by Doug Stoddard, CEO of Bike Rental Manager
According to research, messages are 45 times more likely to be seen using email in comparison to messages posted on Facebook.
While 90% of emails are delivered to the intended recipient, just 2% of Facebook fans see the posts an account has scheduled. Where firms are looking to get their message in front of the desired audience, this demonstrates the key role which email marketing plays in the marketing process today.
Here are five tips on using email marketing to grow your business during this economic downturn.
1. Build an email list.
The first step is to begin building an email list as soon as possible. Building an email list to send compelling emails gives businesses an opportunity to retain the traffic they have generated by providing subscribers with an incentive to visit the site again.
Prospects and customers must opt-in to hear from businesses via email since firms need permission to contact subscribers. To encourage individuals to subscribe to an email list, businesses can create signup forms on their website for people who want to stay informed about the brand, offer signup sheets at their brick-and-mortar stores, and even drive signups through social media.
2. Establish your sending frequency and goals.
While there are no specific rules regarding how often businesses can email customers, it is important to avoid overwhelming subscribers since this can lead to individuals tuning out of the emails or unsubscribing altogether.
Some businesses may choose to send updates every day to their subscribers, whereas others may send emails more exclusively, perhaps opting for once a month or quarter so their audience has something to look forward to. Businesses should experiment to find a pace which works for them and their audience, monitoring unsubscribe rates and adjusting the frequency accordingly.
3. Segment your audience.
While having a large subscriber base is beneficial to a business since it provides an opportunity to sell, educate, or build loyalty, it is also important to have a clear understanding of this audience in order to effectively communicate with them.
Businesses should segment the users within their subscriber list to ensure personalised and targeted emails are directed to their audience. Once these segments have been identified, more relevant emails can be sent to each group which should aid in increasing engagement and reducing the number of unsubscribers each month.
4. Improve the open rate of the emails.
The key to improving the open rate of the email is to ensure the subject line grabs the attention of the audience. While the body of the email is the most important, the subject line and first section should not be overlooked as this is what will determine if your subscribers choose to open the email or scroll past it.
Businesses should ask themselves if they would be compelled to open the email if they saw the particular subject line they plan to use. If the sender isn’t convinced by the subject line, the recipient won’t be either.
5. Test your emails.
Businesses should ensure they test their emails before sending them to their subscriber list. Since emails can appear differently in varying inboxes and devices, each template should be tested to ensure the design appears the same.
Testing can also be conducted with open rates and clicks. Businesses can experiment to identify which time of day customers are most likely to open their email and click through to purchase. Split testing the emails via A/B tests is a great way to see how many small changes to the time of day impacts the results.
Doug Stoddart is the CEO and Founder of Bike Rental Manager. After starting his career with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) in the early nineties, he went on to work in the highly demanding Investment Banking sector. After realising the bike rental industry was run on spreadsheets, Doug decided to create Bike Rental Software to improve the industry.