Anyone who is at least partially familiar with digital advertising has certainly noticed that email marketing has been developing more and more lately. One of the proofs for this is the fact that in the various job announcements, the demand for the position of a manager who would be in charge of finding new clients by email can be noticed more and more. As one of the many reasons why this is so, we can, within this introductory part, cite statistical data, which shows that as many as 47 % of marketers highlight email as convincingly the most effective marketing tool.
At first glance, this information may seem a bit strange, especially since we are already used to social networks and Google advertising taking the throne when it comes to the channels that bring the highest percentage of conversions. However, as technology advances, so do the trends in digital marketing itself, which is why email has today become a tool that everyone should seriously consider, especially those whose primary goal is to find new jobs and establish long-term professional cooperation.
In the following text, we will first tell you why we think email marketing is important, then we will reveal the ways to get contacts and mail addresses, and we will mention some of the tools that are used and with which satisfactory results can be achieved. Finally, we will elaborate on the content of the messages and list those elements that are, at least in our opinion, the key factors of a well-written personalized email.
Why’s Email Marketing Getting More Important?
The logical question that arises when we talk about email marketing becoming the area that brings the best results is what are the main reasons for this and what is it that essentially sets it apart the most from all other ad channels? At the beginning of this part, we can stress another, extremely indicative statistical data, which shows that 72 % of users prefer email as the main means of business communication. This percentage is extremely high and gives a very clear description of how important the email is and, in addition, it provides a prediction of what you can achieve if you start using it for the purpose of establishing new business engagements.
If we are talking about things that make email different from all other advertising channels, then we can primarily emphasize that email gives you the ability to establish direct communication with potential customers. If, for example, you create ads on social networks or Google, you do not have the opportunity to establish a clear interaction with the audience, primarily because you send a general message that a certain number of people may even find it tempting, but to which they can not provide adequate feedback. In contrast, email gives you just the chance to reach out to each person individually and tailor your message to suit the specifics and needs of all those who are part of your target audience.
In addition to this, unlike other promotion channels that do not provide you with accurate information about your audience, in email marketing, you know exactly who you are addressing because, before you even start sending messages, you need to reach the user’s mail address. One way to do this is through the newsletter option on the site in the way that people sign up themselves (this is also the most legal way to get emails) but, if you want to reach new contacts, you need to research their mail addresses yourself – and in what ways you can do this, there will be more talk in the next chapter of the text.
It is this opportunity to, before starting the email campaign, get to know your audience and examine what exactly it does, which gives you a significantly better chance to get the desired answer and achieve good results. In order for sending emails to really make sense, you first need to ask yourself what your goal is and what exactly you want to achieve. The answer to these questions will allow you to thoroughly research the market, find relevant companies and individuals with whom you would like to establish some kind of business cooperation, and create a quality message to present your products or services.
Apart from the fact that email is perhaps the only method by which you can directly address a certain group of people, another significant advantage is that this way of communication seems the most professional and leaves the most positive impression on those to whom the message is directed. Although social networks are, generally speaking, the most common way to make contact with someone, if, say, you send a message to a potential client or associate via Messenger or Instagram DM, there is a good chance that your offer would seem frivolous. This may not always be the case, but simply this type of social network is used by a large number of people as a pastime and for sharing private content, which is why they should not be your first choice for sending business messages.
Some of you are now probably wondering what is going on with LinkedIn, which is designed as a business network where people mostly connect to share their professional experiences. As for this topic, we can say that it would in any case be a much better choice than the previously mentioned networks, but that there are certain limitations here as well. First, the number of messages you can send for free on LinkedIn is very small and, in addition, if we compare the number of people who open emails every day and the number of those who actively use this network (assuming they have an open profile there), we will notice a huge difference. To summarize – if your goal is to reach a larger audience, then email is the right solution for you because this way you can do it quite smoothly.
Now that we have seen why email marketing has become so important and how it can affect the expansion of our business, now is the time to look at some good practices and tools you can use to reach your desired audience and their contact information.
How to Reach an Audience and Mail Addresses?
The main questions when we talk about email marketing are how to properly determine which audience you should address, as well as in what ways can you find the mail addresses of individuals with whom you would like to establish cooperation? When it comes to the first part, i.e. market research, you need to very precisely and thoroughly determine your ultimate goal in order to start looking for adequate companies and people who work in them. What is a recommendation is to segment the market already during the analysis, or in other words, to first select several industries within which you will look for contacts, and it would be ideal to limit them to a maximum of three different ones.
If, for example, you sell some type of software that helps schedule certain services, you could, for example, determine that you will first contact those companies that operate in the beauty and tourism industries. You will achieve much better results if you focus on a small number of industries (it can even be just one) because you will pay more attention to the detailed examination of the contact that you will need later to write quality personalized messages. When you choose an industry, it will be easier for you to reach important companies that operate within it, and then the people employed in some important functions.
After researching the market in detail and choosing the industry you will primarily deal with, a slightly more difficult task follows, which refers to finding the relevant mail addresses of the people to whom you have decided to send a message. When we talk about this part, we can single out the two most common ways you can find someone’s email:
This is, as we have already mentioned, the safest way to get emails because people sign up to receive emails from you. If you have a website, it is recommended that you place the newsletter option in a visible place because this is certainly a very effective way to establish communication with an audience that has already shown a certain dose of interest in your offer.
What is extremely important to note here is that, when it comes to newsletter options, you should only send the news to those who have expressed a desire to do so and not to people who have not, so as not to experience consequences that can have a very negative impact on your business.
Manual Email Search
If your goal is to reach out to people who are not, say, part of your newsletter list and reach a slightly wider audience, then the advice is to turn to a manual email address search. This job is a bit more demanding in any case but, fortunately, today there are really many tools that can help you in this endeavor, such as Benchmark. What you need to be ready for right away if you opt for this method of engaging your audience for email campaigns is, first of all, that you will not be able to get trusted email addresses at all times (even if you use paid tools). In addition, you must take care that your messages do not end up in the spam folder, especially because this activity can ultimately lead to your email account getting blocked.
What is important to say here is that the Internet offers you a really large number of different email search tools, one of which we mentioned above – Benchmark – and through which you can create campaigns and send emails to addresses you have previously collected and verified. We recommend that you ’play’ with its settings to find what works best for your specific needs. To find more emails and check if they are valid, you should use at least some of the paid tools for the simple reason that they are the only ones that allow you to get a significant amount of relevant emails. All free tools, no matter how good they are, are unfortunately significantly limited, which can be a problem if your goal is to create a slightly more extensive email campaign.
Now that we have seen all the ways you can get someone’s email, how to check the correctness of the email address, as well as via which tool you have the opportunity to start sending your campaigns, it is time to look at the content of messages and see how they need to be personalized properly to achieve more efficient results and get more feedback.
Elements of Quality Personalized Email
The purpose of sending emails and launching campaigns is to get as many responses as possible in order to increase the chance of finding new clients and to establish new business collaborations and engagements. Even if you gather a quality database of contacts and go through all the steps listed in the previous part of the text, if your message does not attract attention and does not ’invite’ interaction, you will not succeed in your goal. It is for this reason that it is very important to work on personalization because this is the most effective way to stand out and show your audience that you really care about it.
Did you know that statistics show that personalized emails receive as much as 50 % more clicks than generic emails? Marketers who regularly use personalization in their messages also confirm that such an approach brings them a percentage of open emails of about 82 % and general satisfaction of the audience who regularly replies to their emails and shows interest in establishing cooperation.
All of this data is more than enough reason to try to personalize each of your emails, especially if your primary goal is to establish new business collaborations. We believe that at this moment you are wondering whether it is even possible to do that and whether this process will take you too much time or not? Writing different messages to each person, in any case, requires a little more work and effort than creating identical content, but fortunately, there are several very effective methods that will make your job easier (and faster). When we talk about personalization itself, we can first say that it can be implemented in several different ways, and here we will list those that are most often used in practice:
Personalization at the Individual Level
This level means that the content of the message includes some personal information about the person you are contacting.
When we say personal, we don’t mean that you should present information about someone’s private life, but to list some of his/her career successes, recent promotions, a recent award, and the like.
When we talk about this type of personalization, we mean some information about the company in which certain people from your mailing list work, and they may refer to some recent news about the company, some interviews or statements that certain employees have given recently, some new important project that the company is announcing, and so on.
Since this type of email is about a company, not an individual, once you prepare a template you can use it to send emails to different people who work within the same company. However, take care to change the content of the message at least a little, and more importantly, not to send them at the same time (avoid the same days) to all employees.
This method is definitely the most general, which is logical for the reason that here you do not write content even about the company itself, but about the entire industry within which it and its employees operate. This means that, for example, if you are contacting a company that works in the tourism sector, you would write certain details about that industry, and not about the specific company you are contacting.
When it comes to this type of personalization, usually you are supposed to write about some general problems that exist in an industry, so that you can also present certain solutions that you can offer to a company or an individual.
Let’s go back to the tourism industry, for example; if, say, you were sending emails at this very moment, you would probably mention how the coronavirus pandemic had a very negative impact on traveling and how it significantly reduced profits to travel agencies, and you would also mention how you think some of your services or products could help in reducing the damage caused. As is the case with personalization at the industry level, be careful not to send an identical message to every employee, and we advise you to even single out a few different topics and problems and present them to people depending on the description of their workplaces.
For whatever type of writing personalized messages you decide, you will need to do detailed research, whether about an individual, company, or industry, before composing and sending them. You can find the necessary information in different places, and we recommend that, if you contact certain people, you study their LinkedIn profiles (almost all serious businessmen have profiles on this network), and you can also check whether they have given in the last few months some press statements, writing articles, guest appearances on radio and television shows, and the like, or not.
On the other hand, if you want to write at the company level, then you have an even bigger source of data because you can see the necessary information about the company on their websites, social media pages, in various newspapers, shows, YouTube videos, and in some cases you will even find forums where a certain company is mentioned. In any case, research whether it has recently won a valuable recognition or award, whether it is preparing a new product or service or not, and it would not be bad to have dealt a little with its history.
If you want to talk in your emails about a specific industry and the challenges it faces, it is recommended that you thoroughly analyze all the details about it, the problems that exist, the size of the competition within it, the popularity it has, and so on. In regard to this, you have a really great choice for research as you can find the necessary data everywhere on the Internet, in various newspaper articles, shows, news, and even within some scientific studies.
When composing a personalized email, you should at all times put yourself in the place of the person you are writing to and ask yourself if you would be interested in receiving an email with similar content and if you would respond to it. Nowadays, when most business people are simply overwhelmed by the huge amount of emails they receive every day, the right skill is to stand out and write a message that will attract attention.
That is why it is extremely important that the person you are addressing gets the impression that you have really thought about them, the company they work for, or the industry they work in, and that you can help them solve a problem or achieve certain results. Therefore, to write a quality email, which will really have some significance, you need to thoroughly analyze the market and research all available information to know what you need to emphasize in the message you are sending.
Email marketing is gaining more and more popularity because it can really find new customers and establish very valuable collaborations but in order to achieve that you need to really recognize someone’s need and compose an email that will act as if you are well prepared and as if you had a sincere intention to contact a specific person and not anyone whose contact address you found. Even if you are writing the content of the message at the company and industry levels, try to make it different, at least in a small amount, and to be directed towards the right people (decision-makers, managers, people in charge of a specific task in the company, etc.).