In recent years, we’ve seen the digital marketing landscape evolve at breakneck speed. But even with the many available channels to connect with your targets, reaching new prospects and converting them are not synonymous.
Throughout my career serving Fortune 1000 firms and small to midsize businesses, I’ve seen companies of all sizes achieve tremendous success with acquisition email marketing as a path to finding new customers. Studies show email is an effective way for marketers to introduce their company and services to their targets. A 2017 survey conducted by Adobe revealed that email is still favored by consumers and businesspeople alike. In fact, 61% prefer to be contacted by brands via email. What might be surprising to some in the agency business is that it’s also preferred by the millennial generation.
For most of us, attracting customers and winning new business is a top priority. Acquisition email campaigns, which focus on bringing new customers into your fold, can fast-track your efforts — but only if you’re strategic about it. I’ve found it’s helpful to step back and take a fresh look at what goes into creating successful acquisition email campaigns in today’s market. Here are three tips I often share with clients:
1. Take A Strategic Approach To Building Your Audience
Sometimes, defining the audience is viewed as the last step after many hours designing the email, crafting the copy and finessing a catchy subject line. While the creative elements are rightly important, equally so is strategically identifying the people who will receive the email.
In acquisition campaigns, the idea is to initiate relationships with prospects that are similar to your existing customers. I work with my clients to analyze their current customers so we can find the right audience using a segmented approach. Look for targets that match your specifications, and don’t get caught up in reaching an arbitrary number. And whatever you do, spend time ensuring your email data is clean and of the highest quality. Poor quality email data wastes your time and money, and worse, it can land your company on spam blacklists.
Developing a robust audience takes time and effort, but the initial groundwork and ongoing refinement will help ensure your marketing efforts are reaching the most valuable targets.
2. Integrate. Integrate. Integrate.
As the founder of an email marketing data agency, it’s clear I value the power of email to drive revenue and deliver high marketing return on investment (ROI) for clients. But in my experience, some of the most successful campaigns leverage email along with other marketing efforts — especially for acquisition campaigns, where you’re engaging new contacts that may not even be aware of your company, products or value proposition. In that case, multiple touch points — across email and social and display advertising, for example — allow you to nurture leads and conduct follow-up campaigns based on engagement and results.
One type of integrated campaign that has been gaining momentum combines acquisition email with programmatic ads. Sparking a prospect’s interest with an email message and then, after they’ve demonstrated some level of engagement, following it up with a targeted display ad allows you to get in front of them again to remind them of that initial interest. It can work the other way, too. Anyone clicking on a display ad can be retargeted with an email to create multiple touch points.
I also advise integrating acquisition data with a customer relationship management (CRM) system to provide a deeper understanding of how the campaign is progressing, along with more professional measuring and reporting. The bottom line is that when systems are integrated and working together, all marketing campaigns are strengthened, and more powerful results are achieved.
3. Don’t Lose Sight Of The End Goal
The purpose of email marketing is not necessarily to generate the highest open rates and click-through rates (despite how easy it can be to fixate on those numbers). For most businesses, the purpose is, ultimately, to generate revenue. So for me, it’s no surprise that a recent study by Econsultancy reported that 15% of marketing budgets are allocated to email marketing and that this platform remains to be a top performer for ROI, according to 73% of companies and 76% of agencies surveyed. Acquisition campaigns bring untold potential revenue by landing new customers with the possibility of repeat business.
While it is important to track open and click-through rates, I like to remind clients that acquisition email will have different metrics than customer campaigns — so compare apples to apples. And remember, the most important metric is revenue.
Lastly, after you’ve converted prospects into customers, continue to establish trust and build those relationships. Once again, email can be integral to your ability to do just that as you communicate with them throughout their journey with you.