Have you ever purchased something even though you never before felt the need for to buy one?
Honestly, I have, one too many times! One of those peculiar purchases being, beard wash from a particular brand. Even though a first time purchase, why did it feel like I had known the brand all along? Just with a bunch of captivating email newsletters, they were able to build a sort of familiarity and suddenly the ‘unknown name’ rang a bell when someone spoke about beards.
Through the powerful chain of messages via mail and indirect persuasion they were successful in building a connect with me and the thousand other people who made the purchase. Businesses that do not leverage the benefits of Email marketing are yet to discover how powerful a weapon it is when it comes to nurturing leads and its role in customer retention.
In this blog, we will be discussing the WHAT , WHY AND HOW of Email marketing to completely understand the potential and impact of this simple digital marketing technique.
What is Email marketing?
Being one of the oldest forms of digital marketing, it is the type of marketing in which you can create, send, and track your marketing campaigns via email. Email being, in fact, older than the world wide web itself, has a vast base of consistent users. This makes it a suitable platform for marketers to build relationships and increase customer retention.
Some may argue that often social media marketing may prove to be a more effective means of reaching out to your customers. But the scope of email marketing can be brought to light when you think of the fact that all social media users by default require an email id while the converse is not true. Email marketing can be used not only to send out promotional content but also to connect with customers interested in your business through informational newsletters.
Why Email marketing?
Large reach: It is safe to assume that most, if not all, of the internet users, definitely have an email id. Although a very old means of communication, its popularity among users shows no sign of slowing down. Every important event or notice is often communicated through email. This makes it an important platform for marketers to slide their promotions into. Through email service providers (like MailChimp), marketers are able to spray out emails to millions of people within their target audience.
High return on investment:
One of the main reasons why companies consider email marketing as a must-have marketing means is its cost-effectiveness. With a very low initial cost you will be able to shoot out tens of thousands of emails, thus rewarding higher return on investment compared to most other digital channels. For beginners, using a basic plan with an email service provider like MailChimp, you will be able to send up to 12,000 emails per month for free.
As per an August 2013 report released by the Direct Marketing Association, E-mail marketing provides an average 4,300% return on investment for businesses in the U.S (https://www.copyblogger.com/email-marketing/).
Unlike any other digital marketing methods, email marketing has an added advantage of providing personalized content. You must have often received emails addressing you by your name (like, Hi, John) or emails containing birthday wishes, although the emails have been automated. This does give it a human touch and can be used to build relationships with your target audience.
Advertisements or promotions sent via email are preferred by businesses due to its trackability. The smart pixel embedded in the email helps the marketer measure the effectiveness of the campaign. Data generated through this will give insightful information on the number of :
- Opened mails
- Unopened mails
- Clicked on a link – The number of people who have clicked on a link in the email you have sent.
- Unsubscribed – The number of people who have opted out of your email list i.e the people who have chosen not to get any further emails from you.
- Bounced – This indicates the number of people to whom the email could not be delivered. The reasons could be a spelling mistake in mailing address or the recipient’s inbox being full. Often sending emails to corporate email ids could also lead to a bounce due to the corporate firewall.
- Marked as spam – This shows the number of people who decided to take an action and mark you as spam. This could have a negative impact on your reputation and may result in future emails being automatically sent to spam folder by default.
Increase prospects and repeat customers: Through databases acquired from third parties, various newly founded startups use email marketing as an easy way to build brand familiarity among its prospects. This can also bring about new visitors to your website.
By sending emails on product recommendations and informational newsletters, e-commerce platforms are often able to build relationships through brand engagement. This helps in customer retention and repeat business from previous customers.
How to market via E-mail?
Avoid looking like a spammer
The primary concern for an email marketer is the deliverability of the email sent. This means to avoid your emails from going into the spam folder. Upon sending bulk emails it is very difficult to completely ensure that the email goes to the primary inbox instead of the promotions, social or updates due to gmails understanding of the bulk email(more than 21 mails per minute sends it directly to the spam folder). This could be avoided by using tools like woodpecker(https://woodpecker.co) by sending periodically timed emails at intervals to your customers
High-frequency emails or ones containing irrelevant content can make you end up looking like a spammer. You must ensure to avoid spammy words. This could be any words or phrases (example: free, not spam, extra, billion dollars etc) that give a sense of false commitment. Once your email is created, you can always verify the spam level by using spam-checker tools such as mail-tester.com which will give you a spam score based on your email content.
Focus on your subject lines
Your subject line is your entry gate into your customer relationship journey. It must be crisp and catchy enough to make the recipients feel that they will be missing out on something if left unopened. It is always to be kept in mind that your email is just another, alongside hundreds of others in their inbox. Hence, you will always have to give them a reason to open it in the first place.
Often marketers prefer not to change the subject line and decide to continue with the same old one. In that case, you must be aware that what works for some time might wear off later, due to lack of freshness.
You must also prepare to A/B test subject lines. In many bulk email marketing websites, you will be able to test your subject lines to calculate effectiveness. You can begin by providing two suitable subject lines for your target audience(Option A and B). The email campaign software you use will then divide your audience into two lists and send the two groups two separate subject lines. A/B testing is an excellent way of understanding what works and what doesn’t!
Make your email newsletter more informative than promotional.
Chances are that a majority of your recipients consider you one among the other hundred brands trying to make a hard-sell. The idea is to provide promotional content in a non-promotional way. You must start by trying to provide value to your customers such that it doesn’t look like a blunt promotion. An online fashion store, for instance, could send emails on how to pair different outfits for various occasions.
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The above tips are sure to help you get started with your first email marketing campaign if you haven’t yet. Now get ready to soar reach out to those thousands of your prospective customers waiting for your mail.