Focus On: Email Marketing

Focus on: Email Marketing

The shock of the old

Few things excite modern marketers quite like new technology. New gadgets, new apps, new ways of communicating – they all promise to open up new options for reaching your market and getting your message across. But in the rush to get to grips with today’s exciting new gizmos, people sometimes ignore technology that’s been around for a while but which is quietly getting on with doing its job. Do we have a particular technology in mind? Well, funny you should ask… Email Marketing!

Everything starts with an E

Twenty years ago, email was a sensation. Fast, cheap and effective, it heralded the coming of our connected age. But is it still relevant in 2017? Can this unglamorous old friend still make the marketing sparks fly?
The simple answer is: of course it can.
We love email – with good reason. It’s such a low-cost communication tool, and so widely used, that it consistently delivers brilliant ROI. One survey of client-side marketing professionals puts the figure at $38 for every $1 spent, and there are plenty more stats out there showing similar results.

Power in the pocket

Far from making email obsolete, mobile tech has put email in people’s pockets. It is a channel that travels with them, and it has a far less ‘throwaway’ feel than social media. People pay attention to email!

Of course, we all know of email campaigns that have been done badly. But our five email marketing tips will help make sure your campaign has the power to punch its way out of any inbox.

1. Think mobile

Never forget, email is at the heart of the mobile revolution. Depending on your product, audience and the type of email you send, up to 70% of email opens could be on mobile. In fact, most email opens now take place on phone or tablet. So make sure your emails look great, read well and behave themselves on mobile.

2. Subject lines

Email is effective because it’s popular. But because it’s popular, people receive a lot of emails. So your subject line has got to stand out. If your customers choose not to open your message – and you really do only have a moment to grab them – you’ve lost them. So think about what your audience wants and make sure the subject line addresses that need. Then test different subject line options and learn from the results.

3. Get great data

For email to be effective, your messages must go to the right people. And that’s down to the quality of your data. So be honest – do you have a great quality database? Really? Are you sure? If not, don’t worry. There are many ways to build better data, and we can help make sure your campaign is targeting the right people.

4. Keep them coming

Strong relationships need to be built. That means using email to keep in regular contact with your customers – and potential customers – rather than dropping them a line once in a blue moon. Plan your communications and stay in it for the long haul. It’ll be worth it.

5. Be uniquely you

Bland and boring is bad. You simply won’t achieve the results you want if your messaging has all the sparkle of a wet weekend. Even the most corporate brand can be conversational and engaging – it’s all about the way you say it.
So remember – while social media definitely matters, good old email is the marketing workhorse that can deliver sensational results. And ultimately, that’s what it’s all about. Take advantage of the tool that almost everyone uses every day, and you might just find that email is a lot more exciting than you thought.

 A few examples of recent email campaigns we have produced

Let’s get personal

One of email’s strongest assets is personalisation. No other channel comes close. But forget the days of big email blasts with a single campaign – these days you need to segment your audience to make email work.

All the popular platforms offer segmentation. With the likes of Hubspot or Salesforce, you can segment based on real-life data response, using personalisation to warm up potential leads and anchor current buyers.

Email will never replace direct communication, but by using personalisation it can become a stronger marketing tool.

Don’t do it, automate it

Let’s face it, getting machines to do our donkey work is one of the best bits of the digital age, and over recent years, email automation has been increasingly developed by marketing platforms.

That means you can send email at set times, to segments of your database based on their criteria. It can make a massive difference. One study suggests it can increase open rates by more than 50% across the board.

In our opinion, the best strategy is to put your customer first. Consider their journey and how they got on your database. Are they a buyer or a potential? If a potential, how warm are they? How much knowledge do they have about you? Once you know your audience you can simply set the automation to achieve your targets. For instance, automatically pull customers’ job titles from your CRM – that way you can tailor your campaign. Or initiate a drip workflow to new subscribers, automatically sending them a welcome email, followed the next week by an introduction to your services, followed by an offer or other incentive.

Make sure you monitor what happens, and adjust your email frequency according to results. Be aware that it’s so flexible, it can be easy to go too far. But if done right, it saves time and massively improves your results.

If you want to look into automation and need a bit of guidance simply give us a call and we will be happy to help.

Which email marketing platform is best?

At last it can be told. The definitive answer is…

Actually, we’re going to sit on the fence. The right choice depends on lots of factors.

For larger organisations, the choice comes down to your CRM, be it Salesforce, Hubspot, Infusionsoft, Adobe Marketing Cloud or any other. All have their strengths, and can bring together data for the entire organisation. Their CRM features and pricing are very different, but the email the features similar. Remember too that smaller email-only platforms often offer an API to integrate with your CRM. That means you don’t just have to choose the email bolt-on to your current CRM, you can pull and push data to an external platform very simply.

For SMEs, the choice is huge. Take a look at this comparison list to see a few of the main competitors.

In our experience though, there are two big favourites. We’re talking about Mail Chimp vs Campaign Monitor. Again, we’re going to remain neutral, but these platforms are very similar. This blog compares the two. For what it’s worth, we find that Campaign Monitor templates tend to render better on multiple browsers, with more alignment issues arising from use of Mail Chimp. We don’t have data to back that up – it’s simply what we’ve found through use. We also find that the Campaign Monitor interface is more usable, and being demanding designers, this is quite important to us! It means we can create and edit campaigns quicker, and the enhanced features such as automation and transactional settings are a bit smoother. OK, go on then, we’ll say it. We say go for Campaign Monitor, it’s way better! Happy now!?

Like to know more?

If you would like to know more about how email marketing can help your business, or have a potential project please feel free to get in touch today on 01204 559551 or email Natasha Cuddy.