What is effective email marketing?
Most of us have heard “Email marketing’s dead…”, “Nobody reads email anymore…”, “I delete any marketing emails from my inbox…” Whilst there has been a decline in open rates over recent years, this can mostly be attributed to campaigns that haven’t adhered to fundamental rules of marketing; target your customers effectively and communicate solutions to their problems better than the competition.
Why do I need email marketing?
Email marketing provides a cost-effective way of communicating with your audience, solving their problems through crafting a message they will respond to. Through adopting an understanding of how potential customers think and feel, better than the competition and only emailing potential targets (not ready bought lists of data), highly successful campaigns can be created.
What benefits will my business see from email marketing?
If we were to look at an independent coffee shop based in London, through research they may have identified, coffee drinkers between the ages of 19 and 24:
- Care about sustainability – the world they leave behind is important to them!
- Spend a lot of their disposable income on short-term gratification versus saving for longer-term investments such as a house.
- Have a high expectation of life, as a lot of it is at their fingertips due to technological advancements.
- Spend a lot of time on their phones, social media and email, whilst out and about.
Armed with this knowledge, having identified what elements make up their potential customers decision-making and how they spend their time, the coffee shop decides to target this group whilst they’re out and about in London, on their phones.
- Create a highly targeted list of potential customers. This is achieved though targeting this age group with a Paid Facebook campaign, using incentives to collect the email address of any user within a 5 mile radius of the coffee shop. Facebook Ads will allow the coffee shop to target users interests, to ensure they’re only capturing the data of interested coffee drinkers.
- Email this list regularly, focusing on their brand USP’s (unique selling points) created through their research. These are:
- Producing an independent, high-quality cup of coffee that is far removed from the mainstream brands.
- Ensuring every cup is ethically sourced from the finest beans and served using compostable cups/ the customers own reusable cup.
- Offering a trendy coffee lounge on their doorstep, with superfast broadband, board games and vegan food.
This highly tailored approach, considering where their audience spend their time and what they care about is likely to convert more successfully than other email campaigns. This can be taken a step further, creating individual email marketing campaigns to target different audiences.
How do I create an email marketing campaign?
A communications audit and review can be used to better understand your customers behaviour and how to communicate with them effectively. This is achieved through understanding:
- Who they are and how they feel.
- What problems they’re trying to solve.
- Where they spend their time.
Answers to these questions can be obtained through some simple market research, spending time in-store talking with your customers or alternatively if you’re a service-based business, out on the road with your sales staff.
Having obtained your answers to these questions, you can consider:
How to collect your email data to create a profitable email marketing list.
Effective targeting and data collection is critical to any marketing campaign. Consider where your potential customers spend their time and how best to collect this data. If they spend a lot of time on Facebook, how can you collect this data? Alternatively, they may spend a lot of time in-store, so why not look to collect their data through more traditional methods such as a competition or loyalty scheme.
What to communicate with them across the email campaign.
Looking back at the coffee shop, what are some of the personality traits their potential customers exhibit, what problems are they looking to solve and at what stage are they in their life? Use these facts to define your brands USP’s, not only considering what’s unique to your business but what your target audience care about.
How and when to communicate with each audience group.
How do you use your email marketing campaign to move your customers further along their decision-making lifecycle, alongside other marketing communications?
We understand carrying out the research to create your first email marketing campaign can be a challenge. If you would like some support defining the questions to ask your audience and how to use this research, we can support you with this free of charge. Get in touch here.
What else do I need to know?
Email marketing is far from dead. As with any marketing campaign you run, whether it be through social media, SEO, PPC or direct mail, the medium you choose has to be dependent on your target audience. You won’t find many consumers over the age of 60 purchasing through social media and likewise a lot of the younger generation are easier to reach through their mobile phones.
Too many marketing campaigns are too concerned with using the ‘trendy new tool’ and not the one which is most appropriate for the job. A lot of marketing companies can be guilty of this too, as it’s easy to get excited about something ‘new’ or ‘in’. Unfortunately this illusion across marketing communications leads to disappointing campaigns which don’t support anybody in achieving their objective, simply because they’re not reaching the intended audience.
“Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.”