Do you believe that email marketing is no longer a relevant strategy today?
We hope not!
After all, when used correctly, this strategy is great for nurturing leads, increasing conversion rates across the funnel, and improving sales results.
We believe so much in the potential of this tool that we've put together in this post 7 steps (+ a bonus) on how you can work with an email marketing strategy that really converts.
What is email marketing?
Email marketing is the use of email tools for direct marketing actions with brand contacts.
The use of e-mail as a promotional and sales resource began in 1970 and became widespread in the 1990s.
With these dates, it may seem that this is an outdated tool, but the truth is that in 2019 the total number of users of email services worldwide reached the number of 3.9 billion (Source: Statista).
And the consumers you want to reach are part of that statistic.
Why does email marketing still work?
You'll find a lot of people out there who haven't embraced the use of social media, or who prefer one or the other, but it's hard to find someone who doesn't have an email account — and who doesn't access it often.
Email marketing is, even today, a powerful tool for the lead nurturing strategy to increase sales and conversion rates along the funnel, especially in the B2B segment.
Among some benefits of including e-mail as part of the strategy are the optimization of lead capture, the nurturing of these contacts through a less invasive channel than telephone and WhatsApp, for example, the possibility of using automation tools developed for marketing and, with that, the reduction of sales time, the improvement in results and data analysis for decision making.
Some data to demonstrate this:
- Only 20% of the leads generated are ready to buy on the first conversion;
- 69% of professionals believe that having a lead nurturing strategy leads to better business opportunities and;
- 76% of companies using marketing automation report a return on investment within the first year.
How to build your email marketing lead base
It may be that you are already thinking about including this tool more as part of your strategy, but don't know where to start.
When we talk about email marketing, we need to think beyond the strategy of what to do with contacts, as brands often don't even have this email base to start with.
But if that's the case for you, don't worry.
Here are some tips for building an email base!
How to capture leads
There are a few ways to start building your lead base for email marketing actions.
You may already have contact with some clients and opportunities, and these may be the first emails on your list.
In addition, offer people who come to your site a registration form, either to receive content of interest to them or to gain an advantage.
Another way is to promote these hooks on your social networks, so you win the email of people who already know and follow your brand.
Don't want to work with static and unattractive forms?
Another way to capture leads for your email marketing strategy is to use a chat tool on your website.
Through it you bring your visitor to an interactive conversation. In this way, it captures contact data and better understands the lead's profile by asking qualification questions in the first contact between him and your brand.
Why not buy leads?
There are still people who think it's a good deal to buy email lists.
A purchased mailing can damage your brand in many ways, as it brings in unqualified leads, tarnishes your company's reputation, causes financial losses and causes your domain to fall into the anti-spam filters of email servers.
This means that, in practice, your communication and efforts in this strategy will be thrown away.
Not to mention that, nowadays, this practice can even be considered unethical and illegal, with the new rules of the General Data Protection Law (GPDR).
The truth is, there is no shortcut to generating qualified leads.
The only secret is to build your own base of contacts, attracting people who are really interested in communicating and doing business with you.
Types of email marketing
Now you are building your contact base and can start thinking about the activations and types of content you will make through email marketing.
Understand what are the main ones:
Transactional emails (as the name makes clear), are emails related to actions and transactions such as welcome, tests and trials, tutorials, onboarding, confirmation and update of purchase status, confirmation or collection of payments, etc.
You can and should take advantage of this type of email, with a high interest rate, to include other information and use it as a marketing tool.
Let's say, for example, that your customer has purchased a dining table on your website. The chances of him following up and opening an e-mail with the status of the purchase are very high, and in this case, you can include in the same e-mail decoration suggestions for the purchased item or present chairs or other items related to this purchase that can generate an interest.
Promotional emails, in addition to disclosing products with special conditions, are those that cover the dissemination of offers.
And here we can talk not only about services or solutions offered by your brand, but also content in rich material format, for example.
The purpose of promotional emails differs from other types mainly because of their focus on generating conversion.
Newsletters can also be exploited in the lead nurturing strategy through email tools. They are a lighter way to bring content of interest and work well for leads at different steps in the funnel.
Through newsletters you can publicize your brand's blog content, for example, to leads that are still at the top of the funnel and product and promotion newsletters to qualified leads that are waiting for the best condition to close a deal.
Newsletters are also interesting to keep in touch with those consumers who are already your customers and want to know what's new about your brand.
Lead nurturing is one of the secrets of the email marketing strategy that tracks the contact through the shopping journey and ensures conversions between stages.
Through nutrition actions, it is possible to educate the lead, offer interesting content, present the solutions he needs and build trust in relation to your brand.
The nurturing phase prepares marketing leads and transforms them into sales leads, so that the sales team can focus efforts on more qualified contacts for the purchase.
To nurture the captured leads, you must build a strategy and think about the flow that this lead must go through, from the first contact with your brand to the moment of closing the purchase or hiring.
Post-sales actions must also be considered, to maintain a relationship with customers and make them loyal to new acquisitions.
You can make use of specific marketing automation platforms to make this whole process much more practical.
7 Key Points to Create an Email Marketing Strategy that Converts
There are a few factors that differentiate good email campaigns from less successful ones.
If you want to build emails that actually convert, pay attention to these points:
- A/B test
A/B tests are ways to present materials or campaigns to the real audience in two versions, but with minor text or visual modifications.
For emails the main A/B testing modification that is exploited is the variation in the title of emails with the same content.
Through automation and e-mail triggering tools, it is possible to configure two subject versions, which are triggered to a sample of the base.
After a period of analysis, the platform itself selects the version with the best open rates and then sends it to the rest of the base.
By investing in the version with the most satisfactory performance, you improve click and conversion rates, as well as understand the type of appeal or strategy that best suits your audience.
One of the ways to impact consumers at different stages of the Shopping Journey, with the right type of communication and offer, is to invest in the segmentation of email marketing campaigns.
For this, you first need to understand the profile of each contact in your base, in order to place them in more specific lists.
For example, let's say that a car sales company's communication is different for young people and for older people.
The language is different, the benefits presented are different, as well as the models offered.
With targeted email campaigns it is possible to make more specific shots and thus achieve better results.
You can segment your lead base according to interests, age group, region, purchasing power, purchase stage (if lead, hot lead, opportunity, customer), position, area of expertise...
The possibilities are many and it will all depend on what is relevant to your strategy.
Another important factor in email marketing campaigns today is the personalization.
Including own lead or consumer information in the subject or body of the email increases message interest and relevance, improves open rates, and retains more attention.
You can explore information like name, location, gender. And, in addition, customize the message according to the targeting we've already mentioned.
Another way to personalize email marketing is to take care of the information you choose as the sender.
People love to hear stories. No wonder we have been surrounded for many years by books, movies, series and groups of friends who share experiences.
It is part of human nature and this is very well explored by marketing.
Why would email be any different?
Exploiting this element in email can happen through the creation of a hero, a villain, or a journey like story.
You can create conflicts and suspense, and encourage your reader to take action at the end of the text.
Another big difference — and one that few companies explore — is the interaction in emails.
Keeping this channel open for dialogue is important, as well as being agile to respond to possible emails sent by contacts.
Encourage readers to get in touch, ask for help, ask questions and open a conversation with your company.
According to HubSpot (world leader in marketing automation), email optimization is one of the main strategies for this tool, along with personalization and segmentation of leads.
For a successful email marketing strategy it is also necessary to consider that emails are accessed by contacts in different ways, through different devices and servers.
So, it is essential to work with points such as mobile optimization, always checking the deliverability rate and security factors, to ensure that your emails reach your contacts and can be read the way you planned.
After all, you don't want your email to go straight to your spam box or get all mangled up when accessed via your cell phone, right?
- Data analysis
With the tools used to trigger the emails, it is possible to monitor various metrics and thus understand the success of campaigns and other factors that we describe here.
It is possible to evaluate the tests, segmentations, optimizations and customizations, in order to know what works best for your base. Some metrics are:
- Email Delivery Rate, which concerns the health of your lead base, as low rates show that many emails are invalid or are going to spam. Other fees related to the quality and interest of the base in your communication are the bounce rate, spam tagging and unsubscribe rate;
- Open rate, which shows how much you are managing to arouse the contact's interest, so that they want to know what the content of the email is based on the theme, segmentation and configured subject;
- Click-through rate, which shows how many contacts clicked on the links or CTAs that were entered in the email.
To find out more about what are good email marketing metrics, we recommend that you visit the database provided by MailChimp, one of the most popular and used email triggering tools around the world.
With this metrics, you'll be able to track rates for each area to find out how your metrics stack up against your industry.
How to plan an email marketing campaign step by step
Plan your strategy
We know that the desire to start communicating through email marketing after creating a base of contacts is tempting. But resist!
Before creating your first email, you need to think about the strategy behind it — and all the others.
You need to be well-defined who your audiences are, preferably already with the segmentations designed.
Then you need to establish the type of email, the frequency and the broader themes.
With that timeline in hand, you need to get back to metrics and define your goals when starting this strategy.
Define a creative line
Understand, from your planning, what will be the look and style of your emails.
As already mentioned, it is possible to create different creative lines according to different segmentations.
Create emails for these creative lines and use them as a basis for developing all the others.
This will facilitate – and a lot – your team's work.
Choose the trigger tool
If you already have a contact base, you can generate and qualify leads from it.
You can make use of specific marketing automation platforms to make this whole process much more practical.
There are many tools available on the market and the right choice for you will depend on your needs.
Most platforms also offer trial periods, so you can explore them before hiring.
Invest in a good copy
Copywriting is a type of writing focused on persuasion. In marketing, copywriting is used as a tool to enhance materials such as websites, ads, social media content, marketing emails, blog posts, e-books, etc.
With the application of persuasive texts, the target audience is encouraged to make a decision, whether this is a purchase, data supply, or an action.
More than creating persuasive texts, copywriting is concerned with creating a communication focused on the persona and the stage in which she is in the shopping journey.
For your marketing emails to have good results you must have a good copy in the titles, content and CTAs.
Which brings us to the next step.
Create a headline with an impact CTA
Call-to-Action is a call to action. This type of structure is widely used in materials such as websites, Landing Pages, marketing emails and advertisements, such as a button that directs them to click or to indicate another action that should be taken by the reader.
The CTA of your emails should be of impact and take into account factors such as the stage of your contact funnel, the expected objective with the proposed action, the sense of urgency...
If you want to create irresistible CTAs, we recommend that you read our full content on the topic here.
Bonus tip (we promised 8 steps after all): Always test!
Is your email ready to fire and has it been reviewed?
It's time to send it to your entire contact base, right?
Before doing this mass mailing, always send a test for yourself, to see how it will appear on different hits (don't forget mobile), to check if the links and personalization data are correct and to check if the subject will appear the way you imagined.
4 Examples of email marketing that really make you want to read them
We want you to see some examples of great email marketing campaigns in practice.
So here we've selected some email inspirations that apply some of the techniques we described in the post.
Welcome Email - Kate Spade
Source: Neil Patel
Storytelling Email - Aftershokz
Rescue of Interest - Duolingo
Source: Neil Patel
Personalized Email - Spotify
With a contact as personal as an email, you can offer content and products targeted to the interests and needs of each lead, nourish your base and improve your qualification results.
For this, segment your contacts, strive to build the best content and work with the right offers.