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Email marketing is one of the oldest forms of content marketing and it remains one of the most effective because email is personal, private, and targeted. Email feels less like an ad and more like an update from a trusted business, which gives it an advantage over other forms of content marketing.
Plan in Categorical Terms
Most email marketing falls into one of three categories: Newsletters, Transactions, or Behavioral:
- The first type, newsletters, is what we most often associate with email marketing; a newsletter designed for a broad audience that provides updates and information about products and services.
- The second type, transactional emails, are triggered by user behavior and include such things as order confirmations and receipts or billing statements.
- The third type, behavioral emails, are personalized emails that are based on the user’s behaviors. Examples include welcome emails, abandoned cart reminders, product review requests, or special anniversary offers.
You’ve no doubt seen email trends and predictions come and go over the years, and maybe you’ve even made the effort to adapt, but have had lackluster results. If so, it’s natural to be hesitant about changing your tried and true tactics. But what if there were things you could add to your current email marketing practices that could grow your audience, improve the connections you have with your audience, and even generate revenue? I’ve got 4 ideas you can try to do just that.
Email Marketing Tips and Techniques
The techniques below can be added to any type of email: newsletter, transaction, or behavioral, to strengthen connections with customers, grow audiences, and drive results.
1. Add Content to Grow Your Audience. Email is often considered a useful tool for strengthening connections with existing customers. But it can be used to attract new customers too. Tweaking your emails to focus on providing useful content and information instead of just pitching products can help grow your audience as that content gets shared and viewed over and over. This is classic content marketing that supports information sharing and relationship building over quick sales.
Make it Work: Consider what additional value you can bring to your audience, then add links to your blog, embed videos, or link to social posts to make your email work harder – and reach further – for you.
2. Start a Conversation. Email marketing has evolved beyond a business providing information to the customer and leaving it at that. Today, it’s a two-way street, often used as a tool to encourage connections and interactions between the customer and the business. Go beyond the standard “reply-to” link to include quizzes, surveys, or links to videos or social media posts where they can leave a reaction. When a customer does send a message or leave a comment, be sure to respond and start building that relationship.
Make it Work: Remember that you’re always sending messages to a person, whether it B2B or B2C. Add in ways for people to interact with or react to the email and be responsive when they reach out to you.
3. Tap the Transactions. Transactional emails are some of the most boring and blah pieces you’ll send out, simply confirming an action that has already been taken. They are also the emails that have the highest open and clickthrough rates. Take advantage of that behavior to cross-sell products or direct customers to other content channels. Build audience personas to refine your segmentation strategy and subsequent offers. Use transactional emails as a type of post-sale marketing, by including a thank-you or link to a review site.
Make it Work: Use CRM data and audience segmentation to add targeted pitches or special values or services to an already engaged customer. Take advantage of the excitement of their purchase to deepen the relationship.
4. Turn Emails into Moneymakers. If you have a loyal following or a large audience, you may be able to actually generate revenue off of your email marketing through ads or sponsorships, subscriptions, or exclusive paid content. Reach out to other businesses who might want to place an ad in your newsletter and sell that ad space! Do you have a loyal following who would subscribe to a weekly podcast or video tips? Sell it!
Make it Work: What’s your value point? What do you have to offer that others can’t? Advertisers may be willing to pay for access to your customers while customers may be willing to pay for access to exclusive content or information.