More Bang For Your Buck
The common opinion of email marketing in 2016 is that it is an outdated and ineffective strategy. However, research shows that email marketing is not extinct, but simply evolving – and is still a highly effective marketing tool, when done right.
Email is still the most direct route to communicating with leads and prospects helping you reach thousands of people with personalized content. Automation tools can allow you to segment user and customer database information, so you can send highly targeted, relevant messages to customers who are most likely to respond. The trick is to then understand the habits of their interactions with your emails, whether they are opening them, clicking on links, using coupon codes, and then send emails in the future at the right time in the buying cycle. Don’t get overzealous though, best practices warn that sending emails more than once a week is more bothersome than effective. Email is also one of the easiest forms of marketing to share. With the click of a button, your audience can pass your content on to their co-works, friends and family. So have emails worth sharing. Lastly, email is extremely cost effective, with an ROI of approximately 4,300%. (No, that is not a typo!)
While email marketing has many benefits, it won’t be successful if you don’t know what you’re doing. Effective email campaigns begin with a focus on content and targeted delivery, and end with tracking and measuring engagement with that information. Research shows that people will read email messages if they think the vendor is paying attention to their interests and purchasing patterns, which means personalized, relevant content is a must. Good email communications are conversational, not “pitchy,” and develop trust with customers.
According to “How to Use Email Marketing to Engage and Convert Customers,” by Nicolette Beard, along with other experts, the following tactics will not only ensure that your messages reach your recipients, but also increase engagement:
- Identify yourself
- Get to the point
- Create a simple, visually appealing layout
- Develop trust
- Keep it relevant
- Deliver a sense of urgency
- Make it easy to unsubscribe
As you go through your undoubtedly stuffed inbox today, pay attention to what entices you to open or save, and what ends up in the trash without a second glance. Most importantly, don’t think of email marketing in a vacuum: while email marketing offers many measurable benefits, we recommend that it be a strategic part of your overall marketing plan.