3 Secret Ingredients to Better Email Marketing

Have your emails gotten stale? Are your open rates, click-through rates, and other KPIs not measuring up to your goals? Are you sending out regular emails without seeing the ROI you expected? 

Maybe your emails are missing a few secret ingredients—and it’s holding you back. 

In today’s blog post, we’re going to dive into 3 techniques that are proven to invigorate your email marketing. A truly great email marketing strategy uses all 3, combining them to get better open rates, clicks, and conversions. 

1. Personalization

Personalization is the practice of changing elements of your emails based on who is receiving them. 

You might already do some personalization in your email marketing. If your salutations include the recipient’s first name, congrats! You’ve personalized your emails. But first names are just the beginning.

The degree to which you can personalize emails depends on your email service provider (ESP) and the data connected to your email list. More robust ESPs can personalize nearly all parts of an email: subject lines, CTA buttons, the “from” name, body copy, imagery, product blocks, and more.

Your ultimate goal is to show your audience that your business can solve their problems. Personalized content shows your audience you care about their interests—that you’re not going to waste their time with content they don’t want or need. Your emails shouldn’t feel mass-produced; they should reflect what you know about your customers. 

If you’re new to email personalization, start by including your recipients’ names in your emails. Once you get more comfortable with your ESP’s personalization capabilities, work your way up to ideas like this: 

  • Sending customers a happy birthday email with a 10% discount code
  • Using different subject lines for repeat customers vs. first-time purchasers
  • Including location-specific sections to your email newsletter, depending on where your audience lives

As you build your email list and learn more about your audience’s online habits, you can send emails that are completely customized to your recipients’ interests, past purchases, and demographics.

2. Automation

Automation in email marketing refers to setting up emails that go out when your audience makes a certain action. Unlike your regular email campaigns, you don’t have to schedule automated emails. Your ESP will send them out automatically when a recipient triggers them.

Automated emails are incredible time savers. You don’t have to sift through your online sales records and email list to manually send a post-purchase email to certain customers. Depending on how well your ESP and your website are connected, you can set up automated emails triggered by certain actions.

There are countless ways to utilize automation in your email marketing strategy. Consider these actions customers might take and the resulting emails they could receive: 

  • A customer makes an online purchase and receives a confirmation email with a shipment tracking number. They might receive an additional email when their product is shipped.
  • A customer purchases a specific product and receives an email containing an instructional video or blog post with tips for using that product. 
  • A customer makes their first purchase with your business and receives a thoughtful thank-you email.
  • A user visits your website, browses your shop, but decides not to make a purchase, abandoning their cart. They receive an email a few hours later prompting them to complete the purchase, possibly with a discount code as an incentive.
  • A potential customer downloads your lead-generating PDF in exchange for their email address. They receive a series of emails containing more useful information related to that PDF, establishing your brand as an expert in your field and proving you to be a useful resource. 

Like personalization, automation uses what you know about your audience to provide them with emails relevant to them. Though it can take some time and effort to set up automated emails, they’re a worthwhile investment, because they can stay relevant for years to come, saving you hours and hours of time down the road.

3. Segmentation

Segmentation is the practice of excluding certain groups from certain emails. While you might send your monthly newsletter or a sale promotion to your entire email list, other emails will only apply to a specific subset of your audience. 

Most ESPs give you the option to include or exclude recipients based on different criteria, like location, past email engagement, or specific tags you’ve assigned to email accounts. Any time you create an email, consider if there are groups within your audience who should or should not receive that email. 

You might be thinking that segmentation sounds similar to personalization, but there is a key difference between the two. Personalization refers to changing the components of the email based on data about the recipients, while segmentation limits the recipients to those who are most likely to be interested in that email. The two practices work together to create a marketing strategy that tailors content to your customers’ interests. 

Think of different ways you can include or exclude groups within your audience:

  • Send a location-based email advertising an event to accounts within a 20-mile radius of that event.
  • Create an automated series of “win-back” emails for customers who have stopped engaging with your emails. 
  • When you launch a new product, send an email to customers who have purchased similar products giving them “early bird” access. You already know they’re interested in this type of product, and your customer feels like they belong to a special insider group.
  • If a customer has recently purchased from you, you may want to suppress them from emails asking them to shop for a while. Depending on what products you sell, they may not need to buy again right away. 

Personalization, automation, and segmentation together will ensure your audience only receives emails that are relevant to them. When you send people emails they want to read, you’ll see better open rates, click rates, and online sales. And your customers will feel valued by your brand because you’ve taken the time to send them content that meets their unique needs. 

Not sure where to start with the three 3 ingredients to good email marketing?
Schedule a call. Our team of email marketing experts is here to help you send emails that your customers want to receive. We’ll help you get more website traffic, see more digital sales, and stay out of the spam folder. 

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