Email Marketing: The Most Underrated and Underused Tool in Your Arsenal
Facts and Stats You Need to Know
Attention business owners: Email marketing is more alive than ever.
If your inbox looks something like the photo on the right, you may already be aware of that.
In an article in The Atlantic, computer engineer Raymond Tomlinson, the man who sent the first email in 1971, said:
“[Email] may be called something else, it may be embedded within some other app. We may even abandon the protocols. But I don’t think it’s going away, email is always going to have a place.”
Email Is Still the King of Marketing Rock Stars
Email marketing is one of the cornerstones of 8 Signal’s success.
Even millennials love email, no matter how much they communicate with other technologies. Research shows that new channels don’t affect the efficiency of email marketing, and email continues to outperform social media and blow the doors off of other digital marketing channels. In terms of sales, it remains more powerful than social media and apps.
According to McKinsey & Company:
- E-mail remains a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media – approximately 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined
- 91% of all U.S. consumers use email daily
- The rate at which emails prompt purchases is not only estimated to be at least three times that of social media, but the average order value is also 17% higher
Yet email marketing is often underrated, underused, or even removed from a marketer’s arsenal. Read on to learn why you can’t afford to make the same mistake.
Facts and Stats You Should Know
This last year has proven, once again, to be the year of the email. Just take a look at these facts:
- Email marketing is the #1 choice of marketers worldwide
- Based on the 2014 Email Marketing Census by Econsultancy, 55% of companies generate more than 10% of sales from email
- According to Harvard Business Review, the return on investment (ROI) for email marketing is 3900%. What does that mean exactly? Well, for every $1 spent, email marketing generates $39 in ROI.
- Microsoft Office Blog states that “email represents 20% of the time we spend on smartphones.”
- According to a survey done by Adobe, “we spend 6 hours a day checking email.”
- The Radicati Group’s Email Market Study for 2012-2016 estimates that there will be approximately 5.5 billion email addresses worldwide by the end of 2016. So, yes, there is a market—and it is huge!
All these facts sound great, but they might leave you wondering … What can I do about it?
Offer an Email Newsletter with High Value and Relevant Content
We’re not saying you should fill your consumers’ inboxes with spam. Quite the contrary. According to emailmonday, the biggest complaints people have about email are:
“They’re sent too frequently” or “I get too many of them”
“They are not relevant to me”
“The website and landing pages are not optimized”
“The email format is all messed up on a phone”
As you can see, a successful email marketing campaign is more than just high volume. Instead, it should be high value and full of relevant content. Not to mention consistent. At 8 Signal, we believe consistent email marketing is a critical component of your overall marketing plan.
Achieving all that is a matter of taking the following steps and harnessing the full power of email marketing.
Build a high-quality email list
Entrepreneur.com mentions how “list building is the key to a regal online presence.” Having a quality list means the recipients of your emails regularly engage with the business as a result of the emails — and if you’re doing a really great job, the recipients actually look forward to finding your content in their inboxes.
Shout it loud and proud
The “from” label of our emails should be a resonating statement of identity — concise and consistent. Using either the name of your company or your first and last names is your safest bet. Just keep in mind that people usually scan through their inbox in just a few seconds, meaning that’s the amount time you have to convince someone to open your email. You want quick recognition, and most people will identify your business faster than, for example, your own name.
Have a great pre-header
The pre-header is the very first line of text in your email. Some email browsers (especially on smartphones) pull this first line into the subject line and make it visible in the preview panel. Take advantage of this to draw and compel your readers to open your email.
Make them an offer they can’t refuse
Once your reader knows who sent the email, the subject line will give them that final push to open it. According to Convince & Convert, 35% of email recipients open email based solely on the subject line.
So hit ’em with a great opener that efficiently sums up the content while also convincing them to click and read more. An ideal subject line is catchy, interesting, and informative.
Get to the point (quickly)
Sending an email without engaging and relevant content is one quick way to end up in the junk folder. Copyblogger shows us a worrying statistic: an average of only 2 out of 10 people read past the headline. But don’t fret! This is actually the secret to the power of your email. Make sure your email is useful, helpful, and informative. Use shorter sentences with simpler words to get to your point faster.
Seal the deal
Email marketing is the #1 most effective online tactic for lead generation. So do your best to get what you came for: leads and customers. Use action verbs such as Read, Buy, Sign Up, Learn, Get, Download, Save. Drive your readers to “Save an Additional 25%” or “Enroll Today” with hassle-free and firm call-to-action statements.
Make your emails shareable
Make it easy for your readers to share your email on popular social media networks or forward your great content to their friends and colleagues.
But make sure all roads lead back to you. Surround your signature with links encouraging people to like you on Facebook and follow you on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or wherever you have an account for your business. This is an easy and free way to keep your email list (as well as followers) growing.
More Help Crafting the Perfect Email
There are several good techniques for writing effective emails. In our own email marketing, we aim to be more personal and less corporate, so we write emails that are friendly in tone. The best way to do this is to think about one of your clients or a good friend and write to that single individual.
The closer you are to that person, the better. Why? Because you’re less likely to overdo it with business jargon, fluff, or mindless dribble. Here at 8 Signal, we also aim to keep emails short. Our goal is to stay under 150 words. This doesn’t always happen, but it’s a general rule we prefer not to break.
Here are some other great tips to follow:
- Don’t overuse graphics. Be careful how you use images and how many you use, as well. Most customers have images disabled, so if your image is key to your message, be sure to use an alt tag.
- Stick to one click. It’s recommended that you only have a single call to action in your email. Keep it focused and to the point. Offering too many choices can be confusing.
- Your subject line is the most important. If your email doesn’t get opened, it doesn’t get read. Highlight the main benefit of the email clearly and as concisely as possible.
- Include multiple links to the same call to action. OK, we obviously haven’t been doing that in our emails, but it’s a practice we’ll start to incorporate. Digital Marketer suggests that each link in the email should provide the reader a different psychological reason to click, such as:
- Direct benefit
- Be personal. Wishpond has a really good comparison:
- A. “You don’t have to wait for your free copy. We’ve set yours aside. It’s available now…”
- B. “A free copy is now available for download.
Obviously, option A is far superior to B because it sounds more personal.
- Personalize every email. Share personal stories that tie in with the subject and connect it to relevant events. We did this recently with an email about Star Wars and my son, right around the time that The Force Awakens was released.
Focus on the journey, not the click
Some business owners obsess over every aspect of every email they send, from the subject line to the visuals to the copy. And they’re not wrong to do so, as long as they keep in mind that the email is just the first click in a potential customer’s decision journey.
This email is likely the first in a series of interactions with a customer, and marketers need to be just as obsessed with where the email sends the user.
According to The IMPACT Blog, the average rate for landing-page conversion across industries is 2.35%, a frighteningly low rate. Ideally, you want a conversion rate of 11.45% or higher.
Customized landing pages, which send the user directly to the product or service featured in the email, can boost conversion rates by more than 25%.
And don’t forget mobile pages! Nowadays, most browsing is done on smartphones. The SEO Gazelle states that 61% of users are less likely to return to a mobile site that was difficult to access. Even worse, 40% of them would rather visit a competitor’s site.
As you can see, writing emails for your business is no small matter. If you’re interested in learning how 8 Signal can do this for your business, give us a call at 915-585-1919 or reach me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.