How to outperform your competitors with email marketing

Email marketing may be one of the oldest standing forms of digital communication, but by no means is it a dying breed. Email marketing is more popular than ever and growing.

With the addition of smartphones, the world of email marketing just got more ‘mobile’. Pardon the pun, but emails aren’t just viewed in the office anymore, they can be viewed anywhere from the comfort of your home to travelling in the back of a taxi.

To outperform your competitors with your email marketing, there are many ways in which you can up your game.

1. Gather consent like your life depends on it

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year or so, you’ll more than likely have heard of GDPR. This regulation is shaking up the digital climate, forcing you to gain consent for all your marketing communications. Whilst this may sound unfair, the changes may actually be beneficial for your company, which we will explain in this blog.

After the 25th May if you don’t have consent you cannot contact your perspective customers – which makes this point all the more important.

A sure-fire way of gaining consent is offering value in return for your communications, whether that’s providing discounts; or white papers – more than likely it’s going to help rather than hinder your efforts.

2. Have a set goal in mind

The first thought that appears in your customers head when they open your email is ‘What’s in it for me?’ or ‘What do I need to do next?’. With a clear call to action (CTA) you can answer both questions, as well as giving your campaign a goal.

Having a CTA gives your campaign a focus, as well as a metric to measure so you can gauge the success. Email campaigns with clear CTAs generally deliver better results:

A study by HubSpot found that “Emails with a single CTA increased clicks 371% and sales 1617%”.

A CTA can be anything as simple as ‘follow this link to our website’, or ‘follow us on social media’. It should always be simple and concise, choosing one main CTA – otherwise you may have too many conflicting messages and run the risk of confusing your customers.

3. User-focused design

Alongside website design, email campaign designs have progressed a long way; from a blank, white background and black text to personalised, bespoke templates.

Also, similarly to website design, email campaigns have had to accommodate mobile phones and consider how emails will be viewed and interacted with on a smaller screen.

A recent report showed that “41% of customers use mobile phones to open their emails.” – With the rising popularity of mobile phones, it is essential that your email marketing is perfect for any device.

If there’s one rule you should take note of when it comes to design, it’s simplicity and user focus. A simple, clean layout with concise content can make all the difference to your conversion rate.

Video marketing receives the most engagement and conversions, so why should that be any different when being used in email marketing. Video is the preferred platform to digest any information, it can turn your lifeless piece of text into something people won’t be able to keep their eyes off. As well as “video emails receiving higher CTR’s, 96% higher than non-video”.

4. Seek inspiration regularly

One thing a lot of marketer’s overlook is drawing inspiration from others, how else do you think the standard of email marketing reached the peak it has today? You receive emails all the time, so it’s a prime opportunity to start analysing some existing campaigns.

There are many aspects to look at to draw inspiration, here are a few examples:

Design
• Call to action
• Use of images
• Use of videos
• Offers
• Subject lines
• Content copy

One example of a business doing exceptionally well when it comes to email marketing is Amazon. But, why are they so successful? Because everything they do is centred around the user, the way they suggest items you might be interested in and follow up with old items is really something to take note of.

5. Segmentation is essential

“Segmented emails campaigns have an open rate that is 14.32% higher than non-segmented campaigns”. Yet this is sometimes ignored by marketers.

Mass emails are the conversion killer. Segmentation allows you to personalise your emails, which will give you a better chance of engaging.

Whilst it may be time-consuming to segment your contacts into lists, it’s very beneficial. There are various ways you can segment your audiences: trial users, mobile vs. desktop, leads and new subscribers etc.

The whole point of segmentation is providing your contacts with content that is relevant, to trigger actions and produce data that will help you optimise your campaigns.

Something that goes hand in hand with segmentation is A/B testing; when you segment it’s much easier to implement tests and change specific aspects to drive results. You may have a smaller pool of results, but you will learn what content appeals to each audience.

                                                                                        In conclusion

Email marketing may seem fairly straight forward, which it is to an extent. But it takes regular amendments and alterations to make it successful. Follow these 5 steps and we guarantee you that you’ll gain the needed edge on your competitors.