November 10, 2013

Email Marketing is Still Alive!

Since the rise of email marketing, people have come to realize that the King of Uganda is not giving away million of dollars to unknown email recipients.

Today, email marketing is still a big converter because of the ability to reach your target audience, and keep them informed of new products, services, special offers and news. The reason email marketing is so popular is because it is greener, more affordable than direct mail, gets a better response rate, allows you to communicate with your customers more frequently, gives you the ability to track and measure your results, and subscribers can easily share offers and deals with their friends. Email marketing also lets you see results immediately, and spread your message globally, making it the only channel customers ask to receive. Plus, it has a fantastic return on investment.

An estimated average of 247 billion emails are sent each day, and this number will continue to increase. This translates to one email every 0.000035 seconds. In the time you read this sentence, some 20 million emails entered cyberspace.

Although people have become smarter about emails, the methods of building and sending emails still follow the same creative standards, and a successful campaign requires a few essential elements:
• Attention–grabbing subject line
• Relevant, useful content
• Beautiful imagery
• Consistent branding
• Strong call to action
• Social media icons and/or feeds

Statistics from IDC Financial Insights for 2012 prove that email marketing is still alive. It achieved the highest ROI compared to any other channel. Among the findings:

1. A 3,000% ROI was achieved through email.

2. 77% of customers prefer to receive permission-based promotions via email then direct mail.

3. 40% claimed to enjoy getting lots of marketing emails from favorite brands and deal services each week.

4. Seven in 10 people say they had made use of a coupon or discount they had learned about through a marketing email in the prior week (35%) or month (33%).

5. Six in 10 people spend half an hour or less per week opening and browsing marketing emails. (Source: 2012 Blue Kangaroo Survey on Marketing Emails)

6. One in 5 people spend an hour or more doing so. 64% of people say they open an email because of the subject line.

7. 58% people say receiving discounts and special offers was the top reason for subscribing to emails from businesses or non-profits. (Source: Chadwick Martin Bailey, 2012)

With successful email strategies you can expect to get results that lead to greater ROI. To accomplish an effective email campaign here are the essentials that need to be considered:

1. Who is your audience? Who is your audience and what are they looking for? What is it about them that makes them subscribe to your emails? Knowing your audience will determine the type of content, and what you should say to them.

2. Attention-grabbing subject line. One of the most critical steps is to have a subject line that will capture the users attention. If the subject line is not compelling enough, no one will even get pass the first click.

3. Have relevant and useful content.Make sure you have relevant and useful content. Are you welcoming new subscribers, sharing upcoming events or news, or promoting a sale or coupon offer? Be conscious to keep your content short, to the point and easy to digest. Allow your users to scan your email content, and if a longer piece if necessary feature the first paragraph and link the rest.

4. Make use of successful imagery.Use high-quality, relevant imagery to communicate and support your message. This will also make your email more impactful.

5. Stay consistent with your brand. You want your email image to be cohesive and loyal to your brand. Use your logo appropriately, and incorporate consistent brand colors, fonts, and imagery. Think of the creative for your email as a mini-website.

6. A clear call to action.A clear call to action is vital to tell your users what the next step is, and where they need to go to fulfill your marketing strategy.

7. Have a healthy email list.Make sure your email list is healthy and not outdated or built with non-opt in data. Get a list health check-up, grow your list organically, make your sign-up process easy and accessible, and create re-engagement campaigns.

8. Optimize your email for mobile.Mobile optimization is a critical channel. From 2011 to 2012 there has been a rapid increase from 19% to 34% of users checking email on mobile devices. 88% check email on their phones every day.

9. Merging online and offline channels.Make sure your online and offline channels are providing your customers with consistent brand interaction. A seamless customer experience through every channel should exist with your brand. You want consumers to stop perceiving online touch points as separate and have the same experience on every channel.

10. Treat your subscribers like VIPs.Always treat your subscribers like they are VIPs. If they have given you permission to enter their inboxes, honor this privilege by providing them with offers and incentives that will make them feel like they’re part of a brand who appreciates them.

Once all the above have been accomplished the final step is to test, test, test your email. You want to make sure your email displays as it was designed and works correctly accross different browsers and email applications. Define which browsers and email applications your audience uses most, and optimize emails for those environments.

In conclusion, if you are planning on fulfilling a marketing strategy to reach new and existing customers and promote your services or products, email marketing is the most powerful tool. This channel represents the most direct line of communication that will lead to the highest ROI (with an ROI around 4,300%, according to the Direct Marketing Association).

Deepen your relationship with your audience with an email strategy that makes them feel like they’re part of a brand that cares.


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