Email marketing is now so much more than simply distributing your content to a database of subscribers. It can provide you with powerful insights about who your subscribers are (literally by pulling in profile pictures from social networks!), which email content they are most engaged with, and which pages they visit on your site.
Marketers should now be utilizing this insight and incorporating into their email marketing strategy. Rather than simply distributing content for the sake of distributing content, marketers should be using insights about their subscribers to deliver them information that ultimately will turn them into a paying customer. This is both true for B2B and B2C email marketing campaigns.
Below are eight of the top features I believe every marketer should look for within their email marketing provider to execute both basic and advanced email marketing campaigns.
Understanding what a subscriber base does with email content is crucial to developing a successful email strategy. How many times was each email opened? Which subscribers clicked on which link? Who are the most engaged subscribers? Knowing these metrics allows marketers to target segments of their subscribers based on their actions with content and their true interests.
2. List Segmentation
Even free email platforms, such as MailChimp, now include this powerful feature. Segmentation of a database is possible based on subscriber activity (clicks, opens, purchases). This enables marketers to further engage with the subscriber sending them content they have been known to find interesting based on their past activities with the content.
3. Social integration
Social media has allowed marketers to build communities and conversations around their brands. Cross promotion between email marketing and social media tactics are becoming increasingly popular and intertwined with many email marketing platforms offering integration of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networks.
This is particularly useful for offering incentives to drive clicks and conversions, and at the same time, incorporate buzz around social media content. I.e. “Get $20.00 off your next purchase by liking our Facebook page and getting us to 100 fans by April 1st!”.
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A/B Split testing of email content, subject lines and delivery times helps optimize open and click rates. Email providers make thiseasy for anyone to do without any technical expertise needed (i.e. coding). Test and test again to ensure emails are reaching an audience at the exact moment they wish to receive it.
5. Auto responders
Birthdays and anniversaries are good ways to use auto responder features to a company’s advantage. I.e. “It’s your birthday! Come into our store and show us this birthday wish on your mobile device to receive 10% off”.
6. Analytics integration
An email platform should allow integration with analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, to track engagement on a website. This allows for tracking subscriber movement from email campaigns to key website pages showing them as visits within analytics.
This integration enables marketers to take their email strategies a step further by indentifying which pages on site subscribers have visited from a campaign. However, it does not do this for each individual subscriber, rather the list as a whole shown as visits in analytics. If marketers wish to see which individual subscribers are engaging on a website, an email provider with a CRM integration is the next level up in the realm of email marketing strategies. (see point #7)
7. CRM Integrations
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As a need for a more advanced email strategy develops, choosing an email provider with a CRM is a powerful and beautiful thing! Quite often email platforms that come with CRM integration will have a plug-in specifically for this that shows, within the CRM, pages visited, emails opened and frequency of visits to a website even if that particular subscriber has not received an email campaign yet. A piece of tracking code is placed on the website, and tracks subscriber movement anonymously based on their email address. This populates their activity within the CRM, showing which subscribers are hot, warm or cold. This data can then be used to convert subscribers to customers using marketing automation.
8. Marketing Automation
Also referred to as lead nurturing, this is the crème de la crème of email marketing strategies. In conjunction with a CRM integration, automated email marketing programs target subscribers (lead database) with content most applicable to them. Further qualifying subscribers with web-forms, downloads and specific email content, the idea is to touch base with everyone within the lead database at least once during a company’s sales cycle to warm leads to actual customers.
Please contact 6S Marketing to find out how we can help you with your email marketing strategy.