Email marketing has become one of the most powerful business marketing tools. Sadly, many African businesses are not aware of the power that comes with email marketing and therefore tend to turn a blind eye on it. It has one of the highest return-on-investments (ROI) and for any company to truly harness this potential, it must be able and willing to carryout powerful email marketing campaigns.
Achieving business growth isn’t just about using the right social media strategy; this is where many small African companies focus their energy, but it’s also about using the right tools like email marketing to achieve the growth you need. A successful email marketing campaign can help take your business from ‘zero to hero.’
There’s every reason email marketing should be the precious stone of your digital marketing strategy. Tweet this!
It may seem easy to just compose the words you want to transmit to your audience. But there is actually so much more than what meets the eyes.
Here are 8 tips to help you create great invaluable email marketing campaigns that catch the interest of your customers and keep them glued to your business.
- Get their permission
Once you have the email address of your potential customer, you have true power. However, you don’t want to abuse that power by spamming your customers with marketing messages without getting their permission first. These type of emails are usually referred to as Bulk E-mails.
Instead, make use of opt-in emails. If a potential customer hasn’t showed interest in your service, don’t force it on them by spamming their inbox – they will eventually end up in the spam folder.
What’s worse? When many recipients of these emails mark them as spam.
How is this worse? Email providers like Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo will constantly monitor these emails and flag them as spam, sending most of your future emails directly to spam boxes. And this is bad for your campaign.
Building a list for your email marketing campaign could help you avert this negative influence. There are really a number of ways to do this. It could involve giving out something valuable for free like a free e-book or a valuable coupon for their next purchase. Once you do this, you can get their precious email address in exchange.
- Build your email list
If you are just getting started with email marketing, your email list may still be a fairly small one and it’s really not a problem. There is always a starting point. Just make sure you use whatever means possible to collect email addresses from your visitors.
A great way to do that is by adding opt-in forms to your blog and website. You could start by adding a link on your social media profiles to these forms and on your landing pages so that new visitors will be able to sign up to join your email list.
One best practice in email marketing is to include information together with the signup form to let your new subscribers know how you plan to email them (daily, weekly or monthly schedule). They also appreciate if you tell them the kind of information you’ll be sending them. This makes it easy for people to know exactly what they’re signing up for, avoiding surprises down the road.
- Offer something valuable in exchange for their email
Your email address is so valuable to be given out at random. The catch here is to offer your visitors something in exchange for their email address. You don’t expect a visitor to subscribe to your newsletter or blog without providing something they stand to gain from subscribing. This is closely related with obtaining permission from your potential subscribers. Some African startups seem to be doing it right.
- Give your subscribers what you promised
It’s crucial to meet your customers’ expectations when deploying email marketing campaigns. Once you promote an email as a newsletter, make sure that’s exactly what you are sending to them. They know when they are being lied to and you may alienate your subscriber forever once you overstep the mark by sending them what you didn’t promise.
If someone signs up for something, it’s probably because they need something from you. Their emails and expectations are too precious to be tampered with. Try giving them exactly what you promised and also at the right time.
See how an African tech company like Andela does it.
- Establish a unique voice for your brand
Every small business or entrepreneur has their unique voice. The tone you use for your marketing messages should be a little bit more conversational compared to emails sent out by other big companies. Depending on the type of business or industry you find yourself in, your voice may change as well. Let your unique voice be relevant to the type of business you are into.
- Consistency is key
One mistake that small businesses make is sending out emails any time they have something to say. This type of practice is wrong. It will help you to email your subscribers on a regular basis but don’t overdo it also.
Your readers may get confused when you don’t email them for even just a few months. They may get frustrated or even forget about your business before you make up your mind to hit the send button after 6 months or so. If you send out emails to your readers every Monday or Friday, make sure you stick to it. Hitting the send button on a regular basis, constantly reminds your readers about your business and builds your brand.
- Deliver quality content
We’ve seen that it is good to be consistent with the emails you send to your readers. However, being consistent with irrelevant content is even more dangerous for your campaign. Creating and delivering quality content is key. Many successful entrepreneurs and marketers will ask you to provide quality content. That’s because high value content is crucial.
Any content you make available to your online audience must be able to offer some real value. What’s the point creating content that doesn’t entice your audience? In the long run, all your low-value content may end up in spam and you may never be able to get it out of the dust bin even when you decide to upgrade your content.
You may want to apply the 80-20 rule – 80% of your content should offer help to your customers while 20% of your content should sell your product, business or service.
- Make it readable
Whatever the device your readers will use to read your email messages, you want to make them as readable as possible. It makes it easy for the reader to scan through and read when you use subheadings and bullet points. Keeping your emails short is also important. Most people usually don’t have the time and patience to read long texts. It’s also easy to digest concise emails than longer ones. You’ll want to work with that.
When done the right way, email marketing is by far, one of the most effective growth strategies for your small business. It’s only the beginning once you create and deliver your email campaign. Your campaign is not over once you hit the send button. You still need to stick around and spend some time studying what your readers or customers like and what they are interested in.