Email marketing best practices to maximize success
Email has been around for longer than the newest marketing gurus have been alive. So it is reasonable to ask if it is still relevant today. The short answer is yes, and especially for consultants. However, for email marketing to be most effective, you need to stand out and be authentic. You’ll need to avoid being spammy, and utilise email to send content that resonates with your audience.
In this article, you’ll learn why email is the new big thing for serious consultants, and the best email marketing practices for Mailchimp and other automated email marketing platforms.
Email marketing stats you need to know
Email marketing is a strategy that enables consultants to reach out to their audience with ease. It works with mobile, tablet, laptop and desktop equally well. Here are five reasons why using automated email marketing could help your consultancy business explode.
1. Email is mobile friendly
A 2013 report from the Pew Research Center showed that more than half of U.S. cell phone users accessed their emails from their phones. It works equally well with other mobile devices, such as tablets. Forrester Research has concluded that almost 60% of email marketing messages are opened on mobile devices. This gives email marketing a distinct advantage over SMS because it:
- Is cheaper for the consumer, as emails are free to open and most texts are charged
- Can be accessed on devices other than cell phones
- Allows more space for more effective marketing messages
2. Email is the most effective distribution strategy for content marketing
On its own, ease of use is not a reason for use of email marketing. As a strategy, it is also a highly effective tactic for distribution of content. In its 2018 study of B2B content marketing, the Content Marketing Institute found that almost three quarters of businesses consider email to be the most effective method to distribute content.
3. Email marketing is highly diverse and flexible
Email marketing is also highly flexible, and enables a diverse range of content to be shared with customers. According to the CMI, the purposes that email are used for by B2B marketers include:
- Event emails (63%)
- Lead nurturing (51%)
- Monthly newsletters (48%)
- Drip campaigns (45%)
- Automated email campaigns (e.g. welcome emails) (45%)
Additionally, messages can range in complexity to appeal to different audiences, and emails can be personalized with autoresponders set to lead the customer through their unique customer journey. Email marketing tactics may also be integrated with other marketing tactics.
4. Email marketing has a great ROI
Email marketing is highly cost-effective, with a great ROI. According to Campaign Monitor, for every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return is $38. For consultants with smaller marketing budgets, this statistic alone is good enough reason to work hard at email marketing.
5. Email marketing can be automated
Email marketing can also be automated, by using email platforms like Mailchimp. Effective automation of email marketing enables unique customer journeys to be fulfilled, improving both relevancy and timeliness of emails. Messages may be automated to send depending on the actions taken by the customer.
When your email marketing campaigns are automated, they work 24/7 – allowing you to market your business even when you are asleep, and focus on your core business when you aren’t.
Email marketing best practices
A cost-effective marketing strategy with a great ROI, which you can put onto autopilot to reach your audience wherever they are and according to individual and unique customer sales funnels; email marketing is a must-have in your business strategy. The question is how to take advantage of these benefits.
Whichever email marketing system you are using – just one example is Mailchimp – email marketing best practices are essential. Here are a few that will help to ensure your email marketing strategy delivers on its promise.
· Send to a confirmed list
Only send emails to people who have agreed to receive them. I know this sounds weird – after all, the email address may be the only contact detail you have – but you must have people confirm that they wish to receive emails from you.
If you haven’t sent an email to your list for a while, it is recommended that you send a ‘warm-up’ email first, reminding them they are subscribed and that they you are about to send them some important information.
Don’t forget that you must include a link to unsubscribe in every email – it’s part of the anti-spam law.
(For tips on list building, read our article “How to build an email list from scratch”.)
· Don’t send spammy content
Make sure that the content you send is relevant to your audience – something they want to consume, and that encourages them to engage with you. The subject line is the most important piece of any email – make sure that it tells the recipient what they can expect from the content.
Within your email, avoid indicators of spam such as all capitals, exclamations points, clichés, and ‘clickbait’ headings.
· Take care how you build your email content
Also, any links that you include should be the absolute path back to your website and server – the full URL is the link URL that you should use.
· Test your content
The last thing you need to do is send content that makes you look unprofessional. Preview your emails before you set them up to send to your contact list. Best practice is to send the email to yourself, and then test elements such as links and images. Don’t forget to proof your email for grammar and spelling, meaning and data.
· Track outcomes
If you don’t know what action recipients have taken, you won’t know how successful your email campaign is. Mailchimp and other email tools track how your contacts engage with your emails – providing open and click-through rates, for example.
Just as you track conversion rates on your website content, tracking the effectiveness of your emails will give you a better understanding of what content works best. When you set up your emails, make sure you turn on the tracking options.
The best time to start email marketing is…
Now. There is no time like the present to start email marketing. Successful consultancies take advantage of the benefits of email marketing, and spend time perfecting strategy. Once it is working well, you too should benefit from the tremendous ROI of email marketing.
Are you short on time but long on content ideas? Let us know your biggest challenge when it comes to marketing in the comments below.
Do you need help to create a targeted email marketing campaign? Get in touch: