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Email Marketing: It’s More Effective Now Than Ever

Posted
August 8, 2011

When most people think of online marketing campaigns, the first thing that likely comes to mind is social networking. Ads, pages, and videos on sites like Facebook and YouTube are often touted as the future of marketing, but according to a Globe and Mail article by Ivor Tossell, email is still the most powerful and effective marketing tool on the web.

Tossell points the advantages that email has: the ability to push your message out without having to first draw people onto a certain page or site, the trust you earn by only sending information to people who have given you permission to do so, and the ownership you have over an email list.

We agree wholeheartedly with Tossell’s article, and would like to add a few points to consider when targeting people with email:

The Graphical Element
Unlike virtually any other online marketing tool, emails can be customized to take on the look of your brand. Not only does this reinforce your brand and identity, but it also makes it easy to build new content into a customized template, saving you time, all while making you look really good.

What’s in It for Them?
Email marketing campaigns are most effective when the emphasis is on the customer, not the sending company. No one likes pointless self-promotion, but offering your customers a discount or providing your clients with helpful tips for their business will show them that your marketing efforts are centered around them.

Email gives the ability to push your message out without first having to draw people to your site.

A Little Quality One-On-One Time
Social networks aren’t always ideal for getting a message out because no matter how hard you try to make your page effective, you’re always competing for space. There will always be other ads displaying next to your message. Email allows you to deliver one controlled, focused message to your customers without having to worry about distractions from the sidelines. Not to mention, you don’t own the space on a social network so you have no control over how anything is displayed. Email gives you full control over layout, so your message won’t be lost among other ads, text, or graphics.

Targeted Groups
Effective client relationship management is all about knowing your customers individually and using the information they give you to customize their next experience with you. Email allows you to break customers into separate lists so that you can control the message you send to each of them, aligning it with their goals, targeting it to meet their needs, or triggering a reaction.

A Portal to Your Other Marketing Efforts
The best way to manage which sites and networks your customers are going to for specific information is to link from an email. For instance, a video hosting site like YouTube or Vimeo can’t be relied on for all marketing efforts, but they are ideal for some things. When you feel a customer can be served best by viewing a video campaign, you can simply link to it in your email. If you think they’ll want to discuss a product with other customers, send them to your company’s Facebook fan page or blog. You might send them to news release on your site if they’ll need general information on a product or event. They’ll appreciate the shortcut to useful information and you’ll find it easier to streamline your message by using email as the launching point for all of your other marketing efforts.

In terms of email frequency, the key is to strike a balance that your customers are comfortable with.

Frequency
Email marketing can lose its effectiveness if used too frequently or too sporadically. The key is to strike a balance that your customers are comfortable with. If you flood inboxes with several emails a week, recipients will think of it as junk mail and might stop reading them altogether. A good way to prevent this is to use segmented lists to send only relevant emails to targeted groups. This way, customers are only getting emails that apply to them. It’s also important to be consistent – if you say you’ll be sending quarterly emails, send quarterly emails. Don’t make that promise and then send less frequently. Customers might feel like they’re not a priority if you’re not maintaining communication with them.

Analysis
There are many tools available that will help you analyze the success of your email campaigns. It’s important to look at the open rate of your emails, as well as how many people are following links inside. Looking at this information will help you plan your content and approach for your next campaign, and might help you decide how to cater content to specific groups.

Don’t know where to start? Give us a call at (780) 989 0606 or email us at hello@plusrepublic.com. We’re happy to help you out.

Photo Credit: flickr.com