Back to basics: What you need to know about email marketing

Now that the majority of us are back at work and the last of the Christmas turkey has been eaten, it’s time to focus on the New Year, and the business opportunities that are around the corner.

As many of you will know, email marketing is a fantastic way to engage your contacts, drive sales and promote your services. Email marketing is remarkably flexible, no matter your company’s offering or size.

We thought we’d give you a quick overview of some of the more common email marketing key terms and what they mean to you:

What is the ROI?

According to a study completed by eConsultancy in 2012, around £21 is returned for every £ spent on email marketing. This is only second after SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).

Email is a massive part of some companies business, as it generates sales, brand awareness and encourages contacts to take part. For example, companies such as Groupon will send hundreds of thousands of emails each day to promote certain offers. These contacts are engaging with the offers, and look out for the campaigns each day, as they are offering something the contacts want – this is what you should be looking to achieve with your campaigns.

How can email help me?

Email marketing can help you and your company in many ways: sales, brand awareness, events, offers, competitions, surveys and videos and more can be shared via email.

What type of people read emails?

There are over 3 billion email accounts in existence around the world – and even my Nan has one. A huge range of people from a variety of walks of life use emails – and with careful targeting you can find your ideal consumer.

How do they read them?

According to recent figures, the number of people opening and reading emails on mobile devices is constantly increasing, and now sits at around 41% (Econsultancy). For this reason, your email marketing must cater to both desktop and mobile users – this could include PCs, laptops, tablets or mobile phones.

What should I think about when building an email?

Consider the message you want your contact to absorb. What are you trying to say to them, and why should they spend 5/10 minutes reading your email and acting on it? It needs to offer something unmissable, and interesting. It should encourage them to interact with the content, either by clicking a link, replying to the email, or forwarding to a friend.

Think about what they will think when they see your campaign.

What should I tell my contacts to do?

Again, this up to you and your goals. If you want them to read more, contact you, download something or call you, tell them. A contact will do as they’re told if you explicitly tell them in your call to action.

What email clients should I consider?

The answer to this question will depend on your contacts.

If you’re sending B2B emails, focus your attention towards Outlook, and mail clients on mobile devices such as iPhone and Android.

If you’re sending to B2C, the majority of your clients will be using Gmail, Yahoo or Live to receive emails, and again, mobile devices should be considered.

What type of emails should I send?

Again, like a lot of email marketing components, this one will depend on your own personal company aims and objectives. You shouldn’t send emails that are too sales heavy, as this can put off your potential contacts. Instead, think of the type of person they are likely to be, and what information they are likely to enjoy reading and interact with.

Are there any additional extras?

Although some people think that email marketing is stuck in the past – we like to think of it as ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’ – and that is why email has remained very similar to when it was first created back in the 1970’s.

However, there have been advances as contacts become more knowledgeable, and as technology improves. Additional extras such as landing pages, surveys, dynamic content and personalisation have made the email process a lot smoother, with a higher return on investment.

   Landing pages allow you to contain the contact once they have clicked through from your email. They are a replica of your site and allow you to continue to direct your contacts to complete your desired action. A lot of people can be put off by landing pages, but fear not, they are not complicated to implement, and can really make a difference to your campaigns.

landing page wired 1

-     Surveys allow you to understand your contact in more detail. Ask them about their favourite products, what kind of content they’d like to receive and when. And then use this information to continually improve your campaigns.

    Dynamic content is a great tool for targeting your email campaigns directly to your contact. It allows you to set rules that ensure your contact will only see something that is relevant to them. For example, by sending offers on t-shirts to those contacts that have previously clicked a t-shirt offer in a previous campaign. It’s a great way to boost engagement.

-    Personalisation is one of the most common ways of tweaking your email content. Personalise the subject line, email content or even just the salutation to catch the reader’s eye and encourage them to take notice.

Additional email marketing techniques that go above and beyond the typical campaigns will ensure your campaigns stand out in the inbox.

Got a question on how any of this works? Tweet us @Wired_Marketing, or drop us a comment in the box below.

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