These days, the phrase “You’ve Got Mail!” seems like a distant memory. According to Fortune Magazine, the average consumer receives 147 emails per day. That doesn’t even include the instantaneous social media sites, websites, apps, and blogs that are battling for the consumer’s attention. Email marketing has held its place amongst the top digital tools accessed by the savviest marketers because it still works!
The goal of email marketing is to expedite the journey to the value proposition and support the desired conversion. When done right, email marketing has the potential to increase leads and sales. In fact, 66% of consumers have made a purchase online as a direct result of an email marketing message.
First, let’s go over some common misconceptions about email marketing:
1. “My list is too small” – The bigger the list, the better! No list is too small to deploy email marketing efforts. Each email is a potential prospect and potential sale. Remember that a conversion is based on a relationship, so it’s important to value each individual relationship.
2. “Having a list guarantees sales” – Wrong. Without the right message and the right frequency of sends, an email just becomes clutter. The key is prioritizing how you will convert that prospect into a sale after that tailored email has been deployed.
3. “An e-blast is simply a 1-way channel of information” – Nope! An email can be an invitation to engage in a relationship. Once the consumer is a prospect, follow-up emails are crucial and is the number one most common mistake for email marketers. Keep engaging with those who engage with you and respond to customer inquiries.
4. “One message to all is enough” – Sometimes. Everyone is different and each person plays a different role in the path to purchase. Email marketing needs to consider this and tailor content and the frequency of sends per each audience segment. Sending too much content to a prospect in the very beginning of the cycle may scare them off altogether and lead to that dreaded “unsubscribe.”
Now that excuses are out of the way, here are the three types of emails businesses should be sending and how to best utilize them:
1. Transactional Email – This can range from order confirmations to purchase receipts to shipping notices for retail businesses. The open rate for these transactional emails are 5x higher than the average brand-to-consumer e-blast. Because you have a captive audience, take the opportunity to include other pertinent information that might entice another sale or reinforce brand loyalty for the future. Even consider requesting the reader to write a review.
2. Relational Email – This could be a “welcome” email or branded content in the form of an e-newsletter. This is the most commonly overlooked email, which is a big mistake, especially for professional, service-oriented companies. The relational email is crucial to building a healthy relationship with your customer or prospect because it’s the only email type that doesn’t ask anything of them. It is giving information and insight that the user is interested in, which contributes to a two-way relationship, positions your brand as a thought leader, and supports long-term brand advocacy.
3. Promotional Email – This includes a new product release, sale announcement or webinar announcement. This is the most common email found in one’s inbox. Because of this, a smart email marketer will send the promotional email to segmented lists. You can segment your audiences on basic demographics, such as gender, location and age, and you can take a step even further and segment based on previous buying habits pulled from your CRM. Tailoring the message for the audience is Marketing 101, and should not be ignored in email marketing.
So, what are you waiting for? Revisit your email marketing strategy and see if you are on the right track. Who knows, you could be leaving sales on the table.