“With the broadest reach, lowest cost, easiest measurability, and highest conversion rates, 91 percent of executives cite email as the single most-effective channel for driving revenue.”
That’s a pretty big thumbs-up for email marketing in 2017. With the plethora of marketing channels and options open to us, it’s easy to question the worth of the one channel that’s been with us the longest: email. However, as the data above shows: email works – powerfully so.
However, it’s not quite as clear cut as the data first shows. You can’t rock up to an email marketing campaign with the same ‘blast-it’ attitude you could have got away with a decade or so ago. People’s inboxes are inundated. Get it wrong, switch off your reader, and the chances are you’ve lost them for good. There are no second chances. So yes, email marketing still works, and can be a hugely effective marketing weapon, but there are some rules which need to be followed.
Segmentation is Everything
In essence, segmentation is about sending the right content, to the right person, at the right time. It’s the virtual equivalent of being there when someone needs you. It’s essential to powerful email marketing, but it can be a tricky game to master.
Segmentation is needed because people simply receive too many emails. For yours to stand out it needs the X-factor. It needs to appeal right when it’s needed. Not too soon, not too late. This requires insight in to the buying cycle, and so you need to get your data working for you. Insightful data should feel through to when and which email newsletters get sent.
Get Your Email Wanted
However, before then even, you need to get your potential customers to want your email.
Firstly, this act still protects you against spam accusations as it always has – if your potential customer actively signed-up for your email, they are going to be a great deal more responsive to its arrival.
Secondly, you need to give them the drive to want more before that first email newsletter lands in their inbox. This requires some strategic thinking when it comes to where you put the sign-up invitations. The pop up feature box is currently in vogue, but at the end of your landing pages, and on single posts in your blog are top spots. Make sure that the sign-up process is as easy on a mobile as a PC, and once you’ve done that, make sure the newsletters themselves look great on mobiles.
You may have great email newsletter content, but if the reader never clicks through, it’s wasted. Subject lines hold immense power in the modern age. You’ve got just a few words to capture their attention, and get them interested. Even though they voluntarily signed-up for your emails, they still need that encouragement. This is part art, part science.
Get Your Timing Right
Timing can make or break your email marketing effectiveness. Segmentation is one answer: emails are triggered according to defined parameters. Data insights can feed to automation. For example, sending an email newsletter with a valuable offer - when a customer has a basketful of goods but is failing to checkout - can be the difference between a sale or not. For more generic email newsletters, you need to establish what works for your audience in terms of timing.
People Love Freebies
Your audience may be becoming more cynical and sceptical by the day, but the reality is that we all still love a freebie. It’s still the case that if you’re giving something away, you’re going to engage your audience quick sharp. This works at the sign-up stage (‘Sign-up and Get a Free X’), and in every email newsletter (‘Buy Today and Get 10% Off’). Don’t forget to pop the word ‘free’ in your subject line!
Email Marketing – Your Most Powerful Tool
With the above strategies in place, there’s no doubting that email newsletters can be your most powerful marketing tool. It requires a little more thought, and a more tailored approach, but the outcomes are worthwhile.