When you're just starting to explore the prospect of digital marketing for your business, it can be difficult to choose a place to start. Consider this: email marketing has the highest return on investment (ROI) than any other digital marketing channel, and when done right, emails can net you new leads, and ultimately, sales.
Here are 6 things to understand if you want to leverage email marketing into sales:
1. "Cold" vs. "Warm" Emails
The first thing to understand about email marketing is that there are two different classes of email: cold and warm. Cold emails are to consumers who you're either contacting for the first time or haven't contacted any time recently. Warm emails are for subscribers that you're often contacting with promotions and updates about your brand.
The reason it's important to understand the difference is that inherently, you're sending different emails to these two groups. The warm group should continue to receive newsletters, catalogs, update emails, and promotions. With the cold group, you should be trying to find out if members of this group are worth continuing to pursue. Send last chance promotions and give them a simple way to opt out or in for good; you don't want to waste money by curating email lists of people that will never become sales.
2. Be Convenient; Not Overbearing
There is no consensus about how many times per month to send emails to your lists, but one thing is for sure: too many emails can turn customers and potential sales away from your business. While there's no simple way to tell if your email campaigns are overbearing, there are a few signs:
- Are you noticing subscribers suddenly unsubscribing en masse?
- Are you seeing fewer leads and sales generated from clicks on email ads?
These signal that your email recipients are not opening your frequent emails, and often unsubscribing from your lists because you're bothering them.
3. Create Urgency
Brands have had more success with emails that communicate a limited time opportunity than a standard promotional email. Let's look at a hypothetical:
Let's say you're a shoe retailer with a brick & mortar store, and you have sales every other week. If you keep sending emails to subscribers notifying them of new and upcoming sales, it's likely you won't see an uptick in sales. Some people will jump to take advantage of the sale, while others will think to themselves "I'll get the next one."
This is because when sales are normal (like they are in most retail businesses), there's no sense of urgency to make a purchase. People know that if they miss this sale, there will be another in a matter of weeks. So how can you create urgency? Get creative. Even advertising a free item if a customer makes a purchase in the next two days can be the incentive needed to turn emails into sales.
4. Different Emails for Different Stages of the Funnel
You own a business; you're familiar with the sales funnel. It describes the idea that through each stage, from awareness and interest to purchasing and repurchasing, there is a smaller group of consumers.
How can you use email to retain customers at every stage in the sales funnel? Use emails geared explicitly towards prospective customers in that stage: for example, if a person hasn't visited your store, offer them a coupon or limited time offer. If a person makes a purchase, send an email thanking them and offering them the ability to opt into a newsletter. If they're a frequent customer, use emails to reward them for their loyalty. Addressing different phases of the funnel with varying strategies of email is a great way to maximize each phase and turn interest in sales.
5. Personalize Emails
This one seems pretty simple, but effective: people like seeing emails that use their name or details about their identity as a way to customize marketing material. Don't believe us? How about if we tell you that personalized emails are 26 percent more likely to be opened than standard marketing emails. Getting someone to open your email is the first step to creating sales.
6. Sell Without Selling
Many marketers get into the habit of thinking that if your email isn't directly selling something, it's not working to drive sales. One mistake you should never make is believing that there's no value in content marketing. A weekly newsletter with tips and information about topics adjacent to your industry with a call-to-action demonstrating your business' ability to provide solutions to common problems is just as useful (if not more so) as announcing a sale.