Has social media taken over your marketing strategy? If the answer is yes, then maybe you need to think it over.
1 in every 2 individuals you meet has an email address. Compare that to only 1 social media user per 3 individuals, and you won’t be surprised why half of US marketers plan to increase their email marketing budgets to a total of 350 million dollars this year.
It’s easy to fall into the social media hype, but it’s more important to understand which platform really suits your business. As a matter of fact, Facebook and Twitter may be good at growing engagements, but email marketing is still the most successful when it comes to conversions.
Need more proof? Let’s break down why your business can use a little boost with an email marketing campaign:
1. For every $1 spent on email marketing, you get $44 in return
Quite a deal, right? If you’re a small business, email marketing can help you establish your place in the market. This number is based on a report from Campaign Monitor that also reveals that email is as relevant now as ever.
So, how do you maximize ROI? Personalization is one of the most successful ways to do it. Here’s an example of how email marketing can help you segment your mailing list and get more from your campaigns:
Quick tip: Segment your mailing list. As you receive more information about your customers, segment your list further. The goal is to see each subscriber as a unique individual, even if it is convenient to group them according to common stereotypes.
2. Email brings personal to a whole new level
Unlike social media where businesses use generic posts for their audience, emails can be personalized to each individual. You can use survey-generated data to profile each of your subscribers and tailor-fit your emails for them.
Use targeted email marketing to send the right emails to the right group of people. You don’t want to send content full of women’s clothing to a male subscriber who is looking to receive shoe promotions.
You can also draft emails for regular customers based on their purchase history, or for subscribers who haven’t purchased anything in a while. For subscribers who are no longer engaging with your emails on a regular basis, you can utilize re-engagement campaigns.
Here’s how Youtube collected and leveraged user data for a month-long email marketing campaign:
The more you engage with your customers, the more you will get to know them. So continue asking the right questions and sending the right emails until you discover what your customers truly want. Who knows? You may point them to something they didn’t even realize they were looking for.
3. You can do more with email
In one newsletter, you can share updates about your business, offer a promotion, and ask for feedback all at the same time. This way, your customers learn more about your company and decide whether they want to invest in your products.
Just be sure your newsletter is readable and well-formatted. Otherwise, your customers will be less likely to read further or click on any of your links.
Check out how Readdle used their email marketing campaign to feature what they’ve been up to for the past month. Note how they also opted for a clean layout with buttons that are easy to spot:
4. You can also get more with email.
In a report, McKinsey noted that email marketing can grow customer acquisition 40 times more than Facebook and Twitter combined. So if you’re still starting out, email is the way to go.
However, this does not mean that social media should be ignored as a customer acquisition tool.
5. Email marketing points to what works.
With multiple email marketing campaigns, you can do A/B testing to discover what messages your subscribers open and read. This means sending the same email content with different subject lines, and evaluating which of the two works better.
Below are some examples of subject lines and preheader texts that usually catch the attention of readers:
- Discounts (it works best with a deadline)
- Special days
6. Calls-to-action can be very specific (and are easy to revisit)
Your next email can inspire action depending on the campaign you put out.
Let’s admit it. Social media can be cluttered, while website ads change with the click of the refresh button. With email, your customer can simply use the search box when they’re ready to make a purchase decision. And unless they delete your email, they can always go back to it at their convenience.
Like Motorola below, you can place a deadline on your offer. This way, your brand becomes top-of-mind for those who are extremely interested but have not yet come to a decision.
7. Popular brands use email marketing, so why don’t you?
Fortune 500 brands dominate the email marketing landscape, but small businesses have yet to maximize all the benefits that it brings.
Your business can use the same email marketing techniques as the big brands and get the same results—increased customer engagement and higher ROI.
Using marketing automation and customer workflows, you’ll know what is best for each of your customer segments, like this email from Adidas suggesting other products:
8. Email builds loyalty
Mastering marketing automation and customer engagement may take a while, but once you’ve built a solid relationship with your subscribers, it will take longer for them to jump ship.
Email marketing allows you to build a story with your subscribers, and eventually allow them to pass the story along to others.
For your loyal customers, you may want to thank them and give a little something in return. For example, this email from DAVIDsTEA celebrates customer anniversaries and offers free shipping and samples along with it:
9. It’s a great platform to collect contact details.
Not only can you request for your customer’s names and email addresses, you can also collect mailing addresses, phone numbers, and other relevant information. It’s another strategy for more targeted marketing, especially when you want to do a location-based campaign.
10. One simple email can bring you amazing results.
There are two basic elements to a potentially successful email marketing campaign: time and content. If you know your customers well, you will know when to send a specific message or when not to bug them with a call-to-action.
Don’t just send email after email, thinking your customers will have time to open everything and respond to at least one. Bombarding them with offers will put your emails in the spam folder.
If they do decide to unsubscribe, you can send an email like the one below from Atlas Obscura. Remind them that they have another option:
11. Email marketing campaigns are highly measurable
Measuring customer engagement with email has reached a level of sophistication not all online marketing channels have.
You can evaluate the success of your latest campaign by looking at simple indicators such as open rates, unsubscribe rates, and click-through rates. You can also move on to the more complex indicators, like engagement over time and revenue per email.
Whatever element of your campaign you would like to know more about, many platforms have the insight. You can also customize which types of data you want to see first.
12. Email can easily be integrated into your overall marketing strategy
A holistic online marketing strategy is still the best way to go. You can freely use social media, pay-per-click marketing, and video ads in your email marketing campaign, and vice versa.
Whatever online gimmicks you have in mind, make sure to weave them all together to create consistent messaging across platforms.
Start by inviting your subscribers to like your social media pages, or by inviting your social media followers to subscribe to your newsletters. Here’s an example from Good American:
The message is clear: we won’t run out of reasons to use email marketing this year or the next. It’s actually so much more than just higher ROI.
Whether you’re a big brand or a small business, the platform remains extremely effective without asking for too much. With just one email marketing campaign, you can raise awareness, generate conversions, and build loyalty.
Your email marketing campaign can also provide perspective. If you open your business to feedback, it can spark conversation, help develop a product, and enhance a service that you thought didn’t need tweaking.
Regardless of the platform you use, it’s a matter of understanding your audience and their needs. It’s communicating your message in a polite way, without all the elements of a “hardsell”, and with customer experience as the priority.
|Ash Salleh is the Director of SEO at Campaign Monitor, where he works closely with content, copy, and analytics teams to improve site-wide optimization. Prior to his time at Campaign Monitor, he also provided SEO and digital marketing expertise at Zappos and Axiata Digital.|