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When you dive into a demand generation strategy, it can be confusing where to start. Since demand generation encompasses both brand awareness and customer retention, there are tons of marketing strategies that can boost demand for your business. 

However, no strategy has the range that email marketing does when it comes to targeting your entire audience while still maintaining a personal touch. A good email marketing campaign will also make your brand memorable and get shared with people outside your mailing list. 

Because of these factors, email marketing is a strong force to keep in mind when you’re designing your demand generation strategy.  

Is email marketing an effective demand generation tactic?

Revenue from email marketing has grown steadily in the last few years, and it’s projected to keep going. There are a few reasons why leveraging email paves the way for successful demand generation. 

Email makes it effortless to maintain connections and to remind your customers about your brand. Email also has the benefit of being personalized in a way that blogging and other general marketing strategies can’t. 

Since emails can offer insights on a few topics at once, this strategy also contributes to education. Keeping your audience informed can build connections and help people remember you. 

Finally, email can offer your audience an extremely convenient way of making suggestions and giving feedback on your business. This paves the way to making your business a customer-centric one, which will only build your success. 

Email marketing & demand generation tips & best practices

Since email marketing is a popular strategy, there’s a lot of advice out there on where to start. Not all of this advice has taken demand generation into account, though, and that’s the lens through which you’ll want to view your big-picture strategy to get the most out of your emails. 

Here are the biggest things to think about when you’re building an email marketing strategy with demand generation in mind. 

Segment your customers 

Customer segmentation helps you pinpoint different demographics with your marketing. What works for one demographic may not work for another, so segmentation can give your customers a more personalized experience. 

You can segment your customers by traditional demographics like age and location. Alternatively, segment by which products pique interest (you can gather this information from lead generation forms, surveys, or what they’ve purchased). 

You can even segment by lead score, sending emails with more urgent CTAs to leads you aren’t sure will make the plunge. Just be sure not to over-segment. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed with campaigns to create.

Offer something different 

When you offer your mailing list something that isn’t on social media or your website, people interested in your company will want to be on your mailing list. 

The most popular offerings are coupons or freebies that arrive in the audience member’s inbox as soon as they sign up for your mailing list. This is a great way to get your foot in the door, as people tend to remember brands that offer freebies and discounts. 

You’ll also want to consider long-term offerings for customer retention purposes—after all, that’s a massive facet of demand generation. Long-term offerings can include access to sales early or exclusive sneak peeks at upcoming products or services, but the sky’s the limit. 

Maintain cohesive branding 

Keeping your branding cohesive ensures that your audience understands your message. Along with this, the right branding will be memorable and keep your audience thinking about you. 

When thinking about brand cohesion within your emails, don’t just focus on exact fonts and colors. Carefully consider the tone of your copy, the images you use, and the overall layout.

If you’re thinking about rebranding but need some ideas, looking at today’s trends can help you narrow down the direction you want to go in. 

Curate your email marketing content

You want your email to provoke interest, be approachable, and be shareable. All of these things involve giving only a little information but making sure that what you present is engaging. 

The most obvious tip for this practice is to make sure there isn’t too much text in an email. If you need ideas, review your successful social media campaigns and take notes. Beyond that, it can be helpful to have a theme for your email campaign to keep your different graphics and other points related. 

If you want to offer long-form literature on your brand or the industry you’re in, consider starting a blog or doing informational videos. Both options can be linked in your emails and save valuable inbox real estate. 

Incorporate AI and automation 

AI and automation are extremely helpful in creating and managing email marketing strategies. 

Automation can make it easy to target segments, certain times of day, and other factors so that you can think less but still have a campaign set for success. 

AI tools can offer campaign ideas tailored to different segments, content transformation ideas, and even copy for your email campaign, all with the press of a button. Just be sure to look over any AI-generated copy before sending it to your list—you can’t beat the human touch! 

Collaborate with similar (but not competing) brands

Collaborating with another brand means gaining access to their following list, getting yourself in front of fresh eyes, and boosting your brand awareness. These eyes also tend to be already interested in the niche of services you offer, which is even better. 

Not only that, but people who already like your company will give you a credibility boost when they see you working with someone else that they respect. This viewpoint will make maintaining the customer connection more effortless. 

Make your campaigns relevant

Relating to pop culture events and other global moments will show your audience that you’re in touch with the world around you. This will make your brand more memorable and may raise awareness, especially if your emails are shareable. 

Good employee communication, whether it be through meetings or a designated chat channel, can lead to lots of innovative ideas that play off current events. Having different points of view can give you guidance on what may resonate and what may not. 

Just be sure to be respectful if you’re referencing heavier topics. 

Personalize your emails

Personalizing your emails will show your audience that you see and value them as individuals, not just as numbers in a spreadsheet. 

The most popular personalization item is to use the audience member’s name in the opening line and occasionally in the subject. Emails for items like birthdays, anniversaries, and product recommendations based on prior purchases will make your audience feel connected to your business. Email automation software can help with this. 

When you’re creating a plan for what to personalize, don’t forget your audience segments! Creating content for individuals at each stage of the buying journey can go a long way in making an audience member feel reached. 

Don’t be late! 

Timeliness assures your audience that you have it together, you see them, and you value them, which goes a long way in retention. 

If someone completes a purchase with you, you want to acknowledge it right away. Getting that email sent quickly is another reason why automation is your best friend when you’re putting together an email campaign. 

For issues like customer questions that require attention from a team member, you’ll still want to have an automated message listing the time frame to expect an answer. 

Test all automated message measures yourself to ensure they get triggered when a real customer makes a purchase or request. Then, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that everyone reaching out to you is acknowledged. 

Common mistakes: Demand generation strategies to avoid with email

Whether email marketing is all new to you or you’ve done it a million times, there are pitfalls to look out for. Don’t stress too much if you’ve fallen into any of these traps—there are almost always easy fixes for next time. 

  • Too much information: For email marketing to be successful, you’ll want to keep your copy concise and digestible. This makes your message more shareable, which brings you more leads. 
  • Not targeting audience segments: If you have a customer who has made many purchases with you getting ads that offer deals for first purchases, they may not feel as seen. Avoid this by segmenting your mailing list accordingly. 
  • Brand confusion: Too many or not enough branding elements can confuse your audience—too much is hard to parse through, and not enough means you won’t stand out. Additionally, if you and the decision-makers on your team go with any rebranding, keep this transition clear and cohesive, too. 
  • Message confusion: Like with brand confusion, you’ll want to avoid any opaqueness when it comes to your company’s message, ethos, and any causes that you choose to support. Audiences don’t like it when businesses don’t give them straightforward answers, so be sure to be clear. 
  • Over-segmenting: Customer segments are excellent for creating campaigns relevant to different audience members, but you’ll want to avoid having too many segmentation options. Keeping your segments streamlined will keep you from doing a mountain of campaigns. 

Conclusion

Building an email marketing plan can be daunting, but understanding what works and what to avoid can make it easier to set yourself up for success. Email marketing is a tool for all types of demand generation, from getting the word out about your brand to building a positive reputation with your customers through connections. 

For more on customer management, automation, and demand generation tools, Demand Playbook has all the answers you need. 


Author

Silver Stephens: Freelance Writer, Editor, and Social Media Manager 

Cass Rosas

Cass is a content creator at DemandPlaybook, she is passionate about creating human-centric SEO content, she also covers topics such as search engine optimization, content operations, e-commerce, and social media marketing. In her spare time she likes listening to music, doing oil painting and watching SciFi movies.