Email marketing is a great way to connect with your customers and prospects in any industry, including manufacturing and agriculture. However, if you abuse it, you'll ruin it.
We're finding that many marketers are using big retail holidays like Black Friday to try and cash in on some easy sales. It's true, shoppers are conditioned to purchase at certain times and big retail have certainly demonstrated that door crasher sales drive revenue. But promoting Black Friday sales in other sectors such as manufacturing doesn't often make sense.
What exacerbates the situation is that small to medium sized companies don't dedicate the resources to consistently apply email marketing best practices. The result - well intentioned but poorly executed campaigns that are ad hoc, lack purpose, generate modest results and worse, undermine the goodwill of your distribution list.
That last one is worth stating again:
Poorly executed email campaigns undermine the goodwill of your distribution list.
Your email list of customers and prospects should be treated like gold. Simply sending out a mass email to your entire list does not respect their needs or their time and will likely result in them unsubscribing. Once you lose a subscriber, earning their trust again is almost impossible.
OK but email marketing isn't all bad. In fact, it's extremely effective at generating sales, nurturing leads and delighting customers. Some facts about email marketing:
- Two thrids of customers have made a purchase as a direct result of receiving an email message
- When it comes to customer acquisition, email is 40X more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined
- You own the channel. Assuming you comply with regulations, you can freely access your subscribers when and how you want.
Email marketing serves a good purpose for:
- Building relationships - when personalized (which can be partially automated)
- Brand awareness - keeping your company top of mind for when your customers are ready to engage
- Content promotion - share relevant and useful information with your prospects
- Product marketing - to promote your products and services
- Lead nurturing - delighting your customers so they become raving fans
Email best practices:
You agree that you want to continue to use email but in a more meaningful way. Perfect! Here are some best practices you'll want to deploy:
- Copy - The message should be consistent with who you are and stick to only one topic
- Images - Choose images that will work on any device and are eye-catching and relevant
- CTA - The Call to Action should lead to a relevant offer and stand out from the rest of the email
- Timing - Test different times to determine the best time to send. It varies but studies show that Tuesday before 11AM ET works well.
- Responsiveness - More emails are being opened on mobile than not. Make sure that your template works on mobile.
- Personalized - Write every email like you're sending it to a friend.
- Subject Line - Clear, actionable and enticing language that is personalized helps increase open rates
- Segement Segment Segment - Do everything in your power to segment your list into relevant categories. You want to make sure that you are sending the right people the right message when they are looking for it. You can segment by customer type (Service v. Parts), industry, relationship (prospect, lead, customer, raving fan). The more segmented your list, the more tailored and relevant the information will be to their needs.
Meaningful use of email for reaching your subscribers is the key. Treating your list like gold, understanding that they are real people who want to have a conversation and not be barraged with irrelevant content will help you build raving fans and grow better.
Do you have an email campaign you want to share? Send it our way! We'll give you some feedback on the design and content.