Developing a strategy for email marketing is the first crucial step of any email program. Instead of sending out emails at random intervals and not having a plan for follow-through, a solid email strategy will help you pave the way for a successful program that engages potential customers.
1. Share the story of your brand
Email marketing is one of the best ways to keep potential customers engaged with your brand. This type of marketing works best for customers at the top of the funnel—meaning you’re casting the widest net possible to share your brand, even if those people aren’t looking to make a purchase yet. Usually, when you add an email address or potential customer into your email database, they’re not ready to buy right at that specific moment.
If you have a great content marketing strategy in combination with your email program, you’ll gain more leads and grab the attention of more customers. Often people are simply poking around trying to learn more, even if it’s just opening an email at first. If someone is looking at new jobs in a different city, for example, they may want to see what the typical cost of living would look like compared to their current expenses. If they received an email from you discussing a topic that was relevant to them, they will begin engaging with your brand. With email marketing, you’re able to stay top of mind with those leads—from their initial research to a final purchase, helping you decrease your lead drop off.
2. Keep people engaged
Email marketing strategies are essentially the engine that keeps potential customers moving through the funnel. Businesses who are experiencing low conversions in the marketing funnel, or are experiencing high quantities of leads that go dark, should be thinking about creating an email marketing strategy.
Let’s say you have a form on your website to schedule a tour, but see from the data that only 20 percent of those leads actually respond to a salesperson to schedule that tour. This is the perfect opportunity to implement an email marketing strategy—you have a highly interested group of buyers that have already actively pursued your business.
The reality is that buyers or potential customers are busy, and it can take as many as seven follow-ups or check-ins before someone responds. If you have a sales team, they may only have time to follow up once or twice. Think about your own shopping process: Do you ever request a demo, schedule a tour, or put shoes into your online shopping cart, and then step away and forget to finish the process? Your buyers are doing the same thing. By creating an email marketing strategy that fills in those gaps, you can ensure you follow-up for each and every lead. This, in turn, will increase your conversions with minimal effort once your email program is in place.
3. Think about how to convert leads into customers
The first step to a successful email marketing strategy is to create a straightforward and easy way to capture email addresses on your website. Whether it’s by requesting an email in exchange for more information or scheduling a tour, it’s important to make sure your email request is tasteful and doesn’t alienate potential leads. For example, an email capture pop-up that appears on every page of your website after the user has only clicked on one or two items could negatively affect the number of leads you get and decrease interest in your website.
Email content is essential for converting your leads into customers, and your email strategy can help push customers through the buying funnel. The best way to progress is by sprinkling appropriate call-to-actions (CTAs) throughout your email content. CTAs provide a clear answer and direction for potential customers and subtly reminds them to engage and convert into a customer. A great email marketing strategy can increase your conversions by keeping potential customers or leads from falling through the cracks.
4. Make sure your email content is relevant
Often the hardest part of implementing an email marketing strategy is deciding what your emails should be about. Don’t be afraid to have fun with it and pick attention-grabbing topics that will drive email opens and click-throughs to your website. It’s important to select topics that are relevant to your business, broad enough to appeal to all potential leads, and full of interesting information. Your email strategy should be closely tied to your content marketing strategy. Emails are a great vehicle to deliver your valuable content to interested leads or to current residents. This could be anything from a more personal update to current residents from your team, to a more in-depth communication about common challenges that your residents are facing—and how your community offers a solution.
Avoid using email concepts that only apply to a small portion of your customers or leads, unless you have a specific email list set up for groups of people where you can customize your email send list. For instance, segmenting your current residents from your potential residents is a great way to ensure you’re delivering relevant content to your audiences. Emails are also a great opportunity to spread the word about a new service or event you may be launching.
Tips & Tricks
- Every marketer should read the CAN-SPAM Act—there’s a handy set of rules that make it easy to avoid breaking the law.
- It’s important to make opting-out of emails effortless for users. Don’t hide the opt-out link or put it in an unreadable font size.
- Use an email platform to manage your contact list, email sends, schedule, social media integration, and more. Popular choices include iContact and MailChimp.