99% of consumers use their email account every day 
  • People check their email 20 times a day on average
  • 59% of people have said a marketing email has influenced what they buy 

With it being reported that email generates almost £30 billion in annual retail sales, and has an ROI of around £32 for every £1 spent, email marketing is vital to any business looking to build on current customer relationships while creating new ones to drum up sales and leads.

Below, you’ll find five of the most important elements you need to remember when creating your email marketing strategy. 

Your email marketing list

First thing’s first, you need to have customers and potential customers to email, therefore you need to build a mailing list. This can be done in several ways, from retaining emails from those who have bought in the past, to incentivising people to sign-up to your mailing list in return for discounts and offers.

However, when it comes to creating an effective email marketing campaign, you should always go through your email list. This will allow you to remove any duplicate, improperly formatted or invalid email addresses to ensure you get a true reflection of the success of the campaign.

You can also check your email list every few months to remove low-quality addresses from the list before deploying the campaign, helping to ensure a better reflection of its success.

Email marketing layouts and types 

Much like everything else, email isn’t one size fits all, and you’ll find different types of emails that you can send out. Therefore, it’s important to understand the types. 

First up, we have promotional emails, which provide sales and offers to customers, then there is relational email, which provides what you have promised the person who signed up. This could be a gift, a discount, a weekly newsletter and so on.

Then there are transactional emails, which include: 

  • Sign-up confirmations
  • Welcome message
  • Order confirmations
  • Changes in information acknowledgement

It’s important to know the types of emails so you know the types of content and layouts you’ll be implementing. For example, a change of information will be different to a newsletter as it’ll require less imagery and content, and won’t require a click-through to measure its success, helping you to better plan various campaign types. 

Also, ensure the layout has been adapted for both mobile, desktop, and tablet. With 46% of emails being opened on a phone, which will only continue to increase, the success of a campaign will rely heavily on the responsiveness of the layout.

Your email marketing content

Here we are, the bit you’ve been expecting – content, content, content! 

Even though Bill Gates said it 25 years ago, it still stands today – content is king. 

Therefore, you need to ensure everything is spot on. This will all come down to your brand, and incorporating the brand tone of voice is key, meanwhile, a little humour goes a long way. However, it’s not just down to the written word, the look is also key, ensuring plenty of white space and not too many images.

Now, the next step with content is personalisation. If you’re wondering how to get a customer to open an email, a killer subject should work. However, ones with a personalised touch, such as a name will get a 50% better open rate, with names, in particular, being opened 18.3% more than those without.

Personalisation, however, should continue into the email design and should look like it has been tailored to the customer, making them feel special to help increase the click-through rate and chance of a sale.

You also need to ensure what’s in the email is short and to the point. You don’t want to waste the customer’s time as they either won’t convert or could unsubscribe.

Finally, make sure you proofread emails a few times and get several pairs of eyes on them, typos are easy to make and it’s happened to the best businesses, but sometimes, customers won’t forget.

Marketing email links and calls to action 

While this falls into content, it deserves its own section.

 Above, we mentioned to be quick and to the point, therefore, copy in the email should link to a specific section on your website, with short, snappy copy convincing the customer to click through. 

This can be to a blog post or landing page, but what’s most important is to check it several times to ensure the link works, while also using UTM codes to help track the link’s success in Google Analytics.

When it comes to the CTA, what do you want the customer to do? Sign up, enter, buy? The list is endless.

Therefore, you need to be 100% clear in the CTA to help minimise distraction and keep the reader focussed on what it is you want them to do. The CTA should be a stand-alone button, which stands out against the rest of the email, with the copy in bold and the button often in a different colour, helping to make it more obvious while promoting engagement.

Test your email campaign

This is key to your success. Your emails can give you an insight into the mind of your customer, which is why you need to take advantage of them.

You can do this through split testing, sending different email variations to different customers to see what works better. Known as A/B testing, this method has been known to bring in 37% higher returns.

This can also help you determine the best time of day to send emails. Saturdays and Wednesdays are said to have the worst click-through rates of the week, at 2.5%, while Tuesdays have the highest open rates, at 18.3%. However, this can be different for all businesses and customers, which is why testing is so important – it can also help you determine the best copy, emails, CTA, and products to use within not only your email marketing but all of your content marketing efforts.

If you’d like to know more about email marketing for your business, get in touch with the Relative Marketing team today.

Lewis Shepherd profile picture

About the author

Made in Wales, Lewis worked for the only Pot Noodle factory in the world as a teenager! He then moved up north to study Journalism and media studies at University. Lewis has a self-confessed love of musical theatre and Madonna, which borders on the obsessive, and regularly spends all of his money on books, which he adds to his ever-growing pile at home. As a copywriter, his role at Relative requires him to write words in many forms for all our clients.

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