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In this article we want to share three brief items with you - a bit of good news, a warning and one of the most basic but helpful tips anyone sending an email marketing campaign can follow. Let’s start with the good news.
It’s ok to send email - really
A recent study in the UK has come to important conclusions for anyone using email campaigns as part of their overall marketing strategy.
Research carried out by the Direct Marketing Association in partnership with market research firm McDowall has shown that email is the preferred method of communication for marketing messages. Email scored better than phone marketing, better than traditional mail and even better than social media. No other medium even came close to email’s score in the study.
Yes, you read that right.
The important point to take away from this is that consumers are aware of the commercial nature of high-volume email campaigns and open to taking advantage of its opportunities. This is good news for obvious reasons. It confirms what many people unfamiliar with email’s potential are often skeptical about - the willingness of consumers to be open to receiving professional, well-designed marketing messages. No, it’s not 100% effective but no advertising medium is. Can you remember any of the last ten television commercials you saw yesterday?
We didn’t think so (and we can’t either). Now, what if those ten television commercials were somewhere waiting for you, to be seen at your convenience and didn’t demand anything from you apart from maybe a few seconds of your time? And what if, instead of interrupting your favorite program, they quietly waited for you to decide when and if you wanted to watch them at all?
That’s the convenience of email marketing and that’s why, as this study confirmed yet again, consumers prefer it. As a marketer taking advantage of the potential of email, you need to know that consumers are willing to give you an opening to make your offer. But before this motivates you to set up and send another campaign right this minute, read the second half of this post. Remember, we said we have a warning for you as well.
Keeping the door open by not knocking too much - control the frequency of your email campaigns
Another recent study, this time by market research firm Redshift, confirms something we all know but still gets forgotten all too often - that while consumers may be open to the idea of receiving marketing messages via email, they definitely have their limits. Shocking, right?
No, of course it isn’t but for some reason this bit common sense gets ignored a lot more than you might think and often results in lost trust, lost subscribers and lost revenue.
Redshift found that nearly forty percent - 40%!!! - of email recipients said that they would unsubscribe if they received emails too frequently from a particular sender. Again, no one should be surprised to learn that you can’t bombard your subscribers with messages but such a figure should serve as a reminder of the possible consequences of not carefully managing the frequency of your email campaigns.
Think about all the time and effort that goes into building a subscriber base and then look at how easily almost half of that list can be lost because no one paid attention to such a fundamental aspect of the relationship between a company and its customers. When subscribers invite you to share your marketing message with them, that doesn’t mean that the invitation is open-ended and unlimited. Use common sense and consideration when finding the balance between the needs of your business to grow and the sensible limitations on a subscriber’s willingness to keep his door open to you.
Want to know what consumers want? Just listen to them
Let’s finish with some news about how to make your Open Rates higher, get more clicks on your links and generally make your email campaign more effective. We have go back for a minute to the Direct Marketing Association / McDowall report mentioned earlier. As part of their research, they asked consumers who shopped online what marketers could do to make their branded emails more attractive and tempting to prospective customers and subscribers. All of the top answers were variations on the same idea - personalization.
Making offers based on past shopping history. Making references to past shopping history. Making offers with personalized communication. Some kind - any kind- of signal that the email that you send is not identical to every other mail you send will go a long way towards establishing the kind of relationship with your subscribers that translates into revenue.
Use what you know about your subscribers to craft a message based on what they want. Remember - this isn’t our theory or a guess about how to achieve marketing success, this is what consumers say when they are asked what they want. How you personalize your offer to your subscribers obviously depends on the nature of your business and the kind of data you have at your disposal.
Whatever you decide to do, just remember the main reason why tailoring your messages as much as possible to suit the needs and interests of your subscriber base is essential to your email marketing - one size does not fit all.