Email Marketing Made Simple
Can you recall your exciting first encounters with your newly created email account? We can. Dial-up internet connection and the accompanying whirring, whining sound of our modem booting up. It was a source of joy to receive a letter from a friend or a select deal being offered by one of our favorite brands, as we logged onto AOL accounts to hear those infamous three words — You’ve got mail!
Fast forward to the present, and our feelings have soured a bit. We now dread opening our flooded inboxes, but how did we get to this point? Well, today having an email account has become as normal as having an identification card or social media profile. Whether completing a job or housing application, setting up a utility account, utilizing rental services, etc. — almost every facet of life requires you to have an email address in the same manner you have a working phone number.
While these services are essential to modern living, there are other, less vitally important aspects to 21st century living. To be specific, for decades the culture of consumerism has pitted brands against their audience in a game of cat-and-mouse. The advertising industry in its earlier forms was relatively new, and target audiences were relatively unaware of marketing strategies. Fast forward a few decades and telemarketing laws have had to become enacted.
Email which, prior to, was used for personal communications became the primary medium for B2C advertisements. Thus, email marketing was born. Due to the nature of email being less invasive than a phone call, there is very little outcry against brands flooding their audience’s inbox. Instead, they now stir up feelings of dread in most email account holders, especially when being asked for their information. Nonetheless, the balance is being maintained with many brands enabling users with the choice to opt-out of an email marketing campaign — users can unsubscribe from mailing lists.
This option leaves plenty of room for e-bills/receipts social notifications, and ongoing lines of communication, all of which help you keep overlooking that email your mother wrote two weeks ago about the interesting article she read — and that you should call her soon.
While your postal mail may only come once a day (excluding Sunday), your inbox serves as a 24-hour glove compartment for email marketing campaigns. Alas, “The only thing that is constant is change.” – Heraclitus of Ephesus
Email marketing has faced a challenger that has grown increasingly strong in the last decade — social media. The immediacy, inter-connectivity, and content capabilities of these networks have resulted in many brands (and marketers) to stray from email marketing.
Why? Here’s a few reasons:
Bullet pointed text is obsolete
Visuals offer a greater incentive/payoff
More people access internet through mobile devices
Although social media is the fast-rising go-to for marketers, what they fail to realize regarding email marketing as obsolete is that we all still enjoy receiving a personalized piece of mail in our physical mailboxes, whether from a family member, friend, or business — especially if the latter is offering a deal. It’s a nice change of pace from business communications and billing departments. And this same feeling is shared concerning your email account.
Looking at the chart, it’s evident that the click-through rate of branded email marketing is more successful than non-branded newsletter campaigns. So, how do you go about creating branded email marketing content?
To begin with, it is imperative that you have thoroughly developed your brand. Why? Because your brand affects every aspect of your business from the packaging to deliverables to communication.
That being said, let’s go through a few tips to keep in mind when designing your email marketing campaign:
Create Visually Striking Templates
- Visual images are the dominant form of content. There’s a reason photo sharing communities like Instagram, Flickr, and Imgur have a userbase of 100+ million.
Include a Social Media Strategy
- Don’t fight the social media wave — incorporate media badges in your email account so that your audience can easily follow you on all your social networks.
- If you’re using an email marketing service like Mail Chimp, consider including a real-time social feed into your newsletter.
- Adding a calendar of upcoming events is a great way to keep your audience keyed in to your organization.
- Email marketing services like HubSpot include email sharing options, so that your audience will easily be able to share your content throughout their social networks.
Don’t Oversell with a Headline —
- Don’t promise what you can’t deliver — While a great headline is crucial to your email marketing campaign, be careful of the emotional language and tone of your newsletter title — inflated language is off-putting.
- Create a sense of urgency.
Be Grateful to Your Audience
- Design a welcome message to be sent when you have a new member subscribe to your newsletter.
- Offer the opportunity for customer feedback in your newsletter. Not only does it yield invaluable data for you brand, but reiterates that you care about your audience.
- Whether you’re sending an abandoned cart reminder or subscription confirmation, provide inbound links directly to your audience members intended destination — make the process as simple as possible.