Do you ever find your in-box jam-packed with all that email? Well, there is a reason to the madness. It works still in 2014, yes, it does. In fact it is nearly 40 TIMES more effective than Twitter and Facebook combined to acquire customers. Actually 91% of all US customers use email daily and the rate these emails prompt purchases is 3 times that of social media channels.
So wait.. hold on there! I don’t want that SPAM you say? Right, we don’t either. Marketers need to become smarter and like all aspects of digital marketing the most effective companies have gotten smarter about it. Even though there has been a decline in email usage, and movement to social media, IM and other apps, people still use it. And use it daily. So don’t move all of your marketing over to Twitter or WhatsApp quite yet, but lets talk a little bit about how you , as trained ninja marketers, can garner the full horsepower of email in 2014.
1. Pay attention to all aspects of the journey
Ok so what does that mean.? Don’t be on your phone reading email while your commuting? Well, no but actually yes don’t do that. However what we mean is, don’t just focus on getting the click from the email. Sounds strange I know, however the email is only one part in a series of interactions so starting with the subject line, message and visuals is great but why invest all that time to only lose them when they land on your generic landing page? Custom landing pages can be implemented to be custom to not only device (mobile or desktop) but also demographic, geographic and even product focussed offerings. Almost 45 % of all marketing emails today are opened on a mobile device, yet still today marketers don’t optimize their landing pages for this growing traffic medium. Google confirms this by stating that 61% of users are unlikely to even return to a mobile sitre they had trouble accessing before, and worse yet, 40% end up visiting a competitor instead.
2. Spend time (lots) setting it up
Each opened email is a opportunity to learn incrementally more about your customers. Once you decide to use email you need to set clear objects and goals with your team, that involve collecting or evaluating this data you are capturing. Though the proper set up of emails can be tedious, the results are seen quickly in the delivery and response.If you utilize outsourced email service providers , each has unique data opportunities and options they allow to be used to later append or connect to your internal CRM systems. Warning though. If you aren’t going to use the data, don’t collect it. Set clear plans and goals then execute on hitting those, then incrementally add more as you progress.
3. Get down and personal
Its harder to stand out these days. Even more to be compliant to CAN-SPAM laws and be unique. According to Forrester, marketing emails is forecasted to hit 838 billion in the US this year. So being RELEVANT is key. The best emails feel personal, timed right and are relevant. For example one flash-sale website sends out more than 3,000 variations of its daily email each customized based on:
- past user click-throughs
- browsing history
- purchase history
Now something like this is no easy feat to manage or build, however it works. Start slowly by segmenting different customers into different groups.
4. Track and Test
In order to be better next time, we need to learn and analyze what happened before. We need to track every variable and piece of the process so we can make minor adjustments over time to see if that helped immensely (YES) or possibly behaved worse (back to the drawing board). Spend time setting up the tracking and planning out the testing variables (i.e.. creative, subject lines, landing pages, segmentation). Live, learn and prosper as the famous Star Trek quote states.