Digital marketing has seen dramatic changes over the past several years, and there is a common misconception that email marketing is not as effective as it used to be. Some believe that modern email marketing recipients, inundated with spam and low-value content, ignore their messages more often than they open them. While spam is bothersome for the majority of email users, the reality is that email is still the most powerful form of digital marketing.
Here’s a quick summary:
- Email Marketing – The King of Marketing Channel
- Modern Email Marketing Trends
- Email Marketing vs. Social Media
- The Future of Email Marketing
- Automation in Email Marketing
- Email Marketing Tips
- The Five Best Email Marketing Service Providers
Social media is arguably the most influential innovation in recent years, and billions of people all over the world log into at least one social media site every day. The surge in social media use encouraged businesses to establish presences on these sites to engage with customers and potential customers in more meaningful ways. Social media marketing can indeed be and has been tremendously successful for some companies, but it’s a mistake to believe that it is the best avenue for reaching your customer base.
Email Marketing – The King of Marketing Channel
Findings from Statista indicate that there are nearly four billion email users in the world. Campaign Monitor research reported that 72% of people would rather receive marketing materials from brands through their email while only 17% reported they would prefer that same content through social media. 39% reported they prefer email content that is rich in information and value rather than promotional.
Social media encourages more relaxed interactions. Many users enjoy browsing photos, videos, and other content from friends and family while others use it to keep track of the latest news. Social media encourages exploration, clicking through stories and comments and participating in conversations. Most users generally consider promotional materials interruptive or annoying during social media sessions.
The only metric in which social media marketing outperforms email is sharing. Social media hinges on making connections and spreading content through multiple feeds, thus reaching more potential conversion. While the average person is more likely to share content through social media than to forward a marketing email, the value the person receives from an email marketing message will likely outshine social media engagement with a brand.
Modern Email Marketing Trends
Findings from OptinMonster studies report that 58% of people check their email first during any given day before anything else, including social media profiles and app notifications. People who check their email before any other digital communication outlook are generally more goal-oriented than people who look to social media before anything else. They want to find the best deals, promotions, and information available. 91% of consumers surveyed reported they check their email at least once per day.
If you want to uncover the potential value of your email marketing campaign,
You should know some of the most common successful email marketing trends and capitalize on them. First is basic segmentation. Instead of sending the same materials to your entire mailing list, it’s vital to first segment your recipients. You can do this by interaction quality, interaction frequency, or past interactions. For example, you could develop different email marketing materials for customers who completed transactions and those who abandoned shopping carts or clicked away before converting.
Another crucial trend is the move away from desktop-based email to mobile. More people than ever use a mobile device to browse the web, make purchases, and interact socially. They are also checking their email on mobile devices more frequently than ever. After segmentation, mobile optimization is the second most relevant trend in email marketing today. It’s important that your emails display clearly on all devices, so take time to consider how your materials appear on desktop and mobile screens and adjust accordingly.
List cleansing is another essential trick for making the most of your email marketing efforts. List cleansing, as the name suggests, involves removing email recipients who do not engage with your brand or who do not open your emails. This should only be an occasional process. For example, a customer who hasn’t opened your last several emails may still find value in your next message. On the other hand, a customer who hasn’t opened a single one of your email messages for over a year may not use the email account anymore, or your messages may have found their way into the recipient’s spam filter.
Message personalization is another one of the most important trends in modern email marketing. Customers are more likely to find value in messages tailored to their individual preferences and past interactions with your brand rather than generic messages designed for impersonal mass appeal. There are countless tools you can use to add personalized touches to your email messages, and this can create more valuable interactions for the recipients on your mailing lists.
Email Marketing vs. Social Media
77% of consumers prefer permission-based marketing materials sent to their email instead of social media marketing. This makes sense considering most people opt-in to receive marketing emails when they make purchases from brands or visit their website. If the brand offers something interesting or valuable to the consumer, he or she is more likely to interact with that brand in the future, and will therefore, want to hear from them and see what they have to offer.
While you might assume that the majority of people prefer to keep their business and consumer-based digital interactions to email and personal communications within social media channels, 45% reported they preferred to keep personal conversations and interactions in emails rather than social media.
social media should work in tandem with your email marketing strategy. For example, you can promote social media events like live streams and Q&A sessions via email, and use your social media profile to gain more recipients for your email list. You can also create segmented content for users who subscribe to your newsletter or mailing list via social media as opposed to direct link conversions from search engine results. Social media is also very important to predictive marketing, one of the most intriguing advances in modern email marketing.
The Future of Email Marketing
Predictive analytics collect user data and create insightful data streams that marketers can then use to predict what type of products, services, and promotions would appeal most to the reviewed users. Predictive marketing can help you segment your email lists more precisely, so your content goes to the people most likely to find it valuable. Targeted content is more likely to have successful results than generic messages that cast a wide net over your email list.
To capitalize on predictive marketing,
You first need to identify your most valuable customers. For example, 5% of your email list may account for 90% of your sales, while the other 95% are one-time purchases or infrequent repeat customers. Your efforts in predicting these customers’ preferences and future desires can help you capitalize on the most lucrative segments of your email list.
Artificial intelligence (AI) will also play a crucial role in email marketing in the near future. In some ways, it already does. Systems capable of machine-learning can analyze consumer behavior and learn from past interactions to help you develop more effective marketing campaigns. AI can empower you by identifying the most successful content types, subject lines, and calls to action that lead to the greatest number of conversions. AI is also a crucial tool for carefully segmenting your email marketing lists so you can deliver more precisely tailored content to your recipients.
Email Marketing Automation
Another key area of innovation in modern email marketing is automation, or the process of delegating relatively mundane tasks, like sorting through your email list segments, to machine processes instead of human hands. It’s important to balance the amount of automation you use in crafting your email marketing materials, however.
Rely on automation too much and your emails will appear impersonal. Too little automation, and it may be difficult to properly segment your email list and deliver the most valuable content to different types of recipients. Allowing your subscribers to manage their email preferences is a great way to cut down on the legwork of automating your emails. Instead of trying to carefully discern different segments and sorting your recipients into segments, yourself, have your recipients segment themselves for you by allowing them to customize their content preferences.
Some of your recipients may find your blog valuable,
But won’t pay much attention to promotional offers, while others will want to take advantage of offered deals and won’t bother reading your blog much. The first group would benefit from updates on your new blog posts, while the second group would likely prefer to receive coupons and promotional offers, instead.
Best Email Marketing Tips
If you want to take advantage of the future of email marketing, there are a few ideas you can implement now to prepare for some of the expected changes in the digital marketing world, including:
- Optimizing post-purchase emailing. Most e-commerce platforms will automatically send post-purchase emails that contain receipt and tracking information for customers, but you can take this further and enhance your customers’ experience. Instead of a generic “thank you for your business” email, you can craft post-purchase emails that generate more engagement and increase the chances of a customer coming back to do business with you again. For example, you could sincerely thank them for their purchase and then recommend other products or services they might find valuable based on that purchase. You can also ask for a review of the product or service purchased. Customer reviews are one of the essential parts of any digital marketing effort, so doing everything you can to increase the number of reviews you receive will pay off tremendously and encourage others to investigate your brand.
- Investing in a responsive design. As the name suggests, responsive design describes a web page’s ability to “respond” to the display on which a recipient views the page, and adjust its content accordingly. For example, the layout of your home page may look great on a desktop display but appear compressed and hard to read on a mobile screen. A responsive design will allow your page to transform based on the device a consumer uses to visit the page.
- Striving for one-to-one personalization. It’s unrealistic to expect to connect with each individual on your email list on a personal level, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive to do just that. Personalizing the emails you send to each recipient on your list increases the chances of them realizing you value them beyond the purchases they make. This encourages customer advocacy, which leads to the next tip for email marketing success in the coming years.
- Embrace the new conversion funnel. The previous conversion funnel that most marketers relied upon and based their strategies upon was a simple progression of narrowing down your leads to those most likely to convert and then focusing on them more than the rest. Instead, the new conversion funnel is more of a gateway that draws your customers in to investigate your brand and then encourages them to share their experiences with others, supplying them with additional valuable content along the way.
Top 5 Email Marketing Service Providers
Email still has a remarkable return-on-investment rate, with some marketers reporting as much as $40 return on each dollar spent on email. However, it’s vital to take a holistic approach to your digital marketing efforts to make the most of an email campaign. Many modern companies have so many concerns on a daily basis that crafting an effective email marketing strategy may be moved to the backburner. Luckily, there are managed service providers that can help ease the burden of segmenting your email lists and making more impactful connections with your readers.
1. Constant Contact: ConstantContact.com is ideal for small businesses at a cost of a mere $20 per month for up to 500 subscribers. For larger email lists, you can customize the level of service you want, which can be helpful for growing businesses on shoestring budgets.
2. Mail Chimp: MailChimp.com remains the king of email marketing service providers for bloggers. Founded in 2001, the company claims they manage more than one billion emails per day. Pricing ranges from $10 per month to $199 per month or more depending on the level of service you want.
3. AWeber: AWeber.com is generally the best for e-commerce platforms, and more than 100,000 small businesses rely on their services. AWeber offers A/B testing, different integrations for you to try, pre-designed message templates, intuitive message-building tools, and much more.
4. Get Response: GetResponse.com is a great option for new marketers or beginners and comes available in 21 different languages. More than 35,000 subscribers use the GetResponse toolkit in more than 182 countries, and pricing starts as low as $15 per month. The Perfect Timing feature allows you to track the best times of day to send your marketing materials, and you can customize different times for different segments.
5. Active Campaign: ActiveCampaign.com is the best marketing provider for enterprise initiatives. You can use the service to build customized sign-up forms, social media posts, and conduct A/B testing to develop an effective digital marketing strategy that works for you.
Each of these service providers can offer tremendous value depending on your business’ unique needs and the goals you have for your digital marketing efforts. Browse the different services and take advantage of free trials to find the one that works best for your needs and budget.
Email marketing isn’t dead.
it’s more valuable than ever before thanks to the sheer amount of digital business conducted today. Think about ways to enhance your own email marketing campaign and take advantage of the tried-and-true marketing channel that offers the highest return on your investment.