Email Marketing Strategies
The old saying with digital marketing is that “the money is in the list.” But with several other valid approaches to marketing to the masses, does email marketing still provide good returns? In this article, we look at whether the old tenet remains true and, if so, how it can be best utilized to your advantage.
The Golden Days of Email
Email marketing followed on from direct mail marketing through the physical mailbox. The latter was somewhat annoying but still provided predictable returns compared to the cost of the mailing. However, in the days of no-spam lists and other initiatives, direct mailers are far less common today.
The advent of email marketing offered new opportunities to reach out to people in a meaningful way, and present marketing offers they might find interesting. A few of them would follow through with a purchase, providing the necessary return on investment.
Are Competing Technologies Relegating Email to a 2nd Tier Strategy?
It’s a worthwhile question when you are considering putting money behind an email strategy. So, let’s examine a few of the current marketing alternatives available:
Push Notifications via SMS
Push notifications via SMS are promotional text messages (and sometimes rich messages with media content) sent to a collection of phone numbers.
It’s usually an unwanted intrusion. Few people willingly supply their contact details to a company unless they already their customer. And even in that case, they don’t wish to be promoted to by interrupting their day with a text.
Push Notifications via a Web Browser
Push notifications in the web browser have a surprisingly high opt-in rate. However, unless the message is incredibly useful or non-repetitious, users quickly opt back out of receiving the alert.
Being notified about a new email or alerted when an item comes back in stock where the user has asked to be notified in this manner is useful. However, for pure marketing purposes, there’s little long-term value here.
Online advertising is valuable and successful but comes at a high price. Campaigns must be carefully targeted and tailored exactly to the audience to get a high enough ROI to warrant the expense. Until very recently, the cost of online advertising had steadily increased over the last two decades to become an expensive marketing option.
Magazines, TV Ads and Billboards
Magazines, TV advertisements, and billboards (posters or digital renderings) all have their place. However, they are extremely expensive and reserved mostly for national or global companies with deep pockets.
Direct Mail Promotions via Snail Mail
Direct mail still works. However, legal limits placed through junk mail lists and other restrictions mean that companies must get approval first. As you can tell, many of the current options are either not the best option, overly costly for smaller business concerns, or largely ineffective for marketing purposes.
The Place for Email Marketing in 2020
Is there a place for email marketing in 2020 and beyond? It remains true that sending marketing messages over email is one of the most cost-effective ways to stay in touch with customers. They do need to have intentionally opted in to willingly accept receiving a regular email from the company, but a newsletter can be offered on the website with a reasonable percentage of interested people signing up.
Subscribers now receive emails they’ve signed up to. While email providers like Gmail often earmark such emails as promotional, that doesn’t harm their deliverability because of the double-opt-in process that prevents accidental email subscriptions. This ensures that marketing messages, when useful to the receiver, are well-received with pleasing open rates and high interaction levels.
If you’re looking for reliable email marketing software, comparing the leading email packages is a wise idea. For example, if you look at Mailchimp and Sendinblue, their ease of use and affordability comes shining through. PieSync has provided a comparison of these two services, which is worth looking over. They look at when you should choose one over the other, how much they cost, and the different features they provide. PieSync can also be used to sync your data from whichever platform you choose to use to your wider tech stack.
Is There Still a Good Return from Email Marketing Campaigns?
It’s important to appreciate that email marketing is not like an online advertising campaign. The approach needs to be one of building the email list up over the months and years, then providing ongoing value to the subscribers.
Given all the various distractions and time-sucks in life these days, people do have less time to digest email. Therefore, sending out a newsletter daily will be too much. However, doing so too infrequently leads to some subscribers forgetting they opted in and flagging the email as spam, which can hurt future deliverability rates. Accordingly, a balance must be struck on how often email is sent out.
Furthermore, every email must be useful in some way; it cannot be overly promotional. Companies must resist the urge to push their products and services too hard. Instead, providing useful tips and relevant industry news to subscribers makes the communication useful and retains subscribers. Then slipping in promotional information every so often is far better received. It also allows the email list to grow and not shrink due to excessive promotional efforts.
There is still good money to be made through email marketing. The key is to approach it the right way by delivering value and to not always be trying to sell at every turn.