The persistent ping on your mobile device, non-stop visual alerts next to your app icon and the growing list of unopened subject lines.

These all too common experiences validate that the continued use and reliance on email for building relationships, nurturing leads and connecting with customers and prospects for just about any brand. According to more than 1,300 respondents who recently took part in the Email Marketing Census from EConsultancy, email’s not going away anytime soon.

Why old school email marketing is here to stay.

If subscribers have chosen to receive your content by “opting-in”, you’re on your way to aligning how customers and prospects find, evaluate and use resources and services today.

Some of the compelling reasons to consider integrating email marketing into your outreach activities include:

  1. | It’s not social, it’s one-to-one
  2. | People rely on it daily
  3. | It delivers response
  4. | Few options come close

And if you’re engaged in a Content Marketing program, it’s more important than ever to distribute and add reach to the valuable content assets that you’re creating by developing a consistent email program.

In our experience, which is validated with our clients every quarter, eMail consistently delivers the highest traffic to our customer’s site’s on the day that it’s pushed.

Email is not dead
Pre-mature rumors of a passing | Source: Marketo

Just like blogging, marketing with email is not a one-time event. Success requires continuous investment, participation, measurement, and adjustment to realize business value. And like never before, it makes sense to invest in the one marketing tactic that your customers have “opted-in” to receive.

But as with any strategic initiative, there are plenty of challenges with email marketing.

For email marketing success, comply with the rules of the road.

Search engines like Google have some very strict requirements to meet before they will recognize you as a legitimate email content provider. And without exception, your #1 goal should be to recognize and comply with these requirements because if you don’t, you could end up having your domain blacklisted or blocked.

Consider that if only .01 of your recipients complain to the search engines, chances are good that you will be blocked. That outcome virtually ensures that you will have great pain and suffering trying to restore your web address with good standing as a “non-spammer”.

To successfully market with email, it’s also important to understand and consider that AntiVirus and spam blocking software is everywhere and on just about every device. From mobile devices to the servers at your ISP, lots and lots of software is working very hard to prevent your customers and prospects from seeing the emails that you want them to receive.

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The task of delivering your message through email marketing must also overcome many other barriers including:

  • Dozens and dozens of proprietary, incompatible email readers chosen at users discretion
  • Email application preview panes individually configured to display content in every size + form
  • Image Blocking enabled so integrated images will not display
  • Inadequate code construction
  • No option for delivering a text only message
  • “Spammy” subject lines that annoy recipients + motivate “unsubscribes”

Keep it fresh and always be measuring performance.

Effective ways to avoid email campaign underperformance include mixing up both your content styles and methods. As you test different email components such as delivery days, content angles, surveys, and fulfillment pieces, you will gain insights and start to learn what your recipients respond to.

By mixing it up and keeping your content and methodology fresh, chances are you’ll not only keep your readers interested and engaged, but you’ll also actually improve conversions.

It’s also a good idea to test subject lines in a standard A/B testing structure to determine which messages actually get opened in your prospects’ inbox.

You can also test other elements including image types, change in copy or other small revisions. Also, be sure to test the deliverability of your email and accuracy of content with a small in-house group prior to delivery to your entire list. That way, you’ll ensure that all your links go to the right pages and that your message is being presented as you intended it.

Email can be very effective to keep your brand top of mind | TeamworksCom

Wrap up and call to action.

More than ever, email is an essential element of successful content marketing strategy today. Your email campaigns are one of the most effective ways to connect with customers and prospects, build relationships, gather insights, and improve marketing ROI.

Email Marketing ROI
Email Marketing won’t be dying anytime soon |Source: Marketo + Marketing Sherpa

By focusing on the needs of your target and avoiding blasts of self-promotional messages, you’ll create, execute, and maintain more effective email marketing campaigns. But if you take your focus off of your customer’s needs, the result could be your recipients hitting the delete button more than opening your message.

Are you having success with email marketing? Are you integrating it a part of a larger content marketing program? Share your success or what’s not working for you.

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