Email Marketing: The Basics
At 1SEO.com Digital Agency, we take pride in our dedication to learning, not only within our particular areas of expertise but interdepartmentally, so that each professional within the company can stay abreast of industry happenings and is knowledgeable about digital marketing as a whole. It’s one of the biggest perks associated with working for an industry leading agency that is ranked amongst the top 10 search engine optimization companies in the nation. Job bragging aside, it is because of that commitment, and the growth opportunities presented for my team of content writers (as well as the other members of the 1SEO.com family), that I was honored to present a training session on email marketing.
While doing additional research on the topic, I confirmed my fear that email marketing is, quite wrongly, an oft-neglected marketing strategy. Many companies either neglect it completely or, while sending out obligatory emails, they don’t understand the true potential of the marketing technique or how to properly establish a strategy. However, the cup of benefits related to email marketing runneth over, enforcing the concept that it should be a top priority for every business owner. With that in mind, let the training begin.
So, what is email marketing? Simply put, any email sent to a potential or existing customer is a form of email marketing. Whether a welcome letter, thank-you email, an ad/announcement of a new product or service, a newsletter or a fundraising message, they all provide business owners with the ability to enhance relationships, build customer loyalty (hello, repeat business) and build brand awareness. Not to mention that they provide the opportunity to give current, previous and potential customers more information about your company, as well as to request key information about the addressee that helps to put them into the most effective categories for future marketing efforts.
What more could a business ask for from their direct marketing efforts? How about results and a high return on investment (ROI)? Done. Let’s just take a look at a few of the crazy statistics associated with email marketing:
- It yields an average 4,300% ROI for US businesses. Before you ask, that’s not a misprint – 4,300%.
- For every $1 spent, the average ROI is $44.25.
- Conversion rates are 3x HIGHER than social media, with a 17% higher conversion value.
- Nurturing leads through emails generates 50% more sales-ready leads at a cost that is 33% lower.
Seriously. And, that’s just scratching the surface. Outbound Engine’s list of 20 Shocking Email Marketing Stats All Business Owners Should Know expounds even further on those I just listed. Mind blown.
Some of the other benefits associated with email marketing include that it’s considerably cheaper than most other forms of communication, it allows businesses to quickly reach target markets, and the results of these direct marketing campaigns can be easily monitored for effectiveness. The information gleaned from subscribers and new addressees can also be used to create those segmented email categories I briefly mentioned earlier, which allows businesses to send out personalized emails based on customer likes, dislikes and spending habits, as well as on the information that the recipient is interested in or requested.
If you’re wondering why your email marketing campaign isn’t showing these results or advantages, or if you’re curious as to how you can create a winning strategy, remember that the first step is knowing which direction to head in:
- Be creative with your design, and make it responsive – 2% of recipients will delete an email immediately if it doesn’t display correctly.
- Be clear and remember that content is King – The subject line is the 2nd biggest factor (at 47%) that influences email open rates; make it good and make sure the content keeps them reading and converting.
- Ensure relevancy through extensive targeting – Using a segmented email list will increase open rates by 39% and lower unsubscribe rates by 28%.
- Personalization is crucial – Personalized mailings also increase unique open rates by 29% and unique click rates by 41%, when compared to non-personalized mailings.
- Be social – Including a social sharing button can increase click through rates by 158%.
Also important? Remembering to avoid the common mistakes made by many email marketers. For instance, if your spam/abuse score is too high, your email account WILL be terminated. Check out Mail Chimp’s guide on “How to Avoid Spam Filters” to ensure your emails remain legitimate, and in customer inboxes!
Also, don’t forget about the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, which authorizes a $16,000 penalty per violation for spamming. Get permission before you send a commercial email, require users to double opt-in, and always provide a one-click unsubscribe feature.
If you’re still falling short of your email marketing objectives, or feel overwhelmed at the idea of even creating some, don’t hesitate to call in the professionals. 1SEO.com Digital Agency’s email marketing professionals have the experience and expertise to create the successful campaign of your dreams.