With new marketing technologies coming out every year and social media advertising on the rise, it's easy for marketers to get caught up in new and shiny tactics and overlook a proven ROI-positive marketing driver: email marketing. Email marketing has been around for a long time and continues to provide value to marketers' campaigns.
In today's digital landscape, email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter, according to global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company. This is largely because email marketing platforms offer a more deliberate and focused way to communicate with your target audience. Through automation, dynamic content, and personalization you can have one-to-one conversations with your prospects and customers that you simply can't have on social media.
When it comes to email, marketers now know that a one-size-fits all campaign is highly ineffective in getting a positive response from customers. Instead, email recipients want to feel they are receiving information that is pertinent to their interests and needs. This can be a challenge for many companies. Luckily, email marketing platforms, like Campaign Monitor, have developed user-friendly UIs with dynamic features to achieve this.
When trying to get more personal, automation may seem contradictory, but it is an easy way to send strategically timed and targeted emails. Automated emails are extremely resourceful in that they are set up once and designed to be sent to the subscriber each time they meet a predefined trigger set by the company.
An example of a standard automated workflow would be when a viewer signs up on the website, the system sends a welcome message. If they do not open the welcome email, the system may send a follow-up email with educational content. If the subscriber has been inactive for a pre-determined time, a special discount offer nudge may be deployed to entice them to take action. Once they make a purchase, a thank you message is sent. Many of the top email marketing platforms allow marketers to create much more sophisticated automated customer journeys that personalize the content based on email engagement behaviors and demographics.
Automation certainly makes it easier for companies to save time and resources, but how does it sustain customer interest without causing email fatigue? This is achieved through dynamic content that is tailored specifically to the recipient. Studies show that personalized emails have 2.5 times higher click-through rates, and they are six times more likely to drive a conversion.
Obtaining customer preferences is easier than one may think. It starts the second they sign up to be a subscriber. With a simple sign-up form that has a couple of key questions such as gender, location, or birthday, a company already has valuable information. By using email marketing platforms such as Campaign Monitor, businesses can now employ list segmentation to send promotions that are more applicable for a specific age group or gender. For example, an online retailer wants to send a special discount offer to their email list for a clothing line they will be discontinuing in the months to come. Instead of a generic offer to everyone in this list, the retailer can personalize the content so that male recipients get content that features men's clothing and shoes, and female recipients see women's shoes and clothes.
Once a company starts using automation and personalized content, it is essential to track the progress and success of the campaign. These insights can show which messages have resonated with viewers, as well as purchasing and online viewing trends. There are essential metrics that help marketers understand the overall effectiveness of their emails including deliverability, bounce rate, open rate, click-through rate, and conversions. Beyond these metrics, some email marketing platforms allow you to dig a bit deeper into which email clients are being used the most, when emails are being engaged with over time, click activity, and how different list segments are performing. This in-depth data allows marketers to fine tune their emails to be even more effective. Using the example from above, marketers could view where the female specific email segment clicked throughout the email to determine how a follow-up email should be designed to maximize the click-throughs and ultimately the conversion rate.
Although email marketing is not a new player in the digital marketing game, it still proves to be a powerful marketing tool. As consumers get more and more comfortable with willingly giving personal information, brands are expected to personalize marketing based on what's important to each customer. Email marketing platforms are continuinously adapting to provide marketers the functionality to deliver on this demand from today's consumers.
About the Author: Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. Chamber specializes in helping small businesses grow their business on the web while facilitating the connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. As a small business expert, Megan specializes in reporting the latest business news, helpful tips and reliable resources, as well as providing small business advice. She has significant experience with the topic of small business marketing, and has spent several years exploring topics like copywriting, content marketing and social media.