Email Marketing

Has email been replaced by social media? Not hardly. Even though this prediction was made several years ago by experts in the field, email users have proven them wrong. Email has gotten smarter and more refined. Although it has gone through many changes in its short lifespan, email is here to stay, at least for now.

Here are a few highlights in the history of email.
  • 1971 - The first email is sent by Ray Tomlinson using the @ symbol to connect the user’s name and the machine where the mailbox is located.
  • 1991 - Astronauts send the first email from outer space.
  • 1996 - Hotmail emerges as one of the first web-based email services.
  • 1998 - Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks introduce the general public to the thrill and possibilities of email communication in the movie “You’ve Got Mail”.
  • 2017 - 3.7 billion people use email world wide (Radacati). That means that nearly 54% of the entire planet is currently using email.

In just over five decades, email has transformed society by changing the way people communicate at home and at work. In a society where technology changes by the minute, it would be safe to say that email has stood the test of time.

Who uses email today?
Perhaps a better question would be “Who doesn’t use email today?” It has been documented that 72% of adults prefer email as their primary source of communication from companies (Marketing Sherpa). The demographics of email users are across the board, encompassing six generations of people living in the world today.
  • GI Generation born 1901-1926
  • Mature/Silent Generation 1927-1945
  • Baby Boomers/Me Generation 1946-1964
  • Generation X  1965-1980
  • Generation Y (Millennials) 1981-2000
  • Generation Z (Boomlets) 2001-today
An email address is usually required to interact with programs and services online. Therefore, whether it’s a six year old child typing a thank you note to grandma, a millennial communicating with their favorite brand, a boomer writing a customer service review or a senior connecting with distant relatives—you name it, they’ve got mail.

The Value of Staying Connected to Your Customers
Did you know that email is one of the most powerful marketing tools out there? It has been proven to be very effective, with a return on investment (ROI) higher than any other marketing avenue. To get down to some actual numbers, what this means is that for every dollar spent, $38 dollars in revenue is earned (Campaign Monitor).

Even with the popularity of social media, email still has an important role in communication and marketing. A few of the benefits of email marketing are:
  • Takes you directly to a customer who has already shown an interest in what you have to offer—through a previous submission of their email address.
  • It’s instantaneous and allows for real time responses—such as a 12 hour sale.
  • Reminds your customers you are out there. It is unlikely that people will stop by your website for a weekly visit. A gentle reminder in their inbox is a great way to keep in touch.

How to get started with an Email Marketing Campaign.
The List.
Before you can send out an email you need people with email addresses. Here is where the list comes in to play. The first step to building an email list is getting permission by asking people to sign up. Here it helps to think like your customer. Answer their questions before they ask. Such as:
  • How often will you email?
  • What kind of information will you email?
  • Will you give my email address to anyone else?
Offer them something of value in return for their email address. Such as a free gift or an e-book. Know who your customers are. Know their interests, needs and what appeals to them.

Keys to Writing an Effective Email
1.  Be authentic. This is a one-to-one interaction between you and your customer. Get personal and be conversational.
2.  Give them the inside scoop. Keep your customers informed on new products and reviews. Good email content strengthens your relationship with your customers.
3.  Value their time. People are busy. Don’t try to pack too much information into one email. Focus on a single lesson or tip to share. Is it a 24 hour sale or a coupon? Whatever you have to say, say it and get to the point. Keep it short and break it up. Most importantly, create great dynamic content.
4.  Mobilize. According to a report by Pew Research Center, 52% of cellphone users access email from their phone. For an example, checking email is the primary use of smartphones in the boomer generation alone. Everywhere you look, people are using their phones. Mobilization is no longer an option, it is a necessity.
5.  As email continues to evolve it is important to be purposeful in creating email content. How are you going to make their lives better or what problem are you solving? What content are you giving them that is useful and beneficial? Are you helping them save money with a coupon or sale? Are you helping them save time or make a decision? Have a specific purpose with your email.

Getting your email opened and read.
Now that you have created some great content, how will you encourage your customers to take the time to read it?

1.  An irresistible subject line. Give them a reason to open the message. Perfect the subject line. People are more likely to open an email that is either practical or one that creates curiosity.
2.  Show some appreciation. A little gratitude goes a long way. Thank them for being a valued customer and taking the time to read your email.
3.  Call to action. Make it clear what you want them to do. Provide links that are clearly visible including social media sharing icons.
4.  Balance. Don’t send out too many emails. Have a consistent and measured approach. Only write when you really have something to say.

The more your emails are opened and read, the more engagement you have with your customers, which builds a strong and loyal customer base. Great communication = great relationships—a win-win situation for everybody.

Contact us this week to start using email campaigns to drive more sales. Call 800-247-7318 and ask for Ginger.

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