Earlier, most IT companies didn’t put much emphasis on what life was like “outside of IT”, result-oriented email marketing wasn’t even on the radar. They independently studied both the algorithm of sales of their services and channels for their sales activity.
Since the approach they found worked successfully, they were not going to study an incomprehensible type of implementation of their services through marketing. The competition in IT or outsourcing software development has grown every year, increasing several times over.
And the owners of IT companies became more experienced and wiser. They have already learned how to calculate the cost of attracting one client and know what the average check is. This bridge connects marketing and sales in IT.
Email marketing makes it possible to:
- Gather and regularly replenish a base of potential customers;
- Personalize communication with customers. Virtually no other tool allows this;
- Tell your potential customers in detail about your service;
- Bring back the client that left or persuade potential customers to choose your company.
Steps to Implement Email Marketing
1. Implementing Capture Forms
The first step in building an email marketing system is the implementation of mechanisms to ensure that your subscriber base is captured.
It’s not just putting an email entry form at the bottom of your website, it’s creating motivational appeals. For example, it may be a promise to send a customer a catalog of exclusive services, which is not presented on the site.
2. Develop an Email Strategy
Next, you need to develop an email marketing strategy. This document describes important parameters related to email marketing. For example, it usually includes the following elements:
- Goals and objectives;
- Description of the audience and key messages;
- Types of messages.
It’s important to make a technical description of what will happen and how: what emails are sent after subscription, requesting a project estimation, viewing services list on the website, etc. (i.e. all types of mailings should be covered: marketing, triggers, transactional).
Moreover, at this step, it is necessary to develop a chain of letters, which will lead readers to certain actions. Most often, the last key action should be the purchase of a service. The most popular is a chain of 3-4 letters, the last of which is designed to close the sale.
3. Develop a Mailing Plan
Now, it’s worth figuring out what you will write and how you will do it. At this stage, it’s a good idea to do a competitive analysis and see what your competitors are writing about, what headlines and calls to action they use, and analyze the visual design of their letters.
4. Prepare Email Templates
Once you’ve decided on a complete list of different types of mailings, you’ll need to prepare email templates for each of them. Having a ready-made template, in which you only need to upload content, greatly speeds up the process.
In addition, a recognizable corporate style is also important. It will be easier for subscribers to recognize your newsletters related to software developers, so they won’t close them by accident.
5. Ensure Regularity
This is the step where most plans start effective email marketing collapse. First and foremost, email newsletters need to be regular. Only then your readers will engage with them on a regular basis.
Timing is also an important element of an email marketing strategy, and it can seriously affect whether or not subscribers will read your emails. It’s advisable to do your marketing mailings with the recipients’ time zones in mind.
For example, if you’re doing a specific morning newsletter, it’s important for you to make sure your subscribers receive it in the morning in their time zones. If all of your subscribers are in the same time zone, experiment with timing to see what will show the best results.
6. Analyze Results
The performance of email marketing can be measured qualitatively. You can analyze statistics of each email you’ve sent: how many people have opened it, clicked on links, and taken a targeted action on the site. Compare the performance of each email with previous ones to see what the audience likes better.
A Couple of Other Tips
Use Transparent Methods of Compiling Your Address Base
Black marketers collect their email address bases from a variety of sources - LinkedIn, lists of event attendees, other address bases, sometimes, personal contacts. This is a bad email marketing practice that often causes recipients to immediately delete emails they receive from you.
According to Best LLC Services, It can also lead to breaches of data privacy regulations such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and CAN-SPAM. Your recipients should agree to receive your emails before you start mailing marketing campaigns.
It Should Be Easy to Unsubscribe
You should give the readers the option to unsubscribe from your mailing list if they lose interest in your content or your business. According to email marketing best practices, you should place an unsubscribe button or link in a prominent place so you can easily unsubscribe.
If you force subscribers to receive your newsletters after they unsubscribe, your emails are likely to end up in spam. Try to Wake up “Dormant Subscribers” Before you Remove Them From Your Database
Over time, some subscribers become inactive. The reasons may vary from a change of email address to a loss of interest in your product or service. To keep your list up to date, remove inactive subscribers.
This will help you maintain high email open rates, clickability, and deliverability. But before you purge your list of inactive subscribers, try engaging them one last time. Send them a targeted newsletter asking if they’re still interested in receiving information from you.
Optimizing for Mobile Devices
Email is most often viewed on mobile devices. And, if your marketing campaigns aren’t optimized for mobile devices, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. When planning your newsletters, think of mobile users first.
If you use a video in your newsletters, upload it to a hosting service like YouTube or Vimeo and send links to your customers. A few more tips for optimizing your marketing campaigns to consider:
- Use large fonts because they’re better readable on mobile screens;
- Make images and other media files no wider than 600 pixels so they fit on mobile screens;
- Keep message threads short, so they can be read in their entirety;
- The call to action button should be large enough to be easily found and clicked.
Send a test email to yourself and see how it looks on multiple devices and browsers. If you don’t do that, you may find that the messages contain dead links or images that are too large.
Don’t Buy Email Databases
Buying email databases may seem like an attractive idea, but it’s not. In fact, you should only send marketing newsletters to people who are really interested in receiving them.
Before you send a newsletter, make sure that all potential clients and customers have given you permission to do so. You can collect these addresses either through a subscription form on your website or by using other lead generation tactics.
To attract customers and leads, you need a suitable and compelling offer. You can use any website builder for such purposes. A lead magnet is something of value that you give potential customers at the top of your funnel for free in exchange for their email addresses. Here are typical lead magnets for IT companies:
- Project evaluation;
- A case study;
- A free quote or consultation;
- Questionnaire or test;
- Discounted coupon.
These days, most email subscribers know that email newsletters and campaigns are automated. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your email campaigns are personal.
Here are a few ways to do that:
- Address your subscribers by name;
- Use upbeat, friendly greetings;
- Sign newsletters (in the “From” field) with the real names of your marketing team members;
- Use subscriber segmentation, such as by demographics, location, or purchase history.
A/B Campaign Testing
A/B testing (split testing) of a newsletter is checking the effectiveness of different versions of your email with small changes to a particular element. Split testing will help you make informed, rather than emotionally intuitive, decisions about your marketing campaigns.
Planning an email campaign is an art, not a science. This means that in order to get the best results, email marketing needs to be constantly monitored and improved. Evaluate your marketing campaigns and determine what needs improvement. Here are some particularly important metrics:
- Click Ability;
- Effective subject matter;
To summarize, don’t forget that emails should primarily convey value to customers; they should provide relevant, useful information. Apply the 80/20 rule to result-oriented email marketing to achieve optimal customer engagement: devote 80% of your emails to value and 20% of your emails to sales.