Thanks to the Internet, businesses can advertise products and services using all types of digital content like blogs and videos, and share them on different online platforms. But can you still get a high return on investment with a limited budget? Which marketing channel should you focus your efforts on? Email marketing is the answer.
Email marketing is an effective digital strategy, especially for companies with limited marketing resources, because it delivers the highest return on investment (ROI). For every dollar that you spend, you can generate $44 — that’s 4400% in ROI!
Let’s take a look at how you can monetize your emails without spending a fortune.
- 1 Tip #1: Build Your Email List
- 2 Tip #2: Have an Email Marketing Strategy
- 3 Tip #3: Segment Your Subscribers
- 4 Tip #4: Make Your Emails Mobile-Friendly
- 5 Tip #5: Add Social Media Buttons
- 6 Tip #6: Make Your Subject Line Catchy
- 7 Tip #7: Track and Measure the Results
- 8 Tip #8: Conduct A/B Testing
Tip #1: Build Your Email List
No matter how great or high-quality your emails, if no one opens them it’s a waste of time and effort. Before you craft your first email campaign, ask yourself: do you have email subscribers? If the answer is no, don’t worry because you can build your own email list.
Although it might be tempting to buy or mine email addresses to quickly get an initial subscriber database, don’t do it! Not only is it unethical, but people don’t appreciate receiving emails that they didn’t opt into, and you can drive potential customers away from your brand.
How do you organically create your email list from scratch?
Set an exit intent alert
An exit intent pop-up encourages those visitors about to leave a website to stick around. It’s commonly used to promote deals and discounts, and guide readers to other relevant content. It can also warn users about the potential loss of information if a page is refreshed or closed.
You can customize the exit intent pop-up for lead collection, and grow your email marketing subscriptions without the need for multiple form fields. You can ask for just an email address, but do make sure to clearly indicate how and why subscribing to you is beneficial — and that you won’t share or use their personal data anywhere else. Depending on your content management system (CMS), exit intent plugins are free to use.
Use lead magnets
You can also grow your email subscribers by offering free digital resources like a cheat sheet, eBook, or learning course in exchange for a sign-up. If you have a valuable piece of content, prospects will want to sign-up for your newsletter to download or access it.
To make the lead magnet method effective, you need to clearly understand your potential customers’ problems, and offer a solution. The free content should ideally be evergreen, so it’s useful to your subscribers for more than the immediate future.
Not sure why your lead magnets aren’t working? Check out 7 Ways to Tell if Your Content Marketing is Working (and What to Do if It’s Not).
Tip #2: Have an Email Marketing Strategy
Sending a monthly newsletter is not a bad idea, but if you want to maximize your email marketing campaign consider adding other types of emails into the mix.
Reports show that sending a welcome email yields long-term engagement — just make sure to send them right away. Email marketing automation tools ensure that every time someone joins your newsletter, a welcome email is immediately sent. Your welcome email can offer content recommendations, or even discounts can make new subscribers feel special and glad to have signed up.
If you have a sale or a limited-time-only discount coupon, you can let your subscribers know through a promotional email. Along with discounts, consider other perks like free shipping that become an ongoing incentive to open your emails. Avoid clickbait subject lines when highlighting promotions, and make sure to follow-through with your subject line promise.
Holiday or seasonal emails
Email marketing is a given around the big holidays, but take advantage of special or non-traditional holidays too. For example, before Mother’s Day you could send a greeting or a list of gift ideas with a special discount. Content or product roundups relevant to seasonal trends or big annual events in your industry are another popular way to drive website traffic while providing value.
You might also tap into fun Internet culture holidays, like National Ice Cream Day, International Beer Day, or even National Hug Your Dog Day — anything that’s relevant to your business and your readers.
If you sell products like office supplies or contact lenses, sooner or later customers will need to replenish their stock. A re-order email is a great way to remind subscribers about your brand, and to show care for their workplace or their wellbeing. If they don’t re-engage, a different opportunity is created to send a “we miss you” email. You can offer a special discount to entice them to come-back.
Tip #3: Segment Your Subscribers
Segmentation in email marketing is about using subscribers’ information to create and target content that is relevant to their needs and pain points. It’s a great way to increase email conversions, and is easily done with no additional budget through the data already collected by email marketing tools.
You can segment or group your email list in lots of different ways.
Geography and demographics
The simplest and easiest way to segment your email list is based on geography and demographics. Let’s say you have a free shipping offer for subscribers in the United States. You wouldn’t want to send the same promo to subscribers that are residing in Japan, or else you’ll be shouldering additional shipping expenses.
The same goes for demographic segmentation. Certain products might be specific to gender, age, family situations, and other key demographics.
Activity and behaviour
You can also segment your subscribers based on their interactions not only with your emails, but also with your website. For example, if a subscriber recently browsed a pair of shoes, you can send product recommendations and related accessories. Cart abandonment emails that remind customers of a product they liked but didn’t finish purchasing can lead to closed sales.
Tip #4: Make Your Emails Mobile-Friendly
Did you know that 41% of email open rates occur on mobile devices? All it takes is a slow load or messy display to send mobile readers packing without engaging with your content. To make your emails correctly display on any screen size without spending too much time (and budget), use a responsive email template. Many email automation tools will have a built-in design service.
Alternatively, you should:
- Avoid designing multiple columns, because your content will appear condensed on mobile; use a single column whenever possible
- Set the width attribute to 600 pixels
- Opt for larger font sizes; 13 or 14pt are ideal font sizes for email marketing, but don’t be afraid to go higher
- Make your call-to-action bold and easy to locate
- Keep your subject line short and get the hook in the first two words, because mobile devices only show 25-30 characters
- Add ALT tags so your subscribers can determine the meaning of the image even if the pictures are not rendering due to device or browser issues
Tip #5: Add Social Media Buttons
Having social media buttons in your email allows your subscribers to connect with you on other platforms like Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Instagram. It also provides them the opportunity to share your content with friends and family that are not familiar to your brand.
If your content is useful and relevant, there’s a good chance your customers will want to share it — and that’s free promotion that can lead to more sales or leads, with no additional spend or effort.
Tip #6: Make Your Subject Line Catchy
The best way to ensure your email marketing is a success is to get those emails opened, and the best way to achieve that is through personalization.
Email personalization goes beyond adding your subscriber’s name into the subject line. Subject lines need to evoke urgency and curiosity, to grab the attention of subscribers. Generally, subject lines should be short and straightforward, and contain actionable words.
Tip #7: Track and Measure the Results
The great thing about email marketing is you don’t have to scour for data to determine the success of your campaign. Email marketing tools offer built-in results for every completed campaign. But what should you look for?
Here are our top metrics to track and measure:
- Click-through rates (CTR) – If you want to know the number of subscribers that clicked a link or button in your email, you can determine it through CTR
- Open rates – Open rates give you the percentage of subscribers that opened your emails, regardless of if they clicked the call-to-action (CTA)
- Conversion rates – If a subscriber completed an intended action like buying a product, it’s called a conversion rate
- Bounce rates – Emails that failed to reach your subscribers’ inbox are measurable through bounce rate; an email will bounce if there is an email server error or the email address is inactive or fake
Tip #8: Conduct A/B Testing
In email marketing, A/B testing is comparing two or more variations of your campaign and determining which version performs better.
What you test is up to you. What do you need to know, to get more value out of the emails you’re creating? You might test one or two content elements to see which performs best, like CTA button copy or images. You can test several subject lines against a smaller group of subscribers, and then send the bulk of your emails to the subject line that performs best to drive a higher open rate.
Email marketing lets you connect directly with customers and prospects, build brand awareness, and improve sales without breaking your budget. With affordable email marketing tools and services, any business can create and send effective email campaigns.
Jericho Gonzales is a Content Marketing Specialist at Campaign Monitor. After seven years of being unhappy with his career in the financial industry, he decided to follow his dreams and become a writer. Besides writing, he is also passionate about all kinds of martial arts, and practices whenever he can.