Email marketing may strike you as an old school strategy. After all, the marketing landscape has been absolutely revolutionized in the past 10 years with the advent of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. People now check Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter in order to find new, innovative products and if you ask a high schooler today, they would be much more likely to use social media than email on a daily basis.
But this doesn’t mean email is useless when it comes to marketing! In fact, email remains the biggest channel you can distribute information on, with 2.6 billion unique users worldwide. That number is expected to continue to grow, reaching over 2.9 billion by the end of 2019, and far surpasses the number of users on the most widely used social media, Facebook, which currently has around 1.7 billion users.
Future of Email Marketing
While email marketing is by no means dead, the tactics that are most effective have definitely changed. Gone are the days where companies could send a general email to all their contacts. Today, this is seen as spammy or “salesy”, and ineffective in converting customers. The name of the game in 2019 is segmentation. This is when you divide your email list into smaller sub categories that can be customized so that your target market has more relevant emails coming into their inbox based on geographic location, interests, purchase history, and much more.
If you have organically grown your email database then it will be full of past, current, and potential consumers that already have interest in your business. You just have to reach out to them in a personable way that won’t label yourself as a gimmicky sales company.
It is common knowledge nowadays that video content is the king of media content. Research validates that emails with video content as the primary CTA generate higher click-through rates on average, and even using the word “video” in the subject can boost open rates. However, it is difficult to integrate such content in email clients…until now. Technology has made the integration of video content possible, even interactive ones, and it will not be long before email clients start adopting this technology.
Interactive or targeted video content gets your consumers more vested in your product by making them more involved. If consumers see content that applies directly to them based on their past purchases and behavior, they are more likely to respond positively to it. The benefit for businesses with these strategies is that they provide a wider breadth of content while also providing another outlet to further expand their campaigns with their followers. In addition to this, businesses that focus on interactivity and gamifying their email campaigns through video content may see large-scale increases in their numbers.
But how do you grab their attention? Links to videos are often ignored as they are boring and plain. However, an animated GIF can draw the eye of anyone opening your email and can persuade them to watch the full video or content you have strategically placed.
As always, when starting a marketing campaign, monitoring it is just as important as designing and activating it. Constant monitoring through analytics can allow you to see what is, and what isn’t, working. This can help you retarget and redirect your ad spend into segments and content types that are most effective.
In fact, this presents a great opportunity for A/B testing. This is when a business allows two versions of an email, landing page, or other unfinalized content to be published at different times, an “A” and a “B” version. This allows the company to see which version consumers respond to better, and which option ultimately leads to conversions.
Automated emails have their place for every business. A customer adds something to their cart but never checks out? A gentle nudge works great! A customer bought one of your new products? Doesn’t hurt to follow up after a reasonable amount of time for some feedback!
However, if done incorrectly or too frequently, automation can make your company seem spammy and garner a negative reputation. Once or twice can help you connect with your customers, but if you are constantly sending out automated emails, your customers will most likely not respond well. Remember, the point of your email marketing is to ultimately connect with your email database and convert or maintain them as loyal customers. You won’t do that by annoying them! In fact, the number one reason consumers unsubscribe from emails is simply…they get too many of them and don’t feel like dealing with them!
Email marketing can be the most powerful tool in your marketing arsenal if properly utilized by your business. Despite the rise of social media, people still use email now more than ever. It would be remiss of your company to ignore such a powerful tool when it could revitalize your marketing efforts and reinforce your customer loyalty. The reliability of email marketing cannot be understated either. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram….all extremely valuable tools and yet run by independent companies that can suspend or even deactivate your account on a whim. This problem simply doesn’t exist with email, unless your customers blacklist you for spam, in which case, your strategy probably needs a little work.
All in all, 2019 is no different than any other year…email marketing is paramount!