Building an inbound marketing strategy for your business has to be comprehensive. You need to make sure that you have the right lead magnets, and use social media in the right way for your unique audience. But just as social media and search engine optimization matters, so does email.
In many ways, email is the thread that holds an inbound marketing strategy together. Social media and SEO help to attract your audience, and your website can convert them. But if you don't have the right email strategy in place, you will not be able to turn these leads into lucrative, long-term customers.
In the realm of email, strategy matters as much as execution. Here are 8 quick-hit tips to improve both aspects, helping you build a successful inbound marketing strategy that ultimately helps to grow your business.
Start With a Comprehensive Nurturing Strategy
The key to success in email marketing is to never treat it as a piecemeal approach. A single message will not get a potential customer for your product or service on board. Only a strategic series of emails can achieve that goal over time.
That strategy has to come first. Lay out exactly what you want to send, and when you want to send it. Acquiring customers can take time and significant effort. A series of 5 emails that logically builds on each other is much more likely to convert that customer than a few, uncoordinated, isolated messages.
Segment Your Audience Logically
Not every customer is the same. Some may look for specific products. Others go all in, looking for a sampling of products at their first purchase. A customer looking to buy small quantities your product first will require a very different nurturing approach than someone looking to invest big time.
In other words, a single email stream is not enough. Instead, look for lead information that helps you segment your audience logically. Build out multiple customer journeys for your most important customer segments. The more you can align your strategy and messaging with individual customer needs and pain points, the better.
Focus on Value over Promotion
What gets your audience to open, click on, and convert through your email? As the success of inbound marketing has shown, the answer is probably not shameless promotion. Too many emails we get on a daily basis make big promises, while sounding little different from your average TV commercial.
Email has the potential for so much more. In the context of inbound marketing, these are the prospects who already want to learn more from you. That's an opportunity to share not just your own partnership benefits, but also showcase your expertise. Focus on providing actual value over promoting your business, and your emails become much more likely to succeed.
Choose Your Sender Strategically
Personalization is key in successful email marketing. It can improve almost any success metric, speaking more directly to your audience as you maximize the relevance of the message. But you might not know that personalization can actually go beyond a name.
More specifically, the sender is much more important than most email marketers think. Too many brands send their emails from generic company accounts. Instead, attach a name that is relevant to your audience. The more you can personalize this first step of each message, the more likely they will be to open it and pay attention.
Write a Great, Honest Subject Line
Next to the sender, subject lines are often the difference between a successful and a failed marketing email. You have to hit the right balance between being engaging and coming off as too promotional. The key to success tends to be honesty.
Put simply, you don't want to make bold promises that your email simply cannot keep. Instead, succinctly summarize the text and purpose of your emails. Highlight action verbs, but stay away from common spam triggers. Your audience will appreciate your honesty, and become more likely to read your message.
Keep Your Email Focus Singular
It's tempting to treat an email as an opportunity to let everything out. Now, you can highlight your company, showcase your expertise, and take your audience behind the curtain! At the same time, you have to be careful not to dilute your message too much.
Instead, it makes sense to keep the focus of your email singular. Find a single topic for each message, and stick to it. Dilution only leads to confusion, and a lower likelihood of action. Staying focused, on the other hand, guides your audience from the subject line all the way to the click and conversion.
Go All Out, or All In
Take a step back, and typical marketing emails all start to look the same. They have some type of nice graphic edge, a feature image at the top, and text below. But because they look so similar, it's difficult to stand out. So here's a tip: either go all out, or all in.
Emails that perform best are either above and beyond their competition, or keep it simple. If you cannot add in fancy features like real-time graphics, consider don't adding any overt marketing touches at all. A simple email that actually looks like it comes from a personal account has the potential for immense success.
End With a Logical Call to Action
Finally, don't forget about your call to action. No email can be complete without a natural 'next step' your audience can take. From your perspective, that next step should lead to further conversions. For your audience, it should be an intuitive reason to click on your website and learn more.
A number of best practices should guide your calls to action. Keep them short, pick your color, and focus on action verbs. It also doesn't hurt to test multiple versions in order to find a 'winner that speaks to your audience better than its alternatives.
Integrating Email into Your Inbound Marketing Strategy
Are you optimizing the ways in which email marketing can benefit your business? Notice that this question is significantly more complex than simply asking whether you use email marketing at all. To be successful, it needs to be integrated into a larger inbound marketing strategy.
To get to that point, you might need help. Email marketing has the potential for immense ROI, but only if you get it right.
To learn more about how to improve your marketing strategies, give us a call at 661-702-1310.