Whether you are just starting with email marketing or you’re already sending marketing emails every week, you know that emails are one of the best channels to sell — and smart marketers are always looking for new ways they can build relationships and grow revenue.
These are all valid questions manufacturing marketers find themselves asking when selecting the right format to meet their email marketing goals.
When you’re looking at individual emails’ subject lines, content, and visuals, plus action-based email journeys or time-based email playbooks, it can be easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. When this happens, you run a risk of creating an imbalance in the types of emails you’re sending on a weekly, monthly, or even annual basis.
In this blog, we’ll explore the emails you need, when to use them, and how to balance them. Plus, we’ll include some best-in-class examples along the way.
What is email marketing?
Email marketing is a powerful marketing channel, a form of direct marketing as well as digital marketing, that uses email to promote your business’s products or services. It can help make your customers aware of your latest items or offers by integrating them into your marketing automation efforts. It can also play a pivotal role in your marketing strategy with lead generation, brand awareness, building relationships, or keeping customers engaged between purchases through different types of marketing emails.
When is the best time to send a marketing email?
Rather than choosing a random day and time to send your emails, be strategic. Think about what you know about your audience and choose the best time to send emails to them.
Sendinblue’s research showed that email marketing campaigns tend to perform better when sent on Tuesdays or Thursdays in the mornings around 10 AM or in the afternoons around 3 PM.
But, what works for most may not work best for you. It’s important to test different times to see where the sweet spot is for your audience. Or, use Sendinblue’s Send Time Optimization feature, which selects the best time for each individual contact based on previous engagement data.
Email marketing campaigns are used to promote special offers, new product releases, gated content like ebooks and webinars, and your brand at large. A campaign could consist of 3-10 emails sent over several days or weeks.
1. Promotional Email
Promotional emails have a clear call-to-action — CTA, for short. The CTA represents the specific action you want the reader to take, whether it’s visiting a page on your website or using a coupon to make a purchase.
Your business’s sales and marketing rhythm typically determines how often you send this type of marketing email.
During crucial periods like Black Friday, you may be sending multiple promotional emails in the same 24-hour period. During slower periods in the marketing calendar, there may be a few weeks between your promotional campaigns.
2. Welcome Emails
Initial contact with prospects typically finds them unready to do business.
In fact, research shows that only 25% of leads are immediately sales-ready while 50% of leads are qualified but not yet ready to buy.
Nurturing, therefore, is critical for pushing your leads closer to the buying stage.
Welcome emails show better open and click-through rates when they offer a personal touch and introduce your organization without slathering on the sales pitch. Don’t introduce a new product or service before you’ve built a relationship. Simply work on giving off a good first impression — one that illustrates your industry knowledge and expertise — and pave the way for future contact.
3. Product Update Email
Product emails are tricky. People generally don’t want to receive these often, and they’re typically not as interesting or engaging as something like an offer email. That said, it’s important to keep these emails simple and straightforward.
Many companies choose to send weekly or monthly product digests to keep their customers or fan base up-to-date with the latest features and functionalities. And no matter how much a customer loves your business, it still works for them to learn how to use new features or learn why a new product is worth their investment.
4. Lead Nurturing Email
Depending on the specific action a persona takes, you may want to enroll them in a lead nurturing campaign. Lead nurturing emails consist of a tightly connected series of emails containing useful, targeted content.
As their name suggests, these emails are used to nurture leads through the marketing funnel into a position of sales readiness. For example, let’s say you sent your list a marketing offer email. You might then set up a lead nurturing workflow that triggers another email about a complimentary offer or piece of content to everyone who converted on that initial offer. The logic is simple: By identifying a particular group of contacts that you already know are interested in a specific topic, you can follow up with more relevant and targeted content that makes them more likely to continue their relationship with you.
5. Lead nurturing emails
We recently surveyed marketing experts across a mix of industries to find out which channels and tactics were most effective for nurturing leads to conversion. Email won out by quite some margin, with 45.7% of respondents placing it as the top-performing channel.
Lead nurturing emails are usually sent after new lead signs up to your marketing email database, or takes a specific action on a landing page, like downloading an ebook or using a gated tool. They are usually sent in a time-based sequence, making Ortto’s Playbooks an easy-to-use option.
6. Email Newsletters
Many businesses and organizations send email newsletters to stay on top of mind for their recipients.
Most industrial businesses actually use email newsletters as the foundation of their email marketing program because they are great tools for educating customers and prospects about your business and showcasing employee profiles, company passion projects, and relevant graphics.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty details of creating email newsletters, you will need to determine your goal.
What is it that you want your email newsletter to achieve? You might want to nurture your existing contacts and become the first brand they think of when they need a product or service in your industry. Or your goal might be to increase sharing so that you attract new people to your list.
7. Dedicated Emails
Dedicated emails — also known as standalone emails — contain information about only one offer. For instance, you can notify your target audience about a new white paper you have released or invite them to attend an industry event that you are hosting.
Dedicated emails help you set up the context to introduce the main call-to-action. In this sense, they are similar to landing pages. Dedicated sends are generally used to reach out to your entire email database — a practice that is not necessarily efficient in optimizing conversions and minimizing unsubscribes.
While there are instances when all of your subscribers should be notified, such as a timely new offer or an unprecedented national emergency, in most cases you would want to segment heavily based on your subscribers’ different behaviors and interests.
8. Social Media Send
As the administrator of LinkedIn Group, when you send a LinkedIn Announcement, you’re directly reaching a LinkedIn user’s inbox. And when you create a Google+ event, sending the invite directly sends you into users’ email boxes as well. Without having to create lists or collect email addresses, you automatically have access to users’ emails, but be sure to tap into these resources with care.
When it comes to these social media emails, you don’t have the option of using email software that allows you to customize the layout or add images. You’re at the mercy of copy alone. This is where leveraging white space is very important. Keep your paragraphs short, your sentences brief, and your thoughts clear. Optimize these emails for the scanning reader, and use bullets or numbers to deliver your main points.
9. Sponsorship Emails
All the types of marketing emails we have discussed so far are under the assumption that you are sending communications to your own email database. If you want to reach a different audience and gain new leads, you might try out sponsorship emails with display ads. A sponsorship usually entails you paying to include your copy in another vendor’s newsletter or dedicated send.
Sponsorship email campaigns are one component of a paid media strategy, including pay-per-click (PPC), display advertising, mobile advertising, affiliate advertising, etc.
In this paid media universe, you benefit from being super specific when describing the target audience you want to reach.
Generally, you’ll have to design your email copy or ad placement according to the specifications listed by the vendor. Check if the partner has any size restrictions or image suggestions. Provide them with both the HTML and plain text versions of the copy in advance.
10. Co-marketing Email
Co-marketing is when two or more complementary companies partner together for some mutually beneficial task, event, or other promotion. The main draw of co-marketing is to leverage the audience of another company to increase your reach.
Sometimes the relationship results in a strategic announcement; other times it’s as simple as a joint webinar. Let’s use the latter for an example of how co-marketing emails work, and why they’re so beneficial: Let’s say you and another company decide to do a webinar together on a particular subject. As a result, that webinar will likely be promoted to the email lists of both of your companies. This exposure to a list that is not your own is one of the key benefits of co-marketing partnerships.
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