Email marketing has consistently proven itself as one of the most valuable online channels for reaching your end users.
It is surprising then studies also finds that companies are relegating a smaller portion of their budget to email marketing. So, I would like to take the time to make the case for email marketing by answering the following questions:
Why is email marketing important? What kind of tools do you need to be successful at it? And finally, what kind of campaigns will help you generate sales and a high ROI?
Why Should You Use Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a great tool for capturing important pieces of customer information, and frankly, the more you know about your customers, the better off your business will be. Don’t you agree that it is useful to know which regions of the world your subscribers live in, or what time of day your subscribers are most engaged with your emails? If you notice that 60 percent of your subscribers open your newsletters in the evening, you know you should start delivering those emails in the evening.
Email marketing also enables you to identify your most active subscribers and engage with them. For example, if you see subscribers click a link in an email but don’t move forward with the purchase, you can automate campaigns to send emails to those subscribers again, providing more information about product benefits or offering a discount.
Finally, email marketing allows you to remarket to past customers. Based on data from previous purchases, you have subscribers who are familiar with your brand and product. These already opted-in customers are more likely to repurchase in the future.
Aside from all those benefits, you know what the main reason is for increasing your email marketing budget? It’s a proven revenue generator.
One of our clients runs two kinds of email marketing campaigns. The first campaign is for converting free trial users into paid customers and the other is a license renewal campaign. These campaigns have generated the company an additional $90,000 every month and account for 15 percent of the overall business. Another one of our clients sees an ROI of 1000 percent — earning almost $100,000 from an investment of only $10,000. We worked with another company who shifted their business model from perpetual licenses to subscriptions, and they now see 40 percent of their revenue generated through renewals — facilitated by email marketing. Even the smallest of campaigns can generate $10,000 in revenue from a monthly send of about 7,000 emails.
What Platform Capabilities Do You Need?
Possibly the most important part of a successful email marketing program is finding the perfect email service provider for your needs. If you’re just beginning your email marketing adventures, look for a smaller platform where you can grow your lists, become familiar with setting up campaigns, and gradually increase your overall volume. If you’re more experienced and have several lists and automation campaigns running, you will need a platform that can accommodate your program.
In either case, there are certain platform capabilities that you should be looking for, like:
- Open-source APIs
- Content management
- A/B testing
Rather than manually uploading your subscribers to the email platform, you should be able to use APIs to import subscribers from your CRM solution into your email marketing campaigns.
Though some platforms are more advanced than others, it is important to have a content editor as part of your email marketing platform. It should let you easily view HTML templates and make edits as needed.
It’s important to have an A/B testing tool built into your platform so you can continuously test your content with your subscribers. Testing confirms which templates and messages are most persuasive.
Look for a platform with standard email metrics like opens, clicks, bounces, unsubscribes, etc.
Email marketing automation is an important feature because it saves you time and money, and ensures your subscribers receive relevant content precisely when they need to see it.
What Kind of Email Campaigns Should You Send?
As business models shift from perpetual licensing to annual subscriptions, it’s more important than ever to integrate email marketing and ecommerce platforms. Doing so results in a constant feed of up-to-date customer purchasing data and revenue tracking. Below are five of the most essential email marketing campaigns:
After a customer signs up for a trial product on your website, an email is immediately triggered. The email should contain a message listing the product’s benefits and information about what the customer can expect from their trial period. As the campaign progresses, send reminder notices with links to purchase the full version. It’s important that this campaign is integrated with your ecommerce solution because if someone purchases early in the trial period, further emails will be suppressed. Another added benefit of integration is revenue tracking — you can easily see which email cadence converts best over the course of the trial.
A seamless renewal process is essential if your business model dictates that your customer must renew their order. By integrating your email and ecommerce platforms, you can create links to a customized shopping cart or an update-payment page; personalize the email with specific product information; and pull in past purchasing data for the customer.
Awaiting offline payment
The awaiting offfline payment campaign is used when a customer places an order with an offline payment method, like PayPal, but never completes their order. A series of follow-up emails prompts the customer to submit their payment.
Similar to an awaiting offline payment campaign, the payment decline campaign is used when a customer’s order declines but they take no effort to update their card information and reprocess the charge. A series of emails are sent to the customer to update their payment information and process their order.
A winback campaign targets past customers who have either canceled their subscription or did not renew it. This campaign is effective simply because you are targeting subscribers who are familiar with your brand and have used the product in the past, and are more likely to be persuaded to renew.
The more you invest in your email marketing program, the more revenue you will generate. Make sure you are familiar with the critical capabilities of a high-performing email marketing platform and the most effective types of email marketing campaigns.
Emily Oney is an Email Marketing Specialist at cleverbridge.