In the age of Instagram stories, Facebook pages, and Twitter trends, emails fall in the category of boomer. As far as digital marketing is concerned, they are still in fad. Emails and mixed email marketing are pillars of digital marketing. Email marketing entails sending commercial emails to current or potential customers. The commercial emails content includes advertisements, soliciting sales, donations, etc.
The email was invented in 1971 and since then it is used as an effective tool for communication and digital marketing. Gary Thuerk, in 1978 of DEC sent the first mass email to nearly 400 clients through the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET). Digital marketing is now based on content marketing, search engine marketing, mobile marketing etc. Even these cannot undermine the role of email marketing.
“You’ve got mail”, the Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks starring romance comedy might have no link to email marketing but it spotlights the most important feature of email which is, that it is personal. The messaging to someone is quite personal and the chances of getting read are quite high. Text messaging for marketing is an effective tool but as it lacks the freedom to add multimedia and is constrained by message length. Emailing doesn’t have these drawbacks.
The email directly engages a customer with a business. The email develops brand awareness, loyalty, and trust. The number of email accounts is more than social media accounts. The email account is generally used for social media registration. The statistics show that emails are the first check of the day for 58 percent of people. Email marketing medium that can singlehandedly generate lead, nurture them, and convert them at a low cost.
Social media marketing depends on whether a person gets to see your feeds or story. It is generally hit or miss. The chance of being lost in feeds is quite high. Content-based marketing is effective only when customers actively seek your content or visit your website. With emails, you will appear in customer notification. The mail synchronization in mobile provides an ease to the customer to manage their email accounts freely and open the mail without frequent login requirements. Direct access to customer time and attention is the reason why emails are so effective.
The digital marketing bandwagon motto is “tried and tested” not “the road less traveled”. Even with each day new social platforms popping and innovative marketing ideas growing, the marketers conservatively rely on the tested methods that are pointed out by the statistics.
The above statistics clearly show that the return on investment of emails is better than any other digital marketing tool. The cost of email is borne by the customer, not the company. The emails are inexpensive in comparison with other marketing tools. Email automation has made it possible to send bulk messages to many customers at once.
Emails are also a preferred medium to receive promotional content than social media with a high lead conversion rate comparatively.
Once a customer opens the mailbox, it is the email content that determines if he read the email or skims through it or unsubscribes from email services. The email services have streamlined the content integration from various sources like social media feeds, multimedia, etc. The commercial emails contain promotional content, newsletter, welcome message, or discount offers. The emails regarding customer behavior online like card abandonment, a suggestion based on a prior purchase or no purchase for a long time.
The business database uses data mining services to tailor personalized mail based on customer purchase history, customer searches online, wish-listed items, video stories, etc. This thing makes for engaging communication with the customer. The new product announcement, discount coupons, sales announcement not only make the customer aware but also build brand image and increase sales.
There are generally three types of emails sent to the customer
1 Transactional email- These are service emails sent to the customer regarding order confirmation, shipping of product, account creation, password change, purchase receipts etc. The rate of opening these emails is quite high. These can help in building brand awareness.
2 Relational emails- These are used to establish a cordial relation with customers. Leads are mostly generated with these kinds of emails. It comprises mostly of new subscriber email, gated content mail, surveys, contest announcement, webinar or event confirmation, referral requests, etc. They play a key role in building trust and loyalty.
3 Promotional emails- Nearly 66% of consumers have made a purchase online by being influenced by an email marketing message. Promotional emails are a powerful growth tool.
This mail focus on sales. The sales announcement, new product release, trial offers, discount offers, upgrade offers fall in this category.
To send your mail to the customer is not enough. Email marketing requires engaging customers through emails. The sequencing of emails is a cornerstone of customer engagement. The new customer should be welcomed through a welcome mail. A curation email features our best products to the customer. An average person receives 121 mails per day, to remain relevant to customers frequent engaging emails are a necessity. Survey emails make feel customer heard and engaged. Referral emails help to increase your sales as 74% of customers are influenced by the words of another customer in their purchasing decision.
An email should not always be about your brand or products. Global events can also trigger the sending of emails that can involve a customer. Like in recent times pandemic COVID 19 has shaken the world. You could send emails spreading awareness about pandemics and safety tips. This will not bring any sales but will increase customer trust and loyalty for your brand. You could also send a donation email for a tragic event under your corporate social responsibility program. This will not only inspire the customer for a noble cause but also feel a social connection to your brand.
There are two ways to send mail provided by email service provides
2 Autoresponder- The advance mailing system can be set up to send an email when customers trigger certain events like welcome mail when the account is created, thank you mail after purchase, etc. These serve the purpose of relational mails.
There are thousands of triggers that customer behavior can trigger; it does not mean you have to respond to every trigger. The important triggers should be identified or triggers should be based on customer consistent behavior. If an active customer remains inactive then you could choose an incubation time pried for re-engagement email trigger.
For both broadcast and auto-respond, email moderation is essential as no one wants their inbox to be filled with unnecessary and unwanted emails.
The email planes landing in the runway of spam are hard to return to the safe hanger of an inbox. The unsolicited emails or junk mail sent to the customer are called spam. The commercial mails send by a messaging system in bulk unsolicited is to find them in a spam folder. There is no point in email marketing if the potential customer never received your email.
Many companies use data appending services particularly email appending services to update their database of emails. Email appending means taking customer data and matching it with a business database to get email addresses. The emails send on the basis of these databases are generally unsolicited and email systems with advanced spam filtering categorize them in spam. This makes email appending exercise futile.
The emails send through customer subscribing will never go to a spam folder. Your business should encourage people to subscribe to your promotional content and newsletters and also provides a clear path for unsubscribing. The email verification should be the first step after customer profile creation. The email data validation can be done for email addresses obtained by web scraping services.
The more personalized email with customer name, designation, addresses, etc can bypass spam filters. The personalized emails pass the solicited vibe check.
Marketing does not only means making people aware of our product it also means analyzing that our message is getting through. The email opening rates, inbox hanging time etc are some valuable data that can be provided by an internet service provider. These insights into customer behavior help us determine the success of our marketing strategy.
Email marketing could be as good as an email database. People change their email addresses sometimes. Sometimes people write wrong email addresses. This creates gaps in email data. The data verification and data scrubbing could cleanse data and make it more thorough. A verified mailing list will be created. Skip tracing services and address search reduce the mail lost due to incorrect and incomplete addresses and increase your email reach.
Emails are one of the most compelling media in digital marketing and from the looks of it; they are holding their position quite efficiently. Email is the heart of marketing strategy that pumps the blood of leads in your marketing veins, so keeps your heart beating.