If you want to grow your business, you have to grow your sphere of influence.
That’s where email marketing comes in. Not only does it allow you to nurture existing relationships, but it also keeps you top of mind for repeat and referral business. In fact, email marketing generates an ROI of 3,800 percent!
So how can you generate more leads and see a stronger ROI on email marketing in 2017? Let us count the ways…
1. Keep Your Email Database Organized and Clean
If your data is scattered, out of date or just plain “dirty,” you’re going to have a hard time creating a deliverable email campaign, much less one that is properly segmented and personalized for your target audience. And we’re not exaggerating — 77 percent of email ROI depends on properly segmented, targeted and action-triggered campaigns.
Upload all of your data to the same place and make sure you perform routine data cleaning. Data cleaning is the process of removing duplicate and dead accounts, as well as unsubscribe requests. Doing this regularly ensures that your campaigns are deliverable and CAN-SPAM compliant. It also keeps you in the good graces of Internet service providers (ISPs).
2. Don’t Neglect Your Sphere of Influence
Obviously you don’t want to annoy your sphere of influence by emailing them seven days a week, twice on holidays. But you can’t go the other extreme either. Neglecting your contacts does nothing to build trust; worse still, they may even forget who you are.
The great thing about email marketing is that it allows you to stay in touch with contacts in a direct, yet non-intrusive way. In fact, 72 percent of consumers prefer companies to communicate via email. Of course, the trick is to find the right email send frequency for your target audience and provide them with valuable content.
Finding your send frequency requires a little testing and can be adjusted over time. The content of your newsletters, however, is something you can plan well in advance using a content calendar.
Content calendars almost create themselves, especially if you start by filling in content ideas for seasonal and holiday marketing promotions. From there, it’s just a matter of filling in the blanks.
Bonus Tip: Don’t underestimate the time it takes to create great content. Schedule plenty of time for researching, writing and sourcing images.
3. Focus on Creating Targeted, Personalized Content
If you want to nurture and expand your sphere of influence, you have to deliver personalized content that really hits home with your audience. In other words, your emails should be filled with value, not sales pitches.
Ideally, email content should not only be entertaining and informative, but also provide actionable solutions to recipients’ pain points. To master that trick, you’re really going to need to know your audience.
That’s where your clean, organized email list comes in. Use it to create targeted buyer personas and segment your list so you can provide email content that will resonate with recipients, no matter where they are in the buying cycle. You can also personalize your emails using recipients’ names, locations and more.
4. Optimize Your Emails for Opens and Conversions
Subject lines can make or break an email newsletter campaign. If your subject reads like spam — full of odd punctuation, buzzwords and ALL CAPS — your email may never reach the inbox, and even if it does it will likely be deleted or reported by the recipient. So keep your subject lines concise, yet enticing. Never over-promise or pull a bait and switch…and always deliver!
Check your sender name and email address. Are they easily recognizable? Do they exude professionalism and trustworthiness?
Keep formatting and branding consistent (and visually appealing). Familiarity is your friend!
Make sure the email copy is easy to read. Use spacing, headings and bullet points to make your content skimmable. And make sure that the email copy gets the reader from point A (the subject line) to point B (the CTA) seamlessly. Then make sure your CTA is easy to understand and execute.
And don’t forget the social sharing and email forwarding buttons. When you deliver content worth sharing, your audience will expand your sphere of influence by sharing on their own accord.
5. Track and Learn From Campaign Results
If you want to use email marketing effectively, you have to track your results and adjust your strategy according to what works for your audience and what doesn’t. Pay special attention to the small details.
What types of subject lines are boosting open rates? What topics seem to increase engagement? Does a certain style of CTA seem to boost your click-through and conversion rates?
Remember, every campaign is an opportunity to learn more about your audience and adjust your strategy according to their preferences.
Email marketing gives you a direct line of communication with past, present and future clients. If you make those communications helpful, interesting and entertaining — and provide consistent value — you’ll build long-term relationships that generate repeat business and grow your sphere of influence via referrals.
As easy as it sounds, email marketing done right is a time-consuming process. If you could use a little help in the email department, let us automate the process. Email automation ensures optimal ROI and leaves you free to handle the already stressful day-to-day business grind.