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6 Steps To Creating A Winning Email Campaign (That Will Boost Your Sales)

Whether you’re just starting out on your small business journey, or you’re a seasoned veteran looking to ramp up your marketing strategy, an email campaign is a must-have. 

With 3.7 billion active users in 2017, and an estimated 2.2 billion mobile users by the end of 2018, the humble email is the go-to channel for any small business. In fact, 89% of marketers say that email is their preferred channel for lead generation. And with stats like that, you can see why.

The benefits of email marketing are numerous. It’s cheap, versatile, and cost-effective, offering business owners the chance to achieve a variety of goals. These can range from raising brand awareness and welcoming new customers to nurturing existing ones and, that holy grail of small businesses, boosting sales. If you want to know how to do email marketing right and create campaigns that will wow consumers and increase your sales, read on.

 

Step 1: Know your target audience

If marketers can learn anything from 80s poltergeist movies, it’s knowing to ask their customers: who are you and what do you want? Unless you’ve found your consumer base through a seance, you can categorise them into several disparate customer segments. 

These categories can be based on factors such as age, location, demographics, interests, and so on. You can get this information from metrics such as Google Analytics or Facebook Insights.

Once you have this info, you can adjust your emails and their recipients accordingly. So, rather than sending one email to all your customers, you can tailor it to suit their individual needs or interests. This is a proven way of increasing sales — by aiming products and offers at those who are more likely to respond to them.

 

Step 2: Deliver high-quality copy

The foundation of any good marketing email is the copy. The words that make up your email will be the key thing which converts your customers from prospects into sales, so it’s worth working on.

The first thing your customers will see is your subject line. This is also the thing that will most likely make them decide whether to open your email or delete it straight off the bat, so needs to be done right! Lure them in with some intrigue (“Have you been using a potato peeler wrong all your life?”), or compel them to act with a sense of urgency (“Once this offer ends, it ends!”). A good subject line is crucial, so get creative. 

But it doesn’t stop there. If your customer opens an email to find reams and reams of long-winded and irrelevant paragraphs, they’re gone. You need to drill down into what your audience needs to know, then deliver it to them in short and snappy sentences.
 

This email from Uber is brief and succinct with clear headings

Image: Really Good Emails

 

Check out the example above from Uber. Brief and succinct with clear headings, they convey all the information they need to in an easy, personable way.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you need to give your emails value. If someone is going to be receiving (and hopefully reading) your emails on a regular basis, you need to make opening it worth their while. Include useful and relevant content that the reader can make use of. Again, think about who your audience is. What questions do they have? What information do you need? Boil that down and deliver it to them in an insightful and engaging way, and you’ll see your click-through rates soar.

 

Step 3: Provide dazzling visuals

It’s all very well writing great-sounding copy, but as you well know, the first taste is with the eyes. If your customer opens your email to find a drab, poorly-designed message, you’ll lose them. 90% of information sent to the brain is visual, and is processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text, so make sure your emails dazzle.

Pepper your messages with relevant but attractive images. These can be photos you’ve taken yourself of your product or your team at work, or simply an appealing stock photo. There are numerous free stock photo sites which let you browse a huge range of images, so it’s easy for you to choose the right one for your business.

If you’re taking photos yourself, learn how to do it right and invest in a decent camera. We’ve all seen examples of poor photography, and it makes a business look cheap and unprofessional. Don’t let that be you!

And it’s not just about the images you use either. The layout of your email should be clean and tidy to make it easily scannable to the reader. The Starbucks email below is a great example of this. Clearly divided content with deliciously appealing photography makes for a readable, aesthetically pleasing email. Tell me you don’t want an iced Kati Kati blend after reading that!

 

This Starbucks email clearly divides content with deliciously appealing photography

Image: Beans n Rice

If your customer opens an email to find reams and reams of long-winded and irrelevant paragraphs, they’re gone. You need to drill down into what your audience needs to know, then deliver it to them in short and snappy sentences.

Step 4: Automation means relaxation

If you want to know how to do email marketing right, you’ll need to learn about automation. It’s an arrow every marketer wants in their quiver, and it will save you time, effort and, of course, money.

Automation lets you schedule your emails to be sent at specific times of day, allowing you to cater for customers around the world. Different people in different timezones read and open their emails at different times in the day, and a simple change in send time can mean a significant boon for your sales.

Automation offers you the opportunity to easily personalise your emails, depending on your customer’s name, age, location, interests, and so on. The email marketing software Moosend even lets users send campaigns based on the weather! If it’s rainy, they receive an ad for umbrellas, and if it’s cold, they get one for sweaters.

 

The email marketing software Moosend even lets users send campaigns based on the weather

Image: Moosend

 

With automation, you can make sure Joe Bloggs gets an email on his birthday saying “Happy birthday Joe! Here’s your 10% off discount voucher, courtesy of us”. A personalised approach strengthens your brand and makes for a better customer experience, which in turn means more sales further down the line.

 

Step 5: Prime your landing page

You’ve nailed your email, you’ve hooked your customer — but it doesn’t stop there! The landing page they navigate to needs to keep their interest alive. If you’ve used a specific visual style in your email, make sure that the landing page is in keeping with this. If a customer clicks from a bright floral message with plenty of imagery into a dull, grey page with nothing but a form to complete on it, they’re not going to stick around. Check out this email for La Mer:

Now look at the landing page it takes you to:

This landing page from La Mer creates a seamless experience for the consumer from email to website

Image: Campaign Monitor

 

Step6: Test, test, and test again

You’ve aced your audience. You’ve crushed your copy. You’ve identified your imagery. What next? Like when they’re giving out free samples of ice cream at the store, you test, test and test again.

Whether it’s your design, subject lines or your calls to action, you need to trial and experiment with each aspect of your email campaign to make sure you get it right. A/B testing your emails lets you see what works and what doesn’t, saving you a wasted campaign and wasted time.

Split testing can also be used to hone your brand’s voice. See what your customers respond better to, whether they like your colloquial, friendly tone or prefer a more formal manner. It will all depend on your audience and your product, so get experimenting.

 


 

Email marketing is the cornerstone of any effective marketing strategy. Flexible and cost-effective, it offers businesses a multitude of benefits — when done right. Work on your content, fine-tune your copy, and know your audience inside out, and you’ll have yourself an email campaign with results you can see. For more support read our comprehensive guide on using email marketing to promote your business

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Victoria Greene is a branding consultant and freelance writer. For all the latest on developments in ecommerce, marketing, and design, check out her blog, Victoria Ecommerce. Victoria has a drive for helping store owners get the best return on their ecommerce businesses.

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