Many business owners and email marketers find themselves perplexed by the daunting task of launching the perfect email marketing campaign. Even before you launch your first campaign, you’ve got to start by building the perfect email list.
Building an email list can seem overwhelming, but the beautiful thing about email marketing is you can make a bigger impact at a lower cost.
The right email list helps build the foundation for other successful digital marketing campaigns. Marketing tactics like remarketing, social media marketing and online reputation management require the right contacts to form a successful foundation.
Leverage personal connection to your advantage and find the right people to reach. Here’s how:
First, Study the Facts About Email Lists
Let’s cast aside a few rumors about purchasing email lists. Many marketing companies and tech blogs will tell you that you don’t need to purchase an email list in order to make your marketing campaigns work. It’s important to consider the BIGGER picture.
A reputable list company will always follow required guidelines and privacy protection laws. This ensures protection for opted in subscribers, but also guarantees your ability to market to these individuals without damaging your own credibility and reputation.
Consider the opportunity cost of not purchasing an email list. If you are constantly running around and juggling multiple workloads, do you really have time to sit down, suppress your email subscriber lists to make sure they are updated and compliant?
People opt out of emails constantly, so why not spare yourself the headache of combing through thousands of records to ensure they are updated? A good list purchasing company should provide this service for you. Before you purchase any type of data or email list, they will guarantee the list has been scrubbed and CAN-SPAM compliant, giving you the freedom and flexibility to focus on your overall campaign goals and increase profit.
Think of list purchasing as a tactic to get your message out of the gate, FAST. Just by sending out that first email marketing piece, you are already establishing a personal connection and increasing brand awareness. Even if you only purchase one email list, it can still make people aware of your business, who otherwise, wouldn’t have known. From that point, you can utilize other specific mediums to continue to grow your audience through email marketing.
1. Know How Data is Collected
There are many email list companies, so it’s important to do your research and become familiar with how they acquire their database of emails.
A reputable company will work with you to get the best targeting for your budget, so it’s important to ask the tough questions. Ask how often their database is updated and, most importantly, inquire about privacy protection laws and email compliance guidelines. These laws can vary by state and specific industries, so in many cases, compliancy is required by law.
You will also feel reassured about marketing your business to prospective clients.
Any company you speak with should also be able to guarantee a data list that is clean and able to successfully send without alerting email spam filters. Email lists should also be permission-based, meaning, they guarantee that every record has opted in.
2. Embrace Granular Details
In other words, don’t be so broad with your record selections that you isolate high-converting prospects. For example: Say you own a retail sporting goods store. It’s family-owned, but sales have recently declined due to larger, retail giants in the area. You need to find a way to stand out from these larger competitors, so you decide you want to market your exclusive line of handmade batting gloves. It would be nice to reach those consumers who shop at these larger chains, who purchase items related to baseball and who have children in little league or related sporting leagues.
You could keep things simple and just purchase a list of men and boys in the area who are interested in baseball, but you could be missing a big opportunity to target a more specific audience. A reputable email list company will help you determine the best strategy to take by providing ‘counts’ based on your specific criteria. A count basically shows an estimate of what it would cost to target specific consumer sectors and interests within a certain demographic area for a certain number of records. You can get a quote for multiple counts, if needed, so you can make the best decision on how to effectively market your business, based on your goals and budget.
Many companies can build custom email lists for you, based on different combinations of certain criteria so you can evaluate and make an informed decision.
In the case of the sporting goods example, purchasing an email list opens numerous possibilities. You can only choose to target parents with children who own a home within a specific neighborhood within a certain radius of a baseball park, known for its abundance of little league teams. You can also segment this list further by only targeting specific people who meet this criterion, but who’ve also shopped at one of your competitors within the last 30 days.
Just remember: Revenue is in the details.
3. Keep Your Audience Engaged
So, you’ve got your perfect list. Awesome. Now what? A little personality goes a long way, so don’t be afraid to show off yours.
Personalized emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates. Some companies have even reported an 8x improvement in click through rates, due to a personalized message or video, versus the standard email marketing template.
Instead of just sending out an email for the sake of it, do more. Personalize your subject line. Virtually every email marketing tool has the built-in capability for you to do this easily. Many brands and organizations using email personalization practices generate 17% more revenue through their campaigns.
Don’t be afraid to buy multiple lists so you can segment and personalize your message effectively. Many email marketing companies use machine learning in order to help you effectively hit the mark. This keeps your audience engaged and wanting to learn more about your company, products or services.
You also want to make sure that your website and social media channels are utilizing this information to keep you top of mind. You can run an effective remarketing campaign through social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, based on your email lists. You can create specific audiences and launch specific campaigns, just by capitalizing on the data you already have.
Give new people the chance to opt-in to your email list by creating custom landing pages and offering relevant resources for download. You can also effectively promote these downloadable resources across your social media channels and gain additional qualified leads.
4. Don’t Be Annoying
Finding the right frequency in your email marketing is crucial. You don’t want to isolate prospective clients, but you don’t want them to click the ‘unsubscribe’ button either.
Study the behavior of your list after you send your first email. What are your open rates, and are they above or below industry standard? Ask yourself: What would inspire you to open an email? Is it a personal subject line, a sense of urgency, or both? What do you look for in the content? What would you hope to see? How often?
How often is probably the most important aspect to ponder. Statistically, open rates tend to decline if more than 4 to 8 emails are sent per week for b2c emails. When it comes to b2b emails, more is better, with 8-12 emails per month resulting in higher open rates.
In a recent marketing study, email frequency is the chief culprit in unsubscribes. To avoid this hurtle, take proactive steps. Don’t be afraid to survey your list with the same questions you ask yourself. Ask your audience how often they would prefer to receive emails from you. Find out what type of messaging matters to them. Are they looking for discounts, updates on the company, or both? Use this data to your advantage and coordinate your email marketing strategy accordingly.
Most email marketing tools also give you the ability to test subject lines. Why not test the theory of personalization? Conduct an A/B split test with two different subject lines. Try a basic subject line promoting an offer in comparison to that same subject line with personalization. Analyze the results and use the data to optimize accordingly.
5. Create Content That Matters
It may sound cliché, but it’s true: Content is king. Content doesn’t just have to be a blog post or an email template. It can be anything you find relevant to achieve a personal connection with your audience.
Content matters, but so does your brand. Make your content relatable and give a face to your company. Try creating an email marketing campaign that has a little something for everyone. Promote an offer but give some merit behind it. Spotlight an employee, highlight a charitable event, or just simply include a greeting from you or your senior leadership team. The statistics show personalization matters. Consumers want to feel like you care about them and you should want the same in return.
Just like with your subject line, test how you prioritize the content of your email. Place your personal greeting at the top of one email, but the offer on the other. Which call to action generates the higher click through rate? An A/B experiment can tell you a lot about how your audience engages with your content.
Never assume you know your audience better than what actual data can reveal.