As the popularity of Software as a Service (SaaS) continues to explode, product managers play an increasingly important role in growing subscription numbers, increasing product awareness, and ensuring that customers are satisfied.
Email marketing can be an incredibly powerful channel to aid with that conversion, allowing you to reach new customers and re-engage old ones. But, although it’s one of the most accessible forms of communication, email marketing can be fraught with challenges, and making mistakes can leave you falling foul of the law.
We’ve compiled a list of tips to help you make the most of your email campaigns, reaching new customers and helping you delight existing ones.
Good data is good email marketing
Before even thinking about sending an email, you need to ensure you have a robust customer relationship management (CRM) system in place, with accurate data. Depending on how it has been set up, it will amalgamate all of your customer and audience information, including purchase history, opt-ins for contact, interests and role. Having this information allows you to better segment your mailouts to particular audience types, and helps you to send only the most relevant information to each customer. It will also help you stay within the law, because…
It’s all about consent
Gone are the days where you can bombard inboxes with unsolicited emails. Due to laws like GDPR and CAN-SPAM, you now have to have consent from people to reach out to them, and make it easy for them to opt-out as well. To provide an even better experience for your mailing recipients, you should allow them to select which types of email they want to receive from you, for example product updates, special offers, new launches etc.
Make sure you are familiar with all the requirements of your jurisdiction, and regularly check you are in compliance – never just assume that your email service provider (ESP) is doing it right.
Adhere to best practices
There are some generally accepted best practices for email marketing that it’s a good idea to follow. For example, you should set your width to 600px, and have a single CTA per mailout so it’s really clear what your audience is expected to do. It’s bad form to have auto playing videos in your emails, so think really hard before having recipients scrambling to find the mute switch – this isn’t MySpace!
Imagery is similarly important to consider. Avoid having images more than 1MB in size (nobody wants gigantic, inbox hogging emails!). However, any images you do include should have alt text for both accessibility and for those who don’t have images enabled. You should also try to keep the ratio between text and images at 60:40, ensuring your key messaging is in text and near the top of the mailout so it’s seen by as many people as possible.
Of course, there are exceptions to everything, and it’s all about doing what is most appropriate for your audience. For example, if you are mailing on behalf of a fashion brand, you’re more likely to lean into imagery.
Stay on top of your deliverability
There is a lot to consider when running email marketing. For one, you need to make sure that your email is reaching the recipient's inbox rather than being filtered into spam/junk folders, which is known as ‘deliverability’. You also need to ensure your domain is correctly set-up to receive feedback loops. These let you know when a recipient marks your email as spam so you can then remove them from your mailing list. If a lot of users report your emails as spam, you can end up getting blacklisted by ISPs, and your emails won’t be delivered at all, so it’s really important that you’re monitoring your sender reputation and try to address the underlying issue – email frequency, content or target audience are all common reasons for spam flags.
A good ESP should be monitoring a lot of this for you, but again, never assume it’s doing it right. Keeping an eye on your recipient engagement and sender reputation will help you spot problems early and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Test and iterate
We say this a lot in marketing, but it’s not enough to set and forget. You need to be constantly evaluating campaign performance, and looking to make changes when things aren’t delivering the results you want. It’s a constant cycle of improvement: use plans to test a theory, and then iterate, then test a different version of that variable, or something new, and then iterate again. However, don’t just change for the sake of change – ensure you’re making intentional, purpose-driven change, and ensure everything is documented.
Retain your brand’s tone of voice
Your brand’s tone of voice is an integral part of your marketing, and should be consistent across all channels and customer touchpoints – email included. Make sure that the emails you send out are reflective of your brand’s wider ethos, and the language you use isn’t radically different from that used on your site, social, or other marketing channels. If in doubt, refer to your company style guide, and if you don’t have one – congratulations, you’ve found a new project!
Remember the audience
Although marketing material, you should always approach emails with your audience in mind – what is the benefit to them, and how are you providing informative and engaging content? If your emails aren’t speaking to the customer, then the customer won’t be interested, so always write with their pain points in mind.
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should
Applicable to many scenarios in life, it’s not always necessary to do everything just because you have the means to. We aren’t talking about mailouts holistically here (although it is worth thinking about how emails fit into your wider marketing strategy), rather whether you need to include all the bells and whistles that mailouts can include nowadays. That can include things like dynamic and interactive content, AI personalisation, and behavioural emails. You can get very specific and complex with your emails, but that can lead to high time and financial investment, so before you get overexcited, just stop and ask yourself if it’s necessary for what you’re trying to achieve.
Ask for help
There is never any harm in asking if you’re stuck or want advice – and this doesn’t necessarily mean from an agency. There are amazing communities around the web that can help with everything from design to deliverability to testing. That said, coming to Brew Digital for help will save you both time and effort, and we’re lovely to work with, if we do say so ourselves.