We’re just going to say it. Far too many young marketers are focused on the next big thing in inbound marketing, like the newest social media app, for example. While we’re not trying to discount the value of those communication channels, you’re shortchanging yourself you don’t include email inbound marketing as part of your plan.
How can email marketing fuel your overall inbound strategy? It’s easier than you think. And it can also yield amazing results — if you know what you’re doing.
So, let’s lay it all out on the table. Whether you’re new to inbound marketing or you’re just trying to improve inbound marketing with emails, you’ll find the perfect plan of action right here.
Table Of Contents
The difference between inbound email marketing and outbound email marketing
|Inbound email marketing
|Outbound email marketing
|You’re targeting a small group of leads
|You’re targeting everyone and their mother
|There’s a potential for greater engagement because your audience knows and trusts you
|There’s a likelihood of lower engagement because your target has no idea who you are
|It costs you less because you’re emailing a smaller group of people
|It costs you more because you’re emailing a larger group of people
|You’ll realize a higher ROI because you’re not spending as much
|You’ll see a lower ROI because you’re spending more to reach potential conversions
Now that you understand the potential for inbound email marketing, it’s time to understand the real benefits and how it can help you up your game.
Reach your target audience directly
1) Create segmented lists
The biggest inbound marketing email mistakes you can make is sending an email blast to everyone in your database, regardless of who they are, where they live, or what their past behaviors have been. Instead, create segmented email lists dedicated to different types of customers. Consider demographics, where they live, if they’ve bought from you before, how many times they’ve bought from you before, how recent they’ve made a purchase, their interests, and so on.
2) Personalize your content
Different people have different needs, desires, and even pain points. A successful inbound email marketing strategy takes into account how your audience is feeling and what they’re thinking.
3) Pay attention to subject lines
Think about your inbox for a minute. You probably receive dozens if not hundreds of emails a day. Most of them are marketing emails…or spam. The emails that you’ll actually open are the ones that pique your interest. And the way to catch your attention is through smart subject lines. Make sure your inbound marketing email subject lines are catchy and effective.
4) Use visuals
People don’t read. Yes, we know you’re reading this. But that’s because you want to learn about inbound email marketing strategy. You actively sought out this content. But email marketing is different. If there’s a wall of text, chances are your audience will hit the Delete button after reading the first sentence. That’s why you need to incorporate visuals and make your content engaging.
5) Time your emails
It might be tempting to send your emails out when you’re ready to send them out. But that’s the wrong approach. To improve inbound marketing with emails, you need to send them at the right time. Before you manually fire off that email, consider what your audience is doing and previous open rate successes.
6) Incorporate A/B tests
If you want to harness the power of inbound email marketing, it’s important to implement an A/B testing strategy. If you’re new to A/B tests, they’re easy to implement and can provide you with important information. In a nutshell, you split your segmented email database into two, and then send each group a different email. The email content might be the same, but the subject lines are different. Or you might have the same subject lines, but one is heavy on images and the other relies mostly on text.
7) Monitor and analyze, and then do it again
Putting a ton of effort into inbound email marketing is always a wise idea. But if you don’t do anything with the information, you’ll never grow. That’s why it’s important to analyze your email performance. You can do a lot with the data you garner to improve future campaigns. And don’t be afraid of poorly performing emails. In fact, an email that just wasn’t successful is a great learning opportunity.
So what should you be tracking? For starters, consider these 4 performance rates
- Open rate. What percentage of your recipients opened your email? No, not how many received them. You need to know how many actually opened them. The open rate can help you understand if your subject lines are working. Remember, subject lines can be tricky, so you need to play around.
- Click-through rate. So, your emails are being opened. Congratulations! That’s a great first step. But is anyone clicking your CTA? Is your inbound marketing email strategy successful at getting your audience to leap over to your website? A click-through rate can help you find out.
- Conversion rate. They opened your email. They clicked your CTA. And now they’re on your website. Great. But did they make a purchase or complete the action you desired? If not, you may need to adjust your email marketing tactics. While there could also be a problem with your landing page, there might be a disconnect between your email content and the landing page they arrived on.
- Unsubscribe rate. It’s inevitable that people are going to hit the unsubscribe button. We all do it. But your goal should be to reduce the number of folks who are unsubscribing. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to the unsubscribe rate. Not just for each campaign, but overall.
Engage your loyal customers
You’ve got customers you love — and they love you back. While it’s important to try and attract new customers, it’s equally important to keep your loyal customers engaged and happy. Here are some tactics you can use to give them a reason to love you so that they’ll keep showing you love.
Give them early access
Everyone wants to be first. The first to get the new iPhone, or maybe the first to score tickets to a major sports event. The same applies to your business. If you have a new product or service, consider offering it to your loyal customers first. And be sure to let them know that they’re receiving it early. It’ll help make sure they remain loyal customers.
Offer them something exclusive
People love to feel like VIPs. If you can make your customers feel like they’re getting something special, you’ll find yourself writing your own winning inbound marketing email success story. So, consider giving your loyal customers special discounts, exclusive offers, or even gifts. And remember, if you segment your loyal customers, you can create tiers of offers/discounts/gifts.
Share content they can’t find elsewhere
Have you learned something you think your customers will find valuable? Share it with them, especially if it’s something they can’t find elsewhere. Any valuable insights you can share will be much appreciated.
Everyone loves to be recognized. That’s why it’s important to include the celebration of important events as part of your inbound email marketing plan. If they’ve been a long-time customer, recognize them on their anniversary. While it’s nice to offer them a discount or something special to mark the occasion, sometimes a plain old ‘Thank You’ email can go a long way.
One caveat here. It’s a good idea to steer clear of mentioning how much money they’ve spent with you or how many purchases they’ve made. Keep it focused on the benefit to them. For example, if you’re selling a parental control app and they’ve been using it for 36 months, position your email to celebrate the number of months they’ve kept their kids safe. Or better yet, if you can pull data specific to that protection (like how many controversial keywords were spotted), even better.
Highlight customer successes
Has your product positively impacted someone’s life? And are they willing to share their story with you? If so, consider putting together an email that highlights their success. A smartly worded email inbound marketing campaign of this nature might prompt your audience to think, “Hey, that totally sounds like me!” and ultimately make a purchase.
Ask them for feedback
You can learn a lot from your customers. And asking for their input can help them feel valued and heard. So, don’t be afraid to ask them how they like the product, what they’re looking for in future products, and more. The more you can learn from your customers, the better.
Spark a conversation with inactive customers
It’s perfectly natural for your email database to include former customers or subscribers who have lost interest in what you have to say. But here’s the thing. If they didn’t want to hear from you at all, they would have unsubscribed. They’re still receiving your emails, so there’s an open line of communication ready for you to harness.
Now that you’ve identified this audience, it’s time to contact them. But don’t just send them typical marketing emails. Follow this strategy:
- Create a plan. It might be tempting to start with one email and see what happens. But a smartly tailored campaign to get them interested is a better approach.
- Offer them a reason to respond. An exclusive discount is a great start. So are promotions tailored to those who haven’t responded in a while.
- Test, test, and test again. Inactive customers shouldn’t be ignored. Include the results of your inactive email campaigns in your testing plan.
Use inbound email marketing to remind customers of their abandon carts
One of the most effective inbound email marketing tactics that’s far too often ignored is a smart abandon cart campaign. Before we get into the campaign, here’s a recap of what a typical cart abandonment situation looks like:
1) You send your target an email.
2) They click the CTA in your email.
3) They arrive on some sort of landing page.
4) They are engaged enough to read.
5) They click the CTA on that page and decide to begin the process of making a purchase.
But then they decided not to complete the purchase. How come? Unfortunately, you won’t usually know. But here are some reasons:
• They decided that your product is too expensive
• They got sidetracked and forgot about it
• They realized you don’t accept their favorite payment method
• The checkout process seems too complicated
• They don’t like your return policy
• They found a similar product for less money
So, what can you do? Start reminding customers about their abandon carts. You can even throw in incentives like free shipping or offer a discount to sweeten the deal. If the price point was an issue, a simple reminder can help seal the deal. And if they abandoned the cart for cost reasons, that discount will help get them to complete the purchase.
Get your email subscribers to visit your website
Send them valuable content
If you’re constantly trying to sell them something, they’ll be more likely to delete your emails, or unsubscribe from them entirely. That’s why it’s a good idea to send them emails that contain interesting things they actually want to read. Articles. Blog posts. Details for events related to your industry. And when they click that CTA, they’ll arrive on your website, where they’ll discover even more valuable information.
Send them to a promotions page
It’s a good idea to create a dedicated promotions page that your user can visit regularly. You can tell your segment about the promo page through email and encourage them to check back often for new deals.
Collaborate with partners or influencers
Social media influencers and other partners can help take your business to the next level. But for your inbound email marketing strategy to be effective, you’ll want to make sure any links about them to direct to your website, not their channels.
➤ Email is old. Is it really effective?
Yes. Don’t ignore inbound marketing email tactics. In fact, ignoring it is the biggest mistake you can make. While you should employ other tactics (including social media initiatives) email marketing can yield incredible results.
➤ What’s the ROI like for email marketing?
Some estimates say that for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can see a return of $44. That’s a 4400% return on investment. You’d be hard-pressed to find any other marketing tactics that can help you achieve such great success.
➤ Do I need an agency to get started?
While some businesses might employ an agency, if you’re a small independent marketer, it might not be cost-effective to do so. Thankfully, with all the ways you can improve inbound marketing with emails that we covered today, you’re all set to get started on the road to success.
➤ If I only focus on one element of email marketing, what should it be?
You should apply all the inbound email marketing tactics we covered in this article. But if you only want to dip your toes in the water, consider starting with email subject lines. Remember, if the subject doesn’t interest them, they won’t even read what you have to say.
Embark on your inbound email marketing journey with BizzOffers
Now that you’re armed with the information you need to develop an inbound email marketing strategy that works, it’s time to put it into action. BizzOffers can help. And if you need a bit of handholding, one of our dedicated Account Managers who specializes in inbound marketing is here to help.