Some people would say that email marketing is dead, especially since the introduction of social media. Like any form of marketing, you need to keep up with the evolving trends, listen to what your customers want, and have a marketing plan that reflects the business goals & targets the right audience.
91% of people access their email at least once a day. AND they prefer to receive business information via email!
So what's our view on this topic? The stats above already say it all! We think email marketing is still HOT and it can certainly be an effective marketing strategy for any business who puts in the time to make it work for them. We run regular email campaigns for most of our clients and the results we're seeing are super exciting! There's no one way to use email as a marketing tool, businesses use it in a variety of different ways to produce different results.
Leverage Sales - Are you running a sale or promotion? Got a new product or service? Want to remind customers what you actually do? This is the perfect platform to let them know.
Build Retention - Want to increase your return customer rate? A strong email marketing strategy can be a great way to build retention and keep the customer in the loop for future purchases.
Generate Leads - Got a potential customer who's interested but not ready to buy? (don't we all). Finding a way to get new leads to join your mailing list will ensure you can continue to touch base and keep them moving through the sales funnel until they're ready to buy.
Build Relationship & Grow Your Brand - We've spoken about the importance of branding here. Using email in your marketing strategy is a great tool to build your business brand, show customers who you are, share interesting information about your business, build a relationship and just 'touch base' every now and then.
Informational/Informative - Got new things happening in your business on a regular basis and want to keep your customers informed? Perhaps you’re managing a sporting club and want to keep your players and members up to date? A monthly newsletter style email campaign can be the perfect way to do this in a professional way and it ensures no one misses out on important information.
As you can see, there are a variety of ways businesses use email campaigns in their marketing strategy. The best part is, you don't have to stick to just one strategy with email campaigns, you can use a few or all of them. You might send monthly newsletter style emails, but when you have a sale coming up you can send an extra email that month to let your customers know all about it!
You might try one style of email marketing and it doesn’t get the result you were hoping for (perhaps this has already happened to you?), this doesn’t mean you need to give up on the idea of email marketing altogether, perhaps your audience wants to hear from you in a different way, using a different strategy?
So what is it about email marketing that we love so much?
Ability to Direct Traffic
One of the great aspects about email campaigns is the ability to direct traffic through more than one link. On social media, you can only really encourage customers to click on the one link. With an email campaign, you can not only share a lot more content, but you can include multiple opportunities for customers to click different links.
Direct people to your website.
Encourage customers to read your new blog post.
Get more social media ‘likes’/’follows’ through the social icons.
Encourage customers to share content to social media.
Include ‘Shop Now’ buttons.
Get customers to buy tickets to your upcoming event.
The list is endless, but you get the point. You can talk to an audience about something you know already interests them, and encourage them to take action by clicking the appropriate links.
Analytics & Results
Just like any other form of marketing campaign, you want to be analysing your results. There’s no point in doing any type of marketing unless you know it’s getting the results you want. This is another reason to love email marketing, you can get detailed analytics and results on every campaign you send out; how many people open the email, how many people click through in the email, what links they click, the exact dollar figure the campaign makes you, and so much more.
We use Mailchimp for our email campaigns, but no doubt all the other programs do the same and provide the same detailed analytics. Knowing this information you can continue to run similar campaigns that are successful or tweak the campaigns that don’t get the anticipated results.
We had a client running a sale for their online retail business. Their email marketing campaign that month was purely promotional, encouraging customers to take advantage of the discount code.
That one email produced $1,680 in sales, which was 20% of their sales for that entire month!
Knowing these sort of results is obviously great for us to show our clients that our work is getting them awesome results, but as someone managing their marketing it also tells us that a huge number of their subscribers are there for the promotions and deals! Giving us insight into what content we should be sharing via email in future campaigns.
Target Select Audiences
Not only will you have an email list of subscribers who are interested in your business, but you can also target select audiences within that list. Want to throw a discount/promotion to customers who have bought from you in the past? You can do that! Want to send an email to customers on their birthday? You can do that too! Want to target a specific age demographic or gender? Yep, that can be done as well.
Most importantly, abandoned cart emails - if you haven’t got this setup, you need to get this sorted yesterday! Any E-commerce business who doesn’t have an automated abandoned cart email is seriously missing out! Over ¾ of the people who go on your website, will leave without making a purchase. How do you not lose them forever? Abandoned cart email campaigns! This is where your system will automatically send someone an email if they reach the checkout process, add their email, but don't finalise the payment.
10.7% of abandoned cart emails result in a recovered cart!
That’s 10.7% of sales you could have missed out on! And for the other 89.3% of abandoned cart emails that don’t result in a recovered their cart? Their email can be added to your list for future email marketing campaigns, which will hopefully result in a sale in the future.
Speed Up The Buying Process
Email marketing is known to speed up the buying process. In actual fact...
Studies have revealed that the buying process happens 3 times quicker through email marketing than social media!
Like we’ve already said, you’re talking to an audience who has opted to hear from you. Which normally means you have something they need/want or there is some way you can help them. We find that marketing through email can really get the customer focused on your business and what you have to say, especially once they open that email!
There’s a lot of noise on social media, and your post is one in a thousand on your customer’s feed that they are mindlessly scrolling through. People tend to access their emails with more focus and purpose than other marketing platforms. With an eye catching & interesting email campaign, you can really draw a customer in and get them interested, encourage them to click through or even make a purchase.
60% of consumers subscribe to a brand’s email list to get promotional messages and deals. Compared to only 20% who follow brands on social media for the same purpose.
60% of your email list is actually waiting for you to send them a promotion or deal so they can spend money with you!
Return On Investment
Get ready for this one…
It’s estimated that email marketing brings in $40 for every $1 spent!!
And this is why we love it so much! When you’re already talking to people who are genuinely interested in what you do or sell, or they have bought from you in the past, you’re talking to a really hot market! Unlike social media, it’s a really refined audience and you’re reaching the people the marketing was intended for.
Engagement, you hear this word thrown around a lot when talking about social media results, but what does it mean exactly? Engagement is when people are taking action with your marketing. For social media, this is liking, commenting, sharing, etc… when it comes to email marketing, it’s opening the email, clicking the links in the email, forwarding the email or even replying to it! So, how does the average social media engagement rate compare to email campaigns?
This is certainly not to say email marketing far outweighs social media marketing. It’s about using all the different strategies to give your business the best chance of reaching your target audience, through a variety of different platforms. These figures show us that emails are most definitely reaching the people they’re intended for than what social media posts do. But perhaps your email subscribers come from social media? It’s all about making the platforms work together and this is all part of your marketing strategy.
Where to Start
Alright, now you're ready to start email campaigning like a boss! But what are your first steps?
Find an email marketing program - we like to use Mailchimp for our campaigns and our clients.
Build an email list. It might just start with current/old customers, but it will grow! Remember to add/link it to the program you decide to use.
Create an opt-in, a reason for someone to share their email address with you, so you can continue to grow your email list.
Brainstorm an email marketing strategy, ensuring it’s aligned with your overall marketing plan. What kind of campaign do you want to focus on? Promotional, informative, value-adding? What’s the overall purpose of sending the email? What results do you want?
Design an email template in whatever program you decide to use.
Create the content.
Send the email to your subscribers.
Analyse the results.
Learn and improve!
Remember, nothing is ever perfect to start with, but it’s better to start than to never start at all! Slowly you will learn what your customers like, what they respond to and what they don’t. Leverage from the results you get and slowly the campaigns will get bigger and better results!
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help. Whether it’s to do with email marketing campaigns or just marketing all together! If you’re feeling lost, don’t know where to start, or you’re not getting the results you want, the team at The Island Creative can work with you to create a Strategic Marketing Plan that will get you results and do all the hard work for you!