Over the last few years, I think we’ve all got a bit sick and tired of automatically being subscribed to receive newsletters from the websites we sign up to (most of the time because we can’t make a purchase without creating an account — this is why).
I’m pretty sure, if you’re anything like me, you wake up and the first thing you do is ‘mark as read’ pretty much all of your emails and then click on the few that you find a little more intriguing.
The latter emails are becoming few and far between with the inundated amount of spam, and ‘deals’ we get on a daily basis delivered to our inbox.
What we don’t want to do, is have email marketing overlooked by this association. Email marketing can be essential to a business, depending on what it is that their customers want and look for.
In this blog, I’m going to be taking you through the basics of email marketing, what it is, how it can work, and who for.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a part of direct marketing which uses electronic mail as a way of communicating commercial messages to an audience.
To be broad, every email that is sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing, but the term is generally used to refer to a couple of things, which include:
- Sending an email with the sole purpose of highlighting the relationship of a merchant with its current or previous customers in order to encourage customer loyalty and prolong business.
- Sending emails with the purpose of gaining new customers or persuading current customers to purchase immediately.
I think it’s fair to say that some people are under the impression that email marketing is something of the past with cobwebs all over it. But, I’m afraid to say, you’re a little wrong, my dear.
Email marketing has been used pretty much since the birth of the internet. Of course, since then, it’s completely evolved but it’s still a great tool for marketers.
What is it Used For?
Almost all of us actively use email, and therefore marketing through email enables you to reach a pretty extensive amount of internet users even if they are not on social media.
The older generation may prefer to use email than other forms of marketing to be contacted or approached such as social media options.
Email marketing is something you should consider in order to reach a much wider audience and build your brand’s relationship with the customers you’ve already secured.
Something else to bear in mind is the fact that email marketing makes it easy to track your returns on investment, and it’s all trackable with software. This way you’re able to see who is opening your emails and who is clicking onto your website from your email, etc.
What are the Positives of Email Marketing?
So far, we’ve already highlighted some of the positives including the fact that you’re able to access a broad range of people. However, we’ll go through the couple more as we’re not short.
The fact that you’re able to send (for example) 100,000 personalised emails means the odds are more leaning towards working in your favour. Sending personalised emails is likely to increase the amount of money you’re putting in the piggy bank. Personalised emails have an impact on click rates of consumer products and services, which again, adds the pennies to your bank. For you to be able to send personalised emails, you’ll have to gain as much information about your customers as possible. The more you know about them, the more personal it’s going to be.
In comparison to other digital marketing methods, email marketing is pretty affordable. Paid advertisements and even some search engine optimisation strategies can be pretty pricey when they’re used for long periods of time. Email marketing is much more cost-effective than direct mail campaigns.
When you segment your customers, you’re able to approach specific groups a lot better, but you do need to gain as much information as possible about your customers, such as:
- The amount of orders they’ve completed
- The average value per order, etc.
Therefore, segmenting emails will also increase the open rates that you see, as well as making your emails far more relevant and lowering the unsubscribe rates. By segmenting your marketing list, your customers can receive messages from you that they’re interested in, and this will directly boost their engagement with you.
It’s an Open Platform
Over the past few years, many brands have invested millions of pounds into buying large social followings in order to be able to communicate and engage with an audience.
However, while businesses are investing in various social media platforms, Facebook frequently updated their algorithms to reduce the amount of followers who will be able to see a brand’s post, unless those posts are paid advertisement.
This practice has become so well used that almost all of the brand followers won’t see their posts in their News Feeds.
Are There Any Negatives, Then?
Well, nobody is perfect, right? This doesn’t really change in the world of marketing either, as we’ll explain…
Spam, Spam, Spam!
Before you get too excited, this has nothing to do with the tinned stuff.
Spam which is also referred to as ‘commercial email’ takes places if your messages aren’t targeted to the right people, and so the recipient might delete your email and even unsubscribe from the mailing list.
You’ll need to ensure that your email marketing complies with privacy and data protection rules, and that it’s properly targeted at people who actually value getting it.
If the emails are designed badly, they may not even get delivered.
Emails that use particular spam keywords or characters in the subject heading or among the content of the email (such as ‘£££’, ‘ Free’, ‘Click here’) are likely to be filtered out by the email software as well as internet providers.
If you don’t keep your marketing lists up to date, you’ll find incorrect email address mean that your messages are not going to be retrieved by the right person, or, at all.
Issues with the Design
A pretty important one. Your email has got to be designed so that it appears as it should across a variety of devices and email providers.
You might encounter a trade-off between design and functionality, and some people only opt to receive text-only emails, so you’d need to consider how your message is going to be viewed for this.
So, Should You Go for It?
Well, Email marketing is a vital component in a lot of industries now, especially those who revolve around creating important customer-firm relationships.
Learn to use it well and it’ll definitely boost your company’s success rate! Just try not to send out another email which goes through to the old spam folder.
Most importantly, make sure you need it…Is it essential for your company or are you doing just fine without it?
It’s a personal preference, and it’s not for everyone. We’ll leave you with that thought…