by Anthony Saladino
Co-Founder and CEO of Kitchen Cabinet Kings, an online retailer of kitchen and bathroom cabinets distributed nationwide.
Marketing is constantly evolving. It seems every day brings new insights on areas like influencer marketing, social media, artificial intelligence, virtual reality marketing and more.
While all that is exciting, you didn’t go into business to try out a bunch of fun tools. You’re probably in business to make a profit, keep your costs down and maximize your investment. When it comes to doing that, email is still king. Email marketing may be a dinosaur, but it’s a T-Rex that is never going to die.
Could you imagine a pop star without fans? They wouldn’t be a star. An artist needs to have an audience that knows them and likes what they do to gain visibility. Fans will help further their career by buying concert tickets, merchandise and music (well, at least in the pre-streaming days).
An email list is like a business’s fan base. It’s essential. Your email list is made up of people who say, “Yes, I like what you do and here’s my email.” That’s amazing. Social media followers aren’t like that. Nor are random people who visit your web page.
For my company, email is still the best form of marketing. It brings the highest conversion rates out of anything we do and the best return on investment (ROI) when compared to our other channels. I don’t think there’s any reason why it will be different in 2020 or beyond, so we’re continuing to make the most of our email marketing strategy.
Here’s how you can follow suit.
Leverage your in-depth data to send targeted campaigns.
When you send an email to your list, track who opened it, who clicked on your links, who downloaded your free offer and more. When you’re looking at this list of data, you can also see who didn’t do these things.
That data is essential. You can use it to send targeted campaigns based on, say, open and click-through rates. Send a follow-up email to non-openers the day after your original message. People are busy, but if you have a healthy list, most of them are likely interested in what you have to offer -- you just have to get it in front of them. Sending this follow-up has boosted our open rate by about 2.5%.
Remember, if you’re just using a landing page with SEO traffic, your knowledge of the prospect starts when they land on your page. There’s no information about the people who didn’t click because they never got there.
Segment your campaigns by audience.
Any decent email marketing program will let you segment your list into different groups. You can make groups of people who bought a particular product, people who clicked on a link in an email, people who downloaded a free trial but didn’t buy, and more.
Once you’ve established a segment you want to target, send specific campaigns targeted to those people. The deeper you go, the more personal you can get with your campaign. Each campaign can also be made up of many layers. For example, clicking a link in email A can trigger email B (a more in-depth look at what they clicked on), and not clicking a link in email A can trigger email C (a follow-up email).
At my company, we have a wide variety of online readers. A good number of those are contractors who provide services for clients, and another portion is home-owning millennials interested in renovations. The first group shops almost exclusively by price, and the second group cares a bit more about design inspiration and style.
Sending a general message to everyone won’t have the most impact. We cater our messaging to each group and have received better open rates because of that.
Create a high-value customer journey.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “customer journey” before, but do you know if you’re satisfying your customer’s desire to travel?
Think about taking a real journey. First, you have to discover that the destination is there. Next, you spend some time researching the trip and planning it out. Then you embark, but you’ll still take rest stops along the way.
Your core product is the destination, but you can’t just throw that at your prospects. You have to entice them with a journey. At our company, we send new subscribers an info series all about kitchen cabinets, terminology and design. If the first email we send doesn’t entice them to open, we try a second with a subject line that comes from a different angle.
It’s about giving your new subscriber something free and useful, something to get them looking toward the destination. Email is great for that. You can send free downloads, run contests and even ask why someone abandoned their journey.
Over to you.
Email is worth it. You can run campaigns with little more than a subscription to an email marketing service and a sales copywriter. It still offers great ROI and is a fundamental ingredient of any digital marketing plan.