That is a pretty loaded question! Email marketing can serve many, many purposes, and it is completely different from any other platform you may currently use. Your website, social media presence, and even your online shop all serve a different purpose; why should email marketing be any different?
Email marketing allows for contact with your customers in a way that you would not otherwise have. So the question is not, “Should I use email marketing?”, it’s more, “What type of email marketing should I use?”
To answer that, there are several things to consider:
Type of business
Type of email marketing
Best time to hit send
We’ll go through and talk about all of these, but before we do, grab a piece of paper. At the risk of sounding boring or like this is going to be some hard project, just know that it’s work, but that you won’t regret it in the end!
Type of Business:
What is your field of business? Even though you know it backwards and forwards, write it down at the top of your paper.
Do you really know your audience? Have you ever heard the saying, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have?” Same goes for your customer base. Besides what you already know about your current customers, write down who you want future customers to be. Their ideals, what they’re willing to spend money on, and even what they like to do for fun. In the words of Tara Gentile, “Think of an individual person…Who is the one person I know who has this problem?”
Alright, so this may not be a huge deal to your business; however, if you’re in the market of marketing to the entire world (online business, perhaps), you’ll need to pay attention to when you send your emails and when they’re opened. You may need to group subscribers in different time zones and send out accordingly.
Types of email marketing:
We like to pass along stuff we learn, and do not want to copy others or reinvent the wheel. What a waste of both of our time! All that to say, this article from HubSpot hits the nail right on the head: 6 Different Emails Every Marketer Should Consider Sending. (Read it and write down what type(s) you’d like to send out!!)
Best time to hit send:
Although there is no one answer to this looming question, below are a few tips that will help you decide what’s best for your specific customer base. Read through them, then jot down what ideas you think will work best as of now:
Tip #1. Start simple, with What Our Data Told Us About the Best Time to Send Email Campaigns. It contains insightful information (including optimization), but if you don’t have time to read it, we’ll let you in on the top secret: During the day, between 9-5.
Tip #2. Research not only the best time, but the best day to hit send. Best Time to Send Email Marketing Campaigns, another great article that was published in April 2014, breaks down the pros and cons of sending your campaign on each day of the week.
Tip #3. Overall, if you really want to know the true answer for your audience, conduct A/B split tests. This may sound like some big hurdle, but put plainly, it means to send out separate batches of emails at different times to a certain percentage of your subscribers. For example, Email A is sent to 10% of subscribers at 9am, while Email B is sent to another 10% of subscribers and 7pm. Combined with analytics (which most email campaign managers provide), this can tell you which time the most emails were opened, and set you up to schedule future emails exactly when the most subscribers will open them. Repeat this step to find the day that works best.
YOUR end goal. WHY are you asking for subscribers (never buy them!) and sending them email? Do you want to:
Increase foot traffic
Increase website traffic
Increase social traffic
Increase repeat business
Lower marketing costs
Copy down what you’d like to see happen. Email marketing can provide for one or all of the above.
Whatever route you want to take, these basic tips will help you tremendously throughout your email marketing endeavors – whether you’re just beginning, or you’ve been doing it for a while and your campaigns are in need of a face lift.
If you’re still skeptic, check out Simple Points About Email Marketing That Are So Simple…
Let is know if/how this post helped you, and any suggestions you may have for us and others!
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