Email marketing is still a thing, and this is why you should care
SOCIAL MEDIA has become much more than just a platform for sharing. Outlets like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram have become crucial for companies to get their message out to a wider audience. But does that mean the traditional email is dead?
According to the Data and Marketing Association, despite all the noise on and about social media, the conversion rate for an email marketing campaign remains pretty impressive – 66 percent of online shoppers say they’ve made a purchase because of a marketing message they received by email. So it looks like it’s quite the opposite of what you might think.
Email marketing service Campaign Monitor calls it the “king of the marketing kingdom”, noting in its 2016 annual report that the ROI on every dollar spent on an email campaign increased to US$44 (or 4,400 percent) from US$38 in 2015.
“And that’s a number you can take to the bank,” the San Francisco-based company says.
Furthermore, email has nearly three times as many user accounts as Facebook and Twitter combined, coming in at an enormous 2.9 billion. In fact, you need an email account to have a Facebook profile. So if you’re looking to get a leg up on competitors to grow your business, make sure you’re not dismissing the power of the trusty email service in your strategy.
Here are some email marketing best practices that we think you should include in your marketing plan.
Use the 1-2-3 method
This is what the email marketing gurus over at Vero call the “lifecycle” email method, a format that helps keep your customers moving in the right direction. It is typically sent as an initial welcome email to lay your groundwork. Once users have signed up or subscribed to your brand, you build on that momentum and tell them exactly what to do next. These emails must be:
- Relevant – it should make sense as to why your customers are receiving this email
- Simple and clear
- Focused on small conversion goals
Make it easy for customers to subscribe to your company’s service or to get updates on your products. Locate a platform where your customers will already be active, such as your blog or Facebook page, and post a form for them to complete.
Make it quick – get names, email addresses and other important personal details such as birthdays so you can send special offers or gifts.
Design a newsletter that fits your brand
The emails you broadcast must showcase what your brand represents. The look and feel are what grabs the audience right away. You want to make your customer feel familiar when reading the content, so be sure to use the company’s logo, colors and taglines. And always remember: consistency is key.
Think about mobile
The global mobile penetration rate has been climbing steadily over the years, with Statista estimating that by 2019, 67.1 percent of the world population will be in possession of a mobile phone.
Did you know 70 percent of consumers delete emails immediately that don’t render well on a mobile device and 74 percent of smartphone owners actually use their devices to check their email? Therefore, if your email campaign isn’t mobile-friendly, don’t expect it to perform very well.
Be friendly and consider personalizing your emails
Through your subscriptions, you’d already be on a first-name basis with your customers, so use that to your advantage and include that in email greetings and subject lines. Set a casual tone with your emails, ease up on the formalities and make them more light-hearted. This will endear you to your customers and potentially increase your chances of generating more positive responses.
Be picky with the emails you send
You’ve been on the other side of receiving emails so you know what it’s like getting spammy messages that only serve to clog your inbox. Email marketing is used to get your message out there, so when you send newsletters that have no real content, it won’t get the response you were hoping for.
Plan it out and ask yourself what you are trying to say with this email and if it’s truly important. Have a focus, and stick to emails that will grow your business.
Include a call-to-action
You could draft an email-marketing message that is colorful, on-brand and impactful, however it won’t get the response you’re looking for if there’s no call-to-action option. Be sure to offer users the chance to click-through whichever link that leads them to a product or service they want.
The subject line really does matter
How do we get the modern web user to open your email? Incentivize your subject line. Use “Free Shipping” or “50 percent off!” to reel your customers in. Then, use a tracking program to follow up on your open rates and use that as your advantage for further emails.
Set goals and stick to them
Like everything, having an end goal and vision is necessary. Every email you send is part of a bigger message; you don’t want to send something out just to send it. Goals will enhance every marketing email you send because the content will be clearer, the structure more concise and the promotional strategy more thought out.
Try creating a calendar outlining what needs to be sent out and when, making the whole process much simpler for you and your company.
Back it up with social proof
Some 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. You can speak about the great uses of your product or service as much as you want, but what sets you apart from the rest?
Endorsements from real, organic users or subscribers. Be sure to actively maintain your social media feeds, whether it’d be Twitter or Facebook, pluck out the positive feedback and comments and include these in your marketing campaign. This will increase your credibility.
As they say these days: it didn’t happen if it wasn’t on social media.
Email marketing allows you to reach your clients from anywhere and on any device to create a strong and lasting relationship. Backed up by both professional opinion and industry statistics, email has an important value for businesses looking to increase sales, gain new customers and grow their bottom lines.