One of the easiest things in life is to grab a position, whether professionally or personally. What’s difficult is how creative you can get to carve a niche for yourself. Being a marketer is no different.
You have to decide — do you wish to remain in the murk of the routine by simply posting content and testing it, or do you want to go beyond it and add value? There are many internet gurus out there who are all too willing to shell out short-cut advice, almost making you believe them. But are they stating facts?
Most of the time, no. So in this article, we’ve picked up the one topic that the internet loves to post hypotheses on — email marketing.
We will address some of the most common email marketing assumptions and the truth behind them. So read carefully!
But first, let’s quickly go over what email marketing is and why it is so essential that you know myths from the truth.
What is email marketing, and why is it important?
Want to connect with leads and convert them into customers? Email marketing is the answer because it gives you a 1:1 channel to communicate with your customers and subscribers, removing the noise around that is typically seen on social media.
Here are a few reasons why email marketing is essential for your business:
- It saves cost and gives maximum return
- You can create customized emails, thereby personalizing experiences
- You can connect with your marketing channels effectively and map your buyer’s journey
- Email marketing helps you understand customer touchpoints by gaining meaningful data
- It helps increase customer engagement and brand awareness
But, email marketing works when you know the little nuances associated with it. To drive an effective email marketing strategy, you need to steer clear of the myths and assumptions that often get distributed on the internet as hacks.
Let’s go over some of the most common ones.
Email marketing assumptions that you need to bust with the truth
Here are some of the comfortable myths and the uncomfortable truths about email marketing that you need to know as a Shopify store owner or marketer.
Assumption 1: It’s okay to not send a welcome email
Truth: You are missing out on a golden opportunity.
A welcome email is the first step to establishing a relationship with your subscriber, who may well be your potential customer.
Think of it as a visitor in your offline shop. If you do not make them feel welcome, how are they even considering buying from you?
By not sending a welcome email, you are losing potential customers and the opportunity to set the ground for your relationship. A welcome email is an excellent way to let your subscribers know what to expect from you as a brand, how you’re available for them if they need help and where they can reach you.
You can also use this email to establish more touchpoints with them by asking them to follow you on social media or subscribing via channels like SMS in addition to the emails.
Example: This email from Cozy Earth is an excellent welcome email example., It conveys a quick welcome and offers a first purchase discount, nudging the subscriber to make a purchase.
Assumption 2: A clear CTA is not required
Truth: If you’re not guiding a subscriber’s shopping journey, you’re going to lose them to distractions.
We don’t know who floated this in the market, but if you want to convert your subscribers, you want to give them clear actionables. And for that, you need to include a clear call-to-action in your email – both in terms of copy and design.
A good email should add value in the form of relevant information. But it should also tell the subscriber what to do next, subtly nudging them towards making a purchase, creating a wishlist, completing their customer account or more.
Yes, giving your subscriber the room to make their own decisions is important. But not spelling out a CTA, gives them too many options that may overwhelm them. And that might result in them not taking any action at all!
Example: This email by Atoms is a good example of multiple clear CTAs. The email starts off by defining the message in a few words, keeps the design simple yet visual, and drops the call-to-action/shop now buttons for the subscribers who are interested in either of the offerings. Each CTA will take the subscriber to a separate landing page.
Assumption 3: The email design doesn’t matter as long as the copy is good
Truth: Your design is what helps you make the copy readable.
Nothing against the writers, but not everyone is a reader, including your subscribers. True, you need clever and clear content, but you need a good email design to complement it. This includes your email template, your branding, sections, formatting, etc. The best of CTAs have gone unnoticed because the layout was not correct.
The best way to ensure your email is a perfect mix of correct content, format, and design would be to pick a template app that allows you to customize each element, something like BayEngage. The app has an array of templates spread across genres that will enable you to create the proper email layout by adjusting elements and angles that convey your message in the best possible manner.
Example: This Minna email is a perfect example of a good layout. It is a combination of ideal copy combined with accurate angles that capture the eye. To top it off, it uses store elements to trigger recall value. It is a winner through and through.
Assumption 4: Designing desktop email is enough
Truth: Nearly 47% of people use a mobile application to check their emails.
Technology is becoming more mobile by the day. This means our devices are becoming smaller. In that case, if you only consider your desktop as the benchmark for dimensions, you are losing out on a significant population that uses just its phones and tablets to access emails.
Optimize your emails across devices. Test and make sure that they open easily and the text and context are clear without zoom in or out. Be it the image you include or the copy, and it needs to be responsive.
A good practice is to keep your email copy short for when viewed on mobile devices. It makes it easy for the subscriber to read through instead of scroll endlessly, which they wouldn’t mind doing on the desktop.
Example: A good example is this Havenly emailer. It has a simple layout and a crisp copy optimized for mobile and is clearly visible and coherent.
Assumption 5: Automation should run forever
Truth: Your automation needs to adapt or change with the subscriber’s journey with your brand.
First of all, we agree that email automation has a greater chance at ROI generation, but you should not let it run forever.
There should be a trigger after which the automation stops, or you will have many irritated subscribers who will not convert and would instead unsubscribe. It is essential to change your email automation strategies as per your marketing tactics and how the subscribers are engaging with the current emails.
For example, if a subscriber has made their first purchase after subscribing to your emails, sending them a first purchase message or discount is no longer enticing. You need to move them to an automation that nudges them to make another purchase instead!
Assumption 6: The higher the subscriber number, the better
Truth: Always prioritize quality subscribers over quantity.
Let’s start with, subscribers are humans and not numbers.
Think of it this way, would you like communication that’s crafted especially for you, or would you be satisfied with a pamphlet published for all?
The more you segment your subscribers, the better are the chances of creating personalized messages and emails, and the better the possibilities of them clicking on the CTAs and converting into customers. For example, a simple act of addressing the subscriber by name in the welcome email can work wonders. Sending them a survey regarding what information they would like to receive is also a great way to personalize emails and communication. The point being, subscribers, are not just numbers. Treat them as people with whom you want to establish a long-term relationship.
Example: This email from FitOn is a good example of personalized communication. This is something that can bring a smile to the recipient’s face, making them feel exclusive. And that’s the goal, to convince them that they are the only customer.
Assumption 7: You need a good number of subscribers to start email marketing
Truth: You need to keep your initial subscribers and customers engaged from day one.
Will you turn away the first customer who comes to your physical store, or ask them to wait until more come?
Similarly, you need not worry about subscriber numbers while establishing an email marketing strategy your Shopify store.
Start with the ones you have and do not lower the engagement rate there. Otherwise, while searching and hoping for new subscribers to come in, you may lose out on the current ones who may forget about you.
Worse, by the time you do decide to send them an email, they may have already forgotten about you.
Assumption 8: One bad feedback means the entire strategy is bad
Truth: One customer or subscriber does not define your entire list.
There are bound to be subscribers who may not like what you have sent. But that does not mean it is a bad email strategy.
However, to reduce such instances, you should segment your emails. Identify your target audience and create buyer personas on the basis of demographics, gender, purchase history, browsing history, etc. Then create targeted email campaigns.
Send the right information to the right people at the right time, and you’ll find lesser people sharing negative feedback.
Also make it a practice to offer an unsubscribe button or the option to reduce the number of times someone receives an email from you. Addressing convenience can get you brownie points.
Assumption 9: There is just one perfect day to send emails
Truth: Your send day varies based on your consumer behavior and purchase preferences only, and that varies for all businesses.
There are a lot of recommendations on the internet from the ‘marketing gurus’ who suggest how there are perfect days to send your emails. This is not true.
Your send day will vary based on when your audience is the most active, what you sell and when the message is the most contextual for the consumer.
For example, if you sell DIY craft kits, sending an email reminding stay-at-home mothers to get their stocks ready for the weekends at mid-week is a good time. Similarly, if your target audience is people who are professionals, you might want to steer clear of Mondays as those are usually packed with meetings for most.
Look at your own insights and reports and analyze everything before finding out what is your perfect time.
Assumption 10: You should not send too many emails
Truth: There is some truth to it but not all.
Spamming is bad and we think everyone agrees to it. But again, we have to understand that with email marketing, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy, because it is created by humans and for humans who are quite fickle in their own way.
Each point of time and each new marketing activity can bring about the need for a new strategy, sometimes requiring one email a week and sometimes needing one daily.
For example, if you’re a health supplement brand, you might want to send more weekly emails to remind your customers to keep up with a habit. Similarly, if you’re a fashion brand, a weekly newsletter might do the trick.
Study your business and ongoing campaigns, along with the customer behavior well to figure out what works best for you. A/B test your frequency and ask subscribers for feedback on how often they want to hear from you.
Assumption 11: Email marketing is all about numbers
Truth: Email marketing is about capturing the right emotion
If you think the more emails you send to the subscribers the better strategy it would be, you are a tad wrong. Different emails serve different purposes. The number of emails you should send is affected by various buyer personas and further segmentations.
For instance, a welcome email serves a different purpose than an email sent to encourage subscribers to join a loyalty program. While the former is directed towards informing the subscribers about the information they will receive via emails and acquainting them with the brand, the latter is encouraging them to join a program that will reward them for making multiple purchases.
Email marketing is not just about numbers. It is about knowing the right number of emails that you should send out to the right audience at the right time.
Don’t let email marketing assumptions and myths take you away from your goals!
We’d just like to say, stop believing the internet on its face value. It’s a hub of information, but not everything stated there is verified enough to be believed as a fact.
Every business is different and every email marketing and communication strategy has to be crafted accordingly and updated from time to time.
Look at competitors to know what they are doing right and where they are going wrong, study your own business, insights, and strategies well, and customize your emails and communication accordingly. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy here.
Ready to start creating emails that convert?
Try BayEngage today.