Social media is an increasingly strong field in which to connect with potential customers, but when you consider more than 144 billion emails sent every day, email continues to be a reliable medium through which you can secure more wedding bookings.
Looking at how and when to interact with potential customers over email can give you a competitive edge that will make your business stand out and boost engagement with couples.
Here are some ways you can use email marketing to increase your business:
Boost your email database
This may seem like a no-brainer, but when you have dozens or even hundreds of customers on your mailing list, it can be an easy one to forget.
Research has found that as many as six out of the 10 people on your mailing list are not actively engaging with the emails sent. Before you throw in the towel on the idea of email marketing, just remember that this could be due to the couple already placing a booking with you, or having already celebrated their wedding and no longer interested in promotional offers.
Finding avenues to add new contacts to your list, either through an opt-in link on your business website, signing people up at wedding expos or attracting people through social media, is the key to an evolving list that will boost the odds of your message reaching couples who are likely to hire your product, venue or service.
Make friends with mailchimp
There are a number of platforms through which you can set up your email database, but mailchimp is one of the easiest to use. It is also free until you reach over 2000 contacts and integrates with Twitter to make it easier for your followers to read your newsletters and other promotional material.
Mailchimp also provides easy-to-understand reports that can show you at a glance how many emails were opened and which links were clicked on to help you understand if your email marketing is working.
Spend some time thinking about the different aspects of the business you can highlight through an email campaign.
It could be a winter special to help boost bookings, promotion for a new package that you are offering or simply a means of reaching out to connect with those on your mailing list to keep them up to date with the goings on and remind them that you are ready to help out where needed.
If you are using a service like mailchimp, you can go through a step-by-step process to design a campaign that fits with your message and test it out before sending it onto your contacts.
Separating out past clients with potential clients and targeting campaigns to each of them will see them more likely to interact with the information sent to them. If you become too general, they will quickly lose interest.
When you send does matter
Don’t feel like you are confined to sending emails during business hours on Monday to Friday. In fact, research shows that the best times to send your marketing emails are actually outside of those times.
More specifically, between 8pm and midnight. This might seem strange, but there is reason behind the madness. Firstly, every other business is sending their emails during business hours and secondly, there are less emails coming through in general later into the evening.
So if your customer is checking their emails, yours could be the only new one there for them to read since they last checked their inbox before dinner that evening.
Experian Australia research shows emails sent on a Friday will generate a higher click-through rate, but Monday emails lead to the highest spend, so it is important to take the time to experiment with different times and continually monitor the results on mailchimp so you can find the golden hours for your business.
Call customers to action
The key to a successful marketing campaign is interaction and this can be achieved by offering incentives for them to ‘book now’ through your website, or requesting feedback on your business in exchange for prizes or discounts.
When potential customers respond to a call to action, you have opened the door to begin to build a relationship with them and get them more acquainted with both yourself and your business. Familiarity and feelings of comfort are often what seals the deal for couples when they make the final decisions on the suppliers they’d like to work with on their wedding.
Snagging attention through subject lines
With the aforementioned 144 billion emails whizzing into inboxes around the world each day, it is no surprise that recipients will quickly scan their emails and get rid of those that don’t interest them at that given moment.
Adestra researched the success, or otherwise, of more than 900 million emails to create a report solely base on subject lines and they found a subject line of between 60 and 70 characters is a ‘dead zone’.
Subject lines of more than 70 characters were found to be the most engaging and encouraged more click-throughs, while those smaller than 49 characters prompted readers to at least open the email to check out what was inside.
No matter which objective you are trying to achieve – more click-throughs or greater open rates – the aim of the game is to avoid the dead zone at all costs. Try A/B testing subject lines to see what resonates with your audience.
Be aware of how you personalise
It’s almost instinct to address an email with Dear…
But this is a greeting that is increasingly setting off alarm bells with customers as it is the same personal greeting used by emails linked with phishing, identity theft and other online fraud.
It is best to come up with another greeting that can be more general and suit the tone of your business.
The other alternative is to personalise the email without using their name, but rather by directing it towards products or services that would reflect their past inquiries or purchases and therefore be seen to be directed solely at them. These kinds of personalised marketing emails have been found to have positive responses in more than 90% of customers.
Make it mobile friendly
If you are going to the effort of designing an email marketing campaign, you need 100% of the recipients to be able to read it, and this means making it accessible on any device.
Make sure you can convert your email into a mobile-friendly version with a single-column template that has easy to use links that don’t require the user’s thumb to be the size of a ball point pen tip.