5 easy ways to launch a local email marketing strategy

Vector graphic showing hands holding up smartphones in front of a globe, which is surrounded by floating icons representing digital concepts like shopping, music and email.

Email marketing is alive and well in 2017, with over 269 billion emails being sent every day.

Unfortunately, according to Email Monday, of these 269 billion only 22% of retail emails are opened. This is significantly less than the open rate of 34% garnered by other types of emails.

It’s also important to note that of the emails that are opened by consumers, 45% are done via a mobile device. In fact, email marketing is becoming synonymous with mobile marketing.

If your company’s email marketing campaign isn’t seeing success and you find yourself in the 78% of retail emails that are being sent to the junk folder without a second glance, you might want to rethink your strategy. Creating or updating your campaign to focus more on local marketing could be the answer you’ve been looking for.

There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that the future of email marketing is hyperlocal. Below we’ve compiled some tips for how to create a successful localized email marketing strategy.

1. Make sure your offers are tailored to your customers so they can actually use them

One strategy to use when creating a local email marketing campaign is to send out coupons and offers for specific geographic areas.

Sending coupons is a great way to get consumers to open your emails, but if you consistently send offers that they can’t realistically take advantage of, they’re going to get annoyed and eventually start sending those emails straight to the trash.

Do some research and figure out how your audience best likes to redeem offers. Is it in person in a brick and mortar store, online via a voucher, etc.? If you have to differentiate your emails and offers based on various target groups, then take the extra time to do that.

Your audience will thank you by consistently opening the emails and taking advantage of the coupons you’re sending.

2. Add a personal touch to email campaigns, and reach out in person whenever possible

No one wants to receive an automatic email that seems to have been written by a robot—it’s impersonal and boring and won’t succeed in engaging your audience. Even if you include a great offer, chances are consumers will stop reading before they even notice it.

Something as simple as a border or a photo around an image can immediately tip the viewer off that it is an automated email. You can try to make emails sound as personal as possible by sending emails from the name of someone in the company, as opposed to the business name itself, and formatting the email in a more natural way.

AWeber.com suggests sharing emails on social media since it’s easy for people to like, comment, and share them with others. One of the businesses they work with, Vault Brewing, also saw success when they went out into the community to look for email subscribers. They asked people in person at their business location and at live events via surveys and subscriber apps.

They saw much greater success with their email marketing campaign after they incorporated these personal touches, and it’s also a good way to connect with the community and learn more about your target audience.

In the example above, which was sent to a family member of mine, you can see that the email is certainly automated, but that isn’t completely obvious at first glance. This gets you to open the email and engage before making any assumptions, so I thought they did a great job.

Although this may not necessarily be targeted locally, it gives itself a “local” feel by creating an inclusive environment.

3. Integrate social media to spread the word

As I stated above, social media is a great way to connect with a local audience and spread the word about your email marketing campaign. If your business has a newsletter that you email to subscribers, consider posting parts of it on social media with a link to sign up for your email campaign.

Post offers and rewards on social platforms to encourage people to sign up for emails, and get to know your audience better by investigating what groups and communities they participate in socially online. Just make sure you don’t offer the exact same incentives and materials on social media that you do via email, or consumers won’t have a reason to subscribe to your campaign.

As far as local impact goes, social media is actually very localized when shared by individuals as opposed to businesses. Be sure to share these posts directly with those in your local filters.  

4. Use a subject line that relates to the local area

When crafting an email, how much thought do you put into the subject line? Of course you want it to be engaging so people will be tempted to open it, but have you thought much past that?

Businesses who are focusing on hyperlocal email marketing have suggested using a specific state or city name in the subject line of emails being sent out in order to make national content more relevant for a local audience. According to ImaginePub.com, this simple strategy has the potential to increase open rates by as much as 7%.

Even if you don’t see an improvement at this same rate, most likely your open rates and click-through rates will increase to some degree when you deliberately target audiences in a specific geographic area.

5. Segment your list by language and region for more targeted marketing

Don’t be afraid if a section of your target audience speaks a language other than English, or resides in an unfamiliar location. Instead, embrace these differences and target your marketing to meet them.

Campaignmonitor.com says that incorporating this strategy is a no brainer, seeing as how the Localization Industry Standards Association carried out a study that showed $25 was returned for every $1 invested in localization.

First you’ll want to survey your customers to make sure you have accurate data before segmenting your email list(s). Modify your subject lines based on the criteria from your different lists, and don’t forget to consider your calls-to-action. What works in one language and one region might not have the same effect somewhere else.

If all of this seems a bit overwhelming, consider working with a localization specialist to help get you started. There are also several programs that can help automate your email campaign and free up some of your time so you can focus more on your localization efforts.

The takeaway

As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into launching a local email marketing strategy.  The tips above are just some of the ways you can localize your email marketing; there are many more ways you can do this depending on how much effort and time you’re willing to put in.

I suggest taking it one step at a time, incorporating one or two strategies, and monitoring their success before going further. Launch 27 recommends many more helpful strategies and case studies in this article published on their blog.

Also keep in mind that when constructing a localized email campaign, don’t forget about best practices associated with email marketing. You always want to ask a customer’s permission before signing them up for email, and you should also offer them an “opt-out” option as well. NoRiskSEO goes into more detail about these strategies and offers other ways to take your marketing campaign to the next level.

Image credit 1-3: Screenshots taken by author March, 2017

Image credit 4: 1.bp.blogspot.com

 

Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer for NoRiskSEO, a full service SEO agency, and a contributor to SEW. You can connect with Amanda on Twitter and LinkedIn

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