I’ve been asked this question often by business owners: does e-mail marketing work?
I can tell you from experience, it works well in B2B marketing. Adding e-mail marketing to your lead nurturing and business development strategy is easy. It’s relatively inexpensive so the Return on Investment (ROI) is favorable. And, last but not least, the fact that it’s measurable has helped e-mail marketing gain a sizable fan base.
The key to successful e-mail marketing is to combine your creativity with well-established techniques. To help you improve your campaigns, I explain my favorite techniques in this post and weave in lessons from my professional experience as well as from other sources.
EVERY BRAND HAS SOMETHING TO SAY
What should you say in your e-mail marketing? The company president’s personal message, company values, project highlights, employee spotlights, training seminars, event registrations, tradeshow announcements are all potential content for e-mail marketing. Just make sure the message supports your brand strategy.
I’ve seen some ugly e-mail campaigns that are heavy on the copy and light on the visuals. These e-mails have it backward. A few great compelling visuals and short copy is the right combination.
THE PERSONAL TOUCH
The folks at Hubspot strongly encourage using an e-mail signature*. People like to hear from human beings as opposed to anonymous email accounts. A signature line with your name on it will give your email the personal touch. That goes for a personal salutation as well. I use the personalization feature on just about every e-mail campaign I create in Constant Contact.
Also, Hubspot recommends paying close attention to the e-mail’s preview text*. Several e-mail marketing platforms allow for customization of the preview text. They consider it to be almost as important as the subject line. It’s an extra opportunity for you to connect with your audience.
A FEW WORDS ABOUT LIST MANAGEMENT
Promote your e-newsletter on your website and social media to help grow your contact list. Newsletter or list sign-up makes a great call-to-action.
Clean your contact list regularly. For instance, I routinely verify new e-mails for a B2B client of mine. The client has purchased credits on Never Bounce, a simple-to-use online platform that quickly verifies e-mail addresses.
I’m currently testing the “suspended” category in my Constant Contact account to help narrow my lists.
I do all of my list management outside of Constant Contact because I find it much easier to clean up lists offline in an Excel spreadsheet. When it’s ready, I upload it.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
I’m not a fan of sending campaigns on Monday, Fridays or weekends. I don’t want my e-mails competing for attention. Mondays are popular meeting days and my contacts are kicking off their week, leaving less time for engaging with e-mail campaigns. On Fridays, folks are wrapping up their week and are more likely to delete rather than open and click on e-mail marketing.
I send Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Since data collection is on-going, I encourage you to Google the best time and/or day to send an e-mail campaign. I’ve read lately that Thursdays are the best**.
WHAT ABOUT YOUR BUDGET?
In my experience, e-mail marketing requires more of an investment in time than cash. Time to create designs, artwork and copy that your contacts will find meaningful and useful. Plus time spent to develop a contact list of folks that want to hear from you.
Compared with certain digital marketing tactics like Google ads or social media ads, e-mail marketing platforms are relatively inexpensive. For example, Constant Contact, the platform I use, charges a monthly subscription based on the number of contacts.
It’s important to point out that e-mail marketing should not be your only promotional tactic. It works when it’s integrated within a multi-pronged marketing mix. Combine it with other marketing and business development efforts for maximum effectiveness.
SWEATING THE DETAILS
Make it easy for your recipients to opt-out or unsubscribe from your list. Therefore, every e-mail campaign you send should contain the unsubscribe option.
Pay attention to the return e-mail address. According to Hubspot, don’t use “no-reply” in your return e-mail.* Always remember, people want to interact with humans, not an anonymous e-mail account.
Hubspot also recommends closely tying e-mails to landing pages*. For example, if your e-newsletter contains a link to a landing page, make sure the landing page matches the email in terms of headline, copy and creative design.
The bottom line is that e-mail marketing is a great touchpoint. It enables marketers to keep in touch with current customers as well as the ability to nurture prospects. When timed well, it keeps your brand where you want it during the sales cycle – on your contact’s radar screen.
Are you still wondering “does e-mail marketing work?” Then give me a call or drop me an e-mail to set up a consultation.
*Hubspot Blog, June 4, 2019, updated October 30, 2019
**Sleeknote, November 4, 2019, Emil Kristensen