EMAIL MARKETING STILL WORKS

EMAIL MARKETING STILL WORKS

EMAIL MARKETING STILL WORKS

February 12, 2018

BY IZBATH TARIK

Remember the time when Email marketing was a junkyard for advertising? Synonymous with spamming, email marketing has been out of grace for a while. Today, with the bombardment and invasion of social media news feeds in our life, this once effective tactic is making a comeback. While the unpracticed marketer might get entangled in the nets of email marketing, it is still a timeworn tactic that can reap pristine benefits.

Until very recently, Email marketing was the only formula for nurturing value adding conversations and relationships with potential customers. Now that messenger marketing has entered the scene, Email marketing is carving out its own niche.

After the inception of email marketing, small and large enterprises jumped on board and began to take a one size fits all approach, thanks to pricing and ease of access. Inevitably, mass abuse was the outcome. With the avalanche of unwanted, uninspired, unwelcomed emails piling up the recipient’s inbox, email marketing became a loathed name in the realm.

Years later, the tables have now turned. The social media rage caught on and became the newest home of mindless marketing noise. With this latest development, our email inboxes are where we turn to for some quiet solitude.

THE DON’TS

To seize this big break, we need to first take note of all the reasons why email marketing fell flat in the first place. Understanding the customer mindset and even the smallest components of your emailing strategy, such as the ‘send name’, can swerve the game for you. Firstly though, get permission. Unsolicited emails are a big no-no and can single-handedly cause the entire campaign to fall apart. Clickbaity subject lines and false promises are a sure-fire way to ruin credibility with your audience. While thought-provoking headings can reel in the reader, it needs to be done right. Speaking of reeling in the reader, all caps headings or too many exclamation points is not only tacky but also extremely unprofessional. If a business wants to be taken seriously, it needs to act as such.

Example: If you are a travel and tourism company, a content marketing email subject would ideally be phrased like: “Dear Mahfuz, do you know about the southernmost city in the world?”

The subject is crisp and contains just enough information for the receiver to open and read the e-mail. If done with the right amount of flair and information, email marketing has the potential to be explosive in terms of yield.

According to a MailChimp study, the following words have negative open rates: ‘Help’, ‘Percent off’, and ‘Reminder’. The word ‘free’ in a subject line increases its chances to be marked as a spam.

The key lies in the marketing thinking from the customer’s perspective. How would I want to be marketed to? Ten clickbait mails a day or one graceful mail with intriguing content?

PERSONALIZATION AND CURATION OF CONTENT

Once your business gets a sizable email list, get started on your strategy to push the reader through the conversion funnel. An email infused with a sense of urgency yet not too forceful is difficult to sculpt but not impossible. Email marketing allows a much greater scope for analytics and this is your strongest asset. With all the customer data at your fingertips these days, personalized emails with curated content are sure to beat through the traffic and grab the reader’s attention. Standard information you can capture and work alongside may be gender, birthdate, address etc. Amazon’s email marketing is a master-class in this lesson. Constantly tracking what a customer has browsed and bought, he or she receives a customized email which resonates to them on an individual level. This is Amazon, making the best of dynamic data.

TIMING

Another key aspect is timing. As we say, timing is everything and this stands true for emailing as well. The perfect send time may vary business to business but there has been some holistic research in this matter for our advantage. For instance, according to SmartInsights, sending emails between 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM tends to generate the best engagement rates. Keep in mind the geographical differences to sidestep any possible mishaps such as emailing when your reader is fast asleep.

CRISP, CLEAR AND CONCISE

Less is more. The email should never dawdle over its core message once you get the reader to click open. While maintaining the exciting aspect of it all, share the specificities of your call to action.  Craft your message in a way that seamlessly integrates it without appearing to be a gaudy addition.

Instead of overwhelming readers with 10 links use just one or two additional links. The odds of reading through all 10 links would be very optimistic of you.

For example, Casper, the cleaning corporation, understands this rule and knowing their buyer persona full well, replaced the generic Shop Now call to action with the more relevant and powerful Stay Clean.

THE PARADOX OF CHOICE

This is what happens to you when you are at the mall for Eid shopping. You have so many options to choose from, that at times you end up choosing neither. So eliminate choice and just have one call to action in your email.

A/B TESTING

Once you’ve sent your picturesque email, don’t ditch your audience. Follow up at regularly scheduled intervals to initiate conversations and build relationships. Lastly, you may use the A\B testing feature of emailing platforms to take your email marketing up a notch. This advanced multivariate testing allows you to test combinations of subjects, contents and send names, ensuring your email is a success.

Email marketing is a double edged sword. When done right, it not only incites action but also converts basic customers to diehard fans of the brand. Overdo it and it might just be the last you hear of your customer. So, treat your email database with care since your customer’s email address is privileged information.

KEEPING TRACK OF SUCCESS

If people are not opening your emails maybe you need to change the subject line. If people are not clicking on your links maybe you have too many or maybe you have removed the links. Therefore, to track success here are a few benchmarks:

  • Bounce Rate: 2.1-5%
  • Click Through Rate: 2.1-5%
  • Open Rate: 11-15%
  • Conversion Rate: 7.2-9.2%
  • Unsubscription Rate: 0.11-0.2%

Even in the age of social media, many people choose to avoid it altogether. But no one ever stops opening their email boxes, therefore unifying both – the marketers and the prospects, under one front of online communication. Even though it is very important to have a solid strategy, it is equally important to conduct A/B testing and capitalize on what sticks to the board. Sometimes you will succeed, sometimes you won’t. Just remember you have to continue experimenting and continuously remould you art.

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