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Email has been around for decades, but it is still one of the most effective ways to persuade customers to buy. Email marketing has a staggering ROI of 122%, making it four times more effective than paid advertising and social media outreach.
Never underestimate the importance of an email list
However, it isn’t enough to send out a few product-related emails and cross your fingers. You must tailor your strategy to fit your business and, more importantly, your intended audience.
Startups often fail to understand the importance of drawing up a plan well in advance of their first product launch, thereby missing out on sales opportunities.
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Here’s how to create a winning strategy:
Start building your list early
Generate excitement around your products and build a customer base by making it easy for interested parties to sign up.
Even if your website is in its early stages, be sure to create an attractive landing page with a simple signup form. You also need to choose the tools you will use to manage your mailing lists. Popular choices include SurveyMonkey, ReachMail, and CakeMail.
Don’t try to cut corners by purchasing preapproved mailing lists. Digital marketer Syed Balkhi advises that creating your own list will earn you an open rate of roughly 20-25%, which drops to around 5% or lower for a purchased list. It’s best to save your money. Instead, focus on finding people who are actually interested in what your startup has to offer.
Think about your target audience
You should already know who you are trying to reach. What are their pain points, their needs, and their aspirations? Take time to put together an ideal buyer profile, or several profiles if appropriate.
This will shape your communication strategy. For instance, your choice of language and illustrations you use in your marketing emails will depend on your audience’s age.
Take an honest look at your team and their capabilities. Are you able to create messages that appeal to your market? You probably wouldn’t build a website if you had no technical expertise, so why write your own content if you have no background as a writer? If you can afford it, hire a content writer or freelancer to create your copy. Start by checking out Top Writers Review for a list of the best rated writing services.
Think about how you will welcome each new subscriber
People expect to receive a formal notification when they subscribe to an email list. Send them an automated welcome email. You could reward them for joining by offering a special introductory discount as a gesture of goodwill.
Segment your prospects and tailor your content accordingly
Within your target market, you will distinctive subgroups of prospective customers. Segmenting these groups allows you to send them personalized content that is particularly relevant to them, thus increasing the likelihood they will make a purchase.
You can segment subscribers based on:
- Past purchasing behavior
- Browsing behavior
- The position they hold in a business
For example, if you run an online bookstore, it makes more sense to send promotional emails about an upcoming sale on women’s fiction to your female subscribers rather than the men on your list.
Make your content visually appealing and valuable
Over 281 billion emails are sent every day, so you need to make sure your content stands out. Use a template to make your e-mail newsletters appear more professional. Either pay a designer to make a customized template or use a reputable DIY service such as Canva.
Make sure your content offers real value. Don’t just promote your products. Link to articles, videos, and other content that engages your audience. No one likes to feel as though a company is constantly putting them under pressure to buy.
Ask customers for feedback
You cannot afford to become complacent when it comes to your reputation. Ask your customers for their feedback after completing a purchase, and send out general survey requests to discover how they perceive your brand and products.
Bear in mind that the way you word your requests for help can make a big difference to the response rate, as can the words you use when writing an online survey.
If you have no experience in this area, it’s a good idea to outsource these tasks to writers with a great track record in the business. Visit All Top Reviews to view testimonies and reviews of the best companies who can help with the writing process.
When you send a receipt by email, showcase other products of interest
It’s standard practice to send customers a receipt to their inbox, but don’t pass up the chance to suggest other similar products that might be of interest.
Check that you are complying with anti-spam laws
The law takes a dim view of spam, so check that you are heeding all relevant anti-spam legislation. For instance, under the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 you must do the following:
- Identify commercial messages as such
- Tell recipients where you are located, and provide a postal address
- Give recipients the chance to unsubscribe
- Always use accurate information in the header, “From,” “To,” and “Reply” boxes
For more information, take a look at the US Government’s Federal Trade Commission website.
Experiment with timing
Automation software makes it easy to schedule your marketing emails. The time of day or week can make a big difference in your opening rates, so don’t be afraid to experiment. If you have an international audience, bear in mind that you will need to take their local time into consideration.
Follow these 11 points, and you’ll have an email list that will maximize your sales and build your startup’s reputation. A high-quality email list is one of your key assets, so give it the time it deserves.