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Email marketing isn’t dead. If you aren’t seeing results, you’re likely doing it wrong. In 2021, email marketing is alive and well, driving conversions for B2C and B2B companies alike.

If you’ve been struggling with email marketing or are interested in making an investment for the first time, now is the perfect time to develop a plan for this year. 

Why use email marketing?

In 2019, there were 3.93 billion email users worldwide. Statista estimates that by 2024, that number will reach 4.48 billion. Not only does email marketing provide an enormous audience, but it’s also effective for driving engagement as well. While social media posts on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter see less than .6% engagement on average, emails see an average open rate of over 20% and a click-through rate of more than 3%. (OptinMonster)

Email marketing drives results, too. In fact, more than half of Americans (53%) say they’ve made a retail purchase after receiving an email about the item. Good news for B2B marketers as well: over 80% of workers check their email outside of work hours, making it a great channel for reaching your prospects. 

Today, data is incredibly valuable! Building an email database may seem like an enormous time investment, but it will reap increased revenue when used correctly. While the exact value varies by industry, on average, B2C emails are worth approximately $55 and B2B emails are worth about $47. B2B emails are slightly less valuable because they become stale much faster. (Research shows that B2B lead data decays at a rate of 2.1% per month.) 

How can marketers build an email list?

There are many ways to build an email list. With the rise of data privacy laws and increasing consumer desires for transparency, it’s important to get consent when sending marketing emails to prospects. For B2C companies, common strategies for collecting emails include:

  • Offering a discount with newsletter sign-up
  • Hosting or participating in a giveaway requiring an email to enter
  • Adding a call-to-action to subscribe on relevant pages

B2B marketers can implement similar strategies. In addition, try offering a free download in exchange for your prospect’s work email. No matter who your prospect is, they know their contact information is worth something. In order to collect emails, you need to either first share something of value or show that by signing up they’ll receive enhanced value.

What do I need to know about GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an EU law requiring businesses to protect the personal information of EU citizens. Non-compliance can be extremely costly, so it’s important to be aware of how this affects your business.

First, GDPR regulates how data for EU citizens is handled for transactions occurring in EU member states. Any individual or organization collecting personal data is required to ensure the data is gathered legally and protected from misuse. Additionally, organizations must notify users of any data breach when it happens.

For businesses operating outside of the EU, you aren’t legally implicated by GDPR. However, as digital engagement continues to evolve, data privacy laws protecting consumers’ rights will likely become more commonplace. 

As such, it’s important for all businesses to get explicit consent from users before sending emails to them and your email should always include an option to unsubscribe. 

How can businesses successfully use email marketing?

Like any good marketing effort, it’s important to have a strategy in mind before you begin implementing. It can actually help to have an email marketing strategy laid out before you start developing your list. Understanding your goals, intended audience, and themes can have a significant impact on how you entice subscribers.

Keep your audience in mind.

In order to effectively engage your audience, it’s important to understand who you’re trying to reach, their pain points, and desires. You always want to focus on providing value first, before trying to sell. Consider how you can provide content that helps them reach their goals and minimize pain points.

Segment your list.

By segmenting your email list, you can send emails that are more personalized to your audience’s interests and experiences. In a MailChimp study, list segmentation provided better results across the board, including a 14.31% higher open rate, 100.95% higher click rate, and a 9.37% lower unsubscribe rate than non-segmented campaigns.

The best way to segment your audience will be unique to your business, but keep in mind how your audience would want to be spoken to. Try to group your target buyers into similar interest categories. For B2B marketers, it may be best to segment by industry or job title. B2C marketers might focus on psychographic qualities. 

Personalize your content.

The key benefit of segmenting your audience is enabling personalized content. With so much information available on your leads, personalized content is the expectation today. Your emails should be addressed to your prospect’s first name, incorporate relevant details, and more.

Before you begin implementing personalized content, you have to ensure your data is accurate. If you use inaccurate data, like addressing an email to the wrong first name, you risk damaging your audience’s trust significantly.

Avoid inbox fatigue.

There are over 300 billion emails sent every day. It’s important not to get lost in the noise, without contributing to inbox clutter. So you may be left wondering how often to send email marketing campaigns. The answer depends on your goals and your audience.

If your audience is more active on email, it can be beneficial to email more frequently. It’s a best practice to set clear expectations when a user signs up. Let them know how often they’ll email and what they can expect to receive from you. This can help lower your unsubscribe rate from users feeling inundated by your emails.

Have a purpose.

All of your marketing emails should have a goal. Decide if you’re trying to improve brand awareness, nurture leads, or convert prospects. From there, craft your email — or email series — to accomplish those goals. No matter what your goal is, all of your emails should have a call to action telling the recipient what to do next.

Encourage recipients to visit your website, reply to the email, or give you a call depending on what stage of the sales cycle they’re in. 

Make it mobile-friendly.

Today, smartphones are one of the most popular devices to access email from. If you aren’t optimizing your emails for mobile, you’re alienating a huge portion of your audience. It’s a best practice to use an email provider that automatically optimizes your content for your recipients’ platforms. When in doubt, be sure to send yourself a test email before sending it to your list so you can confirm all the elements work correctly on mobile.

Test, optimize, and repeat.

As with any marketing strategy, A/B testing is the best way to find what works for your brand. Experiment with different subject lines, send times, email formats, topics, segmentation strategies, and more. Be sure to isolate your variable and document the results of each experiment.

For reference, Email Marketing Benchmarks 2019 includes some useful data on open and click-through rates. These numbers will vary by industry, but can provide a helpful goal to aim for.

  • The overall average open rate for email marketing is 22.86%.
  • The average CTR is 3.71%
  • The average click to open rate is 16.23%.
  • Unsubscribe rates, on average, are 0.21%.

Run email marketing campaigns that convert in 2021!

Email marketing is far from dead. By starting with a strategic plan and implementing best practices, you can implement marketing campaigns that attract, nurture, and convert leads. 

Start by identifying your audience and goals. From there, develop a list of subscribers with consent to email them. Segment your list and personalize your content to see the best results. Regularly test different strategies to find what works best for your business.

Need help developing and executing an email marketing strategy that converts? Drop us a line

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