Social media…Instagram…video streaming. There’s always some new and exciting marketing channel to explore. Which is why many people look at something as simple as email marketing and wonder, “does it still work?”
It’s easy to think that the oldest form of online marketing is practically extinct, and it does look pretty simple in comparison with the deep personalization of things like retargeting and the algorithms of search engines and social media alike, but you’d be surprised at how effective email marketing is — even as it nears its 50th birthday.
The fact is that what email has in its corner is something that other technologies haven’t been able to duplicate just yet — one-on-one access to the consumer.
Social media, video, text messaging, retargeting — all of those have some other form of distractions around them. But email is your one chance (and sometimes your only chance)< to connect with the user for just a few seconds.
And those few seconds will make or break how effective your email marketing is.
Targeting Your Email Marketing
Although it may not be as deeply targeted as social media advertising, email marketing nevertheless benefits from proper segmentation options. Based on what you know about your prospects, you can segment them (or better yet, allow them to segment themselves) based on the information they want to receive.
For example, not everyone wants to receive sales notifications, they just want to see what the upcoming trends are. Still others only want to know when the products they love go on sale. Allowing users to segment what they want out of your email marketing initiatives and even choose how often they receive communication from you can be crucial to your email marketing effectiveness.
Measuring Your Email Marketing Success
In order to know whether or not your email marketing is effective, you need to be able to measure it. Email marketing is most commonly measured via the number of emails opened (the open rate) as well as the number of links clicked (the click-through rate).
If your email gets a lot of opens, but not very many clicks, it’s likely that people were intrigued by the subject line, but found that the content (or whatever you linked to) wasn’t that interesting.
If your email got a lot of opens and clicks, but few orders ultimately, your audience may need a bit more preparation before they’re ready to buy — consider following up with emails that talk about the benefits of what you want them to buy, why now’s the time to own it, and so on.
If your email didn’t get a lot of opens, it’s possible that it went into the user’s spam or somehow got filtered into another area. For example, Gmail has a tab that it filters emails into called “Promotions”, skipping the inbox completely. Of course, you can ask that our users “whitelist” your email, but few actually will go through that process.
Instead, something has happened to make Google feel that your message belongs in promotion. It could be the subject line you used, the content of the email itself, or any other number of factors. If it looks lke a promotion, and it sounds like a promotion, Google will label it as such.
Email Marketing Effectiveness Doesn’t Mean Just Concentrating on Email
It can be easy to read this article and think that you should be a proponent of email marketing to the exclusion of other marketing channels, and that’s simply not the case.
In fact, email marketing actually goes amazingly well with social media if you plan your strategy right. Matt Jabs, who runs DIYNatural.com, combines his passion for creating natural alternatives to typically chemical-laden goods (think candles, detergent or even things like fruit juice).
Whenever he publishes a new blog post, he uses AWeber to send out an announcement to his email list, and he also publishes the post on social media at the same time. This vastly increases the audience he reaches by targeting both email and social media users with a steady supply of relevant information that they want to know about.
Effective Email Marketing Begins with an Effective Email Provider
Your email marketing effectiveness depends partly on what you have to share. The other part depends on the quality of your email marketing service provider. Companies like AWeber and GetResponse are the most popular for good reason — they enable you to not only gauge the effectiveness of your campaigns, but also connect them to social media, webinars and more. This, in turn, greatly broadens your reach and potentially your sales.
And for that, you can thank our old friend email. It’s nowhere near dead, even though it’s often eclipsed by other, shinier marketing channels. Don’t count email out — it may be much more effective than you realize.