Many marketers make the mistake of assuming that email marketing is nothing more than a relic of the digital stone age, a long bygone era. They assume that today, consumers’ inboxes are so inundated with emails that it is too difficult to stand out and make an impact.
The truth is that email marketing is far from dead. While it is true that a wide variety of other digital marketing channels have entered into the fold, your customers are still likely using email to communicate. In fact, there is a better than average chance that they check their email multiple times per a day.
A comprehensive, savvy email marketing strategy can still do a lot for your business, from enhancing your brand’s visibility to improving your bottom line. So what, specifically, can email marketing do for your business? Let’s take a look.
Email Marketing Can Make Your Marketing Dollars Go Further
Research has consistently shown that email marketing has an astoundingly high ROI. In fact, Forbes recently reported that email marketing has an ROI of 3,800 percent. This means that for every $1 your business spends on email marketing, it can generate another $38 in revenue, which is easily the highest of any digital acquisition channel.
The more of your marketing dollars allocated to email marketing, the further your marketing dollars will go. That is good news, especially for small businesses that may not have the biggest marketing budgets. With email marketing, you do not need to spend a lot of money to make a big impact.
However, not all email marketing campaigns are going to deliver this kind of ROI. The key to tapping into this potential and maximizing ROI is ensuring your emails are personalized. Basically, you need to avoid mass email blasts and take a more nuanced and informed approach.
“Bulk email marketing is dead. Over. Goodbye,” Clate Mask explains in Inc. “It's frankly been on its deathbed for far too long. Users are quickly tuning out brands that blast them with generic emails a few times every week and we're seeing that mass emailing does more harm than good.”
Successful personalization goes beyond just segmentation and personalized design. It entails customizing your brand’s messages based on customer behaviors and action triggers. Basically, you want to consider how consumers are interacting with your website. How can you successfully do this? What does it mean to tailor your email marketing efforts based on the ways that customers interact with your site?
“The key here is to position your emails as an extension of the browsing experience. Knowing that all users operate with different objectives and behave in different ways, brands can place triggers on their websites to identify these differences, including which pages the user visited, whether or not they converted, which page they bounced from, if they abandoned a shopping cart, etc.,” Adam Deflorian tells Forbes.
“Using this data, they can then send out personalized follow-up messages that are both relevant to the consumer and in most cases, extremely helpful.” For example, the follow up that you send to a customer who put an item in his or her shopping cart but never purchased it would likely be different from the follow up you send to a customer who just visited a product page and then left.
Believe it or not, as the technology for personalization based on past consumer behavior advances and becomes more refined, it is expected that the ROI for email marketing will actually increase. For instance, advances in personalization and targeting software will almost certainly make email marketing more engaging, which will undoubtedly boost ROI.
Email Marketing Can Spark Great Engagement
Many marketers assume that marketing emails will just end up in users’ spam folders but in reality, it would seem this assumption is unfounded. A report published by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) found that two out of five marketers rate email as their top performing channel. It also noted that unique open rates and click-to-open rates are still relatively high, standing at 15 percent and 20 percent respectively. Strategic campaigns and well-crafted, compelling emails can and do attract customers’ attention.
What is the main factor for maximizing engagement? It is all about getting your timing right. Research shows that Tuesday is the best day to send out emails. If you are planning to send out two emails to the same customer within a two-week period, Thursday should ideally be your second day.
When it comes to establishing the best timeframes for the most clicks and responses, brands generally have four times to work with. These include late morning between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., evening, which is 8:00 p.m. to midnight, 2:00 p.m., and 6:00 a.m. If you want to schedule a campaign for a time when you are out of the office, you can always use automation software. We recommend Mailchimp, which is what we use for ourselves and our clients.
While the times suggested are by no means absolute rules, remember that if you want to spark engagement, you should probably avoid times when people are likely to be distracted and tuned out of email. These consist of lunchtime and in the early evening hours when people are likely having dinner with their families. The best approach may be to start with these suggested times and then once you have a few campaigns under your belt you will be able to monitor the open times of your actual current audience. You will then be able to adjust your strategy from there.
Email Marketing Can Enhance Brand Visibility
Lastly, email marketing is a powerful way to enhance your brand’s visibility. Because the average customer checks his or her email multiple times per a day, email marketing gives you ample opportunity to establish contact.
When you use email to establish contact with customers’ routines, they become more aware of your brand, its personality, and its offerings. This is especially true if you work to appeal to each customers’ own unique wants and interests, as your email content is more likely to grab their attention.
To boost the visibility-maximizing power of email marketing, you might want to consider integrating your email and social media marketing strategies. “When leveraged correctly, social media and email marketing can have a synergistic relationship for brands, with social media driving email subscriptions and emails bringing more followers to social,” Seamas Egan explains in Entrepreneur.
“It’s essential that email marketers include links to social pages at the bottom of every email, regardless if it’s a welcome email, a promotional email, or any other type of message. The more often email recipients see a brand’s social links, the more likely they are to visit those social pages directly from the email and keep the brand’s social presence top of mind. In turn, social media posts should encourage followers to subscribe to email messages.”
By leveraging both email and social media marketing, you are bound to significantly enhance your brand’s visibility.
When Done Well, Email Marketing is Good for Business
The bottom line is that when you take the time to develop and implement a well thought out social media and content strategy, it can have a powerful impact on your business. Just make sure that you avoid generic email blasts to everyone on your mailing list. Instead, the goal is to put the time and effort into developing email campaigns that make use of appropriate information and technology, thereby maximizing impact. Need help developing this content and getting it out there to the right people at the right times? Contact us today to discuss a marketing strategy that is right for your business.