6 useful email marketing resources
Despite regularly being dismissed as dead or dying, email marketing is still the traditional and most stable bastion of digital communication. It remains one of the best channels for building authentic and value based connections with customers,
But with so much history behind it finding the best tactics and resources to help perfect your strategy can be like finding a needle in a haystack. The web is full of email marketing advice, some of it super relevant – the rest woefully out of date or simply not well researched.
To help you navigate the wheat from the chaff, here our some of our favourite email marketing resources, designed to make your life easier.
Drip email campaigns can save you time, make better use of your content and drive more leads. But how do you run a successful drip email campaign? You can start by reading this ultimate guide (no download required). https://t.co/0Md9CvJssh pic.twitter.com/uvPd1kQwQG— Castleford Media (@castlefordmedia) March 28, 2019
Six useful resources all email marketers should have up their sleeve
Central to your email campaign is automation. While it is technically possible to orchestrate some elements of email marketing from a standard email account, we don’t recommend it. Handling so many details manually will likely blow up into one huge mess where neither you nor your customers are able to derive any value whatsoever – not ideal!
Automation platforms, like Mailchimp, allow you to put all your information together in a single place so that campaigns can be run clearly and effectively. For example, Mailchimp integrates:
- CRM systems: So you can store all the relevant contact details, customer journey information and any personal data which may be useful in segmenting your audience.
- Marketing channels: So you can see who you have emailed and when. It also allows you to keep track of other outreach methods you have used.
- Audience data and analytics: Arguably the most important step in an email campaign is analysing what went well and what could be improved. Mailchimp allows you to visualise all this information and make sense of it for next time.
If you take one thing from this list, make sure it’s finding a good email automation system that integrates well with your business. A suitable platform will save you time and make it easier to optimise the message you want to get across.
2. HTML Email Gallery
It can be too easy to get drawn into the same pattern over and over again with your emails. So why not try a quick freshen up to keep your readers interested? HTML Email Gallery exclusively showcases examples of design-heavy HTML emails which, while you can’t copy verbatim, you can certainly incorporate elements from into your own email layouts.
HTML Email Gallery, and its competitor Really Good Emails’ website, are invaluable resources to give you a flavour of what other forms of email design are being utilised on the market. Make sure to check them out regularly for relevant design ideas and general inspiration.
3. The Hubspot email marketing blog
Keeping your design fresh is one thing, but equally as important is keeping up with good quality content and the latest know how in the industry. Hubspot’s speclaised email marketing blog provides regular inspiration for those struggling to put together new ideas, alongside authoritative updates on what you need to know in the world of email.
Add this blog to your regular reading list to make sure your head is in the game.
4. SendForensics deliverability test
Email’s are a fast and efficient way of communicating … that is when they actually hit the correct inbox. But how can you make sure your emails are going where you want them to?
Fortunately SendForensics has you covered. Their simple and free tool provides you with an email address to incorporate into your contact list. When you send your campaign the success of this pseudo email address will be able to determine your overall deliverability percentage. This will enable you to roughly work out how successful your emails were at getting to the right place.
The end of an email campaign can often turn into a data analysis paradise – after all we marketers love a good statistic. But not all stats are made equally and it’s important to differentiate between those that can seriously benefit your next attempts, and those that effectively mean nothing.
For the many among us who aren’t professionally trained statisticians, there is a great tool to help you determine the validity of your carefully accrued numbers. IsValid requires only your sample size along with the conversions/metrics from both your original data set and any experimental data set. From there it can tell you the degree of statistical significance of your results. With this tool in your resource list you can make sure that you are fully optimising your next campaign – not just adhering to meaningless data.
6. Touchstone subject line analyser
It doesn’t matter how great your email design or your content is if your audience is put off by a frankly weak subject line. Indeed subject line crafting can feel a bit like black magic. It needs to be snappy, attention grabbing and informative all at once.
While it can’t write them for you, Touchstone’s subject line analyser can help you to take your proposed subject lines for a bit of a test drive before you hit send. The tool can show you projected click rates. open rates, and some further helpful stats, all based on Touchstone’s extensive database.
You can even upload your own email data to see how your actual subscribers are responding to your subject lines. This can help you get a real insight into what’s working and what’s not with your specific audience.
Some crucial email marketing best practices
To complement your new email resources, how about a refresh on some crucial email marketing best practices?
Get you email segmentation sorted
The biggest rule in marketing may be that your audience dictates everything – so it’s important you define who your audience is for every email. Segmentation describes the practice of breaking up your single unwieldy email list into specific categories. These categories should be aligned to unique sections of your audience. For example you could separate by:
- General demographics i.e. location or age.
- Job title or job sector.
- Fields of interest.
It is essential that you tailor your messages to these audiences once you have them separated out. Big generic email blasts alienate everyone and runs the risk of losing you subscribers.
Personalisation is really the next level of segmentation. It secures your brand’s human touch and goes a long way to creating a genuine connection with customers. Indeed according to Hubspot, personalised emails have 26% higher open rates than those that are not.
So what are the key ways that you can personalise you emails for a better connection with your audience?
- Always address your email to the correct name – sometimes it is also appropriate to use this in your subject line.
- Reference any previous engagement that a customer has had with your brand.
- Try to use region specific information – so quoting prices in the relevant currency and if possible try to find stats from the country your readers are in.
- Send email content that your readers have earmarked as relevant to them or in line with their interests. A good way to do this is to give them a choice of topics they want to learn about when they subscribe.
- Sign off your emails with a personal signature – not just from the company.
We touched on this with our Mailchimp discussion, but we wanted to emphasise the importance of automation in the modern email process. Relying on a robust automation system takes time and hassle out of the email marketing mechanics, so that you can concentrate on the important things, like content and personalisation.
The best way to really get the most out of automation is to create a workflow. Workflows are a bit like flow diagrams that execute actions automatically according to certain criteria you have set. Workflow tools can take into account things such as whether an email has been opened or read, and thus a series of actions can be completed automatically based on user behaviour.
For example a workflow could be designed to send a certain email to a segment of your contact list. It could then be programmed to send a follow up email if the original email was read but no action was taken, or send out a welcome email if the CTA was completed by the reader.
Workflows are so valuable because they are adaptable and can be built with your specific marketing goals in mind. They make optimising your email list much easier.