Email marketing consists of sending commercial, informational and promotional communications to a list of contacts, that are people who have given their consent to receive communications from a company.
Emails are a type of direct marketing widely used by companies and can be complemented by SMS marketing, to effectively reach all users on the mailing list.
First steps of email marketing
Before starting an email marketing campaign, it is important to define what the smart goals are. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
Specificity is useful to understand what we want to achieve from our campaign, such as new newsletter subscribers or suggesting new purchases and promotions to customers. Goals clearly need to be measurable, so that we always have the situation and data under control, and achievable, so that we do not waste valuable time and resources but invest in specific strategies for our campaigns. Relevance is another criterion that should not be underestimated, as it is necessary to keep the focus of our business well in mind so as not to run into mistakes that can lead to issues and mistakes. Finally, establishing a time frame of action within which to achieve the goals is crucial: the time frame can also be split into several segments with subgoals and different deadlines that can allow for a step-by-step view of the strategy, but at the same time can allow for more focus on each detail.
The second step, as in the case of SMS marketing, involves collecting the contacts that will be part of the mailing list and getting their consent to send the communications. There are different ways of collecting contacts, such as having potential customers fill out online forms to have the consent of people who want to receive updates.
Not all emails sent are always opened, and for this reason it is necessary to focus on certain details that can influence and intrigue the person and especially encourage them to open the email. People often filter information by quickly scrolling the email, looking for the most relevant information that catches their attention. Therefore, using particularly striking images or words, such as offer or free, triggers the reader’s desire to find out as many details as possible and continue reading the email.
The email marketing process and the structure of the email
Once you’ve defined the goals and collected the contacts, you can proceed with the actual creation of the content meant for the communication.
What makes a communication different from others is the quality of the content offered to the customer, in addition to other specifics such as the subject line, as it is the first element that encourages the opening of the email. It should be catchy, not too long and encourage the user to find out more details.
Another peculiarity is personalization: calling the user by his or her name is an element that particularly meets the eye, as not every email you receive takes care of this detail.
Once you are clear about the content you want to include in the body of the email, proceed with the drafting of the text, which must be effective and give all the necessary information to the customer in a clear and simple way.
It is also important to include a Call to action (CTA), often highlighted with a button that allows you to directly reach a site or perform any other action that is in the goals of the email marketing campaign, such as downloading a paper dedicated to a particular topic.
The messages of the communications we want to deliver to potential clients can be sent through specific platforms that offer such services and within which you can build specific templates to make the messages more effective, both in terms of structure and graphics.
When the message has been completed in all its parts, one can decide to send it immediately or schedule a specific day and time, which are key elements to be able to maximize the probability of opening the message.
Once the emails have been sent, it is important to carry out the analysis of returns, that is, to view and analyze the number of recipients who opened the emails and how many people decided to unsubscribe from the mailing list, an element that must always be present in every communication sent, since it allows any person to unsubscribe from the newsletter at any time.
What are the advantages of email marketing?
In addition to being fast and free, email marketing is a tool for communicating asynchronously, that is, the sender and recipient do not have to be simultaneously connected to receive the message -this can be an advantage that can help in many situations. This type of communication is also referred to as push towards the target audience, useful at times when it is not possible to reach the recipient by phone and to be able to have a written record of the work done.
A positive aspect of emails is the ability to reach many people at once. You can attach documents and materials needed by the recipients, and that is an important resource that can increase customer loyalty.
From a marketing point of view, emails can be used for the different purposes, such as univocal identification of the user to allow access to restricted areas, or to activate services, to send confirmation messages for the registration to a site, to newsletters or to any online activity.
Don’ts of email marketing
An email that has all the previous characteristics will be able to have a great communicative impact. To make the communication and message effective, it is necessary to follow simple rules, such as not sending an email that is too long and has too heavy attachments. The recipient needs clarity and ease in searching for information without being too long.
Another aspect that should not be underestimated is the frequency of the mailings: it is important not to send too many communications, which would risk not being opened or lead to unsubscribing from the newsletter, but also not to send emails too far apart from each other, which would lead the customer to forget about the brand. So, finding a balance to speak to your community is helpful in increasing open rates as well as customer satisfaction.
Finally, one must adhere to a register and tone of voice that is appropriate to the context, that is, pay attention to the style and language normally used by the company and, above all, how one addresses the recipient.