Email marketing, also called email direct marketing, is a cornerstone of effective digital marketing, as it’s a great way to build customer relationships, encourage customer loyalty and communicate more personally with different segments of your market. It’s snail mail all grown up – more effective, more direct, wider reaching and easy on your budget.
Is Email Marketing Old School?
There’s a common perception that marketing emails are a bit outdated. After all, they rose massively in popularity way back when the internet was young, well before trendy platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram even existed. But does that mean it’s not effective? Not at all! In fact, email is possibly the most refined and up-to-date marketing tool for businesses.
Today, digital marketing teams can create incredibly functional, effective and fun marketing emails that show the full potential of this tool. Email direct marketing campaigns can be as creative and modern as you like, tailored to your brand and the specific goals you want to achieve. And your audience is huge, with 94% of all internet users having an email account they access on a regular basis.
Andcustomers like marketing emails too! According to this Campaign Monitor report that covers all industries in Australia, the average open rate for marketing emails is 19%, with a click-through rate of 2.7%, an unsubscribe rate of 0.2%, a click-to-open rate of 14.1% and bounce rate of 0.9%.
When you look at industry-specific statistics, you’ll see even more impressive results:
- Real estate businesses tend to have an open rate of 20.3% and a click-through rate of 3.5%
- Healthcare services have an open rate of 23.8% and a click-through rate of 2.6%
- Financial services have an open rate of 24% and a click-through rate of 2.9%
Of course, not just any email is going to perform well. As with any marketing tool, you need to have a plan in place if you want great results.
Develop a Strategy
Your strategy needs to include all the usual elements – your goals (short and long-term), your target audience, types of email, content plans and analytics.
You also need to understand your target consumer’s behaviour. For example, it’s been shown that the best day to send out your marketing email depends on what you want to incentivise your consumer to do. For example, Tuesdays show the highest open rates, but Sunday and Tuesday are both good for high click-through rates, and Saturdays have the lowest bounce rates.
That sounds simple, but you need to also consider that Saturdays have the lowest email open rates and the lowest click-through and click-to-open rates, so it’s trickier than it looks!
Personalisation is Key
Personalisation is one of the most important aspects of successful email marketing. According to a SalesForce survey, as many as 57% of consumers are willing to share personal data with companies in exchange for personalised offers. In fact, 62% of surveyed consumers already expect to receive personalised offers based on previous purchases! A study by Deloitte also found that the desire for personalisation by consumers even extends toward the products themselves, with 36% of consumers interested in buying personalised products and services tailored to their needs. This means that an investment in personalised email marketing offers huge potential for ecommerce businesses and marketing your business online.
One way to understand your audience better and to create content that is more appealing to them is to use email segmentation. This involves taking your entire mailing list and categorising the different people who subscribe to it. Email segmentation can be done effectively with online tools or through a digital marketing agency who can data mine your subscribers for useful, public information.
You can segment your list in a number of ways, but we recommend starting by dividing current customers from potential customers. This already allows you to appeal to these two important groups more effectively. For example, a potential customer can receive a welcome message when they sign up and a discount on their first purchase, while an existing customer can get a thank you email and a list of deals about products that they have shown interest in.
This is just the start of personalising your content – you can go much further and segment people by gender, age, industry or position within their industry, as well as by their behaviour on your website. If they were looking at a certain product or reading reviews on it, you can send them a personalised message when promotions on those products occur.
Boosting Your Open Rate
You can entice your target audience to open your emails by:
- Varying your subject lines and monitoring what gets the best rate (offers, newsletter-type information, discounts, etc.)
- Testing different times of day and different days of the week to find your sweet spot
- Keep subject lines eye-catching, short and to-the-point.
- Make sure your content is segmented so that it goes to the right subscribers
- Avoid no-reply email addresses
Boosting Your Click-Through Rate
If you want your subscribers to click through to your site, a social media page, a video or podcast, you can:
- Analyse your current emails to see what kind of content gets the most clicks and prioritize that content
- Incentivise your reader to take action (Click to reveal your personal discount!)
- Make sure your copy is clear and coherent with meaningful calls to action. Test it to ensure that readers know what you are offering and what they need to do
Lowering Your Unsubscribe Rate
Although losing a few subscribers here and there is pretty normal, you certainly don’t want any alarming drops in your numbers. This rate is a very useful indicator of whether or not your content is actually appealing to your audience and can help you get back on the right path. Minimise your unsubscribe rate by ensuring your list is packed with people who are genuinely keen to hear from you:
- Incentivise people to subscribe to your email with prompts from your blog, social media content, offers or website
- Make sure your subscriber segmentation is accurate, using up-to-date data to ensure that you are sending people information on offers or products that they are actually interested in
- Don’t overdo it – too many emails are just going to fatigue your audience. It’s fine to have daily emails when you’re having a fun, one-off promotion, but it will cause people to lose interest in the long term. A weekly or monthly email combined with once-off emails for special offers or certain events is perfect.
If you would like some professional assistance with optimising your organisation’s email direct marketing content, our helpful digital marketing team is ready to assist. Contact us today and we can talk about what you want to achieve with your campaign.