Given the ways that internet marketing has changed thanks to the emergence of social media, it might seem almost quaint to talk about email marketing. However, it’s important to note that in spite of everything, email marketing is still one of the most effective, most affordable ways to engage customers and grow your business.
Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Email marketing allows companies to speak directly to the people who are most likely to buy their products or engage their services. In many ways, it’s preferable to blogging or social media marketing because it allows you to deliver content to your subscribers instead of requiring them to come to you.
Email Marketing Statistics
How effective is email marketing? Let’s look at the numbers:
- Email open rates vary from industry to industry, but in general, companies that send between 16 and 30 automated emails per month see an open rate of close to 30% and a click-through rate between 6% and 7%. Compare that to the average open rate for companies that send only a couple of emails per month, which is less than half of that.
- There are nearly three times as many email users worldwide as there are social media users. It might be tempting to think that everybody uses social media, but that’s simply not true. Email marketing gives you the perfect opportunity to reach the majority of your customers – even if they’re not on Facebook.
- Email is 40% more effective at making sales than social media. Why? Because email is, by definition, transactional. Social media marketing can be challenging because it requires companies to focus on social concerns, disguising their marketing as mere friendliness more often than not. The people who subscribe to your email list are expecting you to make a sales pitch at least some of the time.
Email gives marketers an easy and effective way to build brand awareness and customer loyalty. If you use it properly, your email campaigns can deliver value directly to your customers and help them see the benefits of buying your product.
If you want to harness the power of email marketing, then automation is the way to go. Companies who use email automation, also known as autoresponders, get much higher open and conversion rates than those who send email only occasionally.
The main benefit of using an autoresponder is that you can set up your entire marketing series in advance. As new subscribers are added to your list, you can segment them into the marketing campaign that is most likely to appeal to them. The top autoresponders allow easy list segmentation, and that means that you can send highly-targeted and relevant emails to every one of your subscribers.
The key to using autoresponders is to think of each marketing campaign as a series of drips. The first email you send may end up converting a few people, but the goal is to use each email as a step into your sales funnel. As soon as a subscriber converts, you can move them to a new list where you can work on upselling them.
Tips for Using Autoresponders Effectively
If you’re interested in using email marketing to increase conversions and sales, here are some things to keep in mind.
Make the Value of Your Series Clear
When people subscribe to your list, they want to know what they can expect from your emails. If your company sells cooking equipment and you promise a recipe a day, then you have to make sure to deliver on that promise if you want people to stay subscribed – and become customers. Whatever methods you use to get people to sign up for your list, state your value proposition clearly and then stick to it in your emails.
Let Your Personality Shine
Email is a direct form of communication. You’re reaching out to customers using the same medium they might use to write to friends or relatives – and that means that you don’t want to be overly stiff or formal. The tone you use depends on your industry and products, but remember not to be dry or boring. If you have the opportunity to inject a bit of humor and personality, do it. You want readers to feel connected to you, and it will be easier for them to do that if they sense that there’s a person – and not a machine – on the other end of your emails.
Be a Teacher
The best marketing emails are those that offer readers something for free. That doesn’t meant that you have to give your products away, but it does mean that you have to be generous with your knowledge. Each email you send is an opportunity to enlighten your readers and demonstrate your expertise. The more trustworthy and authoritative your emails are, the more willing your subscribers will be to click your call to action and make a purchase from you.
Make Your Emails a Two-Way Street
It might be tempting to think of marketing emails as a one-way form of communication. You send out an email and a certain percentage of your subscribers will click on your call to action. However, it’s important not to overlook email as a way of gathering information, too. Every once in a while, send an email that asks a question. For example, you might ask your readers to share an experience they had while using your product, or to complete a survey. The information you gather can help you fine-tune your marketing campaigns going forward.
Segment Your List
One of the best ways to increase the conversion rates on your marketing emails is to segment your list so that your subscribers receive only the emails that are most likely to appeal to them. You can do this in a couple of different ways. First, you can segment the list yourself based on your subscribers’ behavior. For example, once a customer purchases a particular product, you can move them to a list that provides tips on how to use it while offering an occasional upsell for a related product or service.
A second option is to offer your subscribers the opportunity to segment themselves by letting them sign up for emails about topics that interest them. This might not be practical if your business is a small one, but it’s a good way to ensure that you’re not wasting money sending emails that won’t be read.
The key to effective email marketing is to know who your subscribers are and what they want – and then give it to them on a regular basis. If you’d like to read more about how we can help you craft a high-converting autoresponder series for your offer, please click here.