- On 14/10/2019
Email is dead—or at least that’s what the headlines claim. Sure, getting to “inbox zero” might be everyone’s focus today, but brands shouldn’t count out the power of a well-executed email campaign just yet.
Why Email Still Works
Marketers have argued about the viability of email campaigns ever since email became widely adopted as a marketing channel. And it’s true that email no longer has the insanely high open rates it used to. But consumers still open their email 20 times a day on average. That’s why effective modern marketers can continue to connect the dots from their email campaigns to quantitative ROI.
In fact, the proliferation of smartphones has made email more effective than ever. According to a recent study, about three of every five consumers check their email on the go. 75% of study participants said they use their smartphones most often to check email.
No matter what you sell, most of your qualified leads spend their days glued to their smartphones, where their email apps are just a tap away on their home screen. Sending high-quality content directly to prospects’ inboxes is one of the easiest ways to reach them—you just need to deliver a valuable enough message that they’re excited to open it.
Therein lies the problem, however. Attention. With so many emails flying around, people only open and act on emails from brands they trust. If prospects don’t trust your brand and don’t care about your message, they will—best case scenario—simply delete your email without a second thought. Worst case, you leave a negative brand impression. They’re annoyed by your persistent, irrelevant messages. They trash your brand to friends and maybe even on social media. Not good.
Email can be a high-stakes game if you play it in an obnoxious way. Email is a marketing medium that has plenty to offer but only to those who effectively put themselves in the shoes of their prospects.
The evolution of email
Email marketing gets a bad reputation as one of the more spammy marketing channels. The Federal Trade Commission even governs how businesses can send emails to consumers via its CAN-SPAM Act, which establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to unsubscribe and spells out tough (read: up to $41,484) penalties for violations.
Europe is even tougher. On May 25, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect, which will significantly enhance the protection of EU citizens’ personal data and require “businesses to protect the personal data and privacy of EU citizens for transactions that occur within EU member states.”
So, what is one of the biggest ways this will impact marketers? Under GDPR, organizations can only email those who have consented (opted-in) to receive emails. Failure to comply could mean fines exceeding 20 million Euros or 4% of annual global turnover (whichever is higher).
But this does not mean email is dead. A whopping 59% of B2B marketers report that email marketing is their most effective channel for generating revenue, and marketers continue to find ways to innovate (emojis in subject lines, anyone?).
Sending Emails People Actually Care About
Just like any great marketing strategy, smart email campaigns start with the buyer in mind. Your prospect in the awareness stage needs a different message from your buyer in the consideration phase. Optimizing your message for the right stage of your buyer’s journey drastically improves the performance of key metrics (like open and click-through rates) while ensuring your sales team is given leads who are actually ready to talk. The more specifically your emails are tailored to where a prospect is in your sales cycle—awareness, consideration, or decision—the better your email drip campaigns will perform.
To execute an automated email drip campaign that scales well and sets up your sales team for success, consider the following best practices:
Are you used to purchasing lists that your competitors have already blasted over and over? It’s time to start revamping (or building, if you have not already) your opt-in email list.
The easiest way to get a good opt-in email subscriber base is to offer visitors something of value, such as a content download like an infographic, webinar or a discount on a product or service in exchange for their email information.
As mentioned earlier, consumers do not mind being targeted by email as long as that email is relevant and specific to their needs. One way to make sure your message is relevant to your company’s prospects is through email segmentation.
Email segmentation involves dividing up your subscriber list into smaller segments based on specific criteria. It is generally used to personalize emails, making them more relevant to subscribers based on criteria such as geographic location, interests or behavior (such as purchase history), just to name a few.
According to the Direct Marketing Association, “segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue.”
An email autoresponder is an email or sequence of emails that are automatically distributed to your subscriber list after being triggered by a certain event, such as when consumers sign up for your email newsletter, abandon their shopping cart, download an e-book or purchase a product.
Email autoresponders help nurture your leads, turn them into customers and free up your time to focus on other important tasks for your business. Combined with email segmentation, email autoresponders are an extremely powerful tool.
Retargeting works by dropping cookies into your website visitors’ browsers. When they leave to visit other websites with retargeting ads enabled, your ad will be displayed, keeping your brand top of mind.
Website visitors who are retargeted with display ads are 70% more likely to convert on your website. And the great news is that retargeting is not just for websites. You can also retarget prospects who open your marketing emails.
Retargeting networks (including Facebook) also allow you to upload email lists to their servers, which is a worthwhile strategy for testing with old, dormant emails that have been sitting in your company’s CRM for years.
Email marketing is doing better than ever before as an industry.
Email continues to be one of the worthiest investments businesses can make. In fact, 59% of marketers cite it as the top ROI-generating marketing method for their organizations. Perhaps this is why 25% percent of marketers seeking to increase their spending on email marketing this year.
Email marketing is not just a boon for businesses, however. Email marketing is also a growing career opportunity. As of 2017, email marketing jobs were trending, making email marketing a worthy investment and a profession in high demand.
Do you struggle to generate sales-ready leads? What do you think you could do better? Putting more effort into crafting valuable emails full of content your prospects care about could be the marketing strategy you are missing.