The power of email marketing is abused, and it’s not hard to understand why. Emails are cost-effective and easy to create. People opt into email lists because they are interested in hearing from your company. As the wise Uncle Ben from Spider-Man once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Don’t unintentionally abuse your power by filling up their inbox with a flood of irrelevant messages.

What are “batch and blast” emails?

Technology is both a blessing and a curse. It makes our lives easier, but it also blows up our inbox. What do we mean? Open up your personal inbox. What do you see? We guarantee at least a dozen emails popped up. Technology has created tools such as Mail Chimp and Constant Contact that are dangerously easy to use. Now everyone can send emails to push their marketing messages, whether or not the message is useful to the recipient. This is the ineffective “batch and blast” approach to email marketing.

Writing emails is both an art and a science – an art because you need to tailor emails to the appropriate audience, and a science because you need to discover optimal times to send and determine which messaging performs the best. Don’t give up on email marketing, but be smarter about it. Forget about email frequency, and focus on relevance. You don’t want the world to read (or worse yet, delete) your message. You want high-quality leads who then become customers to consume your email content. Here are some tips to improve your email marketing efforts and increase your ROI:

Segment your email lists.

Remember those personas you created way back when? The leads your marketing is drawing in are actual human beings that possess traits of those fictitious characters. Just as no one is perfect, no persona is perfect either. Not everyone will fall into that perfect cookie cutter image you created when designing your persona, but you can’t argue that almost everyone comes close. You invested a lot of time and money into your customer relationship management (CRM) software, and now it’s time to make it work for you. Create smart lists that segment your audience into different categories. It’s up to you to decide how to do it. For example, you can base a smart list on which stage of the marketing funnel the lead is in. You can also segment based on demographics. There’s no right or wrong way to do it. The goal is to make your marketing message resonate with everyone receiving it. Your subscribers are looking for value in your messages, whether it’s a discount code or information about a product they love.

A little personalization goes a long way.

Used with caution, personalization can be the icing on the cake to your emails. A study by Experian Marketing Services in 2013 found that email personalization yielded a transaction rate that was 6 times higher than generic/template emails. Another crazy fact? The same study found that a shocking 70% of companies weren’t using any personalization. Types of personalization we recommend using are names or, if you’re an ecommerce business, products that they purchased in the past. Please make sure that the information you’re using is relevant. For example, a pet supply store wouldn’t want to send an email that includes the name of the subscriber’s workplace. How do you find information to personalize emails? Tap into your CRM.

Email workflows make reaching your leads easier.

When someone takes a desirable action on your website, this is the perfect time to begin a conversation with them. However, we’re not talking about personally reaching out to someone to thank them for downloading your eBook or requesting more information. While you should definitely thank them for the action, you can save yourself countless hours and headaches by automating the email message – or using an email workflow.

One of our personal favorite inventions of marketing automation is the email workflow. It sends the right message to the right person at the right time. All without you clicking a single button. Well, you do when you first set it up, but after that it’s hands-free. You control when the email is sent out and can make the workflow as easy or as complicated as you want. For example, someone fills out a form to download your ebook. This triggers the first email. Now you can do something fancy. A second email can be triggered if someone clicks on the content of the first email and an alternative second email can be triggered if the email was not opened. Be creative, and add as many or as few actions as you like.

Not seeing the desired ROI on your emailing endeavors? Contact our marketing experts to learn how you can improve your click-through-rates and open rates.

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