As a marketing tool, email marketing has in recent years, been seen as somewhat of a poor cousin alongside some of the more “glamorous” methods of digital marketing. Social Media’s sudden rise as a viable marketing and lead generation tool and the continually existential importance of search engine marketing has arguably had a damaging effect on email’s persona within the marketing workplace.
However, as marketers are reminded of their love of email, the platform is becoming equally as, if not more glamorous than its contemporaries.
The Importance of Mobile
You can’t discuss anything in marketing right now, without coming back to the subject of mobile. Whilst the continual warnings of a dramatic shift of device usage have looked like somewhat of a false prophecy, personified by Google’s damp squib of a mobile update, the growth of mobile has been slowly redefining the role of email in modern marketing strategies.
2014 marked the biggest shift with mobile usage outstripping PC for the first time in history, as illustrated below.
Business Insider has also reported that nearly 34% of consumers check their emails constantly throughout the day via mobile devices. Coupled with the device usage figures, the picture of email marketing is suddenly transformed to one of considerable relevance.
So, how should brands react to this? The answer is simple….design for mobile first. As the greatest platform for email consumption mobile should now take priority over desktop.
Don’t Make Your Audience Work Hard
The consumption of media has evolved dramatically and users have essentially been spoilt, no longer having the patience for slow loading times or questionable user experiences. The same applies to email. Designing for mobile nullifies the awkward screen pinching and barely usable clickable areas that have blighted the landscape for mobile email users since its earliest inception.
Your audience doesn’t want to work hard for their content, and where email has historically fallen down is the journey that readers have had to take to access the message of the email. We all remember those PDF newsletters that required a download in order to read what was typically a fairly disappointing payoff, whilst also abruptly halting any natural journey that users may have been enticed to undertake.
Smaller businesses still consistently engage in this archaic and ineffective method of email outreach. What many of these small businesses fail to identify is the relatively small outlay on platforms such as iContact or MailChimp can have a dramatic effect on the success and professionalism of an email campaign, immediately removing a frustrating action, whilst providing an attractive communication method, suitable for the plethora of devices that are now relevant to the medium.
Your audience don’t want to work hard for their content, so make it easy for them.
Be Targeted, Your Email May Be More Valuable Than Your Website
In building an attractive outreachable email template, it is possible to create something more valuable and relevant to your brand than website. Many brands will look for higher open rates, with more useful content included in the newsletter itself, than targeting the high click through rates. This method depends upon the newsletter itself converting with little or no input from the website. Calls to action will be more likely to take the form of ‘Contact Us’ or ‘Give Us A Call’ rather than ‘Click Here’.
For businesses with more confidence in their website, the emails value takes a different form. Historically, businesses and brands have been attracted to email due to the sheer volume of the outreach available, however, the best campaigns work to the mantra of ‘quality not quantity’. More so than any other method of marketing, email allows brands to be more targeted and truly benefit from the organisation of their data collection.
The first step to putting that data to real use is segment your emailing list. A huge mailing list may offer you some nice figures to band around the office or in front of your client, but essentially offer you no tangible benefit if only a handful are relevant to your content. Think about a few key motivators for your list.
- Where they live?
- How old they are?
- What level of contact are they to you (i.e. customer or casual contact)?
- Their reason for engagement with brand or product?
- How often they engage with your brand or product?
No marketing platform offers you the opportunity to say exactly what you want to exactly who you want to say it to, in the same targeted manner that email marketing does. Take the step back and segment your list as creatively as you wish. There is no limit to how much you divide your list and how many segments you create, so don’t be afraid to do so.
- Design for mobile first
- Consider what you want from your audience
- Segment, segment and segment again
- Don’t make your audience work too hard
Email marketing is indeed becoming more glamorous, and with the progress of mobile having such a profound effect on it’s usage, email looks set to continue its renaissance. Make sure you are using it to its full potential.
If you would like to discuss email marketing for your business, please get in touch with the StrategiQ team today.