We hear a lot of chatter about email marketing being past its prime and that its overuse is causing recipients to become jaded, impervious to its impact. The thing is, the stats prove otherwise. Email marketing is very much alive, well and kicking. It works, it gets through to people. It delivers results.
No matter what demographic your audience has, whether they are B2B or B2C, email remains a great way to target customers and prospects.
Pure 360 recently published this list of email marketing revenue and ROI stats, which are pretty compelling:
- Email generates around £29bn retail sales annually (Marketing Week)
- 73% of marketers rate email as the number one digital channel for ROI (Marketing Week)
- ROI for email increased from an estimated £30.03 for every £1 spent in 2016 to £32.28 in 2017 (DMA)
- 86% of marketers say email is ‘important’ or ‘very important’ to their multichannel marketing strategy (DMA)…
However, compelling those stats, email marketing shouldn’t be considered plain sailing and entered into willy nilly. There is a caveat … stick to a few simple rules and don’t get on people’s nerves.
Why is email such a successful and flexible communications tool?
There are many reasons. Too many to cover in this blog, so here are a few we believe in wholeheartedly and try to keep at the forefront of our minds when creating email marketing campaigns for our clients …
- Email marketing offers lightweight interaction to customers; it’s accessible but not intrusive
- Email marketing enables companies to respond to queries quickly, easily and in real time for customers needing immediate information or results
- Email marketing enables companies to stay in touch with customers/prospects between phone calls, it enables nurturing without pestering
- Email marketing allows companies to propose additional value-add products/services which might be useful for customers/prospects
What are the key elements to getting email marketing right?
- Understanding the buyer journey and tapping into their psyche.
Great email marketers know when not to send as well as when to send! It’s important to understand the buyer journey. To understand what inspires and concerns them. To look deep inside their buyer personas to gain insight into what and why they buy and when and who they buy from.
- Recognising that your database is the nerve centre of any data-driven marketing efforts.
The information in your database and the ability to segment this in an intelligence-led way, to a granular level, will be the key to email marketing success. Segmentation allows marketers to undertake targeted, relationship-driven marketing that delivers results.
- Once identified, it’s time to love your target audience
It is vital to align email content to the buyer journey to ensure your love will grow. You must identify key touch points in the sales and marketing process and encourage positive interactions at every step of the journey.
- Know your audience; always consider and reflect buying personas
- Be targeted; segment by company, role, behaviour, buying history
- Be analytical; always refer to the market intelligence at your disposal and don’t forget to include sources such as social and web analytics
- Be focused and make it personal; build separate lists for each target audience to ensure the right message get to the right person at the right time
- Your aim is to get new customers to see the value of your product/service asap.
Effective campaigns don’t just happen, and even superb products don’t sell themselves. Planning and preparation is vital. To be successful your email marketing campaign should follow this pattern:
- Attract – attract prospects using informative and compelling blogs, keywords and social media
- Convert – convert prospect interactions into potential customers using forms, CTAs and landing pages
- Close – close potentials into actuals by providing value and engaging using CRM, workflows and nurturing email marketing
- Delight – delight your customers on a regular basis through surveys, smart content and social monitoring. Pay attention to context. Listen to them. Show them some love and the benefits of a continuing relationship.
How do you run a successful email marketing campaign?
Firstly, ensure you understand why email marketing is important to your business and make sure you get buy in from key stakeholders in the company.
Once this is in place consider your contact database; have you got the data you need? If not look to purchase this from a reputable supplier. Then, create the right lists. Build separate lists for each target audience to ensure the right message get to the right person at the right time
Next, think about how and when you are going to make contact with your target audience. Whatever you do make it relevant and personalised. Just because your email went out to 10,000 people doesn’t mean it has to read like it did.
With email marketing it is vital to use the right marketing automation software which will not only schedule, personalise and make relevant your communications, but will also enable you to easily analyse results and responses. Analytics is the engine that can power the growth of your business.
Based on the interactions and captured leads, we recommend rapid follow up with automated responses followed quickly by sales team contact. It’s also sensible to put a nurturing strategy into place to keep leads warm and ticking over until they are ready to buy.
If you get all this right, you’ll take your customers on a journey where you start as strangers and end up as firm friends. You can judge the success of your campaign dependent on whether customers start as ‘new’ and end up as ‘evangelists’!
- New: provide the information and product value they need to fall in love with your product or service; build loyalty
- Ongoing: keep the love alive, don’t give customers reasons to go elsewhere; value loyalty
- Evangelist: congratulations! Your customers’ loyalty is strong, and they love you enough to become brand ambassadors … don’t be smug and take this for granted, you need to work hard to keep it this way; maintain loyalty