Email marketing is inarguably all that and a bag of chips today, but this is not to say everyone can enjoy all of the vast benefits of the campaigns without any effort. Rather, email marketing comes with the promise of yielding high returns on investment when the right steps are taken and the business is aligning its own approaches with best practices, consumer insights and hard metrics, more so than every other type of advertising there is today, bar none.
Unfortunately, many marketers will see all of these studies on the high ROI that accompanies email marketing and think that they need not do anything more than send out a bunch of emails and wait for the cash to flow in. This is sadly not the way the world works, though it is a nice thought.
Instead, companies need to understand that, of all the types of digital advertising out there, this one will be the most likely to yield the results expected from strong efforts, as so many other mediums and channels can equate to a zero sum in spite of the best intentions. Luckily, there is plenty of information out there regarding the best practices of email marketing, and simply understanding how to best use these campaigns in the broader scope of general brand initiatives should help to position firms for success right from the start.
So, let’s first back up the argument that email marketing is actually all that and a bag of chips, and then move on to the concepts that can help you take your campaigns to the next level of success. As a note, we will also need to make it clear that email marketing is not a pursuit that will be free by way of investment and still yield returns, but rather that it demands spending and strategizing to really drive home.
The brass tacks of email ROI
VentureBeat recently reported that the latest research from VB Insight analyst Jon Cifuentes yielded more positive results in terms of email marketing ROI, but also illustrated the facts behind these campaigns. According to the news provider, Cifuentes found that mid-size firms have enjoyed 246 percent ROI from their campaigns of late, while small businesses have seen 183 percent and larger enterprises 117 percent.
The source pointed out that while those figures make for a good headline, and will certainly be circulated throughout the relevant media, they do not comprehensively describe how these campaigns must be handled, or the cost of managing them properly. Rather, investment – and significant expenditure at that – will be required, but the payoff is so high that no company should balk at the prospect of putting a bit more into these programs.
“You can think of email as the center of orchestrating all of your customer relationships,” Cifuentes told VentureBeat. “It can be an expensive control booth, just based on all the things you can accomplish with it. The infrastructure costs add up. Email infrastructure partners, ESPs, analytics partners, agencies and content services, media spend for growing subscribers, and finally talent to run the show. It adds up, but the potential ROI you can achieve with email marketing shows you how vital it is to get it right.”
Cifuentes added that the real point of excitement and transformation appears to be wholly encompassed within mobile-targeted email ad campaigns.
“For a number of reasons, we’ve been trained to be sold to via email,” he noted, according to VentureBeat. “It may be that with targeting on a mobile device, there’s just a finer line between useful and creepy. I’m watching that space with interest, and am excited to see new research on data privacy, and consumer preferences.”
Pro tip of the day: Timing
As is the case with all things, timing is the real crux of the matter. Media Post cited the successes of the Warby Parker brand, which is an extreme example of how perfect timing can translate to strong results. It is worth noting here that there are plenty of fundamental drivers of success in email marketing, but we are choosing to focus on this one lesser-spoken about requirement in this particular blog. Don’t worry, though, we will have plenty more for you in the future.
According to MediaPost, Warby Parker’s Kellen Malstrom, who acts as the company’s retention specialist, affirmed that because research had indicated the company’s clientele really only purchase the glasses once every two years or so on average, sending email ads to all of them every month would work against the brand. This is not only because of the money wasted on such a frequency, but the fact that recipients would probably be less-than-pleased should they receive so many ads when they have no intention to make a purchase for another year or more.
So, to capture those high ROI performances, make sure your email ad campaign’s timing is on point.