One question we get a lot from clients is, do people actually pay attention to marketing emails? It might surprise you that in November 2023, Insider Intelligence reported that 50% of B2B marketers say that email marketing is the channel that has the biggest impact on their multichannel strategy, ahead of social media, content marketing, and digital advertising. In 2022, Litmus found that marketers earned $36 for every $1 spent on email marketing.
Think about it. Email is a fairly inexpensive medium. Compare a few hundred bucks a year for an email marketing platform (plus the cost of labor) to the hundreds or thousands you need to pump into Google or social media ad accounts every month to stay top of mind for your audience. How can you make the most of your email marketing? Here are three tips for 2024.
Build your list with intention
Of course, email is only effective if you have a list. And this is a quality-over-quantity game. It doesn’t matter if you have a million emails if only 1% are actually engaged. Take time to build and constantly refine your list. B2C businesses have it reasonably easy–almost every retail website you visit has a pop-up form offering “15% off your first order” in exchange for an email address. But what about B2B businesses? Or service businesses that don’t sell physical objects? You’ll have to get a little more creative. Here are some ideas for building your list:
- Instead of a percentage off, your offer might be a free downloadable (ebook, checklist, tool) or a free consultation.
- Create an industry-specific newsletter. Instead of just sharing your own news and content, try curating content from across your industry that would be helpful to your audience.
- Implement a referral program. The Brew has swag rewards for readers who refer their colleagues. If you’re a service-based company, could an existing client get a percentage off or some kind of exclusive perk for referring subscribers?
- Create at least one piece of evergreen content to use as a lead magnet on your website to drive signups. SEO the heck out of the page and create ads driving there to bring new people in continuously.
- Collaborate with other businesses where it makes sense to cross-promote on each other’s lists and encourage subscribers to join the other list.
- Host webinars, events, and attend conferences or industry trade shows to allow more people to opt-in to your content.
Use AI to supercharge your email marketing
Plenty of email marketing platforms, including HubSpot, MailChimp, and Twilio/SendGrid already have AI built into them to help you quickly optimize your email, segment your lists, and analyze contact behavior. As marketers, we know segmented emails are more effective (HubSpot reports segmented emails receive 30% more opens and 50% more clickthroughs than unsegmented). But segmenting and maintaining your lists and creating multiple versions of each email for each audience is time-consuming. This is where AI can come in and save you time.
Instead of simple personalization like adding in someone’s name or company, AI tools can now let you personalize to the individual, including sending the email at the optimal time for each person (Seventh Sense) and learning their habits to send content they’re most likely to engage with (Rasa.io).
A/B testing subject lines, templates, layouts, etc, is another area of email marketing that can be tedious and time-consuming. Let AI help you by asking it to come up with subject lines for each audience. HubSpot even has a built-in AI subject line generator if you need help coming up with ideas on the fly.
While adjusting your emails to send during optimal times and sending content curated for each individual should help with your open rates, there are also tools to help make sure your emails don’t end up in spam. Microsoft 360 now has a built-in spam checker to show your spam risk. There are also free tools like WriteCream and MailMeteor that can review your content and flag any words or phrases that could be caught in spam filters.
Pay attention to industry updates
Speaking of spam, in 2024, Google and Yahoo are cracking down on spam senders and implementing new requirements to keep their email users safe. Bulk senders (marketers) need to authenticate their identity with SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. You should also double-check that you have an easy-to-see unsubscribe button in every email you send. Learn more from Google. If you need help auditing your email to ensure everything is correctly set up, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Email marketing can be a powerful tool for building a relationship with your audience, and of course, selling products and services. Start the year by ensuring your email marketing platform complies with the new guidelines and experiment with AI to create personalized content efficiently. Ensure your email is aligned with all your content and marketing efforts to feed into each other and keep your sales pipeline flowing. By integrating these strategies, you’ll enhance your email marketing effectiveness and foster a more engaged and loyal customer base, driving growth and success in the year ahead.