Until I started my own business, I was a marketing manager at a media company. Part of my job involved collaborating with other brands on growth projects and I worked with plenty of publications and companies that you interact with every day. After glimpsing their pretty legit marketing strategies, I can tell you one thing with exact certainty: While Instagram may seem like the platform everyone is desperate to dominate, email is the true gold rush for marketers. Why? For starters, email is a one-to-one point of connection with your audience. You can tailor emails for specific segments of that audience, ensuring you’re reaching the right people every time. And email allows for endless customization — as many links as you need, product or sale inclusions, behind the scenes content… the list goes on. No “link in bio” here — your readers can click directly from any device.
99% of consumers check their email every single day. Not just once a day, but 20 times a day on average. If you need a little help figuring out how to optimize your email marketing, consider using Squarespace’s expert tools. They have a built-in email marketing platform, which means you can send out branded emails in a flash while improving your sales, creating content, and growing your list. Let’s take a look at some of the other reasons why email is such an important marketing tool.
1. Cultivate an engaged audience
Engagement rates matter. Having a lot of followers is great, but the real goal is engagement — you want your audience to read your blog or enjoy your products or try your services. After you’ve sent a few emails, dive down into the analytics to track your email engagement. There are a few keywords to know:
Open Rate: The percentage of people from your total mailing list who opened your email
Click Rate: The percentage of people from your total mailing list who opened your email and clicked on a link within it
A/B Testing: Sending two different versions of a campaign to segments of your audience to see which performs better
These analytics allow you to target specific segments of your list. For example, you could send out an email to all the subscribers to your mailing list who haven’t opened one of your emails in a month, with the subject line “We Miss You!” and a special discount code. You might win back their renewed engagement.
2. The data is yours
Speaking of analytics… email is the best platform for getting your hands on the cold hard facts you need to do your job. With email, it’s super easy to track what your audience is and isn’t responding to.
Want to know which blog posts got the most clicks in your email? That data is all yours. Want to treat your returning customers to a special discount code? You can send out an email specifically to them. You can easily see what the best times are to send emails to subscribers, what your conversions are for sales, and you’ll often have access to data about your subscribers such as their location.
You can find important analytics regarding your emails through your email provider, Google Analytics, and sometimes your website’s back end. If you’re a Squarespace user, you’ll be able to refine your email strategy with real-time campaign and website analytics that you can view when you access your account. Plus you’ll be able to easily link site content like blog posts or new products directly to your email with one click. Use the nitty gritty data to learn what content leads to higher engagement and track your metrics from send to sale.
3. Design with Mobile In Mind
In 2018, 46 percent of all emails opened were on mobile devices. When designing your emails, it is important to make sure they look good on desktop, tablet, and mobile. Your audience will likely use a variety of devices to look at your emails and you want to make sure your content is easy to read and interact with. Most email marketing platforms will help you design your emails in a way that converts amongst devices, but when you first start designing them, you should always preview the email on each type of device before hitting send. For non-designers, Squarespace offers a variety of pre-made mobile-optimized designs. That way, you never have to worry about your emails not looking good on mobile.
4. Your subscribers are yours to keep
It’s not uncommon for social media platforms to do purges of “fake followers”. And it’s really not fun to wake up and find your follower count dropped overnight. Not to mention, even popular social media channels can shut down without warning. Social media can be a bit of a gamble. While email subscribers can choose to unfollow your emails any time they want (legally you must provide them with this option), no one else can remove subscribers from your email list.
When it comes to email, aside from the risk of having a natural amount of “unsubscribes” each time you send an email blast, you aren’t at risk of losing access to your email list. Even when someone unsubscribes, you’ll still be able to see their history of how they interacted with your emails, which can provide insight.
5. Less algorithm changes
Email doesn’t mess around on the algorithm front. While some email providers update their platforms to sort out spam better, responsible email marketers shouldn’t run into too many changes that can affect how they do business. When you use social media to promote your business, sometimes right as you feel you’ve mastered an algorithm (we’re looking at you Instagram) it can change drastically. Improving your email strategy over time can be more obtainable.
6. You Can Increase Sales and Pageviews
Here’s a fun little fact for you, 59% of consumers said that marketing emails influence their purchasing decisions. Cha-ching. Email marketing is a really amazing tool when you consider the fact that unlike paper junk mail that people receive from stores unwillingly, customers choose to sign up for your email list. They want to learn about your new products, sales, and any content you’ve produced. Take advantage of that fact and don’t be afraid to use email as a platform for increasing sales. Remember all that handy data you learned about earlier? Use it to your advantage and learn how to best sell to your audience.
You may want to integrate your website with your email provider to increase your sales and pageviews. For example, if you use Squarespace to build your website, you can import content from your website to make creating emails quicker. Their platform also allows you to take advantage of a feature called “abandoned checkout recovery”. This feature will send automatic emails to customers who have walked away from the checkout process. Basically, for zero minutes of extra work, your customers will receive reminders to make a purchase they expressed interest in. They also have features that allow you to customize transactional order emails to send to customers, like emails about purchase confirmations, order fulfillments, and refunds.
7. You Can Tailor Your Communications
While you should use your email list to increase your sales or pageviews, you want to be careful not to overdo promotions. This is where segmented campaigns come in. Every time you send an email blast, you risk people unsubscribing. That’s just an unfortunate fact about email marketing. The more emails you send that you’re confident a customer wants to see, the less likely they’ll be to unsubscribe.
This is where segmented campaigns come in. If you know a customer has only ever opened emails about sales, you should mostly send them sales emails. If you’re a blog that covers fashion, home decor, and recipes, then you can create a segment for each topic you cover. For example, if you send a weekly email newsletter about all of your blog content for the week, many email providers will allow you to “tag” your links. Basically, you can track if someone clicked on a fashion, home decor, or recipe link and tag which subjects they have shown an interest in.
Then you can send emails with new recipes only to the list of subscribers who has shown an interest in recipes. That way, your subscribers mostly see only the content they enjoy and are less likely to unsubscribe. Need further convincing? Marketers who use segmented campaigns have seen as high as a 760% increase in revenue.
8. Have Fun with It
Email can be a seriously valuable and powerful marketing tool, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun along the way! In fact, 56% of brands found that using an emoji in their subject lines resulted in a higher open rate than emails that did not feature one. In emoji speak that equals fire plus 100 plus a big old smiley face.
73 percent of millennials reported preferring that any communications from businesses come via email. Embrace that fact and get creative with your email blasts. Start a newsletter with updates on your brand. Show the more personal side of your blog or business with a behind the scenes look at your team and your day-to-day life. Send subscribers valuable content, coupons, and giveaway opportunities. Add color or insert a GIF where appropriate.
It’s important to make your emails something your subscribers look forward to reading. That way, they gain some interesting content or valuable savings, and you gain customers and an engaged audience.
This post was in partnership with Squarespace, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.