Questions over whether a business should have an email marketing strategy have been posed a lot over recent years. The ever-growing trend of social media and more sophisticated ways of purchasing means it is becoming obsolete in the eyes of some. But does that mean it shouldn’t be included in a business’s marketing strategy?
Those who have the opinion that email marketing is no longer effective, forget that when this strategy does not work it is because the content of the email does not meet the interests of the recipients.
Although it is sometimes difficult to get information about the segments, research indicates that 51% of marketers say that the success of this tool is often limited by the lack of relevant information about their contacts.
Something else which attributes to this failure is tireless sending of emails. 78% of recipients claim to have cancelled email subscriptions because they are receiving too many (HubSpot 2018). It is important to reduce the number of emails and not constantly bombard people with information about companies.
There is no efficiency without a previously planned strategy. In addition to the content having to be relevant, it must also have some call-to-actions to motivate people to click where we want.
Email marketing has many advantages associated with it. When used properly, it can leverage sales, generate new customers and help in their retention. While social networks first need to engage people so that they can become customers.
These strategies are considered to be the most traditional and are intended to increase impulsive behaviour when announcing promotions or a new product.
In order to retain customers, this type of campaign aims to promote their relationship with the brand or company, in order to generate more sales.
These campaigns are intended mainly to inform clients, for example about future events or to get feedback on a particular service or product.
This is a strategy used to inform people about the location of the physical store, so that they can go in it and become customers.
These strategies associated with relevant content can achieve good results for companies. Unlike to what happens in social media, in email marketing there is a base of subscribers who are already interested in the subjects sent by companies. They can choose whether or not to open and read the emails.
The non-linear funnel
Advancements in technology have given birth to new marketing tools, changing the buyer’s journey forever. Before, we believed that prospects go through a funnel. They start at the top where they either learn more about the product and service or opt out, moving down to the slimmer bottom half where they then close the deal.
Today, technology has created multiple touchpoints, allowing us to gather leads at any point in the journey. Email became and will continue to be an excellent tool for nurturing leads at any stage.
Nurturing over selling
Speaking of leads, we understand that they can come in at any point of their purchasing process. But the fact remains that they need to be nurtured. It’s long been proven that aggressive email marketing does not help – in fact, you will start being a nuisance and your emails will likely be ignored.
However, it’s also true that leads can grow cold if you use bad tactics. Find a balance between being informative and moving them to the purchasing stage. Instead of hard selling, focus on sending out helpful content so customers have more reasons to trust you. If not already then moving into 2020, email marketing should be a tool to nurture leads and maintain strong relationships.
Automation isn’t just about making tasks easier to handle. For instance, automated email campaigns are helping marketers create personalised messages for specific and targeted audiences.
This is done by creating targeted workflows that are triggered by user engagement or behaviour and are not dependent on marketers choosing a time to send out messages. This means that your prospects and clients only get messages that are relevant or of interest to them, at the right time.
A recent survey reported that targeted emails might likely generate half of a company’s email marketing revenue, as opposed to non-targeted ones. In addition, HubSpot (2018) said that targeted emails could account for 58% of earnings and increase profits up to 18% more.
With these numbers, expect targeted campaigns to be even more targeted, as email marketing continues to become smarter, engaging only with audiences who find value in it.
The pitfall of automation is that your message may come across as robotic. If it does, people won’t read it, no matter how relevant or useful you think it is for them. That’s where the human touch – personalisation – comes in; your audience still wants authentic connections with brands. People are becoming smarter and can see past a robotic email and need to feel that personal approach at times.
Personalisation is not just about knowing your audience by name or having an over-the-top design; it’s about providing solutions before they even know about it. It’s about making your customers feel like you know them personally.
When reaching out to your audience, use location information, purchase history or any other data that can clue you in on their next actions. Take advantage of predictive analysis, as well.
Integrating with other marketing channels
Much like the different departments in your agency, your digital marketing channels should be incorporated to work on shared goals. For your future campaigns, use email marketing to link to your blogs and social media accounts that may contain relevant images, videos and content. Recognise it as a channel to maximize your business goals.
Interactive and text-only emails
The days of plain-text emails may be long gone. However, marketers are seeing a shift in consumer preference when it comes to emails. Experts have found that most users appreciate text-only emails that do not overuse HTML styles because they better “resemble a personal message that comes from a family member or friend,” and seem less sales-oriented. (Remember what we’ve just said about that robotic feel!)
This shift may likely be the result of email marketing filling inboxes with advertisements that look spammy.
Text-only emails are starting to become popular, but so is interactive content. This could include image galleries, quizzes and GIFs. Aside from giving information, some users find the design exciting. Plus, interactive content fosters engagement.
A focus on privacy and data security
With controversies surrounding hacking and misuse of personal data, governments around the world are placing more aggressive measures for data privacy. Most notably is the European Union passing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law. GPDR also affects the “gathering and sharing of third-party info for anyone whose email content reaches a member of the EU.”
In light of this, marketers should be more careful with their new campaigns. This is especially so if they want to continue gaining leads from all around the world.
A few statistics to prove that the future is mobile (including email marketing):
- 55%of emails are opened on mobile devices as opposed to laptops.
- People use mobile three-quarters of their time to email.
- 75%of the almost-billion Gmail users access their email on mobile.
It seems like it’s not enough to simply send emails. You need to create designs that can be retrieved and read on mobile devices. It’s also important to note how, when and where your emails are being opened. This can drastically affect your campaigns.
In reality, an email marketing strategy is still necessary for a business. There can be no argument it is one of the best channels available to nurture leads and get the sale. To get the best results, however, you should study the data available to you and have the right strategies in place for your business.
It also helps to have an open mind and awareness about upcoming trends, many of which have been posed in this piece. It is no longer as simple as just emailing out a bunch of emails and hoping for a reply. An email marketing strategy needs to be carefully considered and implemented to ensure the best success.