In the latest episode of The NEST, hosts Kellen McGugan and Sarah Hoffman interview Jill Hogue and Callie Johnson, both email specialists at BigWing Interactive, to discuss email marketing tips, best practices, and trends moving into 2017.
We start with the basics —what is email marketing? Email marketing is simply a conversation that you engage in with your customers, giving them the right information at the right time.
This helps your company educate potential leads and eventually turn them into customers and returning buyers. “Your email campaign can be anything you want it to be, from announcing news, products, specials, or events,” Jill says. “You can even use email to surprise and delight your customers by simply thanking them for being loyal customers.”
Tools and platforms to use when starting fresh with email marketing
Callie brings all the knowledge when it comes to tools and platforms to use when you begin an email marketing campaign. She recommends first figuring out what you want from your email marketing campaign. “We use Mailchimp, Constant Contact and Campaigner,” Callie says. “We probably use MailChimp the most because it’s easiest to use and our clients really like it.” We also use a tool called BriteVerify to clean up duplicates and invalid addresses in our client’s lists.
Setting your campaigns up for success
Moving on to specific skill sets when it comes to email marketing, the BigWing experts cover what it takes to do email marketing as a small business. “For successful email campaigns, it’s great to have someone that is good at storytelling to engage customers,” Jill says. “It’s also a good idea to have someone that’s great with design to make beautiful emails, and, lastly, someone who’s diligent in testing and looking at statistics to further improve your email campaigns.”
Building your list organically
Events are a great way to build your list. Say you’re at an event or tradeshow. You can download an app on your tablet or phone and collect email addresses right then and there. Another way is to offer something for free. “If you have something really awesome you can share with people, it’s okay to put an email gate for that offer and people will be willing to give their email address,” Callie says.
The importance of subject lines
Your subject line is your way in, so put some effort in your subject lines! You can have the most awesome email with amazing GIFs and a beautiful design, but if your subject line is awful, nobody will click it, especially if it’s unclear what you’re offering. Another quick tip is to make your subject lines actionable. Entice your audience to want to open up your email right then.
Using data for better emails
Today, many platforms have customizable dashboards to see your data and customize reports to fit your campaign goals. “Here at BigWing, we like to look at open rates and click-through rates to determine what people are opening and what people are engaging with,” Jill says. “If people are opening your emails and not clicking through them, that data gives you the opportunity to go back and make adjustments to create a more engaging campaign.”
Why you need email marketing services from a team like BigWing
Time is money, and here at BigWing, we have the staff to put the time into your email campaigns to make them successful. We also create email strategies that align specifically with your business goals to give you the results you want. We are constantly testing and improving your emails for optimal send times, open rates, subject lines, and more.
Our team is fully versed in the latest CAN-SPAM laws and email marketing best practices. “You can get fined $16,000 per record if you’re emailing to subscribers without the proper opt-in process,” Callie says. “We also abide by email best practices, like having a clear unsubscribe buttons on your emails.”
Email marketing can complement any marketing strategy. Why? Because email marketing is one of the best platforms to communicate directly to your customers, it’s fairly inexpensive and has an ROI of 4,300 percent. (Wow.)
If you’re interested in email marketing or have any questions, please contact us! We’re happy to speak with you.