email marketing freelancer norwich

Email Marketing

Email marketing can be an incredible way to nurture new leads and encourage repeat business from your existing customers. Whilst it relies on building a database of subscribers in line with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), growing your lists, encouraging new signups and staying compliant is relatively straightforward with the right guidance.

It’s unusual that email marketing doesn’t get the same amount of attention as other digital marketing, as it’s often the channel that generates the highest return on investment. The Direct Marketing Association claims that email marketing returns around £40 for every £1 spent.

Compared to social media and search engine optimisation, email marketing generates results quickly, shows you exactly who engages and lets you custom-build audience segments. With a whole host of metrics to analyse during and after campaigns, email marketing is also highly measurable, allowing you to test, learn and refine between sends.

email marketing reporting norwich

I focus on four key areas when it comes to great-performing email campaigns.

#1 | Segmenting by location

Localised sends really do out-perform bulk sends when it comes to email. For example, sending separate campaigns to London, Cambridgeshire and Essex with tailored information instead of one campaign to ‘UK’ keeps messaging relevant and avoids spam filters kicking in. People often have deep emotional links to the areas they live in, and it makes for good email to tap into this.

#2 | Punchy subject lines

The subject line of an email is the gateway to content being read and buttons being clicked, so writing something concise and eye-catching is crucial. Emojis, touching upon curiosity and highlighting promotions early on can make a big difference.

#3 | A/B Testing

Testing one version of a design (A) against another one (B) to find a winner is available in other areas of digital marketing, but the functionality to A/B test within email marketing is arguably the best. Whether it’s discovering the best time of day to send, the best wording of a subject line or the best layout of a design, A/B testing is a powerful and insightful way to improve performance.

#4 | Responsive design

Keeping design work in .jpg format and no wider than 600 pixels, avoids display issues and supports responsiveness across different devices. Below is an example of a design that either displays as a 4×4 grid on desktop, or as a stackable column on mobile. Whilst Mailchimp and similar programs offer straight-forward drag and drop functionality, they also support customisation in HTML.

email marketing designs norwich

Encouraging new subscribers

To maintain good results within email marketing it’s important to be continuously ‘topping up’ new subscribers to your lists. Even the best email marketing efforts generate ‘unsubscribes’ as people’s situations and interests change over time, and this is to be expected. Friends and clients who no longer want to hear from you is demotivating, but don’t dwell on it. Focussing instead on generating a constant stream of new subscribers will keep you upbeat, especially when new subscribers start turning into paying customers. Mailchimp gives us various ways to sync up with Google Analytics to help you keep track of this.

GDPR compliance

After the introduction of GDPR, gaining consent (and being able to provide evidence of it) is the safest and smartest route to go down when acquiring new email subscribers, however you may also be able to email out to existing customers under ‘legitimate interest’ (however this is not as clear-cut as consent and needs careful consideration beforehand – the ICO website is a great resource in checking the latest guidelines on this).

In short, every opportunity a potential client or website visitor has to submit an enquiry to is an opportunity for you to encourage an email opt-in. Integrating opt-in opportunities as early as possible, and in as many places as possible, pays dividends over time and there are many ways to do this. Adding checkboxes within contact forms, displaying visual reminders in key places across your website and adding pop-ups using programs like Mailmunch can automatically boost your email lists. Whilst this does involve a fair amount of tweaking, testing and setup, the results can be surprisingly good – and seeing your email lists continually growing without lifting a finger on the admin side is a great feeling!

Whilst ‘pop-ups’ still provoke a fair bit of discussion and controversy in marketing circles, their conversion rates (the amount of times the pop up is shown, compared to how many people opt-in) can be very good if you give users a good amount of ‘breathing time’ to explore your site before they’re displayed. Focussing on the key benefits, and what value they’ll get out of subscribing helps too. As part of any opt-in form displayed on your site,  don’t forget to clearly link to your terms + privacy policy, set the checkbox as a required field, and set the checkbox so users have to ‘positively opt in’. This is another GDPR guideline that protects yourself and your clients and even if you’re not EU-based, or trade with clients in the EU, its a best-practice and should be encouraged.

email marketing opt in mailmunch

Example

To show you how these approaches and tactics can perform, here’s the breakdown of an email marketing campaign I ran to generate new registrations for The Great British Business Show in London, the UK’s largest exhibition for anyone wanting to start or grow a business.

Brief

3 x email campaigns targeting London-based start-ups and established businesses in the build-up to the show

Tactics

· Customers grouped by city = London
· Mid-morning, mid week send times to reach people’s inboxes during the working day
· Clear and concise copywriting showcasing industry speakers
· A digital design feature of the paper ticket, acting as an extra-large call to action

Results

 280 ticket registrations generated from 3 emails

Confirmed by the organisers as the top performing exhibitor in ticket sales

Secured a complimentary stall for next year – worth around £4,000

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