10 things I continue to love about email marketing

Email marketing is growing year on year. Constantly, new trends and ideas are created and updated, making emails an even more powerful marketing tool!

Thanks to email marketing, marketers like me have the unique ability to interact with the right customers at the right time using the perfect personalised message. However, a lot of work goes into the email content to make sure it appeals to its intended audience or customer.

We want to capture the attention of the customer and push them to open the email. That starts with an exciting and imaginative subject line to lure customers to click and open the email. To keep them engaged we need to offer intriguing content with a prominent call to action. The look and feel is also important, the information needs to be conveyed in an interesting way to hold the audience’s attention and push them to the website to drive sales.

1. Results

The results are the first thing marketers look at to help decide if an email has been a success or not. Tracking an email helps you to understand the customer journey between the key message and the call to action. From this, you can decide if an email has been a success or not. Reviewing this is critical; as you can then make any changes to future campaigns and decide what value it is bringing to you and your brand.
The results can help you re-assess the relevancy of the content in an email and if doesn’t perform well, when checking the results. You can evaluate the email and make recommendations, making all emails as effective as possible.

When looking at the results there are key metrics that help to decipher if an email has worked; open rate, click through rate, delivery rate, bounce rate, email sharing/forwarding rate, conversion rate and the revenue per email sent.

Results can also show if an email hasn’t worked well and make you aware of the effectiveness of the content or design. You can tell this for the above key metrics, if the figures are low.

2. Flexibility

You can turn an email around for your client within a day. It is one of the reasons it is such a powerful and flexible marketing tool. However, you will need a strong team of strategists, writers, designers and email developers to make it happen. The process can be made easier too if you initially create a flexible, well-planned template.

3. Loyalty

Many companies can drastically improve loyalty through email marketing. Many companies concentrate on recruiting new customers instead of concentrating on their current longstanding customers. Loyalty requires time and one of the most effective way marketers can build loyalty is through email marketing.

Many brands use loyalty programmes to reward customers for every purchase or even create a VIP programme for their top spending customers. You can also re-engage with customers who haven’t interacted with you recently, by sending them personal emails pushing unique offers for those customers; exclusive events and discounts. Did you know “44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email”? source Convinceandconvert.com. This stat shows that promotional emails are vital to an email marketing plan.

4. Personalisation

Today, more people are opening emails on their iPhones and tablets, and you can make it easier for them by optimising their emails for these devices. You can also make it personal by the time of day the email is sent and the day it goes out on.

Another way of making an email personal is to add the customer’s name in the subject line, as “personalised subject lines are 22% more likely to be opened”, source Adestra July 2012 report. Customers will decide on whether to open an email based on the subject line. “33% of email recipients open emails based on subject lines alone” source, convinceandconvert.com

You can tailor emails to have exclusive personal offers. These can be that gender specific, about particular interests that the customer has or be focused on a birthday e.g. an exclusive birthday discount.

5. Sales

Most people invest in email marketing as the return on investment is very positive. Email marketing is one of the most effective tactics for driving sales as “77% of consumers prefer to receive permission based marketing communication through email”, source Exact Target. The main objective for majority of emails is to increase sales.

6. Global

There isn’t another marketing channel that can instantly send a message to millions of people across the world and receive instant results. Social media can work globally but you cannot track the results as effectively.

7. Immediate

You can see the results straight away and if an email has been successful. It is great if you need to send something quickly or if you need to send an email to a selection of your database.

8. Events

More and more companies are sending emails out that run alongside current events or special occasions: the Bafta’s, Olympics, World Cup, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, to name a few. Clothing retailers will find the perfect outfit to wear for a Valentine’s date, or the perfect gift for Christmas for your family. Emails create awareness and help companies use events/occasions to their advantage.

9. Cost effective

Emails are low cost compared to other channels, with no print or TV costs to worry about. The costs that need to be factored include the design and development of the email, but this is far cheaper than other marketing channels. Reaching a wider audience from a relatively small cost, being easy to create and track.

10. Future Trends

Future trends are always exciting to discover. There are always new inventions coming up within email marketing and it is important we hear about them first. To achieve this, good research is critical, and that includes looking at what our competitors are doing.
Responsive email design is a massive future trend, with over 43% of emails now being opened on mobile devices including phones and tablets. Compared to a desktop, mobiles can no longer be ignored; they are becoming more and more popular.

It is always good to try out new email trends and be ahead of the game in the industry. Testing these trends can help you and your brands achieve results and, of course, drive sales.

The email marketing spend grows year on year, “56% of businesses say that they plan to increase the use of email marketing in 2013” source The Small and Midsize Business Email Marketing Survey 2013. This shows how important email marketing is and how we can continue to develop strategies and ideas to make it even more successful in the future.

Always try and test new ideas. Even if they don’t work, you can learn the most from your failings as well as your successes, and you can then improve your emails to make them more effective. All of these ten reasons are why I continue to love email marketing!