In this era of social media, search engine optimization, and a kaleidoscopic array of other digital advertising tools being deployed by digital marketers, you wouldn’t be alone if you’d started to think that more traditional forms of promotion, such as email marketing, may no longer be as effective as they once were.
However, just because new tools and strategies have arrived, it doesn’t necessarily mean that more established advertising methods can no longer turn heads and secure decent conversion rates. In fact, email marketing remains an incredibly powerful tool for those who are willing to take the time and devote the energy required to build a polished and engaging campaign.
Although the average email blast may net a depressingly small number of click-throughs and opens, there are a number of powerful “tweaks” that can dramatically improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your next correspondence. We’ve outlined a few of the most popular tips below.
Don’t Take Mobile for Granted
It’s not uncommon for digital marketing teams to develop beautiful, richly designed email blasts for their subscribers only to find themselves frustrated and confused when conversion is practically non-existent. In the vast majority of scenarios, emails have been designed with desktop users in mind, when, in fact, the vast majority of users opening their email are doing so from a mobile device.
If, for example, an email blast includes a conversion form or any other type of interactive engagement tool, it’s essential to confirm that this resource can easily be manipulated on a mobile device. If not, there’s a good chance it’s simply taking up precious space rather than providing any benefit whatsoever. Likewise, email blasts which are heavy on text may fall on deaf ears with mobile audiences, who simply don’t have the time or patience to scroll endlessly when they are on the go.
The incorporation of multimedia, such as videos and pictures, can dramatically improve overall conversion, particularly with users who are accessing your content outside of their desktop or laptop.
Given the wealth of analytics and research tools available to marketers today, there’s virtually no reason why your next email blast should be a generic, “shotgun” approach where the same message is sent to thousands of subscribers regardless of their location, gender, interests, etc. Creating a series of targeted emails which are allocated to specific demographics within your subscriber registry can vastly improve open rates and conversion.
Studies have shown that personalization remains one of the most effective tools for leading a potential customer to a sale. Although it would be infeasible to create individual-crafted emails for each of your subscribers, there’s no reason not to identify clear sub-niches within your subscriber base, which could benefit from even the slightest degree of personalization.
A New Degree of Personalization
One of the most compelling benefits of email, as opposed to platforms such as social media or ad buying, is the ability to craft a personalized and rewarding relationship with a consumer following their transaction. If, for example, a consumer were to provide their email as part of a conversion, whether it is simply an exchange for more information about a product or an actual sale, businesses can continue their relationship with them through a series of follow-up emails.
Far from an annoyance or intrusion, this method of engagement has been proven to dramatically boost consumer trust and confidence in the business sending the correspondence. In an era where far too many consumers are feeling disrespected and ignored by corporations, this form of follow-up can help ensure that your reputation remains pristine in the minds of your customers.
Additionally, it also provides consumers an opportunity to discuss any problems they may be having with your product before posting them publicly on something like Facebook or Twitter. This could potentially spare you from a series of embarrassing exchanges online.
Email Has Its Own Particular Strengths
Although social media may be an excellent tool for posting simple pictures of your products and hyperlinks sending customers back to your homepage, an email is the ideal platform for laying out a “deal” to your customers—a fully completed invitation to buy a specific product or series of products that includes more than enough information to ensure that they are confident in their upcoming purchase.
Don’t settle for using your email blasts as a simple hyperlink back to your website. With only a small amount of effort, you can transform your email into its own comprehensive “deal-making” platform, enticing, informing, and converting customers without any additional effort on your part.
As a part of a holistic content marketing strategy, business owners will be able to leverage their on-site content to help add value to their email list subscribers but, also, start driving traffic directly to their site. Even if your content does not directly lead to a sale, the influx of traffic can spur a boost in search engines and, eventually, lead to traffic that will convert.
Automate Your Engagement
Once you have received a customer’s email address, you have the ability to craft an entire pre- and post-purchase narrative which could easily last for months if not years.
Whether it’s sending a customer recommendations for future purchases based upon their prior transaction history or creating yearly greeting cards for holidays, there’s virtually no limit to what can be done using this particular marketing tool. The point must also be made that this is only possible using email, and it cannot be accomplished using social media or other tools with the same degree of effectiveness.
As you can see, there’s virtually no limit to what can be accomplished using email marketing. There are numerous strategies to help take your email marketing to the next level, as well as to eliminate significant pain points from your current process to make it more efficient.
We encourage you to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your own email marketing campaign and determine what, if any, improvements can be made in order to guarantee improved engagement and conversion over time. Good luck!
Anthony Robinson serves as Chief Marketing Officer for Robly. Anthony overseas all Inbound Marketing and SEO efforts for Robly from Robly’s San Francisco, CA headquarters. Before joining Robly, Anthony was the sole founder and CEO of Relectric Supply, which he grew from $0 to $50mm in revenues over 8 years and sold to Audax Group in 2011.