Author: Claire Riggs, Managing Partner
September 26th, 2023
In our last issue, we discussed the importance of knowing your audiences and how best to reach them to achieve your marketing communication goals. We noted that it’s smart to consider print to target and digital to expand your reach. While print pieces garner a higher percentage of brand recall than digital, print can also be expensive.
Email marketing, using email to send a message to a current or potential customer, continues to be one of the least expensive and most effective digital tools. As such, it’s one of the most widely used. Usage growth continuing globally with 347.3 billion emails sent per day or 4 million emails sent per second.
Why jump into this crowded space?
Before we discuss current trends, let’s review why you should be employing this digital communication tool. With 99% of email users checking their accounts every day and most more than five times a day, an email marketing strategy is the most economical way to promote your business, sell your goods and services, advertise your events, and/or solicit donations. Done right, email marketing grows brand awareness, builds trust, increases loyalty, and drives revenue growth.
Three Trends to STAND OUT in the Crowd
Through email marketing, you can direct your audience’s attention to the content you want them to pay attention to, high-quality content that likely already exists. Have a new project case study or a product feature on your website, add a highlight paragraph about it to your email and drive them to learn more on your website. You can also integrate video testimonials, product demos, and other engaging content. You can also add your social media buttons and other interactive elements to expand reach and increase engagement with your audience. As one source article notes, “…the real power of email marketing is its ability to integrate with other marketing strategies. It can be used as a funnel for leads generated by other means, a showcase for your most popular content, and perhaps most importantly, a facilitator of greater social media engagement.”
For generally keeping your audiences informed of your company’s activities and accolades, positioning your CEO as a thought-leader, and general brand awareness/trial/retention purposes, sending a non-personalized monthly email to your CRM list has tremendous value.
That said, with a detailed and properly segmented list with custom tags that organize and target your audiences, you can personalize your emails and tailor messages based on your audience’s interests. Analyzing the click through and click to open data provides you with insights on your recipients’ interests and past behavior and empowers you to reach out with their user experience in mind. With the goal to increase revenue and to retain customers, personalization is especially important for retail campaigns. “Consumers expect brands to know them and are quick to act when they receive mis-targeted and inconsistent communications. 94% of consumers have taken one or more of these actions: 68% automatically delete emails; 54% unsubscribe from emails; 45% categorize emails as junk or spam.; 29% become less willing to buy products;13% visit the website less frequently; and 10% never visit the website again.”
3) Improve User-Experience (UX) Through Content and Design
Beyond designing brand standard email that make your company shine and extend your brand in the visual design of your email communication, you can increase your audience interactions through clear engaging, authentic, and relevant content that includes clear calls-to-action (CTA). Your CTA is simply what action you want your audience to take as a result of what you share.
Speaking of actions, be sure to integrate your email communications with your website, using sign-up forms, subscriber pop-ups, and contact forms that let your customers reach you directly by sending a message to your inbox.
It’s also important to use a mobile-first design approach. HubSpot explains “A mobile-first design approach puts your user’s experience first by accounting for screen size and potential data limitations. For example, mobile accounts for 46% of email opens, increasing as younger generations enter the workforce.”
Other trends used by experienced designers include making content accessible and scannable, optimizing visuals to improve email loading speed, and ensuring privacy, consent to send emails, and easy to find unsubscribe options.
Evaluate to Ensure Effectiveness
As it’s relatively convenient, customer-focused, cheap, and a central means to drive attention to your company’s products, services, news, and knowledge, we highly recommend our clients make email marketing part of their communications strategy. But, as it’s always important to tie efforts to measurable objectives, success requires routine tracking of analytics/metrics to ensure effectiveness.
Just Do It!
Are you too busy working in your business to work on your business? Consider hiring an Account Manager, a skilled email swimmer who’ll segment your list, place engaging content in a brand and UX-focused email design, integrate links and forms to drive action, and evaluate outcomes for continuous improvement. This option lets you maintain control of your account as your manager strategically move your messages toward your customers.
So, what are you waiting for? Though the weather outside is cooling off, it’s always the right season to jump into the email marketing pool.