Clicking the send button on an email remains an essential part of business marketing – something that can be just as important as product pricing and obtaining working capital.
It’s for this reason that many marketers rely on email as their primary tool. The 2015 Marketing Trends Survey from StrongView showed that while offline advertising budgets are shrinking, those for email and other digital tools are growing. Email led the pack with 61 percent of respondents saying it’s their top target for increased budget investment in 2015.
“It is clear from the 2015 Marketing Trends Survey results that marketers consider email the fulcrum of their digital marketing campaigns,” Shawn Myers, vice president of marketing at StrongView, said in a media release.
Meanwhile, a separate survey from Campaigner echoed this outlook.
“Despite the entrance of new marketing channels and technology innovations, the survey found that email remains to be the best digital channel for marketing ROI in 2014,” the company stated in a press release. “Over 62 percent of respondents rank email marketing as one of the top ROI generators, followed by social media (26 percent), SEO (25 percent) and offline direct marketing (20 percent). To achieve the greatest bang for their buck, respondents aim to leverage the leading ROI producers with 76 percent planning to invest in email marketing and 33 percent in social media for 2015.”
If you’re looking to make email marketing work for your business, it helps to understand how best to utilize this tool. Beyond budgets and strategies, successful email marketing depends on messages that incorporate proven methods of engagement.
5 key factors to keep in mind
1. Make it appealing.
No one wants to deal with junk mail, and for many consumers, any message from a business they didn’t directly ask for will be viewed as such. That’s why it’s vital to make your marketing emails feel less like an advertisement stuffed into a mailbox and more like an invitation to a private club. Offering actionable opportunities, such as discounts, coupons and valuable information regarding future products and services, is one way to go about this.
2. Customize the message.
It can be tempting to save time by crafting a boilerplate email to send out, but this is a good way to turn off potential customers. If you want to engage a consumer, you must personalize your emails. Use their names. Try to incorporate news or special shopping events that make sense for them. This will certainly require more planning and time investment on your part, but it also has a much better chance of resulting in tangible returns.
3. Make it pretty.
Even if an email features valuable information or potential discounts, a customer is likely to skip it if it comes in the form of a wall of text. It’s important to make your emails visually appealing in addition to beneficial. Think about how text arrangement, pictures, videos, colors, font size and more can all come together to create a more visually stimulating piece of marketing. Customers are more likely to read what you send if their eyes are drawn to the message.
4. Include a call to action.
You don’t want to bark orders at the recipients of your marketing emails, but you definitely want to nudge them in the right direction. Does your email feature news regarding an upcoming sale? Invite the recipient to come in and shop! Are you looking to make better use of your social media assets? Ask the recipient to like your Facebook page in return for a special coupon. Regardless of the objective, it’s always a good idea to politely tell your readers what to do next.
5. Don’t forget the subject line.
Before a reader even has a chance to open your email, the first thing they’ll see is the subject line. With this in mind, it’s important to keep the text here short, sweet and intriguing. If it’s too long, you risk losing your audience before they even click on your message. If it sounds boring or like junk mail, chances are they’ll be reaching for the delete button. In short, make your subject lines quick and to the point, but also compelling.