Email Marketing (Electronic Mail Marketing) – all the rave in Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks circles at one time – has lost a little of its luster over the years. Our continual technological advancements keep the marketing landscape in constant flux. Despite flashy social media platforms getting the more recent attention, however, the truth is that more people are receiving and reading more emails today than ever before. As the internet continues to gain new users, the number of computers in the home and smartphones in our pockets increases exponentially. Each of these devices represents an address and mailbox to a world full of potential clients, making email a fortuitous resource indeed.
What are some of the factors keeping emails relevant in the modern marketing machine?
Here are 5.
Email marketing is an inexpensive medium for companies of any size. With minimal overhead related to materials, delivery, and monitoring, the automated nature of email makes its distribution-to-cost ratio very low. Entrepreneur.com estimates that for every $1 put into email marketing, businesses can gain $44 in return. At pennies per message, emails do not have the same risk factor associated with higher-cost platforms, like TV and radio. They also don’t require the manpower associated with telemarketing, nor the delivery expenditures of direct mail.
2. Time Efficient
One of the benefits of depending on computers to do a lot of our legwork is time-savings. Radio and TV ads are delayed while they are in queue, and then are only seen or heard by those who happen to be on a specific channel at a specific moment, paying attention while their show is on commercial break. Whereas direct mail takes time to reach its destination, and telemarketing can only move as quickly as the one-to-one interactions of each call, email is sent simultaneously to a predetermined list of people instantly. Its easy to schedule distribution times for future emails to go out automatically as well.
With the increase in laptop and smartphone usage, email has become an effective way to get a message to customers at any time and to many places. People tend to link all of their devices up to a single email account, which ensures an even larger possible coverage area to reach your audience and more opportunity for your audience to reach your message. Direct Mail, in comparison, is delivered only once a day and it is tied to a very specific physical space that the recipient must get to in order to retrieve messages (that may or may not have arrived that day).
Texting communiques directly to your audience is also a useful form of multi-media mail, but it can be considered a more intrusive and unsolicited method. Because the recipient has the ability to ignore an email or relegate it to spam folders, people feel more in control of who contacts them and how. Having a message pushed to recipients through text removes their sense of choice, which can leave your audience feeling defensive and possibly incurring phone charges. The differences between a email notification popping up and a text pushing that message directly onto a phone is an important buffer. Emails mobile, but one-step removed means of delivery keep the medium on the acceptable side of privacy boundaries.
Online technology has come a long way towards addressing each recipient on a personal level. What once was only the ability to address potential clients by name, has now expanded into an interactive experience. Companies are able to target demographics and alter content based on the interests captured in each person’s profile. Shopping cart items, transaction history, and other direct exchanges with customers can be referenced and hyperlinked in an email to better engage the recipient and streamline their return to your services. Emails can usher in helpful schedule reminders, like items for service or upcoming appointments. Or they can be programmed to acknowledge special occasions with special offers, like sending recipients a coupon on their birthday. New email strategies focus on these “Smart Emails” because they have proven value in their ability to interact with the recipients and produce results.
Not only has email become better at interacting with its recipients, it has become a more useful tool through its integration with other marketing mediums. Any marketing campaign is stronger when it can utilize multiple mediums. Due to its low-cost, low-labour, fast-delivery methods, email is complimentary to all other marketing platforms. Whether serving as timely delivered reminders for digital sales, or as a conduit for delivering in-store coupons, email is a proven means of redirecting traffic to your company’s online and offline locations and events.
But be wary…
Even with all of the potential advantages, to be successful in Email Marketing you need to develop an email list of targeted subscribers who are engaged in your communications. Internet service providers (ISPs) like Gmail, yahoo!, and MSN track how often your emails are left unread or marked as spam. If your email list is full of uninterested audiences, it can result in all of your communications hitting junk mail folders instead of inboxes.
Using DIY email kits puts your company at risk of sending out poorly coded, ill-received emails that can reduce your number of readers and subscribers. Keeping email content tight and quality contacts high is of top priority to a good marketing agency. But a savvy marketing agency will go even further by building your client-base and turning your emails into sales transactions. Cm2 Media works with companies and budgets of any size, to ensure emails are working for businesses and their customers and not producing digital junkmail for everyone involved.