- March 21, 2017
Email is overlooked, undersold, and extremely common, and that’s probably because it’s not the sexiest kid on the block. It’s the dinosaur of the content world, and the bane of bursting inboxes everywhere for well over three decades. But the fact is that email is still undeniably ubiquitous in offices and on desktops everywhere, and plenty of people still read their emails each and every day. For marketers, this is an audience that simply can’t be ignored, and the return on your investment may just reflect that.
Whether your business is brand new to the email marketing game or looking for ways to tighten up and make your email marketing more effective, we at Altos want to make it perfectly clear that email marketing is still very much alive, and very much worth your time and effort.
Here’s a look at why email marketing should still have a place in any inbound marketing strategy, and what you can do to get your email marketing campaigns up and making your business money.
Email Is Anything But Dead
If anyone tells you that email is over, or that nobody actually reads their email anymore, stop trusting that person. The numbers just don’t back that up.
If you’re anything like we are, you’ve probably got your email pulled up all day long. In fact, email has become such a standard part of our usual routine that we may check it more often than any other channel, sometimes, as much as 30 times an hour. On top of that, users have shown that they’re somewhere in the range of six times more likely to engage with links in an email than the same links on social media.
Plus, email is just undeniably more ubiquitous than social media - think just over 2.5 billion active email addresses, compared to around 1.86 billion active Facebook accounts as of the end of 2016. With over 94 percent of users engaging with email regularly, this is an avenue you simply can’t afford to pass up and, when targeted effectively, can account for a huge portion of your inbound marketing revenue.
Effortless Personal Connections Thanks To Automation
It’s not so difficult to understand why it’s widely believed that social media is more personal than email; social profiles tend to contain plenty of personal information, profile photos, and a relatively light-hearted tone throughout. But despite the aesthetic differences, email marketing may actual be the better avenue for your brand to create personal relationships with your clients, and it’s all thanks to the power of email automation.
Automation allows marketers to communicate with highly-targeted customers, which can influence those customers to follow through with a sale or start a conversation thanks to the responsiveness and seamless scheduling available through automation. You can retarget users who have bought from you before, or follow up with those users who visited your site but did not actually convert to customers.
Thank you emails after a successful order, interest-based targeting, and more can all work seamlessly behind the scenes to fill in the gaps in those email conversations and keep your users engaged and wanting more.
Choosing Your Platform
Picking the right platform for your email marketing campaigns may seem like a big task, if only for the wealth of options available to you, from easy-to-use systems like Mailchimp and Emma to tried-and-true favorites like Constant Contact or Campaign Monitor. But while all of these options may seem pretty similar at first glance, they actual differ in subtle, yet increasingly important ways.
Free trial periods, reviews, and ratings can be temptations to make a rash decision, but hold off - what you gain up front you may lose in overall usability. Instead, it’s smarter to narrow down your preferred platform based on your specific needs as a business.
In general, it’s best to look for a few key features: does the platform offer an unlimited number of campaigns? What about integration with social media, GMail, or Google Analytics to measure your results later? Does the platform offer its own analytics, and how comprehensive are they? Does it allow for multiple users, or for A/B testing of emails? And finally, what does Support look like: will you be left to dry if there’s an emergency on a Sunday afternoon?
Clearly, there’s a lot to think about here, and the temptation to just roll with the easiest or cheapest option is all too real. But taking the time to pick the right platform for your business will pay off in better usability for your campaigns and better success for your email marketing efforts.
Using Effective Language
Crafting the right message for your email marketing campaign is a bit different from social media. However, in either medium it’s important to remember that if users don’t like what they’re reading, you’re probably going to end up ignored (read: in the trash, or marked as spam). Keeping your messaging short, sweet, and effective can help keep your readers engaged and wanting more. Plus, if all goes well, they’ll start looking forward to your emails whenever they come in.
Clear, easy-to-see Calls to Action can be hugely effective in email marketing, which already sees a markedly better engagement rate than social media. Some of the key components to consider are:
Subject Line - The subject line is the first and only piece of copy your recipients will see at first glance - and unless it’s written well, it may very likely be the last. Keep it short, direct, and spam-proof, otherwise it may not do your brand much good.
Title - The title offers email marketers a bit more leeway, since users are already required to click through to the email to see the title. This is where you can be a bit less direct and more evocative, and make something funny or quippy that serves more as a compliment to the subject line. This is where you hook your reader once they’re in the email, and it’s the first line of defense against that “delete” button.
Body - The body of your email marketing blast should be relatively light and to-the-point. Remember, nobody wants to slog through long paragraphs. Keep it short and sweet without slowing down the flow.
Calls to Action - While sharing your blog posts and updates is all well and good, effective email marketing should urge your readers to do something, whether it’s buy your product, contact you for advice, or whatever your goal may be. Effective, easy-to-see, and well-placed Calls to Action help drive readers to take action on your site, and that can often result in better sales and higher engagement than otherwise.
Get Started On Your Path To Great Email Marketing
Starting your email marketing efforts on the right foot isn’t just a good way to boost your sales beyond what social media is currently capable of, it’s also a great way to forge meaningful connections with your customers. An effective email campaign can have a hugely positive effect on your combined inbound marketing efforts, and it’s time that businesses and agencies start to see email marketing for the powerhouse it really is.
If you’re looking to get your email marketing off the ground, we at Altos can help get you going on the right track. Our content specialists know how to craft an effective email, how to distribute it to the right people, and how to create and explore campaigns that work for your business. Get in touch and let’s see what we can do for your email marketing efforts.