With the surge of video, interactive graphics, and other visual content, is email still an effective tool for content marketing?
Perhaps you've seen them. The articles and blog posts claiming that email is "dead."
Many of these authors are, no doubt, simply looking to be provocative and boost traffic. Others, however, sincerely believe that the venerable technology really is on the demise.
In fact, research continues to show that email marketing, when done well, is still one of the best channels and tactics for driving traffic and sales.
Email Marketing Can be One of Your Most Effective Tools
Email is still a powerful tool that actually is not going away. And it is still one of the most effective marketing tools in use today. Despite articles and blog posts to the contrary.
For example, 89% of marketers say that email is their primary channel for lead generation (Mailigen) and 60% of marketers say that email marketing is producing an ROI for their organization. (MarketingSherpa)
In addition, typically you can expect an average return of $38 for every $1 you spend on email marketing, And as important as social media marketing is for your strategy, according to Forrester, people are twice as likely to sign up for your email list as they are to interact with you on Facebook.
According to Lindsay Kolowich at Hubspot,
A well-written, plain-text email can perform just as well (if not better) than a highly designed email with tons of bells and whistles.In fact, no matter how fancy your marketing emails look, if they’re devoid of well-written content, your subscribers will stop opening -- and start deleting -- your messages.
The secret is not in adding numbers of gimmicks and enhancements into your emails. It's in the quality and relevance of the content.
Yes, even with email, "Content rules!"
Six Qualities of Great Emails
If you already have an email list you're halfway there. But you must also have a clear purpose and strategy for using email blasts as part of your overall marketing plan. Random emails or spammy email pitches won't fly here.
With that said, here are six key qualities for really great emails:
1. A Great Subject Line
Clever is good - deceptive or irrelevant is not. Nothing says "Scam" more than an email subject line that has nothing to do with the actual message. Worse is the use of subjects lines designed to fool people into thinking the email is from someone they know or just spoke with.
An effective subject line is brief, clear, relevant and compelling. Experimentation is in order here and, if you have the resources, testing different subject lines with the same email over a period of time can be quite beneficial.
2. Personalized and Personable
Whenever possible, you should personalize the greeting of your emails. In the body of the text you should write in the second person. Writing in the second person means making liberal use of the pronouns “you,” “your,” and “yours."
Write as if you are talking to a real person - not a marketing "avatar" or hypothetical prospect. Your copy - the text in your message - should be easy to read and feel as if it is coming from a human, not a marketer. (Not always the same thing!)
3. Strive for Clarity and Relevance
Your reader should never have to guess at what you're saying, or what your email is about. If you can read your email to a 10-year old and they "get it" then you are on the right track. If, however, you read your own copy and have to re-read portions to make sure you understood it all - well, probably need to go back and try again.
And your email message should be relevant to your reader. The danger with mass email "blasts" going out to anyone and everyone is that irrelevant messages don't get read. Your readers should be able to identify with your message and the subject matter.
4. Focus on the Benefits, Not the Features
Remember: it's never about you! It is always about what's in it for your audience. This is true in all marketing efforts. It's true in sales and it's true for your email messages.
We know you have a great product or service, but the harsh truth is that your email audience doesn't much care. They simply want to know how what you are saying will benefit them. If that is not quickly apparent, most folks will simply delete it and move on.
5. Keep It Short and Real
Brevity is a thing of beauty when it comes to email. Resist the temptation to say everything you can think of in one email blast! If your message or offering is sufficiently complex and involved, create a series of emails.
Authenticity is also quite effective. Being real and genuine in your messaging, your wording and phrasing - and in your message - is compelling. No one wants to be sold to and no one cares much for generic, inauthentic and trite messages from marketers.
6. Don't forget to Ask!
A compelling call to action has a place even in emails. Are you always (or ever) trying to sell something with an email? No, but you still want your readers to DO something.
This could be anything from "Click this button" to "Call us." Whatever it is, be sure you have a clear call to action (CTA) and that you make it easy for your reader to respond.
Getting Good Help With Your Email Marketing
Inbound marketing is powerful approach for building and scaling your business and email marketing can play a significant part of it. But achieving your marketing objectives with an inbound marketing strategy takes time. It won't happen with a few email blasts, blog posts or even a few great blog posts.
The truth is that your audience will need to consume your content for a while before they contact you. Yet, without your content compelling them to contact you, your goals may never be met.
The good news is that you don't have to figure out alone. In fact, one of the best investments you can make with your marketing budget is to partner with a solid firm like BroadVision marketing.
Click on this link to get your free Complimentary Inbound Marketing Session so you can make an informed decision, or call BroadVision Marketing at 707-799-1238.