83% of B2B marketers are still using email marketing via electronic newsletters to reach their target audience. That’s the latest stat according to a survey from the Content Marketing Institute, entitled B2B Content Marketing: 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America.
And B2B is not the only area which still likes a bit of good, old-fashioned email marketing to get its message out there. Cool kid on the block Lena Dunham recently announced she will be launching a brand new email newsletter, Lenny, as her newest business venture. Lena Dunham – she of the Emmy Award-winning TV series, best selling book, and avidly followed social media accounts. (Her Twitter account @lenadunham had nearly 2.5 million followers at last count. #wewish) So why email newsletter then, Lena? Because old school is still cool, apparently. When done properly, email marketing still works. Here’s why:
Email marketing is cost effective
“Email marketing is still a key tool in a marketer’s toolbox – and a cost-effective one,” says our very own marketing maestro Trisha Larsen, who has been at the helm of The Web Advisors for the last four years. Email marketing can cost as much, or as little, as you like, with very little in terms of up-front costs.
Fact For every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return is $44.25. (Emailexpert.org)
Email marketing allows you to hyper-target your audience, and then personalise your message accordingly. By giving you the luxury of building lists which can be segmented by age, gender, marital status, income, location, interests, it eliminates a lot of the uncertainty, and guff, that can make other forms of marketing both annoying and ineffective. All this means that you are able to engage directly with the right audience for your product or service, right in their inboxes. “Which makes it a very effective tool to engage with past and potential new customers that have already expressed interest in your product,” affirms Chris Elder, one of The Web Advisors’ lead project managers. An email newsletter reaches and/or advances your audience “one step further down the purchase funnel.”
Fact 66% of online consumers made a purchase as a result of an email marketing message in 2013. (Direct Marketing Association)
Email marketing campaigns offer a wealth of in-depth analytical and tracking tools. You can see who has opened your email, when, and what specific links they followed. Some platforms even give you the option of profiling your ideal customer by finding out a range of demographic information to aid your future campaigns. This saves you time, money and endless questioning and uncertainty about who you’re reaching, where and how.
Fact There were 3.6 billion email accounts in 2013. By 2016, that number will reach 4.3 billion. (The Radicati Group, Email Statistics Report, 2012-2016)
Unsolicited advertising and marketing assaults consumers at every turn. Cold calls (Yes! They’re still a thing!) during dinner time; television adverts during your favourite show (because sometimes PVR just isn’t going to cut it); Twitter ads (more on this later); even sneaky native ads cropping up in your various social media feeds… But email marketing – well, it’s the most unobtrusive form of marketing there is. This is because your customer can choose when, or even if, they will open your email. And when they do, because it was an active choice, they will be actively engaged with your message. With engagement comes interactive marketing at its best: your audience can forward your email to friends, click on links to view more information, shop your online store, access their personal accounts, update subscriptions, visit your blog, post to your Facebook page and follow you on Twitter – all from one, inexpensive, email. They can even use the ‘unsubscribe’ button to be removed from the list – which may sound like a minus, but really it’s another plus in terms of helping you reach the right audience.
Fact 82% of consumers open emails from companies. (Litmus)
Do’s and Don’ts
Do “get your subject line right,” says Trisha. “You have to get that right to even have a chance at open rate and content engagement.” Put a little bit of time and thought into crafting these smaller, but valuable, facets of customer communication. Make your subject line simple and straightforward – the reader should be able to understand the purpose of your message with just a 1-to-3 second scan.
Do make sure your newsletter is user friendly and “responsive – 53% of email is read on a mobile device first,” advises Trisha. “Once they have opened your email, they had better be able to read it easily!”
Do “personalize where possible,” says Chris. “Emails that are specific in content to that individual’s personal likes/requests/actions will perform best.”
Do “use buttons!” urges Trisha. According to GetResponse, emails that include social sharing buttons have a 158% higher click-through rate. Also, provide multiple links, including call to action buttons, throughout the email to make it easy for users to take action.
Don’t “include too much content,” says Trisha. “Include the appetizer teaser in the email, with a link to the main course website page or blog post.”
Don’t “lose focus,” adds Chris. “Keep your email focused on the specific topic or offer on hand.” In other words, don’t send an email just because you can; only communicate with your audience when you really have something good to offer or something of real worth and relevance to your audience to say.
Don’t send too many emails.
Don’t be too aggressive in your sell.
Fact 33% of email recipients open email based on subject line alone. (Convinceandconvert.com)
Want to give email marketing a shot? Contact us and let us help you with your next email marketing campaign or with setting up a regular newsletter. It’s easy, effective and inexpensive. Why wouldn’t you try it?
Image credit: Old Mail Truck, Harris & Ewing, 1916; www.vintag.es