Email Marketing: The Rules of Engagement

Email still reigns as a daily activity for millions of people. According to ComScore a gigantic 89.6 million Americans “access email for work or personal purposes”. Approximately 33% of these users check their email everyday through their smart phones. ComScore believe that the amount of mobile users are growing almost at the rate of 30% every year. Whilst eConsultancy states that open rates have grown in the first half of the year by more than a quarter.

Research shows the rise of cross channel marketing is helping to fuel growth in the email marketing sector. The challenge is that email must remain relevant and optimised for all viewing devices.

Delivering optimised campaigns.

It’s clear that bulk emails do little to engage recipients long-term.

A consumer’s engagement is an ephemeral state that requires attention for anything to remain past a short-term fling. To create a long-lasting relationship between your recipients and your brand – the shift in email marketing needs to provide for changes in lifecycle, viewing devices and behavioural activity. The key is to stop thinking about your customer database as a whole and start thinking about your database on an individual level.

Is it worth the effort?

A customer focused, data strategy requires time, attention and resource to manage. A well-executed data strategy allows you to identify the people who are most likely to buy- to target these people specifically. In doing so, you can reduce waste by tailoring your emails on an individual level…

It’s important to take time to weed out the disengaged and spend time nurturing the relationships that matter. Why spend your media budget on emails that end up in the “junk” box or ultimately get ignored? The extra spend on campaign planning and data management out weights the savings in broadcast costs. This shift in marketing spend will allow you to invest in that second purchase and future brand engagement.

Nurture the relationships that matter.

Emails have to be opened to influence. In order to influence, the emails must be delivered. The role of email service providers such as Yahoo!, Hotmail and Gmail etc is to deliver only the, “messages users want to receive, none that they do not”.

In an ideal world, someone has visited your website, maybe made a purchase and signed up for email. They are successfully engaged and ready to be nurtured towards the second purchase.

Before we’ve sent the first email, a problem can emerge regarding spam filters. There is an incredible volume of unrequested, unsolicited mail, this has a major impact on the email industry. Email service providers make it their mission to block and filter out any unwanted email traffic. Consequently, legitimate commercial emails, are blocked even when the recipient has signed up.

Gaining Influence.

If you’re not in front of anyone, you won’t be influencing anyone.

What’s more, If you have a high spam score, you may be paying to create and broadcast emails that are not being delivered. The extent to which these mails do not get delivered impact on your email campaigns and affect your email reputation.

Take time to consider your spam score when testing and ensure to carry out the following:

How do I get the maximum revenue potential from my marketing list?

Once you’ve tackled the challenge of reaching the inbox. And by “in front of the customer”, I mean in the inbox, and opened and read. There is no point in sending emails unless this is the objective. You can then start to collect data to see whether your database is interested in your email or not.

The next step is to market to people who want your emails: By analysing the browsing and click behaviour within a website and email we can start to infer what people are interested in. It’s unusual for people to browse areas of a website they aren’t interested in. Without a doubt this is valuable and insightful data that can be utilised to inform your marketing strategy.

Lifecycle

Nurturing relationships come down to the right message at the right time. The manner in which you deliver your message should be different at shifts in the lifecycle. For example, the first email to a recipient that has just subscribed would be very different to one where there has been no activity in weeks, or where there is a dead or lapsed lead.

Rather than sending weekly emails to the whole database, segment out your database into audiences: Engaged, disengaged, semi- engaged. Or segment according to the areas of interest within your business.

Achieving Relevance

Segmentation and automation should provide strong foundations for relevancy and engagement.  For those of you that are unaware, automation gives huge advantages for personalisation. Tactics to try could be:

Last but not least, these tactics are not fool-proof. Every industry is different and everything should be tested. Test time-frames, frequency of mail, the template designs and messaging for different audiences.

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By 2018, 42.4% of world’s population will be plugged into the internet, with around 3.6 bn people able to access it at least once a month.