As we forge ahead in 2024, email marketing continues to reign supreme as a vital tool for direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands. Amidst an ever-evolving digital landscape, the ability to directly engage consumers through their inboxes remains unmatched. Renowned marketing strategist Josh Delaney shares cutting-edge insights on how to supercharge your email marketing strategy, ensuring it not only captures attention but also drives unprecedented engagement and conversion rates. Here’s your guide to mastering email marketing in the year ahead.

1. Increase Email Frequency

According to Delaney, many brands fail to realize the power of consistent communication. Emailing frequently will keep brands “top of mind.” That is why not emailing enough can be such a mistake, and it is the biggest one he sees marketers make.

“If I go to an apple orchard to buy a bushel of apples, I’m there for a very specific reason. As the owner of the orchard, it’s your job to let me know about all the deals you have when it comes to buying more apples while I’m there and after I leave,” remarks Delaney. “If and when I no longer want to buy your apples or bundles of apples, I will leave and not come back, ie; unsubscribe from your list. Keep selling me apples until I ask you to stop.”

One way to think about it is “Open, Read, Buy, or Unsubscribe.” He explains that people lingering in your email accounts is a bad thing. Why? because it costs you money.

Delaney says, “Emailing 1-2 times a week is not bad and, often times, I will email 3 times in one day during a big sale. If you’re managing a $1m a year business, and are only emailing 1-2x a month, if you adopt this mindset, I’ve seen brands, including all of mine, 1-3x revenues. Don’t be afraid to email often.”

2. Plan Your Flows

Another important aspect of email marketing is planning your flows. That means developing email sequences weeks in advance to ensure a coherent and strategic approach to customer engagement. Delaney and his team like to plan emails out weeks in advance to craft the message and story going on day to day and month to month.

“Think of your brand like a children’s book — simple, to the point, easy to understand, and has multiple chapters and pages,” explains Delaney. “Each email is a page in the book. A brand can tell a story for years, think about that story, and spread the story out. Your customers are watching your brand like reality TV episodes. Each email, sale, video, or ad you put out is a part of your storytelling.”

3. Segment Your Lists

Regularly segmenting email lists is another great strategy to improve engagement. It allows for tailoring content to specific audience interests and behaviors. According to Delaney, “It is so important to know who you’re emailing and why. How often have they bought from you? How much have they spent? How often do they read your emails? These are all factors to consider when building your segments and know what segments to use when you send emails out.”

4. Creative Copy

Nailing the copy is just as important as sending out consistent communication. It requires developing a unique brand voice that is not only personal but relatable. Delaney advises, “Make recipients feel like they’re receiving a message from a friend. Trust me when I say, this goes a long way with your readers. They feel like they know you, they are friends with you.”

“You can understand this from what social media has done. We watch so many people, we feel like we know them, we are friends with them, we’re in their lives. If we saw them, we could have a great conversation. Kind of weird, but it’s the world we live in now,” remarks Delaney.

It is important to use these things to your advantage. Delaney encourages people to talk to customers like friends and treat them like family. He says, “You will always win when you put product and customers first. The best compliment you can get when building a business is that your message and service are so nice and personable.”

5. Persistence Pays Off

“Don’t shy away from targeting your abandoned cart and prospect lists aggressively. If someone has shown interest but hasn’t purchased, it’s your job to find out why and persuade them,” says Delaney. Again, it is “Buy or Unsubscribe.” It is a principle that needs to be followed.

Delaney expands, saying, “The largest list of people not buying from you is costing your platform money. Hammer your abandoned cart and prospect lists. Stay top of mind with them. Getting that first sale is so hard. Getting that second sale is even harder so you want to move on to focus on that. Don’t shy away from emailing them often.”

However, he suggests making the message in your abandoned cart and prospect emails educational. How is it going to help them? What problem are you solving?

“You want to follow this rule of thumb: Think about the internal dialogue your customer is having in their head as it pertains to the problem you are solving. What keeps them up at night or festers in their mind? Speak to that and you’ll convert customers via email like the best of us.”