With so much emphasis these days on the power of social media, marketers can sometimes forget to step back a decade and remember the tactics that used to work for them then.
10 years ago, before the explosion of Facebook and the subsequent flurry of Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and all the rest – online marketing was either done via paid advertising on websites and search engines, or via email.
Nowadays, the trend seems to be all about blogs and social media. There is good reason for this, of course. Even your granny has a Facebook account, right? Right – she, plus 1.44 billion others, as the chart below from statista.com indicates.
The rise in social media use has of course meant that brands have shifted their focus towards these platforms in efforts to promote awareness of their existence.
And it has worked.
Of course it has. I quite often find myself quoting the following formula when writing blogs of this nature, and I will hereby do so once more:
No website = no business
No blog = no website
No social = no blog
Any new startup that thinks it can make waves in the modern world without a website is simply barking mad. An online presence is essential these days, and what with the mandates set by Google’s search algorithms, if your website isn’t being continuously rejuvenated with streams of fresh content, then it simply won’t be discoverable. This has given way to content marketing – aka blogging. A blog means that your website will have that fresh content regularly and keep those Google bots well-fed and happy.
And blogging, in turn, has paved the way for social media marketing. Your blog is only ever as good as the amount of people that read it, and the amount of traffic that it drives to your site – and social networks have proven to be the perfect platforms on which webmasters can peddle their blogs.
An Important Distinction
Ok, I know what you’re thinking – this blog post is supposed to be about email marketing, not content or social media marketing.
You’re right, of course. So please now let me reveal my conceit for starting off in this manner.
Content marketing and social media marketing are all about raising brand awareness. These are the tools that marketers use to get their businesses noticed by the millions and billions of people that are out there on the web. They are used to drive traffic towards the company’s website, to get people thinking about them, how the business in question is involved, and how the business is positioned within that industry.
What content marketing and social media marketing is not, however, is a primary means of making sales, peddling products, and seeing big, direct, monetary returns for the marketer’s efforts.
Content marketing, indeed, is a much more subtle art than that. Yes, it’s about making conversions, but those conversions are more about attaining subscribers than making sales.
But once you’ve got those subscribers, then it’s onto your email campaign to start earning you the ROI for your whole online marketing efforts.
Email Marketing Reigns Supreme
New research from Campaign Monitor finds that “Even with the explosion of new technology, marketers keep coming back to email. The reason is clear – for ten years in a row, email is the channel generating the highest ROI for marketers. For every $1 [£0.64] spent, email marketing generates $38 [£24.24] in ROI.”
Social media marketing appears to proliferate, and no doubt you will be dedicating an awful lot of time trying to gain followers and generate meaningful leads. But, when it comes down to acquiring new paying customers, email wins the race every time. 40 times over, in fact:
“Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter.”
With this in mind, you need to make sure that your email marketing campaign is on point every time. So below we’ve put together a few tips to help you get the most out of your efforts.
Email Marketing Tips
Consider the Rise In Mobile Use
A survey conducted by BlueHornet has revealed that if an email is not optimized for mobile, over 80% of recipients delete it and another 30% unsubscribe. Additionally, over 63% of consumers are interested to make a purchase if they find an email looks good on their mobile devices.
Over the past 5 years, email opens on mobile devices have increased by 30%. That’s an incredible amount. No longer is checking your email simply a desktop activity performed whilst sat at the office desk. With the explosion of smartphones, people now check their emails long before the working day starts, either as soon as they reach for their phone in the morning, or whilst on the commute to work.
Therefore, designing email for mobile is no longer simply a nice-to-have additional feature – it’s imperative.
This is the age of targeting and personalization, and your emails need to be on point with this. Consumers expect to be addressed by their first names, and for the brands that they’re doing business with to know exactly who they are.
Furthermore, they want to be provided with specific content that has been targeted towards them. One size definitely does not fit all when it comes to email marketing.
As an extension of the previous point, it should be noted that segmenting your email list into specific groups of subscribers can increase your email open rate significantly.
Let’s look at some figures from Campaign Monitor once more:
- 74% of online consumers cite frustration when content (i.e. offers, ads, promotions) appear to have nothing whatsoever to do with their interests.
- 75% of enterprises will be investing in personalized messaging in 2015.
- Segmented campaigns drive a 760% increase in revenue.
That last stat alone should be enough to convince you of the power of segmented email campaigns. You need to segment your subscribers into demographic groups, and also groups as defined by their purchase history and browsing activity. Using this information, you will be able to tailor all of your email messages to very specific types of subscribers, and, if done well, achieve that 760% increase in revenue from your efforts as a result.
How effective are your email campaigns? What advice would you have for our readers? Let us know in the comments below.