You are getting a bad open rate, you are getting bad CTR, Users started opting out from your list. These events force you to think that “email marketing is dead ?”
It is a reality that business results from your mailers are going down but it is not true that email marketing is dead.
Email is still most effective interface between you and your customers. Every medium gets matured with time. So you require to learn and modify your strategy accordingly.
Data suggests mailers are still most consumed communication.
“More than 34% of the people worldwide use email. That’s about 2.5 billion people.”
“91% of Internet users between the ages of 18 and 64 send or read email.”
“The world sends about 196 billion emails daily. Out of this 196 billion emails the majority, 109 billion, is business email.”
Email marketing is still your one of the main marketing channel here is reason ….
A) The easiest way to connect
It is direct, It is between you and your customer/prospects. You directly send a message and directly receive responses. There are no intermediaries like google, facebook, twitter, LinkedIn etc involve.
B) Very Personal
We are living in multi-screen/platform world where getting undivided attention is the biggest challenge for marketers. Your customers or prospects email inbox is still extremely personal space where you can gather undivided attention of your prospect/ customers
C) Cost Effective
Sending emails are easy and inexpensive. You send emails to a large number of people on nearly no cost per mail.
D) Freedom from Algorithm
You are always trying to break the Google/Facebook algorithm. You invest huge money to get your rank up on the search engine. You boost the facebook posts to get through edge rank algorithm. I am not saying that is a bad idea. They are very good channels but when you compare it with Email marketing it’s you and your customer’s direct relation, no algorithmic filter stopping your communication.
E) Hyper-personalised and action oriented
Most attractive part of email marketing is its ability to get hyper-personalised. You can personalise your mail according to the various stage of your customers buying cycle. You can make your personalisation in a way to invoke the action from your prospects.
F) 100% automation possibility
We are living in a complex digital environment where doing everything manually is not possible. The level of automation you enjoy with email marketing, it is not possible with other platforms. From creating awareness to nurturing to getting buying process done to building post-purchase relationship. Everything can be automated successfully.
Like any other online channels, it is measurable too.
These aforementioned factors are still surviving and still no other channel can match the benefits.
The success of your email marketing depends on the quality of your email list. You should know the fact that every year around 22 % email IDs become obsolete.
So you should keep your list clean by removing obsolete IDs and adding the fresh list.
How to build Email List?
Getting email Ids from customer/prospect is an exchange. It is not free. You have to deliver something for getting precious email ID of your prospect.
There are multiple ways to get an Email ID from users.
A) Create Awesome Content on Your website
This is the most common but toughest technique to build a list. Create content that brings wow factor or thank you factor then, readers will start feeling that they should not leave any new update or content on your site. This will motivate them to push subscribe button.
B) Ask to subscribe
Your user won’t bother to navigate a subscribe button. You will have to guide them or ask them to subscribe. There are multiple techniques to ask for the subscription.
- Simple Subscribe button on sidebar/header/footer
- Subscribe Pop-up with close button option
- Email Gateway – Here user has to enter his/her email id to see the content
- Scroll format – Here subscribe form scroll up or down when user reading your content, screen is dynamic and users don’t have to click the close button. they simply scroll up or down to get back on their content.
There is no full proof way that tells you that you should choose any specific technique. Your technique depends on the bargaining power of your content. If your content is like no one would want to miss, you can use any technique. People will simply love to give their Ids.
I think you should first do multi-variety testing and then take the decision.
C) Gated Content
This is the popular way to collect Ids. You have to create a quality content PDF (Eg: Guide, White Paper, Industry Report, Case Study etc.) and offer your visitors to download it free in just exchange of an Email Id. You should use social platform to get more & more downloads.
D) Create Online Contest
Create an online contest on the website and your social channels where participants would have to enter their email IDs to take participation.
E) Leverage the power of social
Run a sign-up campaign on the social channel. I would like to mention here that facebook is a very powerful place to do sign up campaign. Facebook offer pre-filled options where just three clicks enable the user to sign up. Read my post on Lead Generation through facebook.
F) Ask people to sign up in your Youtube Video
Every content which you are promoting on youtube can give you Email Ids in exchange. Use sign up call to action button. Give a shout out to sign up at the end of your video.
G) Organise Webinar
Organise a webinar or co-host with well know organisers. People will sign up for it and hence you will receive email ids.
H) PPC Campaign
Use PPC campaign to bring users on the landing page where they can share their contacts.
H) Integrate Your List building program with offline activities
There are many offline activities you must be doing. If you are a blogger or doing something completely online then also you are meeting up with hundreds of people every month, take their consent and collect their ids.
If you are working professional then integrate list building with every activity your company is doing offline. You can collect email IDs from exhibitions, conferences, road shows, activation events.
You can use QR code on marketing materials (Brochure, Flyers, leaflets etc) to bring them subscribe for newsletter pages.
So these are the simplest techniques you can use to build the email list.
My suggestion is please don’t purchase email ids from any source. Nobody likes to see strangers in their email inbox. You can get blacklisted or marked as spam.
A) Avoid Bulk Email
Don’t send the same email to everyone. Your prospects might be on the different stage of buying cycle. So seeing useless mail can irritate some of them.
The second type of bulk mailing is, you bought a list from somewhere and just shot an email. This is more dangerous. There is a chance of getting blacklisted or mark as a spam.
B) Personalize the communication
Design your mail communication in a way that user feel that you wrote the mail especially for him/her. For personalizing, you will have to do lots of segmentation and classification. You can automate all that later.
There are hyper-personalisation options available in many tools eg: How is the weather in [CITY] (Here you can do mail merge of geo-tagging of user location and automation tool will insert the same)
Use personalized auto responder when anyone opt-in
C) Respect Persons Time and Add Value
Most precious thing in this world is time. If I spent the time to read your mail then you should deliver appropriate value which makes me better me. Simple !
D) Write compelling Subject Line
Subject line is the opener of your mail, a user first read your subject line and then decide to open your mail or send that in the trash folder.
E) Humanize Your Mail
Human does business with human only. Your mail should not sound like a machine, who is talking on behalf of you to your customer/user. Give human touch in your mail. Use human emotions in your communication.
F) Landing page should be sync with mailer
It is very important that your landing page should look like a further extension of your mailer. So avoid using common landing pages. Develop special landing pages with every mail campaign.
G) Must have “unsubscribe link”
There is n number of reasons when your users can take a decision to stop getting mail from you and you should respect their decision and facilitate them with unsubscribe button to do so.
H) HTML Vs Text
This is a big debate that which email format is best. In many cases, HTML mailer fails to cross security wall of mail inbox. But still there is no right answer, you should have A/B testing.
In generally when you have some promotional messages like sale or discount, there HTML format works better. Text mailers are reverse engineering of email marketing. It works greats when you are doing very personalized mail campaigns. It works well also when your HTML emails open and CTR rate is going down.
Keep agnostic view upon the format use which is working best for you or you can use a good mix of them also.
I) Test Your Mail Before Pushing Send Button
You can choose focus group to test your mail first. You can do the famous 5-second test as well (Send a copy of the email to a friend or business associate. Can they quickly tell what your call-to-action is? If so, you’re golden. If not, keep working.)
J) Sustain The Relationship
Sustaining a relationship with old one gives you better ROI than acquiring the new one. Sustaining the relationship is very simple, just understand, engage and solve the problems of your prospect.
Future of Email Marketing
So now when we talk about future of Email marketing then definitely it is not dead now and won’t get dead in coming future also.
A) Mail will remain primary source of personal communication of users
B) Email Blast will have to die. Day by day email service provider becoming better and better in filtering out spams.
C) Personalisation is reality, hyper-personalisation is future
D) Rich media (GIF ) is going to be more and more in the content
E) Advanced Remarketing will be a game changer, Eg: Person who opens your mail will be retargeted on social and through banner or video ads on network sites. You can retarget people on facebook who open your mail.
D) Data-driven triggered mail will continue to grow in size and sophistication.
E) Email ROI will be still best.
F) Embedded Video Play inside the mail will be a reality. Right now no major player is able to play.
G) Fluid and hybrid mail design will be normal.
H) How to get the attention of user in his/her inbox will be still the most asked question. 🙂
NOTE: There is a very thin line between doing email marketing and spamming. Be Careful !
Addition Read —> Alert: 81 Spam Words to Avoid in Your Email Marketing Campaigns