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Email marketing efforts have been increasing year on year as more and more brands understand the importance of sending emails to target customers. In fact, many businesses see their email subscription list as more important than social media followers because of the high return on investment (ROI) email subscribers can provide.

According to the Data and Marketing Association, around 91 per cent of businesses stated that email marketing was important, while social media totalled 83 per cent. 

Out of all the available channels, email delivers the highest ROI, bringing an average return of £42 for every £1 spent. No other channel comes close to this kind of ROI, making email marketing extremely popular. It’s a great way to communicate with your target audience and sending out personalised emails could keep them aware of your brand and even encourage them to visit your website or make an enquiry or purchase.

Written by Lauren Shaw
Marketing Manager

Published: 01/03/2021

What makes email marketing effective?

Besides the obvious benefit of increased ROI, what is it that makes email marketing so effective?

Well, email marketing is one of the only ways you can directly target your customers, choosing exactly who you want to share the newsletter with, and you fully own this list. Your social media followers can be taken away at any time, but your list of email subscribers is yours and you have full control over what you share with them and when, from news and information to promotions and discounts.

It also allows you to choose exactly what you want to achieve from your email. Perhaps you want to bring more visitors to the site, maybe even to a certain page, such as a blog or information page. Instead, you might want to promote a certain product or a range of products, or you could even use email marketing to increase your social media following. There are so many options available and this flexibility is what makes it such a good tactic. Whatever you do with email marketing, you should make sure that you have a goal in mind. This will help to make your emails more targeted, instead of just sending them randomly and hoping that your goals will be achieved. A/B testing can be used to determine what is and isn’t working. 

Finally, you can choose exactly who you want to target. Social media works using algorithms, and these are what determine who to show your posts to. When you publish something like an Instagram post, all of your followers have the potential to see it, but the algorithm will only show it to a small percentage of followers – the social media platform is in control. But when you send an email message, you are in control of who to send it to, perhaps based on what they’ve previously bought, where they live, their gender and more. It’s much more personal than sending out a post to all your social media followers. 

The more personal, the better. In fact, your marketing emails can be addressed directly to the person if you have their first name and emails with subject lines that contain the person’s name are 26 per cent more likely to be opened. 

 

How to build an email list for marketing

Now that we’ve revealed the numerous benefits of having an email list, it’s time to start building one. Beginning from scratch can be daunting, but it shouldn’t take long for the number of subscribers to pick up.

 

Offer something in exchange

People don’t often want to subscribe to an email list for no reason at all, so it’s a good idea to give them a reason. It could be a one-time discount of 10 or 15 per cent, for example, or a guide or document that may be useful to them. The latter is most effective on an informative page, such as a blog post. For instance, if your site has an article around how to increase conversions, you may wish to add a pop-up to the page that encourages the reader to download a more specific step-by-step guide to increasing conversions. You know that this guide will be really relevant to them and the additional information could be what’s needed to encourage them to enter their email address.

 

Create a pop-up

You may associate pop-ups with spammy banners that appear as soon as you hit a site. You might even think that you should avoid them altogether. However, pop-ups can be extremely helpful when deployed in the right way. While they can be annoying for users if there are too many or they appear instantly, they can also be tailored so that they appear in a more appropriate way and can be used successfully to build up your email marketing list.

The most successful pop-ups are the ones that show after a certain amount of time, such as 10 seconds, or when the user performs a certain action. It may appear when they move their mouse to exit the page and can prevent them from doing so. Alternatively, it may pop up when the user has reached a certain part of the page, such as halfway down. These things can be tested to see which pop-up results in the most email subscribers. For instance, a user might get annoyed and close a pop-up when it appears after 10 seconds, but after 20 seconds, the input might increase. 

Our top tip is to keep your sign-up form simple. No one wants to spend time entering lots of details in order to subscribe. An email address is really all you need, and perhaps a first name, so stick to these to prevent the user from getting fed up.

A phone on a desk with an email subscription pop-up on the screen

The final thing to consider with pop-ups is whether you want them on sales pages. Generally, this should be avoided as it could impact conversions and sales.

 

Use a tick box at checkout

Website users like ease. They like to be able to easily navigate menus, find what they need and checkout without any issues. Therefore, the easier you can make it for them to subscribe, the better.

You could give them the option to sign up for your emails at checkout. When someone buys a product through a website, they need to enter some essential details, such as their name, email address, home address and telephone number. Therefore, it can be beneficial to have a tick box at checkout that says something like ‘I wish to receive updates about products and discounts’. As they’ve already entered their personal information to buy something, they don’t need to enter it again and subscribing can be achieved through the click of a button. 

 

Use your social media

You might decide to harness the power of social media to try and increase your email subscribers. It’s usually relatively easy to share a link that takes the user to a landing page where they can enter their email address to subscribe, but again, you need to consider why the user would want to do this. You should be creative, and perhaps offer a discount or show the value your newsletters can offer the customer. 

If you wish to invest some money into building your subscribers, you could use Facebook Ads to target particular locations and demographics. This will show your ad to the right audience and the ones more likely to subscribe. Designing a Facebook ad is relatively simple, just make sure that it includes a link to the correct landing page. Set a budget that you’re happy with and put the ad live. You can monitor how successful the campaign is using Facebook tracking tools. 

 

Avoid buying subscribers

Just like buying social media followers, buying email subscribers is a big no-no. The user must have previously given you permission to use their email address and, if this isn’t the case, you may be in breach of GDPR.

 

Written by Lauren Shaw, Marketing Manager at FLG.

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