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 to 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 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:
- It’s not social, it’s one-to-one
- People rely on it daily
- It delivers response
- 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 customers site’s on the day that it’s pushed.
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.
Comply with the email marketing 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.
- Dozens and dozens of proprietary email readers all which are different, incompatible and are chosen at the discretion of the user you want to reach
- Email application preview panes which are all different and are individually configured to display email delivered content in every size and form
- Image Blocking enabled so that a highly crafted email message with integrated images will display none of them
- Inadequate code construction including no HTML tables, no image tags, and no option for delivering a text only message without images
- “Spammy” subject lines that can annoy your recipients and motivate them to “unsubscribe” from your list and content
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, you’ll 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 inhouse 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.
How email can be used to keep your brand top of mind.
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.
By focusing on your targets needs 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 customers 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.