Email is an incredibly powerful marketing channel. According to new research from McKinsey & Company, email marketing is 40 times more effective at attracting new business than Facebook and Twitter combined. This statistic may strike you as surprising—considering all the industry hullabaloo surrounding social media. Prospects who land on your website through email marketing are more likely to convert to clients than those who arrive via social media, and email subscribers spend significantly more than social media prospects once they make a buying decision.
However, McKinsey cautions that these email marketing trends may not continue in the long run, citing a decline in the rate that people check their email—20% between 2008 and 2013. The change is attributed to the increasing number of ways to communicate, largely a wide variety of social media channels. Although email still has a distinct marketing advantage over social media, the McKinsey report projects that the gap will likely shrink, as Facebook, Twitter and other social networks mature and work to enhance engagement. Act now to realize the full potential of your email marketing.
What is important to realize though is that social media, content and email marketing can effectively work in harmony and create a winning synergy as part of a strategic inbound marketing plan. Social media can be used to capture new addresses for your email marketing database; social icons and social sharing buttons on your blog can incite greater content curation. Social sharing prompts embedded in your email content can increase its reach, enhance engagement and boost lead generation. The ways that inbound marketing can optimize social media, content and email marketing go on and on…For now, let us focus on optimizing your email marketing. To unlock the power of email marketing, commit yourself to ongoing learning and best practices.
Your subject line needs to be information-rich and captivating and pack real a punch. Many of your prospects will read your email on the go, so your subject line needs to be concise. Mobile devices display a limited number of characters in the subject line, so make your email titles short and sweet with your value proposition featured prominently. Your first line of email text is used to generate a message preview, so be sure not to waste this precious space. Get to the point quickly; use fonts like Verdana that are easy on the eyes, and keep the font size at 16 pixels or more.
Never send email with an unclear “from field.” Due to prolific spamming, people are very protective of their email inboxes. When they feel spammed or violated, email recipients are quick to unsubscribe from mailing lists. Therefore, it is critical to establish a level of familiarity and trust from the start by making it easy to understand who you are and why you landed in their inbox. Receiving an email newsletter, which you did not sign up for feels like an invasion of privacy. Be courteous and smart; build your email database organically with an opt-in form on your website.
It may be most effective to use a company name, a personal name—like the name of the recipient’s account manager or the business owner—or a combination of the two in your from field. Experiment to determine the way that works best for your brand. Finally, always include an actual email address, which the recipient can reply to—proving that you are a real human being. Follow these guidelines to increase the number of eyes that actually see your clever email marketing. You cannot convert email prospects, if your emails get deleted or end up in the dreaded spam folder.
Create a friendly tone right off the bat by addressing your prospects by their first names. Do not assume that everyone on your email list has the same interests; it will make your content less engaging and relevant to your individual email subscribers. Provide options, and take the time to custom-tailor your email content to the unique interests of your subscribers.
Inquire about their likes and burning questions, when they opt in so that you can effectively segment your email lists. With email segmentation, you can strategically target your message—sending out different emails based on the content that prospects view and download on your website, the information they provide via your CTAs, the comments they make about your content, stated interests, industry, job title, location and other relevant data.
If you create winning email marketing, you will see a net increase in lead generation and sales with each round of emails in the short run. Although it may be tempting, refrain from emailing too often—thus wearing out your goodwill. Scheduling an extra email for a good reason on occasion is acceptable. However, when new emails are added to the mix too rapidly, your boosts in sales could level off, stop or even reverse over time. Keep an eye your email engagement metrics, and take care not to become a pest.
Using inbound marketing to build an opt-in email database can dramatically increase the efficacy of your email marketing. Prospects who opt in and really want to hear from you are far more likely to appreciate your email content and click through it than those unfamiliar with your brand. A permission-based, extremely segmented email strategy allowed HubSpot to increase their click-through rate to 16.4%, which is 583% above the industry benchmark. Innovative Marketing Resources addresses a full range of marketing needs, including email, content and social media marketing—creating a winning synergy that delivers quantifiable results.