Web Based Email Marketing Success: Write With Empathy & Drive Sales

laptop user typing email client is on screen

“We need a new Email Marketing campaign.”

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a cost-effective, personalized communication stream between you and your customers? If you’re nodding your head “yes,” good news, it already exists. It’s web based Email Marketing, and if your brand is not strategically using it to complete your customer’s “job-to-be-done,” or educating them and increasing brand awareness, then you should continue reading.

When done right, Email Marketing is one of the most profitable and personalized tools in any content marketer’s toolbox. So, you and your team need to strategize how your company can use it best to interact with your customer base.

However, just like creating any piece of content, your team’s first steps should be to study your customers and their habits. Unfortunately, no two companies or customers are the same, so there never will be a one-size-fits-all approach to formulating a successful Email Marketing strategy.

Before your business spends the money to produce its next Email Marketing campaign, your team needs to fully understand how to harness the power of this incredible communication platform. We’ll lay out necessary steps so your Email Marketing is optimized for user-engagement and profits, so you can be confident your Emails will complete your customer’s goals, not get tossed into the spam folder.

quote more than 250 billion emails are sent everyday

“More Than 250 Billion Emails Are Sent Everyday” (click to see Radicati’s email statistics report)

So, What Is Email Marketing’s Role in Your Business?

Well, in order to successfully use Email Marketing, your company needs to have a robust and updated Email list. If you already have one, perfect, you’re ready for the next step. 

 However, if you don’t have an Email list formulated, one of the best places to exert your focus would be optimizing your website for content and community engagement.

 The more useful and valuable your content is, the more people are going to want to interact with your brand and become a part of it. Great content and outstanding customer service are the two keys to building a noteworthy Email Marketing list.

How To Make An Email List:

  • Offer free and valuable downloads on your website. Always request a name and Email in order for the prospective customer to acquire the materials.
  • Produce useful pieces of content on topics that are relevant to your desired customers and publish these on a regular basis.
  • Write quality and informative blogs and videos, and request users to sign-up to receive notifications on updates.
  • Create an easy and seamless sign-up or contact form on your website’s homepage.
  • Make your product check-out process user-friendly.
  • Use your social media channels to gain prospective leads.
hubspot screenshot of homepage

Both HubSpot and MailChimp offer completely free versions that come with a myriad of features. One of the most utilized would be the responsive Email design feature, which allows you to optimize for desktop or mobile platforms. They also have multiple design templates suitable for most businesses and industries.

view of mailchimp homepage

Once your team has acquired a robust Email list and found your desired web based Email Marketing software, now it’s time to start thinking about what customers you’re going to target and with what Emails.

Email Marketing Campaign Goals:

Your company has the choice to build your Emails to be as general or personalized as you wish. Now, as you know, Marketing has become incredibly customer-centric over the last couple years, so it’s important to understand how you are communicating with your audience. This decision would be based on where the potential customer is in your customer journey.

For example, your business is going to interact with a new customer differently than you would with someone who’s been a brand loyalist for years. Your personality and voice won’t change. That’s who you are as a brand.

But, what will change is the message, the information, and the products or services that you’re educating them on.

The key to establishing strategic goals for your web based Email Marketing campaign is to properly align them with your customer’s “job-to-be-done.”

Every man, woman, and child out there is asking for us to help them improve their lives. It’s our job to scour the search engines, study what they’re asking, and strategize a plan to achieve results. You must ask your team these questions about your customers before devising your next Email Marketing campaign:

  • What are they trying to know?
  • Where are they trying to go?
  • What are they trying to do?
  • What are they trying to buy?

If the content in your Emails is answering one or all of these jobs, then your brand is on its way to profitable Email Marketing campaigns. When you garner trust with useful content, you will generate leads, and with enough brand awareness, those leads will turn into revenue.

When your team studies the job that people are trying to get done, rather than the end-product, you’ll minimize loss to the greatest degree, ensuring you are reaching the right customer with the right content at the right time. Increased revenue will follow suit.

What Are Your Company Goals with Web Based Email Marketing?

  • Is it a product launch or update?
  • Is it to drive traffic to your website?
  • Is your company’s goal to produce new leads?
  • Is it to notify customers of a special event?

Email can be used for virtually any form of communication so really put some strategic thought into how your team is devising Email campaigns.

When Should You Send Emails?

To be honest, there is no best time to send an Email. The more information you have on your customers the better. Different industries have different customers and different customers mean different open rates.

Learn your customer’s time-zones and how they live their daily life. We live in a mobile device society where millions of people are opening Emails on their phone every day. Try devising a strategy to send Emails when your customers have free time and you’re sure to see your open rates and click-through rates increase.

Think about the days of the week as well. Monday’s are notoriously bad, but weekends and weeknights seem to normally achieve a better click-through-rate. Again, there is no definitive answer as to when it’s best to send an Email, so you’ll have to test and figure out what works best for your business.

The Three Different Types Of Email Customers:

There are three main buckets or customer target demographics that you can segment your Email Marketing List into:

  1. New Customers
  2. Nurture & Pursue Leads
  3. Brand Loyalists

All the successful companies that are embracing content innovation are no longer selling to consumers, they’re giving them an education, a relatable and empathetic experience, and from that are organically increasing sales.

Your business must strategize your Email Marketing right, so the relationship doesn’t end with just the message you presented, it continues and becomes a part of your consumer’s everyday life. They seek you out and look forward to your Emails instead of the other way around.

New Customer Emails

Welcome & Thank You Emails

Seeing that it’s a must for lifestyle brands to do a fantastic job of bringing a new customer into their world, we’re going to use Patagonia as an example of a company that welcomes new customers very well.

You’ll see in the example below, Patagonia studied their data. The sign-up and contact form is easily located on their homepage. This is one of the most successful ways for you to start your lead nurturing process and gain interest from potential customers.

patagonia homepage shows easy sign up form

Now, here’s where Patagonia is really on top of their Email Marketing game and set themselves apart from the competition.

Within two minutes after signing up, I received my first welcome Email:

The Desktop Version:

The Subject Line is incredibly simple and to the point. They are not trying to be catchy or cheeky, just an honest “thank you” Email.

patagonia email example shown in desktop format

Mobile Version:

patagonia email example shown in mobile format

Where Patagonia thrives:

  • Desktop and Mobile optimized. Content is stacked and fit to screen for mobile scrolling.
  • Clean design. Not too much copy and the important message is completely contained above the fold.
  • Minimized desktop scrolling to find the purpose of their message.

Patagonia also provides the potential customer with a bit of information into who they are as a company, then starts to supply some products for customers review and exploration.

In a time when user-experience is everything, this is paramount to web based Email Marketing success. Don’t be salesy, find an empathetic and creative way to be effective.

patagonia email example shows mission statemnt

Finally, Patagonia leaves the user with a question that ultimately tries to tie in other platforms of communication, not just Email Marketing.

patagonia email example shows other channels

When you prompt your potential customers to visit your other social channels you’re bringing them deeper into your brand community and allowing your company additional avenues to communicate, nurture and pursue this customer, and hopefully drive sales.

The “Getting Started” Email

Now, for many successful brands your next step towards communicating with your Email audience after the “thank you” Email should be a “getting started” Email, which is different than a simple “welcome” or “thank you” Email.

Your customer’s lives are incredibly busy, just like yours. So, more often than not, they’ll fail to take action on your “thank you” Email. If you see that after three-days to one-week there’s no interaction with your brand, then think about strategizing a “getting started” campaign.

If you were to look at most successful digital Marketing brands, they take the introductory process a step further with a “getting started” Email.

Check out the example from Uber:

uber email example shows clear communication

Uber has not only expressed their gratitude once again for joining their business, but they’ve also given their audience one simple task to complete. This Email is sure to get users logging on their platform and starting a relationship with their brand.

Airbnb is another platform that does this incredibly well, and you’ll see in the example provided below in both Desktop and Mobile formats. They prompt action, but it’s not a huge ask of the customer, just enough to get some interaction going with them.

Desktop Version:

Air BnB email example shown in desktop format

Mobile Version:

Air BnB email example shown in mobile format

The content is identical from desktop to mobile and it’s perfectly optimized as well. By prompting the user to add elements to their Airbnb profile they’ll automatically engage with those users. Once you’re on Airbnb’s website it’s almost impossible to not check out a piece of property, or two, or one of the hundreds of events in any given area.

Where Airbnb takes their web based Email Marketing to near perfection in an almost creepy sense, is here. When you view a property and then leave it before a purchase is made they send you one of these:

Air BnB email example shows customized results

The first thing to notice is The Subject Line and the Body Copy of the Email. 

Once Airbnb and I have started this relationship as a brand and a consumer, it’s become more personable.

They’re using my name now.
What they’re also doing is suggesting other pieces of property that I might want to stay at instead of the one I exited their site viewing.

So, instead of allowing me to decide against my impromptu trip to Isla Mujeres, Airbnb gets back into the conversation with a simple Email like the one above. When done right it’s an incredible avenue to gain traffic and conversions to your website.

Nurture & Pursue Emails

The next segment of your Email customers is what you’d call nurture and pursue Emails. These lists are normally gathered when the user opts to give your company his or her Email through your website Marketing funnel.

You Can Compile These From:

  • Newsletters
  • Content Downloads
  • Website Sign-Ups
  • Previous Purchases
  • Abandoned Carts

It’s through this process of Email Marketing where you’ll begin to learn and amplify your messaging and communication to each individual user, setting the stage for a relationship to flourish.

The Announcement Email

There’s something simplistically beautiful about Thrillist’s Monthly Announcement Emails that makes me actually anticipate their arrival.

An Announcement Email is a perfect strategy to keep your audience engaged and up-to-date on with your brand’s latest services and products. While sharing your brand’s information should be top priority, an announcement Email is also a strategic tactic that successfully drives users back to your website where you can convert them into a customer.

Streamail email example shows announcements

If your company’s goal is to drive sales or traffic, a strategic and user-friendly Announcement Email campaign that showcases a new product, feature, or service is a sure-fire way to increase open rates and click-through rates.

Another great example of an announcement campaign is this Email from Toms.

TOMs shoes email example

This targeted and seasonal Email knows my shopping habits and is simply letting me know that I can get the best deal for my mother if I complete my purchase now.

The Special Offer Email

A Special Offer Email is one of the most successful web based Email Marketing campaigns your brand can produce if your goal is to drive a direct response to your website or store for customers to purchase your products and services.

Special Offer Emails Should:

  • Showcase your latest products and encourage customers to purchase.
  • Offer a discount or special promotion.
best buy email shows special offers

Best-Buy does a great way of nudging its customers to partake in its sales and events. Their A.I. systems recognized that I was looking at TVs and exited the site instead of purchasing. So, to gain my attention they’ve produced a very timely 24-hour flash sale.

The prices at Best Buy are certainly unbeatable and their strategic Email Marketing tactics are helping push the growing retail brand to an increase in sales to 10% over last year. This is a very difficult task in a time when many brick and mortar superstores are closing their doors, and their Email Marketing prowess is certainly an argument for their success.

The Abandoned Cart Email

There could be a lot of different reasons that a potential customer would opt out of the purchase process on your website. It could be the load time. You may not have an SSL certificate set up. They may want to be seeing if shipping is free or if there’s a special discount once they place their item in their cart.

Whichever piece of the puzzle it is, it’s up to your team to reach out and win that customer back through this part of the process. Timing is key. It needs to happen within 24 hours, or else they might be tempted to have your competitor complete their “job-to-be-done.”

If you’re shopping on Overstock and place something in their cart, then decide to exit during the check-out process you’ll be prompted with a sizeable discount or special offer. Tactics like this are sure to show that shopper that your business is not only the best source for them to gain a product or a service, but you’re giving them the best deal.

Sometimes, well, most of the time the latter takes precedence. Look at Jeff Bezos, he built Amazon off the belief that a competitor won’t beat him on price. It’s important.

overstock email follows up an abandoned shopping cart experience

Things To Keep In Mind:

  • Make it easy to convert and complete their purchase.
  • Almost ½ of all Email opens are on mobile devices. Don’t miss out on open opportunities.

Brand Loyalist Emails

Deep down, people want to be part of a group. It’s in our nature, that’s why our socioeconomic structure is the way it is. Your Email Marketing campaigns should emulate that for success.

To take this a step farther, think about how you engage in a quality conversation with a friend. It’s truthful and open. Overall, great communication is personable and easy, no matter the medium.

No one enjoys talking in a room that has a hundred different conversations going on at the same time, the same way as no one appreciates being talked to, instead of conversed with. There is absolutely a difference.

The same goes for successful retained customer Emails. By this point, your customer is a part of your brand and you are a part of them. So, it’s a must that you continue this relationship.

The Membership Email

The golfing community is one of the most loyal and financially stable consumer markets around. However, due to societies decreased attention span Golf is seeing its “new golfer” segment remain stagnant. In an attempt to combat those numbers, GolfNow has taken their Email Marketing strategy to new heights.

Of course, The Body Copy states they are on a first name basis with the user at this point, but that’s not all. GolfNow knows so much about Blake that they’re showing him what the weather will be like in his city this weekend, just in case he hasn’t checked yet.

golf now email highlights membership

GolfNow knows Blake wants to play golf, but they also know he lives in the Midwest and the weather can change at the drop of a hat. There’s always the looming issue of whether or not the round could get rained out.

That’s where simple messaging like, “100% weather protected” leaves Blake with no choice but to sign up for a tee time.

GolfNow is completing all of Blake’s questions, concerns, and “jobs-to-be-done” on one platform and doing it as seamlessly as possible. A sure-fire way to drive tee-time bookings, Email open rates and click-through rates.

The Education & Content Update Email

One of the most prominent reasons a potential customer would want to stay in contact with your brand actually isn’t even sales focused. The best Email marketers add value to their consumers lives day in and day out. Your messaging makes them better.

A weekly or monthly Email newsletter or content offering that’s suited to your user’s interest is a proven approach.

Google does such an incredible series with their Monday Weekly Thought Starter. First off, the content is always relevant and useful, but the way it’s presented is typical Google perfection.

google email keeps users engaged

Simple design and mobile optimization make for as seamless of a reading experience as you can get.

User experience aside, what Google is really doing well here is the fact that they’re completing the job of making you a better person. They’re not selling you a service, they’re adding value to you. Which is more than most companies can offer.

Note: The messaging is also personalized, using my name and getting straight to the point, because I already knew this was coming.

When it’s all said and done, creating successful web based Email Marketing Campaigns is the same process as creating blogs, video content, or written ads.

You must study your customer’s data and ask your team…

“What are your customers trying to accomplish?”
“What are your customer’s questions, concerns, and ‘jobs-to-be-done?’”

If you and your Marketing team can successfully answer these questions, you’ll be able to understand your true market and then produce quality Email Marketing campaigns that your audience actually cares about and won’t just delete, or worse, throw in the spam folder.

Web Based Email Marketing Data To Test & Study:

If there’s one thing that’s for certain, you must figure out what’s the best strategy for your business. Email Marketing has an incredible amount of user data at your disposal and it’s up to your team to study it, test different tactics, and innovate for success.

Email Content To Test:

  • The Copy
  • The Design
  • The CTA Buttons
  • The From Address

Email Data To Study:

  • Open Rate
  • Click-Through Rate
  • Unsubscribe Rate
  • Spam Reports
  • Shares

Routine is good, consistency is key, but repetition is a brand killer. Don’t over-send Emails and don’t send on the wrong day of the week.

In Conclusion…

Before your company makes any moves to create its next Email Marketing campaign, take a step back and make sure your brand’s Emails are:

  • Personalized
  • Mobile Optimized
  • Data Tested
  • Timely

If managing your company’s web based Email Marketing sounds like something outside of your wheelhouse, let’s chat, Evolve Digital Labs is here to help.

Did you enjoy the read? Please, let us know. If not, let us know too. We want to hear from you so Evolve can innovate our content and improve your journey to success in digital marketing.

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