I got your attention, didn't I? If you do a Google Search on "Email is dead", you will find almost 2 million results. Actually, email marketing is so far from dead that I have been using it and getting great results. But you want to butt in and say you don't open most of the stuff you see in your email inbox. Well yes there are a lot of things sent your way that you aren't interested in; however, someone else might be looking for that very information. And that is the beauty of it. Plus, if you really don't want those pesky people bothering you, you can always opt out.
Here are some trick questions for you: How often during the day do you check your email? How many times an hour? What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Those 2 million articles are proclaiming the wrong info and I just made it 2 million and 1.
In 2011 email brought in $40.56 for every dollar spent on it. That is an impressive rate of investment.
Here are some more statistics for those of you who love numbers. On any day your average customer is exposed to almost 3,000 media messages, pays attention to around 50 of them and will probably remember just four. Have you looked at how many of those things you get a day? So how do you make sure that your email is in that top four? The trick is that today's email has to be more trustworthy, more relevant to your customer and more strategic. And that's not all, it must be more engaging. (You can find enough statistics to create one heck of an infographic at The Leading Authority on Email Marketing Metrics.)
There are some topics we are not going to cover in this article. We are not going to cover the calls-to-action and landing pages that got you the name in the first place. We are not going to talk about building and segmenting lists. We are not going to cover how you help your prospect feel like it is easy to opt out if he or she chooses. We are not going to get into the idea that you don't want to spam or send a squeeze letter to your prospects so that they learn not steer clear of your offerings. Those are all topics for other articles and you can find a lot of that information within this blog.
Engaging? No you don't need to buy a ring.
You do need to be as engaging as those friends and family members whose emails people always read (as long as they are not from a MIL). You want readers to feel something close to that same kind of warmth when they see your email in their inbox. The number one way to do that is to make email campaigns about your subscribers and what they want, not about you wanting to sell them anything.
This example shows a successful email. First is that it is about the subscribers. People will be attracted to this who have a loved one who has Alzheimer's. The title is short, tells what the email is about and has the proper keyword phrase. What you don't see is anyone selling anything. After all your family doesn't try to sell you things, I hope. They want to share something instead. None of this client's email offerings should ever be anything more than a chance for the reader to get some more information on the topic.
To be engage you want to be trustworthy, relevant and strategic. Let's look at these one at a time.
Trustworthiness really is quite simple. It's the difference between seeing your friend's name come up on your phone or some strange number from Timbukto.
- To be trustworthy all you have to do is be consistent.
- Mail your emails on the same day at the same time of day.
- Consistently send the same number of emails a month.
- Be consistent with the types of content.
- Use good titles like the one above consistently so that a person gets used to your "name and phone number."
So what is the bottom line to keep your emails out of the spam folder? Go to your spam folder. Look at what the spam filter kicked to the curb. Don't use anything like that. Just don't do it.
Relevance makes all the difference in the world. You probably won't get too many people looking at emails with information of how to clean an old tape recorder from your repair shop.
- Relevance includes talking to the right people. If you send the email above to 23-year old air conditioning installation agents, chances are they aren't going to open it unless they have a grandparent they have to take care of. If mom or dad is taking care of grandmother, these young men probably won't look twice before deleting.
- You need to make sure that the subject line tells the person exactly what the email is about and that it applies to him personally.
- You also want to be sure that your message fits on whatever device your customer is using.
The last item, strategy, is a technical issue. Because we saw a direct relationship between the time an email went out and an increase in the number of website views, we might be inclined to say "eureka it works" and be done with any strategy beyond the ones we mentioned before. But having a strategy is much more than that because you need to prove that the email does more than get people to open it or go to a blog. You need to know that your prospects become customers.
The seven most common email metrics will give you statistics on the number on the ones:
- Dropped into a spam folder somewhere
The ultimate objective is to get the person to engage and this can be difficult to determine as we have spoken about the article about the activity of the lead. There are many software programs out there to help you get the information you need. Hubspot is a good source. (I just had to throw that in there since we are Certified Hubspot Partners). Hubspot in an article, April 2013 4 Tried and True Marketing Automation Recipes for Better Email Nurturing says of its software:
In our marketing at HubSpot, we drink our own Kool-Aid and use our own marketing automation software, and in doing so, we’ve uncovered a set of core lead and customer nurturing “recipes” that are especially effective at nurturing our visitors from prospects to leads to customers to evangelists.
Is email dead? Far from it. It is one of the highest performing processes for the cost. What are you going to do to improve your email campaign?
Image courtesy of Witthaya Phonsawat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Jaco Grobbelaar is the owner of BroadVision Marketing. BroadVision Marketing works with business owners to put in place inbound and outbound marketing strategies that consistently secure new clients. The BroadVision Marketing Training Center is located in Petaluma, CA and primarily serves companies in the San Francisco Bay area.
Jaco can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 707.766.9778 or connect with Jaco on Facebook - www.facebook.com/broadvisionmarketing - and LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/JacoGrobbelaar. He can also be found at Jaco+.