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Why Email Marketing Still Rules (Plus 3 Tips to Increase Engagement)

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Email marketing is like an old friend. It’s been around for years. It doesn’t surprise you much anymore. You may even find it a little boring sometimes. But at the end of the day, you know you can depend on it.

Even with the emergence of more exciting engagement tactics, email marketing has remained a key method for reaching your audience.

In fact, nearly 70% of people between the ages of 18 and 34 prefer companies communicate with them through email, according to MarketingSherpa research. That number’s even higher among 35- to 44-year-olds and 45- to 54-year-olds.

Regardless of how people feel about email communications, many marketers’ email campaigns are failing to connect with customers.

Nearly half of the marketers who participated in a recent Demand Metric/Return Path study reported email open rates of 15% or less, while almost 60% cited click-through rates of 8% or less.

But that isn’t because email marketing is past its prime. It’s because too many marketers have neglected the recent paradigm shift. Namely, today’s customers have become much more sophisticated about how they consume content.

Here are three easy ways you can improve your email marketing efforts to better connect with your audience and increase engagement:

1. Segment your lists

The first thing you’ll want to do is figure out who you should be talking to—and why.

Some of the most popular characteristics marketers use to segment their lists include:

  • Job title or function
  • Demographics
  • Purchase history
  • Website activity
  • Past email clicks or opens

Why is this important? For one, people’s inboxes are overflowing with marketing emails. If you insist on sending messages that fail to pique their interests, they’ll quickly tune out.

Say you’re trying to engage a chief human resources officer (CHRO) audience. Sending those executives HR content isn’t enough. Instead, you need to focus on their particular industries and needs.

A CHRO in the rapidly growing high-tech industry, for example, would likely be interested in information around talent recruitment.

Meanwhile, a CHRO in a legacy industry—where decades-long employees are nearing retirement—would gravitate more toward content on workforce management and succession planning.

Segmenting your lists gives you a chance to customize your communications, creating tailor-made messages that resonate with your intended audience.

2. Trigger your messaging

As a marketer, you’ve heard the phrase “email blast.” Does it make you cringe? It should.

Rather than sending emails to large, unorganized lists of contacts, you need to strategically engage.

Launching a triggered messaging program—using innovative email marketing software—can help. It allows you to contact customers and prospects based on actions or conditions.

For instance, if someone abandoned their online shopping cart on your ecommerce site, you could send them a strategically timed discount offer. Or, if a person attended your recent software showcase, you could send them an exclusive invite to register early for the next event in town.

By making each of your interactions more meaningful, you’ll earn more customer trust and gain greater influence over their buying decisions.

3. Take advantage of your data

In modern marketing, data is a priceless commodity. And while most marketers recognize that, too few use it like the valuable currency it is. Instead, they treat these precious golden nuggets like knickknacks on some dusty, old shelf.

But for email marketing to have real impact, data must be front and center. Marketers need to capitalize on the information at their fingertips to learn more about their audience and personalize their communications.

That could mean studying device data to better understand how customers view emails and then optimizing messages for mobile. Or it could mean analyzing complaint data to determine optimal email cadences.

Even information that doesn’t seem relevant can be useful. Evaluating how customers behave on a website or social media channel can provide a more vivid picture of their interests, enabling you to improve how you engage with them.

Deliver quality communications

Putting these three ideas into practice will help you elevate your email game. This will:

  • Engender trust between you and your customers—because you’re not bugging them with emails at all hours of the day.
  • Prove you’re tuned in to their needs—because you’re only sending them relevant information.
  • Show you’re listening to them—because you’re providing value, not just trying to sell them stuff.

That’s all your email subscribers are looking for today. And they, along with their inboxes, aren’t going anywhere—especially now that you have these three tips to increase engagement.

Download The Definitive Guide to Engaging Email Marketing to learn more.

Source: Marketo

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Marketing

7 Tech CEOs Share Marketing Trends And Predictions For 2020

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As we approach 2020, I asked seven tech CEOs to identify the top marketing trends. Below are their insights.

D2C companies will abandon email as their primary customer communication channel. Leore Avidar, co-founder and CEO, Lob

“In 2020, direct-to-consumer (D2C) companies will see email unsubscribe rates grow toward 40% and reach all-time highs. With platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Google becoming increasingly expensive, brands are going to be forced to find alternative channels to communicate with their customers. Brands will need to reassess their marketing strategies and modernize more traditional engagement approaches in order to maintain customer loyalty while creating unique and meaningful ways to reach their customer base. In an era of extreme testing and personalization, this leaves D2C brands with limited options and they must adopt new channels that create a direct relationship and drive engagement.”

AI is about to get even noisier, but 2020 isn’t the year that AI changes the world, Sudheesh Nair, CEO of ThoughtSpot  

“If you thought the marketing noise around AI was loud in 2019, prepare for it to get deafening in 2020. Private companies, especially startups, will increasingly tout themselves as AI companies in a bid to capture VC dollars, regardless of what they actually offer. Similarly, we’ll see companies, especially public ones, repackage their offerings with some sort of AI spin to impress shareholders hungry for stories of digital transformation success. 2020 is shaping up to be a tough year for AI with people getting disillusioned with the distance between marketing and reality. Companies will need to continue to invest in infrastructure that can handle AI capabilities and a rash of APIs to connect data together to train and feed algorithms.”

Retail Trend: Hyper-local, Tom Buiocchi, CEO, ServiceChannel

” ‘Hyper-local’ will be a trend for retail and services of all kinds. Big retailers are shifting from the mega-super-store to local outposts that look and feel more like part of the community. Location matters more and more, and with ubiquitous delivery of anything, some stores will simply go to where the shoppers are. Healthcare is no exception: expect to see more and more core medical services offered at pharmacies or even purpose-built locations. In doing this, retailers can provide shoppers with a convenient and efficient experience.”

Read full article @ Forbes.com

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How to Create Instagram Content That Engages Your Audience

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12 Social Media Marketing Predictions From the Pros

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#1: Facebook Ad Costs Push Advertisers Off the Platform

Facebook advertising is going to get much more expensive in 2020. CPMs will increase, which means it will now cost you more to reach your target audiences.

The implication of this change is that companies with a low average order value or that don’t change how they evaluate their Facebook advertising returns will be priced out of the platform. The statement, “the business that can pay the most for a customer wins” has never been truer. The solution to combating increasing Facebook ad costs is threefold.

The first is to decrease your cost per purchase or cost per lead. There are numerous ways to do this. One of the most effective is to continually refresh and test your ad campaign components—such as ad copy, creative, audiences, offers, and objectives—to reduce the impact of ad fatigue.

The second, which requires no work in your ad account, is to increase your average order value or client value. By increasing the amount that someone spends when they first buy from you, you create a bigger gap between your cost per purchase and the revenue from that purchase, thereby increasing your return on ad spend (ROAS).

The third way to combat increasing Facebook ad costs goes back to my earlier point: Change the way you evaluate your Facebook advertising returns. Instead of measuring only your first-purchase ROAS, which is reported directly in Ads Manager, you should also measure your true ROAS, which factors in your customer lifetime value.

True ROAS example where returns are higher when factoring in the LTV of the customer, not just their first purchase ROAS.

True ROAS is the real worth of a customer to your business when you acquire them via Facebook or Instagram advertising and they go on to become a repeat customer who spends a multiple of what they spent when they first bought from you.

Read full article at Social Media Examiner

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