Minimal risk: Some top marketers expect to burn through $10,000 of advertising budget before even knowing if they can make a campaign profitable. (Nope, that’s not an exaggeration. But I’d usually aim for a few hundred dollars—not thousands.) With email marketing, the costs are much, much lower. A simple email marketing software like AWeber is very affordable even if your business isn’t a huge success, yet. And even if you go with something advanced like Infusionsoft, you’re still far away from the kinds of investments many other marketing tactics require. Sure, email marketing and advertising aren’t directly comparable (advertising is mainly used to reach new prospects). But you get the point.
From a business perspective, emails are widely used as a cost-effective as well as efficient way of acquiring new customers, boosting sales, building up your brand awareness and fostering a sense of trust among your customers. Email marketing has also shown a better ROI compared to other marketing channels. According to a survey conducted by Direct Marketing Association and Demand Metric, email had an ROI of nearly 122%, whereas other channels such as social media had just 28%.
If you want your direct marketing strategy to drive more business, then quality data is your answer. From retailers to realtors, Experian’s data helps businesses of all sizes deliver data-driven marketing. As an original data compiler, Experian works with hundreds of public and proprietary data sources to reach over 98% of the U.S. with accuracy and precision. With Experian’s List Builder, you can:
Generating your own list of email contacts who have opted in to receive content from you doesn't just comply with legal regulation and protect your brand reputation. It also presents you with opportunities to grow this list through genuine relationships with new customers. We've already written a post of clever ways to go about doing this, which you can check out here. But below are the basic best practices that have a very big bang for their buck when it comes to consistently growing an email list.
There’s no denying that email is a huge part of our lives. We receive lots of emails every day – whether its for work, from friends or even from that webshop you purchased from three months back. It is and remains a great way of getting a message across to your target audience without being too invasive. Because email marketing is so effective, it’s role has only become stronger in recent years, even with the rise in popularity of social channels such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. As a result, there are several great email marketing tools available to choose from, many of which cater to the creation, design, distribution and analysis of emails used in email marketing campaigns.
The primary cost of poorly crafted or mis-targeted emails is lost business opportunities, though in extreme cases it can damage a firm’s reputation as well. But the potential payoff for effective email marketing is substantial; email messages are more likely to be seen and acted upon by decision makers than online content, social media, or advertising.
A cloud-based email platform, SendGrid is a tool built to serve developers. It is known as the world’s largest Email Infrastructure as a Service provider. Users can quickly send out emails such as shipping notifications, email newsletters, sign-up confirmations, etc. Businesses can also track email opens unsubscribes, bounces and spam reports without the use of code. This email marketing tool also provides templates, scheduling and A/B testing. Email analytics can be viewed in real-time.
The takeaway here is that if you are to use personalization as an email strategy, do so in a meaningful way. It takes little knowledge or relationship to place someone’s name in your greeting. It shows far greater care to send personalized email that is specific to a recipient’s needs and history. Again, an example from my inbox, this email from Rdio dispenses with the formalities and simply provides an update on music I actually listen to.
The most advanced email marketing services offer custom workflows where you can specify triggers based on actions (such as opening an email or making a purchase) or on inaction (such as ignoring emails). With these services, you can also set up a series of emails (such as tutorials) to be sent to segments of users, and you can pause or stop a campaign at any time. You can also move contacts into new segments once they have completed tutorials.
Have you ever heard of email campaign feedback? Email feedback plays an important role in customer-centricity. By collecting this feedback within your email campaigns, you provide a platform for two-way communication with your customers where they can share their thoughts and perceptions of your email(s) and the information you’ve provided. In other words, you as an email marketer gain insight into what your readers truly value.
Social media – the undisputed king in the marketing domain… And then there’s email. Think of it as a grandparent to social media marketing. Don’t be fooled, it’s still reliable if used the right way. Today’s marketers may not be as email savvy, nor do they consider it to be a “cool” way of contacting clients, however, it has stood the test of time and proven itself to be an effective method of communication.
Next up is building an email newsletter. The best services offer several ways to do this; you can import your own HTML, start from scratch, or use a predesigned template. Most of these services have drag-and-drop UIs that let you choose exactly the elements you want to include, as well as image libraries in which you can store assets such as your logo or company photos. Tools that let you test your emails for spam are also essential since there are some seemingly innocuous terms that may send up red flags and drop all of your hard work into your subscribers' junk folders or, worse, get your emails banned before they ever reach their recipients.
If someone didn't ask to hear from you yet, it doesn't mean they won't want to hear from you later. It's your job to prove to them -- through helpful content and valuable offers -- that they should stay up to date with your company via email. If you force your email content on anyone too early, even if you know in your bones they're a great fit for your products or services, you risk preemptively losing their trust and their future business.
Every week, the folks at InVision send a roundup of their best blog content, their favorite design links from the week, and a new opportunity to win a free t-shirt. (Seriously. They give away a new design every week.) They also sometimes have fun survey questions where they crowdsource for their blog. This week's, for example, asked subscribers what they would do if the internet didn't exist.
A tracking pixel is a snippet of code that allows you to track your subscribers’ activity across various channels like your website, landing pages, and newsletters. Then, you also have the option to send emails triggered by certain behaviors. So for example, if a subscriber goes to your site and checks out your product page, a tracking pixel can send an email with a special offer for the specific product the viewed.