We’re adopting a new platform seemingly every quarter, so wouldn’t it make sense that we ditch the original methods? Not when it comes to email lists. As the founder and president of a public relations agency, I've seen that email marketing has consistently proven itself as an invaluable avenue for marketers.
If sourced and leveraged correctly, your email list becomes a pool of "superfans" you can access for reliable, successful conversions and loyalty. With a perfect combination of automation and personalization, marketers can provide messages that fit unique consumers and meet them where they’re at to move each down the sales funnel. Consider these five tips as you develop your email list strategy:
Establish customer value.
It all begins with prompts across your website, social and even in-store communications. Gather email addresses with the promise of added value for your customer. This value is flexible and can be customized for your brand.
If your company offers digital products, a free discount is a great way to gather email addresses. For any sort of purchases, discounts or rewards points (if your brand uses a rewards system), incentivize customers to enroll in exchange for special prices. Even offering a first look at brand updates and VIP exclusives can attract an audience and build your list.
Choose your CRM system.
A customer relationship management system maintains customer-to-brand relations through payment details, product updates, customer data and after-sale communications. When sorting through the many available options, there are a few must-have features to look for.
First, I believe third-party integration is hugely important because it accumulates and filters leads from your website and other programs (e.g., Facebook) through the program. Ideal systems also let you message across text, push notifications, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, to name a few. Finally, CRMs with easily customizable templates let marketers personalize emails to match branded identities.
Segment your audience.
Segmenting might be the great secret to email marketing. Once you’ve gathered your list, consider your audience data — including demographics and purchasing behavior — to define key subgroups with which to communicate. Not only does this reduce cost-per-conversion, but it also keeps your audience engaged by not overwhelming them from delivering every single message.
Develop tailored messaging, and only deliver those messages to the audiences that will find them relevant. For example, create a segment of customers who are regular purchasers (i.e., two purchases in six months). These customers might be most receptive to new launches and updates. Also, consider how frequently customers open emails, and be tactical with which news you want to prioritize for those who are less responsive.
Finally, focus on “win back” opportunities for email list members who have purchased once, but not in the past 180 days. By developing a profile of each customer’s product/service use, purchase behavior and frequency of communications, you can group them accordingly and effectively communicate the most relevant messages.
Conduct A/B test messaging.
As you’re developing effective messaging for your segments, A/B testing is a great method for determining the most successful language. For example, when discussing a new launch, does one segment find the price point to be the most important message? Perhaps another is more attracted to the product features.
With A/B testing, you can run both messaging points simultaneously and look at engagement and conversion rates to determine which you should transition to fully. Beyond messaging, you can also A/B test with the creative. Just remember, you should only swap out one element at a time to ensure you can effectively track which element is responsible for the behavior change.
Filter and engage.
Finally, after you establish which segments work best for your brand and the messaging points they are most drawn to, be strategic and refined in your delivery. Pinpoint which messages go to each segment, and constantly adapt your language and approach to meet their unique needs.
With crystal-clear insight on what attracts and interests your clients, you’re able to translate these lists into action by creating unique engagement campaigns, such as purchasing from an upcoming sale, attending an in-store event or participating in a brand competition on social media.