The one common complaint these days from busy professionals and entrepreneurs is the ever-increasing burden of email. It has become the scourge of the modern age. Productivity gurus and software developers are making a good living finding solutions to the bulging email box we all stress over. Most struggle daily to keep their head above water with their emails. Then you add in the fact that email is the champion of business communications, so you have to stay on top of your email game to stay ahead. Our inboxes are not much different. They require constant attention to keep on top of things that affect our day-to-day lives.
The bottom line is this: Whether at work or at home, email demands and gets our undivided attention. With so much focus on email, it should be crystal clear why businesses should make effective email marketing a top priority. Whether your target is other businesses (B2B) or customers (B2C), email marketing is the way to get their attention.
What Do the Numbers Say?
Understanding the numbers behind email marketing may help you understand its value. Let’s take a few moments and walk through the basics.
How many people can I reach? As of 2020, there are over 3.9 billion users of email, and estimates tell us that it will rise to 4.3 billion users by 2023. That is a big audience!
What kind of traffic is associated with email? In 2019, there were 293.6 billion emails sent and received everyday! By 2022, that is expected to exceed 343.7 billion emails sent and received. There is a lot of communication flying around!
What is in it for me? Currently, the value of email marketing is that for every $1 marketing dollar spent, there is an average return of $42 dollars. That might fit into your budget!
Now that we have covered some of the basic numbers let’s talk about some of the do’s and don’ts of email marketing.
Get Started on the Right Foot
As the numbers indicate, email marketing is an affordable and viable way to reach your customers on a global scale. To reach out and connect effectively with your target audience, you have to make a basic social connection and offer a solution to their needs. To make that perfect connection, keep a few basics in mind.
Personalize your message – By personalizing the subject line and the introduction of the email, you will be able to make that basic social connection and offer a great solution. The average open rate for emails is 20.8%. When you personalize the email, that open rate jumps to over 50%.
Making it appealing – Visual appeal gets their attention and will encourage them to want to stay on and read through your message. Email design should be simple, clean, and uncluttered. Use images that are engaging and vibrant.
User-friendly – Whether on the desktop or on a mobile platform, customers should be able to quickly and clearly engage with action in your email. You want them to point and click to learn more. Make it simple!
Don’t Be Obnoxious
With the obvious need to be right and appeal to potential customers, many tend to offend their email recipients with some of the most basic faux paus! Let’s talk about some of the don’ts of email marketing.
Flood My Inbox – Remember, your potential customers are typically stressed and overwhelmed by their inbox. Be part of the solution and not part of the problem. Keep the number of your emails to a minimum. If you are sending out general newsletters, once a month is just fine! If you are announcing a sale or special event, send out the initial and follow-up just before the sale or event with a reminder. Daily emails are very touchy and should be avoided unless you are provided crucial information for immediate action.
I Can Do That – Many feel that they can sit down, design an email, and get it out all by themselves. If you use one of the more popular email platforms such as Mailchimp or Constant Contact, it has some potential. Both platforms have sample templates for you to use that are clean, thoughtful, and well-designed, appealing to your clients. The biggest challenge is when you decide to design your own, and then things can go downhill quickly. Excessive links, graphics, and text can immediately get your email deleted and marked as spam. Keep it simple and rely on templates if you are not a design guru.
Offer a Solution – Don’t overthink it and over do it! Get right to the point, offer your information, and give them a next step. Make sure it is super easy to understand, visualize, and take action on with the desktop or mobile platform.
Thoughts About Email Platforms and Audiences
Email marketing platforms are just superb for reaching out on a global scale to clients. They enable you to do the basics like maintaining lists and designing email templates for your audience. They also go way past the basics and offer a multitude of other services such as reporting, performance statistics, and other marketing avenues connected with email marketing efforts. They are great tools to help make your life simpler. Two of the most popular platforms are Mailchimp and Constant Contact. Check them out and see what they have to offer.
Watch Your Step
There are some pitfalls with email marketing that you should be aware of. We have covered a few in this article when it comes to frequency and design. One of the most common challenges is with building an audience you can send those emails out to. You have to develop and build an audience to reach.
One of the biggest errors you can make is buying a list of emails to market to. There are tons of offers on the internet from companies that will sell you a marketing list. They will tell you that they also sell “clean” lists and will offer some guarantee that those emails are “good.” Simply put, DO NOT DO IT. It is a bad practice to buy email lists and never believe their guarantees, you will not be able to collect a refund. Those email marketing platforms frown on purchased lists and will suspend or delete your account for using them.
The next biggest challenge is signing up someone for your email list without their knowledge or consent. This is another big no-no in email marketing. You must be aware of the focus on privacy across all digital platforms. It is a big deal and can subject you to severe penalties for violating those rules. If you haven’t noticed, email platforms have made it super simple to mark emails as SPAM. If your SPAM rate on your email platform rises above a certain percentage, your account will be suspended or deleted.
To build an effective and safe customer list, the best way is to ask people to join and get them to enroll. It can all be automated on your email provider platform, and you can use social media to spread the word. You can also invite existing customers to join when they visit your business. The best way to think of this is to be polite and always ask!
Interested in getting an email marketing program started for your business? Give us a call at 818.488.1543 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!