When you are doing email marketing there are a few little nuances in the laws that even marketers with the best ideas can unintentionally infringe, so it’s worth reading on to learn how you can be compliant.
How to Collect Subscribers
Email marketing is basically a numbers game. The more email subscribers you have, the more chances that these would be converted to buyers. Having an email list is where you start to prospect. The great thing about an email list is that these are people who subscribed on their own volition.
They like what you are offering and they might buy at some time in the future. In the meantime, it is necessary to keep them interested. When they do not receive anything, or if they don’t like the materials, they can simply unsubscribe. Content marketing materials and media keep them interested enough to remain in the email list.
Traditional content marketing entails giving away marketing materials to attract interested prospects. The marketing materials are given away for free, either as inserts or as mailers. These materials are informative, instructional and authoritative.
In the same manner, content marketing for emails follow the same concepts. The materials help the online user learn about new products or news about the industry. The materials also point back to a blog on the website or an interesting video or infographic. These are posted on social media websites or posted on ads on these sites.
Other marketing contents which are used to draw in subscribers are free ebooks, exclusive content, guides, special deals, and others.
These materials whet the appetite of users or potential prospects. When the user clicks on the link, they would be able to access the material via a link to the website. They would also be asked to subscribe to the website or to a newsletter. The resulting email list is used as a subscription to the newsletter or for notifications if there are any new blog article. This is also the starting point for any email offers.
List Validation and Verification
Asking visitors to sign up is a common practice. It is relatively easy for visitors to sign up, in return for being able to browse the website. The listed address, however, is useless if it does not receive emails. The emails have to be verified first before the visitor is subscribed.
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Double opt-in ensures that the email is active and that the visitor uses it. When visitors submit their email address, they are also asked if they allow the website to send promotional materials. They are also sent an email, informing them that they have subscribed to the website.
The notification also asks if the visitor is allowing this. Worded in another way, the email reminds the visitor to click on a link, to verify the email address.
Double opt-in ensures that the email is active and that the visitor uses it. When visitors submit their email address, they are also asked if they allow the website to send promotional materials. They are also sent an email, informing them that they have subscribed to the website. The notification also asks if the visitor is allowing this. Worded in another way, the email reminds the visitor to click on a link, to verify the email address.
Email Validation is necessary for the removal of invalid, inactive or spammy emails. There are spam address lists which are accessed by email servers. When an address is on the spam list, or if these are inactive or otherwise invalid, the email address is removed from the list. This helps to improve the website’s key performance indicator (KPI). Verification and validation clean up the mailing list before it is used.
Targeting, Segmentation and Personalization
Besides website visitor data from web analytics, emails and newsletters are also a source of a lot of user-related data. A successful campaign will yield a lot of raw data. These include some user's information like the approximate age, gender, and location. Other information includes the referring website, browser, and operating system.
While at the website, still more information is gathered. These include the visitor’s length of stay, what pages he opened, what links he clicked, and others. If there is a need for other information, these can be gathered through a survey conducted during the signup process. With this information, a profile can be created.
Visitor profiles can be segmented according to categories which fit the website product offerings. The articles or items on the website would provide a clue about the subscriber's product preferences. This segmentation can be taken into account when creating personalized emails.
The personalization can be done at the email generation level. Or with the use of variables attached to the email database. The reading history can also be included in the subscriber database and used to create personalized emails or newsletters.
The segmentation can also be used with special offers or promotions. These customized emails contain specific promos for each subscriber. With the information gathered, a subscriber would have a known profile which includes what items they are most interested in.
If there’s a promo for this item, emails are sent to a select few. For an online store, if there’s a store-wide sale, subscribers would have a personalized email which contains only the items they are interested in, instead of the complete inventory.
Segmented niches lead to personalized emails. In turn, these lead to better rates of opened mail and improved click-through ratios, as well as subsequent sales.
Newsletters are regularly made and sent via email. These announce promotions or have links to new blog articles, relevant infographics, audio, videos, or industry-related news links. As part of content marketing, these emails occur on a regular basis. Other emails use templates to automate sending. The use of templates helps with responsive web design. The emails are primarily laid out for a mobile device but can be opened on a desktop.
Email templates are most useful with a shopping site, or if the website has a shopping cart. An email can be automatically sent for any event in connection with a shopping cart. Each step in a shopping cart creates a trigger for a possible email.
These triggers may include the sale of an item or items, use of coupons, abandoned carts, sales on items, and other events. There are practically no limits to the events that can trigger an email. A full-fledged shopping site can have as many as 200 or 300 email templates connected to different triggering events.
An abandoned cart, for instance, can trigger an email reminder after two hours. If there is a sale, the email can be sent an hour before the sale closes. In addition, if the cart is still abandoned after 12 hours, 24 hours or 72 hours, an email reminder can be sent. If at any time that the cart is abandoned and the items change prices or run out of stock, emails can be sent with recommendations for possible actions.
Email templates can also be used in promoting sales or sale items. These are especially useful in cases where a customer bought an item and alike or related item is on sale. The customer might buy the sale item because of an earlier related purchase. An example is when a customer buys a skincare product and the customer is sent an email with a discounted offer for other skincare products.
Templates are also used to offer discounts on additional products based on the abandoned cart products. The products in the abandoned cart will still have the same price, but the additional items may have deeper discounts. Other templates are used for these kinds of promotions and have proven to be effective in recovering the lost sales.
Email templates are easy to use and create. Internet service providers and web hosts include email template libraries as part of the service. These are drag and drop design apps allowing users to easily configure their emails.
Monitoring and analysis
Like the website and social media use, emails also need to be monitored. Emails also generate a lot of data. These can be useful in providing insights on what items are popular and what their market looks like. In the case of emails sent after abandoned carts, the open ratio can show what items are popular, why customers abandon their carts, and why many returns to continue shopping.
Monitoring website and email activity is important because these help the internet marketer better understand the customer. Various events are monitored and provide vital information for the internet marketer.
Some of the information that can be retrieved and monitored include the best time (also called “hot hour”) and day (also called “hot day”) to send an email, the subject line and clicked links. The subject line and the most clicked links are useful in A/B testing. Open rates give an idea of the success of the campaign. Improving the system should also improve the average open rates.
Email marketing consists of a lot of materials. These include welcome emails, email verification, newsletters, and others. Templates are also very useful in automated abandoned cart emails. With the use of monitoring and analysis tools, the website owner and admin can better market their products and services with personalized emails.
Author : Nelly Muradkhanyan