Email marketing is not without risk

There’s a reason why spam and messages that are irrelevant to us still clutter up our InBox: It works!

The best thing about my ‘Marketing Insight’ posts are that in telling you about the benefits of ‘best practice’, I have no option but to adopt them myself.

Which is just as well, as marketers are notoriously tragic at selling themselves! Go figure 🙂

In this post, I want to talk about email marketing.

Oh sure, we’re all sick of ‘viagra’ spam and the messages that are irrelevant to us, but still clutter up our InBox.

But there’s a reason why we’ll continue to be deluged by this stuff.

It works!

An eConsultancy survey last year ranked the ROI from email marketing higher than any other digital channel, including search, with 68% of marketers benchmarking it “excellent”.

McKinsey suggest that it’s a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media—nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined. That’s probably 120 times, in B2B!!

Social has it’s place in the communication mix and will continues to grow in importance, but email is still the natural B2B channel for talking business.

Here’s my 10 reasons why email is still an important weapon in your marketing armoury.

1. Expectation
Email remains the best channel for conducting business conversations. Recipients expect to receive commercial offers by email and will be more receptive to sales messages and calls to action.

2. Flexibility
It’s now relatively easy to set triggers to send automated emails relevant to specific situations.

i.e. a follow-up email if the original message is unopened, a thank you note for a specified response, or an offer related to a link followed.

Over 50% of emails are opened on smartphones, so it is critical that your eShots are optimised for handsets as well as tablets and desktops.

3. Integration
Link emails to social channels and other content, like web landing pages that feature offers, events, new products or other campaigns

4. Immediacy
For imminent events and opportunities, there is no other buy meds online communication channel which can be triggered and tracked so swiftly.

5. Privacy 
Email is not as intrusive as SMS  messaging or cold-calling, but it will still be unwelcome – possibly classed as spam – if it is targeted badly and the message not relevant.

You must respect your audience and send content of genuine value, to retain their continued interest.

Expect fall-out and respect those that unsubscribe from your mailing-lists. They should not be contacted.

6. Low-cost
Depending on use and volume of messages email/CRM platform costs can be very low (even free) and there’s no print or postage costs to worry about.

Most platforms incorporate design templates, though it’s probably a good idea to commission your own templates.

7. Relationships
Set-up and monitor a reply address for all outbound campaigns, so you don’t miss an opportunity to start building a relationship.

The holy grail for email marketers is the ‘opted-in subscription’ list. These are the champions of your brand, who have elected to receive messages from you

8. Segmentation 
Your email database (which should reside in your CRM) will include existing and prospective customers, which means that you can personalise campaigns, for different market niches or stages of the sales cycle.

Personalisation is key. The message must be relevant and feel like you’re addressing an individual, not shouting at many.

9. Simplicity
Many CRM systems and email platforms provide simple to use interfaces that make it much easier to design sophisticated html emails, which incorporate multiple links and images.

10. Visibility
Email marketing platforms provide analytical and tracking tools, which means you can instantly see who has opened your email and what specific links have been followed, which indicate their areas of interest.

Over time you can track and spot trends for Growth, Open Rate, Click Through Rate, Conversions, Complaints, Unsubscribes

Email marketing is not an easy option. If your content is not engaging, rewarding and targeted correctly it will provide no positive return and simply turn your audience off your brand.

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