Email is far from outdated, according to research and surveys. In fact, it is more effective than ever when it comes to communicating with consumers. Here’s a refresher of the statistics:
Email has a return on investment (ROI) of around 4,300% (learn more from the Direct Marketing Association ).
80% of people choose to read marketing messages with their personal emails.
70% of people make use of emailed coupons or discounts.
60% of people named special offers as the top reason they sign up for e-newsletter subscriptions.
But knowing all that won’t help you harness the power of email for your business. Not every piece of email marketing will make it through the spam filter and compel readers to click.
Keys to Success
Email campaigns are only as valuable as you make them. It’s important to have a strategy in place to get more subscribers to read your carefully crafted email.
First, determine your goals and objectives, and draft a message. Do you want immediate sales, or would you be satisfied with more fans on your Facebook page? Your customers must be able to see what you have to offer, whether it’s a great product or your funny tips on Twitter, and they should be left feeling like they need it.
Now that you have an email that represents your brand and speaks to your target audience, you have to make sure your email actually reaches your targets. That means getting past the spam filters. The subject line has to be relevant, but beyond that, it should quickly and clearly tell the recipient (and their email provider!) what your message is all about.
What to Say
In the subject and the body text, use words specific to your brand, product, and industry. Avoid any phrases that read like a one-size-fits-all sales pitch (e.g., “FREE trial,” “Download now before it’s too late,” “Don’t miss this deal!!”).
Right away, identify yourself as personally as possible. Then, in your own voice, tell your subscribers why you’re writing, and explain what you have to offer. If you’re pointing them to your latest blog articles, give a brief summary. If you’re talking about a sale, tell them how much they can save. Keep it brief to show you value their time.
Once you have your readers’ attention, make sure to keep it by maintaining an email list with regular communication. Consistency builds trust, which is the secret ingredient you need to attract loyal brand ambassadors. But keep in mind that your subscribers’ expectations have to do with more than quality content.
When to Send
Timing is the key to getting your followers to not only open the welcome message, but to then look forward to receiving your latest updates on a regular schedule. This aspect of a winning campaign is why the right email solution is invaluable. MailChimp, Constant Contact, Bronto, and more email marketing services will not only schedule your communications but track your campaign’s performance. That way, you’ll know your newsletter is a huge hit in the late morning – except when you send on the weekend.
The Future Looks Bright
Although the face of e-mail is changing, experts predict it will remain as effective, if not even more so, into the future. Projected trends include predictive analytics, big data transparency, higher functioning platforms, more user-friendly designs, and synchronization of email to more channels, such as mobile devices and wearable electronics.
Source: Email Vendor Selection
Although some companies are overlooking the power of email and choosing to communicate mostly through social media, it’s important to know that an email subscriber is worth more to you than a Facebook fan – but only if you have a strategic marketing campaign to land the right messages in their inbox.
It can take some fancy technical footwork to know what your subscribers are worth down to the dollar, but if you track visitors with cookies starting from the first time they land on your website, you can see how often they return after signing up for your mailing list.
There are endless ways to attract subscribers, design e-newsletters, and schedule an email marketing campaign. But don’t get caught up by the details of what you’re sending and when; the first step is to get started. From the first few emails, you can gather data to pinpoint how to hone your messages, where to place your links, and what time your subscribers are most looking forward to hearing from you.
Ujjaval Parikh is the founder of Integration Yantra, a digital marketing expert that specializes in web management and analytics, business communications, and online branding. With a unique background in computer science, finance, and PR, he loves to develop customized solutions to help companies attract clients and promote long-term growth.