Top Ten Email Marketing Secrets: Part 3
A Five-Part Series on How to Use Email Marketing for Your Business
Part 3: Getting Creative & Strength in Numbers
Welcome back to another installment of our Five-Part Series on How to Use Email Marketing for Your Business. At this point, we’ve discussed the effectiveness of personalized emails (from a person to a person), using social media to its fullest potential, the importance of timing, how automation can really amp up your email marketing campaigns, and clear and concise subject lines and content.
This time around, we’re focusing on the power of creativity (read: originality) and how strength in numbers can help bolster your reputation.
Think Outside the Inbox
So, your subject line is intriguing enough for somebody to open your email. Great! But that’s only the beginning.
Here’s the thing: A lot of email marketing campaigns pass through your inbox, and many of these emails are not only unappealing, they’re incredibly boring.
Snappy emails get results. Plain and simple. They catch users off-guard, in the best way possible.
(Note: This, of course, is relative to your brand’s voice and demographic. In marketing, however, it typically holds true.)
With each message, your email marketing campaign should make a statement. This statement should help cement or drive home your brand’s voice and aesthetic. Snappy or not, an email marketing campaign that accomplishes none of this is a failure.
Writing effective emails is easier than you think. The bones of an email are simple: Tell the reader why this email matters, and then provide a call-to-action. That’s it. The challenge lies in the imagination and creativity needed to punch these emails up. Language should be direct, action-oriented, reasonably casual, and dramatic.
(Tip: Rather than thinking of any given email as a mass-market invocation, imagine you’re talking to a familiar friend. Talking, not necessarily writing. Remember: casual within reason. Glasses brand Warby Parker, for example, includes language like, “Hope you’re doing great,” and “Uh-oh, your prescription is expiring.” Not only is this language casual and friendly, there’s an implicit call-to-action.)
Whether your business is running an Announcement Campaign (dropping a note to customers reminding them of upcoming events or promotions), Bring Back Campaign (incentivized emails targeting customers who’ve been gone for up to 90 days), Event Campaign (exactly what it sounds like: announcing upcoming events), or a Social Media Campaign (encouraging customers to connect via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, et. al.), here’s a quick and easy rundown of some creative email marketing strategies to get you started:
Subject Line: We’ve already covered this, but it’s important enough to reiterate. The subject line should be short and punchy, enticing enough to stand out from the crowd.
Time-Bound Offer: Create a sense of urgency with a time-bound offer, such as “Offer Ending Soon”.
Compelling Imagery: Make it look good. Period.
Attractive Offer: Subscriber exclusives? Members-only deals? They go here.
Invitation: Invite the user to something. Anything. Your website, newsletter, party. Just make it sound compelling.
Call-to-Action: This is a no-brainer. But make it clear and concise.
Numbers Are Your Friends
Your company’s number of social media followers is more important than you probably think.
According to SocialMediaToday.com, social media users rose by 176 million between 2014 and 2015. As for global users total, that clocks in at around 2.2 billion. The population of the planet is 7.4 billion. That’s a difference of just 5.2 billion, and that margin is always shrinking. Think about it.
So, how to break into social media?
First of all, remember that it’s not (necessarily) a popularity contest. Don’t expect to gain thousands of followers right off the bat. Chances are, you’ll probably never trend. But that’s okay! The goal here is to communicate with your audience in new and interesting ways across a variety of platforms.
It is, however, a numbers game. If new users visit your Facebook page or Instagram feed, and your numbers are perilously low, their first impressions might be altered. High numbers mean you’re an established name that knows how to connect with its demographic. Low numbers, well, you get the picture.
Now, the social media landscape is a busy place. As of 2015, approximately 41% of small businesses in the U.S. were actively using Facebook. So, how do you stand out? You don’t. Not really. The goal here is simply to grab the attention of and communicate with your demographic.
That brings us back to numbers. It’s tough being a new business on social media. Nobody knows you. Your followers and Likes are limited. But, while you organically expand your reach and digital footprint through marketing initiatives and networking, it’s not a bad idea to utilize a few helpful tools to help streamline the social media side of things.
ManageFlittter: This acts as a great management tool for Twitter. Find relevant users to engage and follow, and who will likely follow you back. Social media is a symbiotic relationship, after all. From $12/month.
Agora Pulse: We’ve discussed how analytics can help streamline your email marketing campaigns. Agora Pulse can help streamline your social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). Schedule posts, segment your audience, track and report activity. This will help with the most important aspect of social media: engagement. From $29/month.
Commun.it: Beats the bushes to bring you the social media users you should be following and engaging.
Feedly: Helps you discover high-quality and relevant content you can (and should) share with your audience.
That’s it for round three. Having fun yet? We’ve been discussing the do’s of email marketing, but next time we’ll get down to those perilous don’ts. Stay tuned!