Online Lead Generation, Part 4: Email Marketing

email marketingEmail marketing is an incredibly important strategy that should be part of any lead generation plan. While some marketing experts proclaim that email marketing is a dying technique that’s becoming less and less effective, it can’t be denied that a whopping 89 percent of marketers said that email marketing was their primary channel for lead generation in 2015.

However, one of the reasons that people perceive email marketing to have a low ROI involves the fact that many marketers simply do not put in the time and thought required to make their campaign successful. For example, 42 percent of email marketers don’t use any segmentation or targeting methods – all of their subscribers receive the same emails. Twenty-four percent of marketers don’t even manage the quality of the contacts on their email list. To be successful, you must track and monitor how your email campaigns perform among the various demographics you’re targeting.

Advantages of Email Marketing

There are many advantages of email marketing, not the least of which is how inexpensive it can be. When automated solutions are put into play for your email audiences, you are sure to see a rise in your ROI and greater overall success in your marketing campaign. Consider the following advantages:

  • Tremendous Reach: There will be more than 4.9 billion email accounts in the world by the end of 2017. The tremendous reach of email allows marketers to build audiences comprised of various age groups, genders, and locations.
  • Strategic Targeting: There is an incredible amount of data that can be gleaned from your various email marketing efforts. Analyzing this data can help you reach consumers who are most likely to make a purchase.
  • High ROI: When you reach an engaged, active audience with appropriate content, it will drive a greater ROI and you’ll have a successful campaign.

How to Gather an Email List

Purchasing an email list, while quick and easy, is a generally ineffective, ethically questionable and in some cases illegal technique that should be avoided at all costs. Instead, the ultimate goal is to organically gather targeted contacts of people you want to reach. However, it’s usually not enough to simply ask your site visitors to opt-in to your email list. The most effective technique is to add incentives for subscribing.

For example, you can offer a discount or coupon on your website’s signup form, advertising something like “sign up for our email list and receive a 20 percent off coupon.” Also, many marketers create premium content that is only available behind email signups. If your business has videos, eBooks, or other content that’s in high demand, be sure to ask visitors to input their email addresses before allowing them to access those pages of your site. Lastly, it helps to encourage email signups wherever your company has a presence, including social media, YouTube, industry forums, brochures and live events.

How to Write Effective Marketing Emails

Writing effective emails is both an art and a science. You want to be concise, but also thorough enough to pique the reader’s interest and get them moving towards a purchase. Your subject line is more important than virtually anything else, as this is what will cause people to open your email in the first place. Once they do, you want content that is engaging, distinctive and entertaining. If you have targeted your emails correctly, you can tailor your content to correspond directly with a reader’s position in your sales funnel.

Add a personal element to your content and avoid using no-reply emails. Whenever you can make the readers feel like you are talking to them personally, the more effective your email marketing will be. You should also make sure that your call-to-action is clear. Don’t bury it in the middle of the text.

Best Practices for Sending Emails

Email marketing studies differ when it comes to optimal send times, length of email subject lines and other variables. The best practices can be different depending on the industry you’re in. What this means is that it’s incredibly important for marketers to test out different variables and monitor email open rates and click-through rates to see what’s most effective for their specific business. This is where split testing can be incredibly effective.

Email Marketing Tools

There are several tools that can help you with automating your email marketing strategy. Many are complete software suites that perform marketing automation for various different marketing processes. There are tons to choose from, but some of the most popular email marketing tools include:

These tools will help you track, adjust and calibrate your email campaigns. Putting in the time to analyze and optimize your campaign will ensure your business gets the leads you’re expecting from your email efforts.

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