Despite the fact that other forms of digital advertising and brand management mediums have taken up more headlines in the past few years, email marketing is still every bit as useful and advantageous as it ever was. Social media, search engine optimization and content marketing have certainly seen tremendous growth in adoption and participation, but email stands alone as a medium that yields the highest conversion rates around.
It goes without saying that this is not necessarily a new finding or world-changing transformation, but rather a general understanding shared by marketers in virtually every industry and region.
With this in mind, it is not all that surprising that companies need to work a bit harder to get their email marketing campaigns into a position that is unique from those of competitors and constantly engaging for loyal customers and new prospects.
This is no easy task given how saturated inboxes have become with ads, the speed with which consumer preferences are changing and the need to keep each mailing fresh. However, there are plenty of best practices, tips and suggestions to be had, and marketers would do well to dig deep in the research stages of their campaigns to ensure that email advertising efforts yield the desired returns.
First, attracting email marketing subscribers
Before a company can retain loyal customers, it must attract, engage and convert prospects, and email marketing is simply the best option in this regard. Studies have shown that social media is most powerful for retaining loyal customers and handling client relationship management, while SEO is great for visibility, and content marketing can help to boost the brand’s position as a thought leader – but email attracts and converts all in one step.
The Next Web recently listed several tips for email advertising professionals who want to ensure that the campaign itself is positioned well to come back with high ROI. Keep in mind here that ironing out the details of the campaign in a broad sense is the first step toward creating exceptional ads every time one needs to be sent, and guides the overall strategy in such a way that improves performances as time goes on.
According to the news provider, understanding the behaviors of customers comes first, especially with respect to their interactions with email ads. Then, build a list that makes sense from those initial findings. Remember, flippant creation of email marketing lists can quickly reduce the chances of that campaign being effective.
The source also suggested that long-term testing can truly benefit the campaigns over time, and urged advertisers to ensure that each individual mailing is valuable in the eyes of target customers.
Next, retain email marketing recipients
In an email marketing strategy, retention is heavily involved in the art of identifying customers who have gone away and getting them back. ClickZ recently reported that “win-back” strategies are increasingly important for email marketers to master, and that pruning the list can help the firm focus on more valuable and advantageous clientele.
Speaking with retailer Black Lapel’s director of digital marketing, Shana Kelly, the source pointed out that focusing on understanding customers who have stopped engaging with the emails is crucial.
“Something wasn’t working because customers weren’t responding, so we did a test where we took half the audience and did a once-a-week email,” Kelly told ClickZ. “For the other audience we did a normal cadence, which was about one every two days. We got about 25 percent higher returns from the customers that were considered lost and only getting one email a week. The engagement was higher; the sales were higher.”
Always focus on the creation of a 360-degree campaign that brings attraction, conversion, engagement and retention efforts together for the best results in email marketing.