Generally placed on the back burner in terms of priorities, email marketing is a great tool that plays a key role in digital marketing strategy.
When a prospect or customer gives permission to be contacted by email, the channel becomes a powerful way to communicate about your brand and your products with very limited costs.
If you want to find out why email marketing is a pillar of online strategy, this article will help you discover the different ways to set up effective email campaigns.
What is email marketing?
Most internet users are familiar with email.
To give a simple definition, it is an electronic mail that is sent from an electronic mailbox to a recipient’s electronic mailbox.
Many companies use this means of communication to send important information to their customers.
On the one hand, they can communicate about new product launches, but also about promotions or information related to their brand.
Nevertheless, we often consider email marketing to the simple sending of a monthly newsletter. We send this email generally to the whole database of the customers.
Therefore, with this email, the company communicates on products or actions to its prospects and customers in an identical way.
As a result, the message is less effective, because these two types of users have different expectations.
To set up an optimal communication, it is necessary to personalize its messages, but also, to segment the database of emails.
We call these activities email marketing or marketing automation.
The use of this channel in the digital marketing strategy is fundamental. Since more than a decade now, email marketing is one of the most profitable channels, with a Return on Investment (ROI) of around €38.
On average, for each euro invested in e-mail marketing, the compagny generate €38 on the e-commerce part.
Also, communication via e-mail is a major asset for the development of a brand or a company. The different e-mails allow to present step by step the products that are the most suitable for the different types of customers or prospects.
A simple way to communicate with your audience
In the age of ultra-personalization, tools make it easy to segment different types of customers and prospects. They also provide important insights into the type of content to create to communicate with these people.
Generally speaking, a prospect who leaves his email for the first time on a website is rather interested in the different models and the brand. He doesn’t have any concrete intention to sell yet. The emails he will receive must guide him and reassure him in his choice.
We can also use a higher granularity and segment again the prospects into several categories:
- A prospect coming from a certain type of social network
- A user who clicked on an ad that appeared on a specialized site
- A prospect who found your site by searching for a specific word on Google
We can then send him the content related to the source through which he accessed the site.
A concrete example: A site that sells cookbooks.
A visitor lands on a cooking site with an ad promoting vegetarian recipes. In terms of email marketing strategy, it is imperative to send an email that includes the most popular vegetarian recipe books to this prospect.
Unfortunately, most of the time, the emails are rather generic and are addressed to the entire customer/prospect database. For this reason, there is a strong chance that this visitor will receive an email with the best recipe books that do not correspond to his expectations. (paleo diet, low-carb diet, etc.)
In this way, with the help of the interpretation of the figures of a user path analysis tool, you can perfectly segment the different profiles and share the appropriate content.
Emails are also very interesting to encourage a visitor to finalize his purchase. Many customers browse a site, add products to their carts and do not automatically complete their order.
Sending a shopping cart abandonment email is a proven method to improve the number of conversions and implicitly your revenue.
In order for the email marketing strategy to work, you must first set up automatisms within the segmentation, and also personalize the different emails as much as possible.
Frequency is more important than volume. You will be able to send more e-mails to smaller groups of people at a time when the content is relevant to the target.
You can also create e-mail sequences, also called campaigns, which will be sent if certain conditions are met by the visitor.
Automation through email campaigns
Automating the different email marketing campaigns becomes a major asset in the strategy. Emails are automatically sent when the visitor or customer performs certain actions on the site.
CRM tools (Client Relation Manager) can automate these tasks very easily.
You simply need to configure the content of an e-mail and to define precise sequences when the e-mail will be sent. If the visitor meets the conditions, he will receive it.
For example, when a customer visits a page more than three times, he has a great interest in the content he is looking at. This is called the consideration phase.
This is a very good opportunity to send an e-mail that explains in detail the advantages of buying the product they have viewed several times. Also, you can send an email that talks about a similar product which potentially could interest him.
Unlike other paid channels like Google or social networks, e-mail marketing is a cost-effective channel that offers a high engagement rate.
The best practices of email marketing
Email is foremost a direct contact wanted by your prospects and customers. They have authorized the use of their emails and thus greatly facilitate your digital marketing strategy.
Here are some good practices to adopt for an email marketing strategy.
1 – Set up a CRM tool very quickly
Even if email marketing is not a priority at the beginning of your digital activity, it will become one very quickly. That’s why you need to choose a CRM tool and set it up as soon as possible.
This tool offers you the possibility to collect emails very easily and to create your first database segments. This way, you can differentiate between your prospects and your customers.
To do this, I recommend setting up a tool such as Sendinblue or Klaviyo, which are very complete solutions and have a free version to start with.
2 – Be GDPR-compliant
A law on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been voted in Europe since June 20, 2018. This law aims to regulate the processing and use of personal data of website visitors.
Therefore, when you collect data from a visitor, whether via cookies or directly with a form (contact, newsletter registration, etc.), you must explicitly ask for his consent (opt-in).
Generally, their data is used to better understand the user experience on your site, to create personalized advertisements, but also to send emails in an automated way.
Every e-mail collected without the owner’s consent could become a problem in your strategy. That’s why it’s imperative that your website is GDPR-compliant.
3 – Define an objective for your emails
An e-mail is primarily a way of communicating, but it is also a very good tool to help you reach clear objectives. Defining a precise goal for each email will allow you to write the content more easily.
Here are some of the main reasons for sending emails:
- Promote your products or brand
- Learn more about your customers
- Increase the number of sales or leads
Of course, additional objectives can be defined in relation to your brand or product strategy.
4 – Personalize your emails
Almost half of the users who allow their email addresses to be used on websites expect to receive relevant e-mails.
Personalizing the content of your messages is a guarantee of a higher open rate and therefore some higher conversions rates.
CRM tools allow you to use e-mail templates that include user information, such as first name or products purchased.
This way, you can create emails specific to each person in an automated way.
5 – The quality of your emails
Email represents your brand and your products. Therefore, the quality of your content, whether it is on your website or in your messages, is synonymous with trust.
That’s why it is imperative to take care of your communication with potential consumers, but also with your loyal customers.
You need to optimize your email and create content with added value and limit spelling mistakes. Powerful new tools like “LanguageTool” or “Grammarly” can make this task much easier.
Since most users check their messages on the go, all your emails should be optimized to be read on a smartphone screen.
When your content is interesting, the open rate of your emails is implicitly high. As a result, your messages will be more likely to land in your customers’ inboxes rather than in their junk mail (spam).
Effective email marketing campaigns are very powerful tools that are often not appreciated at their true value.
As a marketing channels pillar of the digital strategy, it allows acquiring new customers and to communicate with existing ones relatively easily. In particular, thanks to templates and campaign automation.
However, it is necessary to set up a CRM tool quickly and make sure that emails are collected in a legal way (GDPR).
With an established strategy and clearly defined objectives, email marketing is a very good ally in the conquest of new market shares. Using email automation undeniably allows you to strengthen your customer relationship.
I have implemented several successful email marketing strategies. If you haven’t found the ideal solution yet, don’t hesitate to contact me, I will be happy to inform you about the solutions that best fit your needs.
I’m a digital marketing consultant with 20 years of experience in digital growth in Switzerland.
I assist small and medium-sized businesses in enhancing their online presence and generating more leads.
Based on research and data-driven approach, I create digital marketing strategies and effectively implements them.
I also train marketers in SEO, SEA (Online Advertising), and Web analytics to enhance their skills.