Jan 4, 2023

5 Effective Email Marketing Strategies to Fuel Inbound Marketing Today

Email Marketing Strategy for Inbound Success

Inbound marketing is all about meeting customers where they are at and engaging with them through helpful content when they are searching for answers. And while websites tend to get the most attention in an inbound marketing strategy, email marketing is just as important thanks to how personal and timely it can be.

With the right email marketing strategy, you can build meaningful relationships with customers through timely, targeted messages. But you probably already knew that.

Most marketing teams know the importance of email, but perhaps it’s time to take a second look at your strategy to get better results in the coming months. Learn how to evaluate your current email strategy to look for opportunities to better engage with your audience.

What is an email marketing strategy?

An email marketing strategy sets goals, puts analytics strategies in place, and considers the customer lifecycle to review what content will be valuable to a customer in each phase. The goal is to start a dialogue with your customer efficiently by sending helpful, relevant content when they need it.

Building an effective email marketing strategy involves outlining the following elements before building a single email message.

  • A clear target audience with buyer personas and a clear understanding of their challenges and pain points
  • Data collection points via your website or third-party websites to meet new customers and gain the opportunity to send them emails
  • A base email marketing template that reflects your brand and personality
  • Email content with a clear call to action but a message designed to help your customer and not just market to them
  • Customer behavior tracking to trigger various messages or customer buying journey phases to deliver the right message at the right time

 

These steps are crucial, and regretfully, a lack of strategy on this front is often the reason why companies see limited success with their email marketing. Many companies jump at the opportunity to market to new customers who join their list. That’s certainly understandable. But a clear, thoughtful strategy designed for each segment of your audience will pay incredible dividends when you take the time upfront to outline your strategy.

Why do you need an email marketing strategy?

If you’re using an inbound marketing strategy for your website, you need email marketing. The whole goal of inbound marketing is to generate leads through insightful content that answers a customer’s questions when they are searching for information.

So, once you’ve generated those leads, what happens next? Do you send out a form email that welcomes them to your list as if all the customer did was sign up for a newsletter? Or do you target that message to the type of content they were reading about or the product or service that holds the answer to their query?

The difference between a generic email response to every new email signup and a targeted email designed specifically for a customer’s unique needs is impactful. And your customer will take notice. Instead of just deleting the form email and moving on, they might pause and engage with the valuable content that you’ve sent that has additional insights related to what they were just reading. Now your message is timely not just because of when you sent it but the valuable content it holds based on where your customer is at in their search for answers.

Another reason an email marketing strategy is essential is because it helps your business stay top of mind. Even once your initial relationship with the customer goes cold, you’ll have a way to stay in touch.

Many business-to-business sales cycles are long – in some cases 6-12 months. Buying takes place via committee and not just one decision-maker. And that means you have a complicated job of keeping that relationship alive despite months at a time where you hear nothing from the customer and see little to no interaction. You can’t mistake these long sales cycles for a lack of interest. Instead, you have to understand the complicated process that’s happening in the background and continue to support that customer in their search for answers.

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5 effective email marketing strategies that work today

As you evaluate your email marketing strategy, consider these five email interactions and whether your company is using them to their fullest.

1. Welcome Email Series

Don’t be fooled, a welcome email series is not a fix-it-and-forget-it-tactic. It’s fluid and should be something you’re regularly reviewing as you generate new content and learn more about your customers and their needs.

You likely won’t have just one welcome series. You might have one for each buyer persona or product you offer. The more targeted this set of emails is, the better relationship you’ll start with the new customer you just met.

The goal of a welcome series is to set the stage by outlining who you are, what you do and the value you provide your customer. These emails seek to inform more than sell, at least at first. They should follow up on the piece of content that drove your potential customer to sign up for your emails by offering clear next steps or related content to review.

2. Newsletters

Staying top of mind requires touchpoints from time to time. A monthly newsletter can help you keep existing customers informed while sharing new information with prospects. Share what’s happening at your company, tell customer stories through case studies and reviews, and focus on relationship building instead of sales.

These emails should be light but professional. They should speak to your brand and who you are. While they can certainly include product information, the main focus is on value-added content that guides your customers and prospects in decision-making.

3. Re-engagement Emails

You might go weeks or months without seeing engagement with a customer. This is an opportunity to get back into their inbox and remind them of who you are and the value you provide.

Send your latest content or new information about your product or service to keep prospects engaged and interested. And if the customer hasn’t engaged with emails in some time, allow them to self-select whether they want to keep getting information from you or if they’ve found a different solution.

Your email strategy should outline signs it’s time to re-engage a customer or prospect. And you might have different content to re-engage existing customers than you would to re-engage someone who has yet to purchase from you.

Consider carefully what might be leading to the individual stalling out or showing less interest. Then be sure that your content speaks to those reasons and helps the customer find answers.

4. Transactional Emails

On the surface, transactional emails seem the least important of the emails you send. But they can have a huge impact on your company. Some transactional emails you should be sending and still including valuable information in include:

  • Cart abandonment emails
  • Birthday/anniversary emails
  • Order confirmation
  • Automated responses to support inquiries

 

How you respond to customer actions will dictate whether they continue interacting with and purchasing from your organization. Consider the customer and their needs when drafting your transactional emails. Treat transactional emails like nurturing emails and watch how your customer response changes.

5. Order/Purchase Follow-up Emails

Once a customer orders from you, do your emails go silent? You’ve gotten what you wanted. But the bigger question is, did the customer get what they wanted?

An email series after a customer purchase can help ensure they use the product or service to its fullest and that they are satisfied with the purchase. This phase of the customer buying journey is just as important as the earlier phases of attracting and engaging the customer. Now you have to delight them.

If you build follow-up emails for customer purchases, you’ll also have the opportunity to request their feedback through reviews, which can further help your cause when attracting new customers.

How can email marketing fuel your overall inbound marketing strategy?

Email marketing supports the concept of reaching customers with the right message at the right time. Instead of constantly selling to prospects, you’re there to support their decision-making and search for answers. Everything about email marketing supports inbound marketing strategy when done well.

The challenge lies in knowing what your customers need during each phase of the buying journey and customer lifecycle. Then you have to build out content around those needs and deliver it at the right moment.

No matter where you’re at in your marketing strategy, Diaz & Cooper is an inbound marketing agency that can help. From high-ticket sales to long B2B buying cycles, we know how to use email and other marketing strategies to guide customers toward a purchasing decision. Review your inbound marketing strategy by downloading our guide How to Run an Inbound Marketing Campaign Checklist.

 

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