More than 205 billion emails are sent daily-- so how do we make sure we stand out? The main idea, when it comes to incorporating email marketing into your overall marketing strategy, is interconnection and consistency between marketing branches.
What is the Real Advantage of Email Marketing?
Before we get into the two strategies we're going to address, it's important to revisit why we do email marketing in the first place.
Sure, it's pretty obvious that getting an email is pretty compelling-- it's often the channel through which we get our most important messages. Furthermore, it's active. Instead of getting indirect messages by scrolling through a feed like on Facebook or Twitter, we get a pop-up notification that demands a response.
There's statistical evidence that email marketing works. Email marketers get a return of $44 for every $1 they spend, and make $.11 in revenue per email.
However, the real advantage of email marketing is the ability to customize messages to the reader. There are a couple of ways email marketers do this:
1. They send automated emails based on user behavior. These include welcome emails, thank you notes, notices of transaction success, and reminders. This type of email marketing has become pretty much expected, but it shouldn't be underestimated. Automated emails can be powerful, particularly in the reminders-- a friendly push to come back to an abandoned shopping cart or a polite request to review a recent purchase can be a low-cost way to effectively increase customer engagement with your brand.
2. They personalize emails using the recipient's name. This is a small touch, but putting the reader's name in the subject line can really increase the opening rate of your email marketing campaign.
3. Most importantly-- they segment email lists by demographic, location, or behavior. This is the real reason email marketing will always have a place in your repertoire. Today's email marketing services allow marketers to divvy up subscribers by gender, age, purchasing behavior, and whatever other characteristics they can record. Social media marketing is, of course, key, but tailoring a message to the recipient is always going to be more effective than letting them come across it in a crowded dashboard. For example, Victoria's Secret might send out two different emails around Valentine's Day: one for women and one for men. The one for women would encourage them to buy lingerie for themselves, and the one for men would encourage them to buy lingerie for their female partners to wear. Everyone gets a message that's applicable to them and solves their unique problems. We can also divide the list by location, and only send news about special events to people in the area who could reasonably attend them. Segmenting email lists increases engagement and prevents readers from habitually deleting your messages.
Now we'll get to the meat of the matter and address the two strategies you need to put into play!
Strategy 1: Achieving Consistency Between Marketing Branches
One of the greatest advantages of modern technology is that it allows consistency of customer experience between vastly distant locations-- a McDonald's burger in California will look and taste exactly the same as one in New York. This increases customers' trust in the service they are getting and encourages them to come back for a repeated experience.
As an email marketer, you can use this idea in your campaign by making sure your branding is consistent wherever it appears. For example, using the same witty repartee in email marketing as you do on Twitter gives fans the sense that they know the unique personality of your brand.
This doesn't mean, however, that you should just repeat the same messages on all your channels. Instead, your messages should complement each other.
In practice, this means getting your social media expert(s) in contact with your email marketer(s), and/or syncing up your social media calendar with your email marketing one. A surprising number of brands don't think to make sure that these important aspects work together!
Strategy 2: Interconnection and Integration
When you're trying to create a genuine relationship with your customers, email marketing and social media (and any other marketing channel you use) can work together to keep customers interacting with your brand without feeling spammed.
Here are some practical steps to take:
1. In your emails, provide links to share the content to social media. Make the content worth sharing!
2. On your social media pages, encourage followers to subscribe to your email list. Consider giving them a perk. One good idea is creating an invite-only Facebook group that users can join if they subscribe to your emails.
3. On your unsubscribe page, have links to your social media pages. Giving users the ability to unsubscribe is important for maintaining positive feelings about your brand and preventing your correspondence from being marked as spam. While emails may be too intrusive, they might still like to follow you on social media where they can read your posts at their leisure.
4. Share live social media feeds in your emails using dynamic content.
5. Don't forget about YouTube! When adding YouTube videos to email, it's best to dodge possible technical difficulties and provide an image that readers can click to navigate to the YouTube video instead of imbedding it right into the email.
6. Use social media insights in your email marketing. You should already be gleaning insights from your social media pages. Don't forget to apply what you learn to your email list too!
7. Find your email subscribers on social media and give them a follow. Social media platforms make it pretty easy to find users by their email address, so give fans a follow as a thank-you. They will probably follow back!
8. Take every opportunity to build your email list. Be careful not to be spammy, but it can pay off to remind website visitors in multiple places to subscribe to your brand. You can integrate the reminders into occasional tweets, embed them at the bottom of all your blog posts, and make sure there's a link on your Facebook page. Email is key, so don't let possible subscribers slip through your fingers!
How are you using your email list? What do you now know you need to improve? Let us know in the comments below!