Email is particularly crucial for successfully distributing content as a channel, but it still does not receive the necessary attention. If you want to accelerate the customer journey and maximize the conversion rate, you should rely on the added value for the user in terms of content.
We Introduce Email Marketing.
- Email marketing is regularly declared dead, and its relevance is questioned. However, the opposite is the case: email is one of the most efficient channels in online marketing
- Designing emails in a targeted, personalized, and relevant way and delivering them at the right time is no rocket science these days, does not cost a fortune, and offers one of the highest ROIs (if implemented correctly).
- The email plays a role in every phase of the customer journey – whether the query of interests by email at the beginning of the trip, the inspiration for the use of the product in the retention phase, the transaction after the repurchase, or the unbeatable offer for lost products Customers in the win-backstage.
But what role does the newsletter play as a strategic lever in content marketing? Anyone who does not optimize the email based on the user interaction of the target group with the content will lose one of the essential touchpoints to the customer or subscriber. We have a few tips.
How Email Can Be Used As A Communication Channel
As a channel, email belongs in every successful communication strategy and every phase of the customer journey – whether as a single initiation or as part of an automated email route. Here are a few examples
- The regular information newsletter, in which the latest blog articles are presented, binds customers and interested parties to the content. The click in the email becomes even more likely if the blog articles mentioned are compiled based on the content that has been consumed so far.
- An email campaign is one of the most effective ways to launch a new product and present it to customers and prospects from your database. A time-limited Early Bird offer on the occasion of the launch in combination with a countdown in the email emphasizes the urgency and makes a conversion more likely.
- Cart abandonment email is a popular format, especially in the e-commerce sector. It is intended to remind potential customers of orphaned items in the shopping cart so that the purchase process can still be completed. Additional incentives such as free shipping or discounts for a higher shopping cart value can be another conversion booster.
- An automated email route after downloading a white paper can help identify the interests of a new lead. Based on the click behavior in the email and possibly the website, the follow-up emails can be made even more relevant through dynamic content, leading to faster conversion. If there is no purchase, a database was created to transfer the interested party to a nurturing program.
Why Email Marketing?
3.1 More Subscriptions, More Relevance, More Clicks, More Sales
Email is often underestimated and not taken seriously, yet it is a central instrument in content marketing. Email plays a role in every phase of the customer journey and is used to achieve very different goals.
A company must be aware of the various stages of a target group’s customer journey to guide the user along the journey with the right content at the right time. Depending on the phase in the journey, specific call-to-action and conversion elements work particularly well if they meet the user’s expectations regarding content and are perceived as relevant. The performance depends on how well we know the user and how precisely the right content is placed at the right time.
3.2. Eight Good Reasons Why Email Should Be Part Of A Communication Strategy.
There are a few essential points in favor of using the email channel.
- On the one hand, the automation of emails offers excellent advantages. The automatic sending of emails triggered by users’ behavior makes the communication highly relevant from the recipient’s point of view and reduces operative expenses. This allows teams to focus on evaluating, testing, and further developing automated campaigns and strategic topics.
- Furthermore, email is considered to be one of the communication channels with the highest ROI.
- On the other hand, company emails can be used in every phase of the customer lifecycle. All levels can be addressed, from customer acquisition to customer loyalty and reactivation.
- Email offers the possibility to communicate ad hoc with customers and interests – without great effort. In many sending tools, an email is built and ready to be shipped within a few hours. However, the database is decisive for the success of a measure, and list hygiene should not be underestimated here. It is the foundation for successful email marketing and makes it possible to build up a database and maintain a direct line to prospects and customers.
- The ability to plan gives the strategic newsletter leeway. The email campaigns can be designed and developed in advance, timed precisely, and based on triggers such as a user’s behavior. This is particularly advantageous for recurring processes such as registration confirmations.
- Email enables marketers to precisely measure the success of a campaign using extensive sets of key figures such as opening and click rates through to inbox placement rates or reading times. More importantly, the tracking, learning, and testing of the performance of content, designs, and delivery times are possible.
- Recipients can now be reached anywhere and on any device. With a responsive design, the email can be adapted to the end device, and thus, the user experience can be optimized. Geolocation services also allow the recipient of an email to receive a message with a discount code as soon as he is at a specific location. Of course, the recipient’s permission must be available for this.
- Emails allow a high degree of personalization. Because the content is tailored precisely to the needs and wishes of the target group, this increases the likelihood of attracting their attention. This is also reflected in the tracking. Personalized email campaigns usually have higher click and open rates than emails sent using the watering can principle. Personalization does not only mean addressing with the personal name. Almost every component of the content, from CTA to the unique sender, can be individualized.
The user behavior and the database are decisive for the design of content by companies – relevancy counts!
An Email Marketing Tool Makes Everything Easier.
No matter how the email marketing campaign occurs, a professional email marketing tool like Mailchimp or Hubspot will help automate the processes. However, it does not always have to be the prominent provider of customer experience platforms because selecting the right tool ultimately depends on the business requirements. Using such a tool has many advantages:
- The sending of the emails is fully automatic. Automation enables more efficiency and a higher degree of customization.
- This not only saves time but also avoids careless mistakes. You also benefit from the time savings because you have the chance to focus more on your strategy and your performance instead.
- Since many tool providers place requirements on senders concerning list hygiene, they provide a specific basis for a good IP reputation. This means that emails from these IPs are often classified as more trustworthy by email programs. Conversely, this means that emails sent from a professional tool are less likely to end up in the spam mailbox.
- Tools also offer an extensive pool of templates, defined QA processes, and comprehensive deliverability support.
The Email In The Individual Phases Of The Customer Journey
The email takes on different tasks in the individual phases of the customer journey.
- In the awareness phase, the target group looks for content on a specific topic or is aware of it through marketing measures.
- Email can contribute to this in various ways. Addresses for cold calling can be rented via List Broker. Through cooperation, customers and interested parties from other companies can be made aware of products or services in their newsletters. And of course, the registration for the newsletter should be prominently placed on the website.
- Companies can generate visibility and brand awareness at this point in the sales funnel if they offer added value via newsletters – for example, through high-quality content formats such as e-books, white papers, videos, or entire online magazines on the relevant topics.
The credibility and the added value are crucial for subscribing to the newsletter. The user only becomes a newsletter subscriber if he perceives a company or brand as an expert in their field and hopes that a newsletter subscription will provide further information benefits. If the company’s website appears like an advertising board with no added value in the foreground, only those who have a clear purchase intention will register.
- The consideration phase is characterized by an interest in buying without the user has made a decision.
- He searches for information and researches to compare, weigh and plan.
- Companies can use the research as an opportunity to send the interested party personalized content via email. Alternatively, it can be based on the known email address
- Content in the feeds of the social networks of the interested parties is played out.
- Relevant content such as trials or specific offers becomes the decision-making basis for the transaction.
The content must convey the pros and cons of the facts, products, and services directly and precisely and put the argumentation in the foreground. In this way, the user is picked up in the consideration phase. The added value is defined here by a quickly comprehensible comparison of options. For the newsletter, this means that the user wants unique insights from the information offered. His expectations of the format are ultimately linked to the experience with the content on the website. Therefore, email marketing should be individualized at this point and provide tests, comparisons, and reasons for products to trigger the conversion and ultimately the purchase.
- The decision has already been made in the transaction phase: the user knows what he wants.
- The email is not only used as an order confirmation or for sending the invoice. Transactional emails can and should be used to optimize the customer experience – e.g., by mailing or delivering confirmation emails and updates in the event of a delay in delivery.
Transactional emails show above-average engagement rates, as they contain essential information such as order confirmations, invoices, etc. The placement of cross-sell elements such as the matching accessory set for an ordered grill. However, it should be noted that promotional messages may only be integrated into emails to customers who have given their consent to receive advertising.
- However, once a purchase has been made, the need for information does not end. Instead, additional content that helps the customer with the use, maintenance, and optimization of the product makes sense.
- An upgrade, spare parts, or seasonal offers and product innovations are particularly relevant in the retention phase and easily integrated into a newsletter.
- It is essential to listen to the customer and his experience with the product or service, learn, and react to make the customer experience as optimal as possible.
An existing customer will register for a newsletter if he or she promises helpful information to come up to him with further tips and additional offers after his purchase. If the original added value through which the customer became aware of the commercial offer is consistently continued, an upsell is likely. The content should address or raise future questions in advance, subtly linked to other product or service offers.
- The aim is to have satisfied customers who rebuy the product or use the service again.
- Satisfied customers become loyal customers, identity with the brand, share positive experiences online and become brand ambassadors.
- Highly personalized emails enable companies to show appreciation to their most valuable customers and maintain direct contact. The email also allows customers to be aware of reviews, recommendation activities, and other loyalty measures.
Loyalty programs strengthen the bond between the customer and the brand or product and can be designed in very different ways. Earn and burn mechanisms, status levels, and thus access to exclusive benefits or incentives for the regular use of the product or service: Loyal customers contribute to sales and enable companies to learn about their customers and continuously improve the customer experience.
- Lost customers can be won back through win-back or so-called re-engagement programs. It is well known that acquiring new customers is often more expensive than keeping existing customers.
- The goal is, therefore, to keep the number of lost customers as low as possible.
- Old customers can be reactivated through incentives such as price reductions, double points in the loyalty program, or free shipping.
- If these measures don’t bring the customer back, it’s okay to let the customer go and focus on existing customers.
- A campaign for lost customers who, for example, have not carried out a transaction in the last 12 months or had no other touchpoints with the brand can be planned and implemented automatically.
Deliverability management is essential for re-engagement measures. Since older addresses are written to, and there is an increased risk of bounces or even spam traps, a strategy for the dispatch should be worked out. There are different approaches here not to damage the IP reputation and endanger other email campaigns.
Eight Tips For Email Marketing
Define The Target Definition And KPIs In Advance.
- When defining the goals to be pursued with the email marketing campaign, the entire communicative appearance of the company and its various marketing measures should be taken into account.
- The overall picture clarifies which goals email can fulfill as a communication channel or whether an email marketing strategy can act independently or be used in a supportive manner.
- Based on this, key performance indicators can then be defined, such as the number of recipients, click and open rates, conversions, attribution, or deliverability, to track one’s performance.
2. Influence The Opening Rate With The Subject Line.
- The first impression counts. The subscriber also clicks on the newsletter and does not end up in the trash; the subject line should be well thought out.
- Since the subject line is limited to around 40 characters, the content of the mail should be short, concise, and, above all, teaser in a nutshell to have a positive influence on the opening rate.
- The preheader of the email should be used as an extension of the subject line. In the inbox, this is displayed directly under the subject line.
3. Good Preparatory Work Brings Good Results.
- Before the newsletter campaign can be started, the correct distribution list must be created.
- A and O is the consent of the contacts to whom the newsletter should be sent.
- The generated mailing list only consists of people who expressly wish to receive the emails. The less the newsletter is perceived and reported as spam, the higher the inbox placement rate.
- In general, every shipper should have and follow a deliverability strategy.
4. Personalized Sender And Personal Address.
- Try to find the correct sender name. In some cases, a person’s name works better than the company name. This gives the company a face, which can lead to increased open rates.
- In the B2B area, for example, regional sales employees can be used as senders.
- Besides, the reader has a specific contact person at the same time if questions arise or further information is needed.
5. In the End, The Only Thing That Helps Is Trying: A / B Testing
- To find out what appeals to the target group, only one thing helps: Try it out! For example, vary the subject lines to see which variant achieves higher open rates.
- A / B tests are particularly suitable for this. To do this, two slightly different versions of an email being sent, and the performance is compared.
- A / B tests or multivariate tests can be carried out for subject lines and design elements, CTAs, images, and much more.
- In the course of the conversion optimization, a testing strategy should be developed.
6. Use Responsive Design
- If the email is not optimized for mobile devices, the layout does not adapt to the screen size and harms the user experience.
- The responsive design ensures a better user experience and operation via the so-called media queries and prevents the email’s layout from being shifted due to mobile use.
7. Segmentation With Appropriately Personalized Content
- With the help of the segmentation, the entire email can also be forwarded to selected contacts only in separate sections. Setting up segmentation is worth it because content only reaches people who are interested in it. This results in higher engagement rates.
- The newsletter is no longer sent unfiltered to the entire contact list, but the target group is narrowed down so that the right content reaches the correct recipient – a win-win for both parties!
8. The Timing Is Crucial.
- There is no answer to the best possible time to send an email, and many factors influence it.
- Even in the B2B area, it can no longer be said that emails should not be sent on the weekend, for example.
- When an email is opened depends on the individual recipient and can be defined based on Send Time Optimization technology.
- But even without technology, a time window in which most emails are opened and clicked can be identified through simple tests. As always, the same applies here: test, test, test.
Attention: Observe Legal Requirements
However, promotional emails cannot be sent just like that. Because of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), some guidelines need to be adhered to. The following points are therefore essential:
- Single and double opt-in Since the GDPR, the recipient must have expressly decided to receive the mailings. The crux of the matter is the obligation to provide evidence. Two methods are available for this:
- With the single opt-in method, the contact fills out the registration form and clicks on “Submit.” The data you entered will then be saved. Behind the scenes, however, the record also holds important information such as the IP address, the date, and the time of registration.
- The so-called double opt-in procedure is even more secure and recommended. Suppose the recipient registers for a newsletter or leaves his or her email address in a contact form. In that case, he or she must agree to send the emails using this procedure, for example, via a link (in a separate email addressed to him).
- Integrating emails into the data protection declaration, Anyone who engages in email marketing must also incorporate it into the data protection declaration and clearly explain how it is collected and processed.
- Insert unsubscribe link. It is also mandatory that every newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. The recipient has the option of canceling their subscription at any time with one click.
Conclusion: The Email Is And Will Be Alive
- The email can contribute to fulfilling the goals in every phase of the customer journey – whether customer acquisition, retention, or recovery.
- The email is flexible, fast, and efficient. Efforts can be minimized through automation.
- The email can be incredibly relevant. The old statement “the right message at the right time in the right place” is more valid today than ever before. The combination with the right content is then promising.
- Email enables companies, regardless of the sales strategy, to build up a direct relationship with their customers, cultivate them, and turn customers into brand ambassadors.