How to run email marketing campaigns that deliver sales

With customers still nervous about visiting physical stores, email marketing remains an essential strategy to retain engagement and drive sales – our tips will help you get it right.

As we continue to navigate our way through a world influenced by coronavirus, reaching customers digitally remains an essential marketing strategy for businesses in all sectors. Email marketing campaigns can be a cost-effective way to drive engagement and sales, but you need to get it right – otherwise you could end up alienating your prospects. Our tips will help you create email marketing campaigns that convert.

Why you need to get your email marketing right

A good email marketing campaign can bring tangible benefits to your business and they’re often free, or low cost. There are many key benefits of a good campaign:

  • More sales: Often the driving factor behind all our marketing. Sometimes all a customer may need is a gentle reminder to finally nudge them in the direction of purchasing your goods or service.
  • Brand recognition: Even if an email doesn’t lead to a sale, it will still increase the reader’s awareness of your brand, possibly leading to a purchase later down the line.
  • Engagement or re-engagement: Perhaps this recipient used to be a loyal customer but hasn’t been buying as much recently; an email is a subtle way to remind them you’re still around.
  • Targeted marketing: Emails are a great way to carry out personalised marketing strategies effectively and without large expense. By segmenting your subscribers, you can deliver different content to different groups, creating a more positive and personal interaction with your brand.

On the flipside, there are dangers of creating a bad email campaign, which could result in:

  • Reputational damage: Too much content, or content of a low calibre, is likely to harm your company’s image.
  • A waste of resources: If the content you’re sending out misses the mark, then you will have wasted valuable manpower within your organisation. You will want to make sure that your marketing team is heading down the right route.
  • Distasteful marketing: Unfortunately, even with the best of intentions, some companies’ email marketing has come under fire. One recent example has been in the lack of opt-out options from some brands on occasions such as Mother’s and Father’s Day, as some people prefer not to celebrate these occasions. An unwanted stream of marketing around these days can cause some people to unsubscribe from your mailing list or, even worse, be put off your brand altogether.

What results could you get from a good email marketing campaign?

A good email marketing campaign might not be what you think it is. E-mail marketing platform Campaign Monitor  argues that ‘your average open rate should be between 15-25%’, so don’t be put off if the majority of people are not opening your emails. At the same time, if you are not hitting these figures, it’s probably a good sign that you need to switch some things up.

While a good campaign will see around 20% of people opening your emails, most readers will not go on to make a purchase. Here, Campaign Monitor estimates that your average sales conversion rate should stand at around 2.5%. Remember, even though a very small percentage of these emails result in physical sales, they still increase your brand recognition and help to build rapport with the customer.

5 do’s for creating a successful email marketing campaign

  1. Segment your email lists: Segmentation is key; it will ensure that your subscribers receive relevant content, regularly but also not too frequently. E-marketing platform Mailchimp found that segmented campaigns received 14.31% more opens than non-segmented ones. Segmenting will also deter people from unsubscribing due to irrelevant and too much content.
  2. Emails across stages: One way to retain the number of people who open your emails is by delivering content throughout different emails. For example, by offering a course with different segments of the content delivered across a two-week period.
  3. Offer promotions and freebies for subscribing: If you can afford to, a discount or promotion is a great way to increase the number of people on your mailing list. Also ensure that you send a welcome and thank-you email for subscribing and purchasing.
  4. Have a bespoke landing page to support your campaign: This should be tailored to the data you have already collected on your targets and the messaging you have already relayed within your email communication with them.
  5. Display an unsubscribe button: Although it seems conflicting with your aim of increasing your subscriptions, offering the option to unsubscribe will reinforce positive associations with your brand. Withholding this option can make a consumer feel trapped and put off your company; it can also put you in breach of data laws.

5 don’t’s to avoid in your email marketing campaigns

  1. Fail to have a mission behind your campaign: None of us like spam, and if you’re sending out emails without a clear purpose – just because you think you should – it will very likely fall into the spam category. Email campaigns are a great tool, but they should be part of a planned marketing strategy, with clear goals and KPIs.
  2. Buy email lists: This is the biggest don’t because email lists are unreliable and ineffective. Just because you buy a large number of contacts doesn’t mean they will be within a target demographic for your product and, even if they are, obtaining data through this method may deter recipients from your brand. If they’ve never come across you before and hear from you out of the blue, they are unlikely to have engagement with you and are most likely to unsubscribe.
  3. Fail to include a call-to-action: There’s no point crafting a personalised and interesting email if there is no link to your website or action for that individual to take.
  4. Send too many emails: We have already touched on the idea that sending too many emails is counterproductive – it will lead people to unsubscribe from your mailing!
  5. Make your email mobile unfriendly: If your email doesn’t format correctly via email, the recipient will quickly delete it. Emailmonday found that 50% of emails are now opened via mobiles, so this will want to be high on your priority list.

If you want to deliver personalised and high-quality marketing at a minimal cost, then email marketing is a great place to start. If you implement our top tips within your online marketing strategies, you will be on your way to generating more opens and conversions within your email campaigns.   Get in touch  and tell us what you need.