Email Marketing Isn’t Dead. The average office employee receives about 80 emails per day, and it’s expected there will be more than 4.9 billion email accounts by 2017. With that kind of volume it’s suffice to say that email is a communication and marketing tool with great potential. However, in recent years, with the increase in junk email and spam, many are calling into question the use of email campaigns as an effective marketing strategy.
Contrary to what you may think, email marketing is far from dead. It remains a highly effective strategy and a core component of content marketing. It’s highly adaptive and flexible and it can be used to promote your business in a variety of ways.
“Email marketing is important for any business, and what should not be ignored and forgotten is that it is very inexpensive. You can incorporate it into any kind of marketing plan that your business might have, without having any additional costs. This way, if you get anything from it, you will, basically, get something for nothing. Creating profit, without spending any money, is something that every serious business will take into consideration,” says Ivan Dimitrijevic in The Importance and Benefits of Email Marketing.
What’s even better is the ROI you can claim from a well-planned and effective email strategy. As outlined in The Anatomy of a Perfect Email, email campaigns can have an ROI of 4300 percent. You read that right, 4300 percent!
Enhance Your Efforts With Social Data
Everyone wants to have a successful email strategy that brings more people to your website. Why else would they invest in the strategy, right? However, marketers need to avoid the common misconception that more is better. This is not the case when it comes to email campaigns.
It’s better to focus on quality and segmentation. Sending your emails to qualified leads, and using targeted messaging based on the recipients who have an interest in your messages, content and promotions will improve performance.
Sure, you could send out your emails to every single email address you have ever collected, but how effective will this be? Plus, you could get yourself in some legal trouble with the new federal CAN-SPAM legislation – more on this later.
Enter Social Data
Social data is users’ data that is taken with permission from social media platforms, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+. It is most easily collected using social platforms that provide social analytics and user profile data such as LoginRadius.
Social data makes it possible for marketers to gain access to detailed information about the users visiting their website and the interaction those users have had.
Having access to this type of email marketing data is a breakthrough for marketers, as it allows us to understand users on a deeper level and craft more specific, personalized content. This only adds to the email marketing data you can use to create and refine email campaigns.
5 Benefits Of Email Marketing
There is a reason more than 90 percent of people consider email to be a highly effective and valuable communication and collaboration tool – it’s a highly beneficial marketing tool. Benefits include:
1. Cost Effectiveness
The email campaign is one of the most effective and cheapest marketing tools to spread the word about your brand and communicate with your users since the cost of sending an email is really $0 with an extremely high ROI potential.
Emails have the ability to reach anyone in the world who has an email account. Many of the most popular CMS and blogging platforms have email marketing integration capabilities simply for this reason.
3. Simple measurement
Monitoring and measuring the success of your email strategy is simple. You have the ability to measure views, bounce rates, click-through rates and many other metrics to ensure your emails do not end up as junk email and are resonating with recipients.
4. Ease Of Use
5. Social Media Integration
You can easily integrate your social media icons within emails to allow social sharing to be part of your email strategy, thus helping to further spread the visibility of your campaign.
Getting the most out of email marketing and maximizing the impact it has on your online marketing strategy is about doing it right. There are right and wrong ways to approach it, and it’s important you minimize errors in your campaign or you could risk annoying those on your email list, end up as junk email, or have people unsubscribe.
But don’t worry! We have you covered – the next section outlines tips and strategies to help take your email strategy to the next level.
10 Tips to Maximize Your Email Strategy Effectiveness
1. Be Creative
The people on your mailing list are not going to open your email if you do the same thing everyone else does. You need to think outside the box and offer something that other companies in your industry fail to. Yes, there are certain strategies and tactics that work, and you should use them, but you also need to include elements that will make your emails stand out. This can be anything from the tone you use to the images, videos or links you include.
2. Play By The Rules
Everyone hates junk email and email marketing campaigns have changed because of it with the introduction of the federal CAN-SPAM legislation. If you have not already familiarized yourself with these new rules and regulations, you need to read the new guidelines before launching your next campaign. Why? Each separate email in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act is subject to penalties of up to $16,000. The last thing you want to happen is to face a fine or lawsuit as a result of making a mistake in your marketing strategy. Read the CAN-SPAM legislation.
3. Make It Personal
Getting personal is the way to go. If you can reach your users on a personal level, they will be more likely to open your emails, read the content, take action and give you feedback. According to HubSpot, click-through rate (CTR) is higher when using the recipient’s first name in the subject line over no use of the first name. Generic email subjects more often than not end up not being opened or in the junk mail folder.
You can also make your emails more personal with the words you use. Experian found that “you/your” were the most common words, used in 18.7 percent of subject lines, up 3.4 percent year over year, followed by “off” and “get,” both in 16.6 percent of emails, and both up 5.2 percent year over year. Using words such as “you” makes your messages seem like you are talking directly to the email recipient and not the list of thousands the email actually is sent to.
4. Include Social Sharing Buttons
You can significantly expand the reach and virility of your emails by including social sharing buttons in the body of your emails. Emails that include social sharing buttons have a 158 percent higher click-through rate (CTR), says GetResponse. If users see what they like, they can quickly share your content and spread the word with a click of a button.
5. Get The Timing Right
Timing is everything, especially when it comes to sending out emails. According to HubSpot, Saturday has the highest CTR at over 9% (Sunday is second at just under 9 percen) for consumer email campaigns, and 6 a.m. has the highest CTR of any hour. Experian agrees. They found that emails sent on the weekend had higher open, click, and transaction rates—but much lower volume. Keep an eye on the times you send out emails and adjust them based on your level of success.
6. Create Enticing Subject Lines
Your subject lines need to make people want to open your email. According to Convince and Convert, 33 percent of email recipients open email based on subject line alone. Don’t be afraid to be a little controversial, cheeky and bold with your subject lines. The goal is to grab your recipient’s attention and get them to click.
The length of your title also has an impact on how many people read your emails, says Adestra. They found that subject lines with 30 or fewer characters performed above average in opens, clicks and click-to-opens. Be concise and get to the point is as few words as possible.
7. Be Mobile-Friendly
Close to half of all emails are opened on a mobile device. However, according to MarketingSherpa, more than half of marketers aren’t optimizing emails for mobile viewing. Unfortunately for them, 63 percent of Americans and 41 percent of Europeans will close or delete an email not optimized for mobile, says ReturnPath. What makes mobile-friendliness even more crucial is the fact that 64 percent of decision-makers read their email via mobile devices.
8. Write Short and Persuasive Copy
The overall goal of your email marketing campaign is to get your users to take a specific action. To achieve that result, you need to write directly and persuasively, using short sentences and bullet points to highlight key messaging. Step out of your marketer-role and focus on the benefits offered to your reader. Think about your copy from their perspective; would it convince you as a consumer?
9. Communicate value right away
If people do not immediately see the value in what you are offering, they are going to close your email. Tell readers right up front why they should read your email, how it benefits them, and if possible, use stats and data to improve your credibility or try to make a personal connection.
10. Don’t forget the call to action
End every email with a call to action. An effective call to action needs to stand out from the rest of the copy to grab the user’s attention. Use action words in short and persuasive sentences. If you email is longer, consider using a single CTA multiple times to entice users to click through.
Email marketing is far from dead. When done right, email marketing data and social data can be used to create high value and personalized messaging. This is sure to provide your company with great ROI and prove the potential still held by email campaigns.