- With the rise of more digital channels providing new ways to reach your audience, it's important not to forget about the power of email.
- Communicating with prospects using their name and geographic location can massively increase open and click-through rates.
- Remember, you can't expect to send one email and get results. Consistency is key.
- Keep reading to learn how email marketing can provide a great return on investment for small businesses.
Social media marketing may be highly effective but email marketing is likely to get you more bang for your buck.
Not only is email a more active channel, compared to social media, where your message is sent and responded to compared to something that sits there waiting to be clicked on, a recent report in Chief Marketer indicated that it’s a channel with the most economical conversions, where the average email marketing campaign raises $40 for every $1 spent.
In contrast to the eye-candy of moving images and sound broadcast on Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter, email has some limitations in the creativity department, but it can be more specifically personalised to your target audience than social media, making it a better way to engage.
Communicating with an audience using their name and geographic location, and sending emails at the right time of day can massively increase open and click-through rates.
This ability to transmit intimately becomes even more exciting with emerging technologies enabling emails to incorporate customised data such as local weather and time of day into the campaign.
According to e-marketing whizz Anne Hall, the biggest trend in the email space right now is marketing automation, where a set of emails are triggered based on the actions of the receiver. For instance, if someone opens and reads your email, then clicks a link in that email, you trigger another series of emails to those specific people who clicked.
Mrs Hall, Director of virtual business support company Yoozus, also sees a growing trend in combining email automation with Facebook remarking to increase open rates and conversions.
She says, “there is no point in marketing to people who are not interested” and that the endless opportunities for marketing automation in your business are worthwhile even if it “takes a little time to brainstorm and flowchart it first.”
The real benefit of automation is the powerful follow-up activity which many service providers and SME’s never seem to find time for.
According to email service provider Listrak, order confirmation emails are opened 114.3% compared to the open rate of 13% for marketing style emails.
Adding simple automation that confirms appointments, orders or purchases which is instantly sent to your prospects and clients, without you having to do anything, can increase the open rate for your future emails and build a sense of trust in your relationship.
This is especially important with the introduction of segmented inboxes on HTML email browsers such as Gmail and google apps because people are no longer seeing all of their emails.
For instance, if someone has a promotions inbox in their google apps email account and Google decides that an email goes into that inbox, if they don't ever look in that inbox, they will never see promotional emails such as newsletters and marketing messages.
Anne Hall encourages businesses that there are “tricks to email deliverability and getting seen in people's inboxes” but that you still need to “avoid the dreaded SPAM folder” as well.
The Two Most Important Do's and Don'ts of Email Marketing
Here are the top two do’s and don’ts to have successful e-marketing for your business:
1. Don't: One-off emails
The #1 thing people are doing wrong in email marketing is believing that a one-off email will convert into a sale. Your database needs to get to know you, like you and trust you before they will even think about buying from you.
It is important to tell them about yourself and why you do what you do, but not too much, as there is nothing worse than someone just talking about themselves all the time.
Trust is not a right, it's earned. Prove to your database that you know your stuff and that you can deliver what you say. There is no better way to do this than through educating your customers with knowledgeable content and providing testimonials/case studies to back it up.
2. Do: Test, Test, Test
The #1 simple thing people should be doing in email marketing is testing their subject lines, headings and other aspects of their emails. A simple change to a subject line can make a huge difference to an open rate. It's easy to use split testing in email marketing, basically, it does it all for you and it's really not that hard.
A free headline checking tool that rates your content based on deliverability and click potential is SubjectLine.
Learn from Others
Her final piece of advice is to look at what other companies are doing to engage on email. She suggests a company doing a great job of email marketing is Canva, whose emails are simplistic and integrate seamlessly into their products.
Email is far from dead, in fact with over 205 billion emails sent and received each day it is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to communicate so you should be using it to its fullest capacity. Smart Insights has the 2016 email statistics posted so you can measure your email marketing success rate amongst others in your industry.
Yes, you might be thinking this is yet another marketing channel you have to find time for, however the best thing about e-marketing is that once you have invested time into your ‘funnel’ and your autoresponders and triggers are up and running, it keeps working for you.
Making email marketing one of the most sustainable activities your business could implement to continually get your brand in front of your ideal audience in a personalised and powerful way.