Social media gurus might ring the death knell of email marketing, but the evidence shows email volumes continue to grow, and that in particular business users are tapped into their email most if not all of the time.
Certainly the adoption of social media means our communications preferences are changing, particularly with younger demographics. Some universities are no longer offering email accounts to their students (http://hallam.co/w3Rcrb). The growth of alternatives like Blackberry Messenger, SMS text messaging, tweets, and Facebook status updates means your target market has ever increasing options, and preferences, for receiving your marketing messages.
But start by asking yourself if you still have an email account? Do your customers use email? Chances are the answer is a resounding yes, and with the right message and the right timing, your customers and prospective customers still want to hear from you.
The types of emails we want to receive are changing, and we are more impatient with what we perceive to be spam. Nevertheless, notifications and reminders, transactional emails, welcoming emails, follow up emails, and product information emails are still welcome by our customers.
How we are reading our email is changing: there has been 81% growth in mobile email readership, meaning we are reading emails using smartphones, iPads and other mobile devices (http://hallam.co/uuJqzC). This surge in mobile email means our customers are looking for the right message at the right time, displayed in a way that can be displayed, or rendered, correctly on their device. Have you tested your email marketing messages to see what they look like on a Blackberry or an iPhone?
Don’t forget that email marketing can be successfully integrated with your social media marketing activities. Email marketing service providers like MailChimp and ConstantContact provide free Facebook apps that allow your fans to signup for your email newsletter directly from within Facebook. Does your company go to exhibitions or conferences? You can use an email app on your iPad to collect email addresses for new subscribers, and when you get back to the office upload them to your email account. If you are sending out a newsletter, don’t forget to Tweet about it. And of course you can embed Facebook “Like” buttons in your email newsletter content.
Email marketing software is getting more sophisticated, with built in functionality that makes it easier for your business to personalise the messages that it sends out. Do you have web visitors who get halfway through an order, and then abandoned the purchase? You can send automatically trigged emails reminding them of the benefits of completing their purchase. A similar recent campaign by airline JetBlue achieved a 1,640% increase in revenue-per-email as compared to their standard promotional emails.
And if you, like me, learn best by studying practical examples of email marketing case studies then take a look at Marketing Sherpa’s Email Awards 2012 (http://hallam.co/rBf37p). Whether you are looking to build relationships, reactivate tired leads, or build your pipeline of prospective customers, take a look at how companies like yours are still successfully using email marketing.