Email Marketing Holds The Title
In a boxing match between email marketing and other forms of online advertising we have seen email go through several rounds with tools like Google AdWords, social media marketing, search marketing and content marketing and while it has not always emerged unscathed, email marketing remains one of the strongest contenders to put your money on.
Email marketing will become much more important as third-party cookies being blocked on many browsers renders some PPC marketing much harder to analyse. The new Google Analytics system removes the storage of IP addresses and does not rely on cookies to gather and represent data on user activities and behaviour. The upside of the new system is that it is much easier for companies to stay compliant with ever-tightening digital privacy laws, and it will be clearer where users have originated from (rather than every digital advert you run claiming the credit for a conversion).The downside is that assessing the specific interests of each website visitor will be harder so personalised marketing will be a tough challenge while we get used to the new way of working.
Email, however, is incredibly easy to personalise. Based on the data you have from your opted-in email list you can easily create a greetings line with the recipient’s name, as well as using dynamic content based on what they have purchased from you in the past, or enquiries they have made through your contact forms. Of course, getting heavy-handed with personalisation does skirt the risk of appearing nosey, so keep targeting limited to data your customers have reasonably shared with you, such as past purchases or geographic location.
Email marketing doesn't always have to be about sales either. Many marketers think each email must be designed to elicit a sale, but in these tough economic times it is much more sensible to focus on building relationships and trust than trying to squeeze cash out of people who are facing unprecedented rises in the cost of living.
Based on past purchases, your email could promote some content that the customer may be interested in, like the latest news on that product or service, or how they can get more use out of their purchase than they first intended. Giving solutions to problems and other content of value strengthens the bond between you and your customers. At a time when most of the brand emails being sent are announcing price increases an email which gives rather than takes will be a welcome change.
When sending marketing emails, choose your subject line and from address with care. A sender with “firstname.lastname@example.org” is far less appealing than an email from “email@example.com”, while a carefully worded subject line can have a huge impact on open rates. Don't feel that every communication needs to lead to a sale, but do offer discounts or freebies for email list subscribers where you can. Even if a recipient doesn't use them every time, they'll want to keep receiving the offers for a time when they intend to make a purchase.
Great content promoted by email also helps you reach new customers. If you're promoting useful sections of your website or solutions to common problems your recipients are likely to share this with their network. When someone shares your marketing email they're also vouching for your company, giving some of their own reputation to your business. This is a really effective way of getting pre-qualified leads, with no cost to you in terms of time or money.
If you're looking at streamlining your marketing activities, make sure email is a channel that stays – it's beaten the other contenders time and time again.
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