We don’t want to beat an (un)dead horse, so we’ll save the dog and pony show (consisting mostly of stats, testimonials and “hip” reaction gifs) in which we address the idea that email marketing is no longer a viable way to market a business.
We’ll also ditch our spiel about how email marketing is the most cost-effective way to build trust, keep your brand on the top of your customers’ minds and stimulate repeat business. If you are in-tune with digital marketing trends, this isn’t news to you. You know why it works and who it works for (Nike, Apple, Netflix, Target).
What you may not know is why it isn’t working for you.
While email marketing is still alive and well, there is a death that should finally be acknowledged: the concept that you can expect to increase profits by periodically sending one-off, one-size-fits-all email campaigns to a big list of old (or purchased) email addresses. Make no mistake, this particular strategy is as dead as disco.
Business owners mistakenly assume that because their customers simply expect more out of the emails they are sent, that email marketing at large no longer works.
The problem isn’t the car (email marketing), it’s the driver.
Don’t take this as an insult. It’s almost as if you took someone from the 19th century, put them in a 2019 Ferrari and said, go ahead, Ebenezer, or whatever your 19th century-sounding name is, drive. You drove a horse and buggy before, haven’t you? Same type of deal.
And this really is how rapidly things can change within the realm of online business communications. Unless you have your own personal team of snarky millennials to execute email marketing campaigns for your business, you’re pretty much left-up to your own devices when it comes to keeping-up with the times and implementing all the bells and whistles that have emerged.
What you can do to make email marketing work for you, once again.
It’s so easy to bury your head in the sand and concur that email marketing is dead simply because it isn’t working for your business, in particular. And we get it, change is scary. But this isn’t a reason to turn a blind eye to the fact that the biggest brands in the world still use email marketing effectively.
Here are some things you can do to make email marketing great, again:
- Be careful with automation. There was a time when you could effectively send automated, text-based “follow-up” emails regularly without your customer realizing that you weren’t personally reaching-out to them. That time is officially over.
This isn’t to say you should never send these kinds of emails. In fact, autoresponders are crucial in nurturing a new subscriber. You just need to recognize that abusing this practice can get you a bad reputation among subscribers and overuse of this tactic can come-off as tacky or spammy.
Invest in a content strategy and be as transparent as possible with your subscribers. This will empower you to gain business and build trust among your audience organically.
- Personalization has a new meaning. Consumers used to be impressed when brands could send them an email that was personalized. In this case, when we say personalized, we mean merely mentioning them by name in the subject line.
This is no longer enough. Personalization now means that you can mention your customers by name, reference their purchase history and show that you’re in-touch with the products and services that they’re specifically interested in.
Personalization means everything now, and you should work to gather data and create as many relevant segments within your database possible. One way to accomplish this, is to ask new subscribers via email what they’re interests are immediately after they subscribe. This will allow you to follow them from the beginning and define their buyer persona early.
This also means that your content should be tailored to the specific types of customers that make-up your database. In your emails, you must communicate with Jane (25, female, lawyer) differently than you would John (45, male, architect).
- Interactivity is on the rise. Video has ruled social media for some time now. Expect to see this trend, along with the use of in-email games reflected in the email marketing campaigns you see in 2019.
We’re not talking about linking to external videos that can be viewed on your website or Facebook. We mean embedded videos that can be watched in real-time within the email you’ve just sent. This creates a very fun and interactive experience that will delight the right audience.
This advancement is something that huge brands are still working-out, so it’s not urgent that you drop your rainy-day funds to include a game within your email tomorrow. A smart way to stay with the times is to do some research. Monitor your audience’s engagement with video on your website and social media pages to see if this is something that will be worth implementing in the future.
Need help getting your email marketing game back on track? Drop us a line and one of our expert marketing consultants will help you create the perfect campaign to maximize customer engagement.