Email marketing has become so widespread it’s probably starting to lose some of its punch, right?
Think again. Email consistently offers the best payback for digital marketers, producing a 122 percent return on every dollar spent. On top of that, email is getting a big boost as mobile use skyrockets. With people now checking their email on cell phones and tablets at least once a day, 91 percent of marketers, suppliers and agencies achieve the same or higher click-through rates on mobile devices as on desktop.
Email marketing is also thriving because it integrates easily with other digital mediums, it’s a powerful lead-nurturing tool, it’s relatively simple to implement, and it’s 40 times more effective than social media at generating conversions. Most importantly, though, email appeals to customers — people prefer to communicate with companies through email, and they embrace messaging that educates, engages, and/or features money-saving deals.
“With the use of data to drive efficient targeting and placement, and increased data science skills across the marketing ecosystem, these numbers will only continue to grow, saving marketers money on their marketing spend and driving efficiencies in the marketplace,” predicts Neil O’Keefe of the Direct Marketing Association.
That said, even the best intentions for effective emailing are wasted if the messages aren’t able to shine through the rubble. Recent statistics show the average person now gets 121 emails a day. Humanity as a whole gets 193.3 billion — and 108.7 billion of those are business emails.
The decision to “go pro” — that is, to seek professional assistance for your email campaign or to take the helm yourself — depends entirely on your goals, available time, money, and expertise, and whether you’re planning a basic or expansive campaign. Here are few facts to consider as you make your choice:
What benefits does DIFM (“do it for me”) full service bring?
When you contract for full-service Pro+ Email Marketing Service through VerticalResponse, we take everything off your plate including the design, launch, tracking, reporting, and social media promotion. Some specific advantages include:
- Your campaign will be created and implemented by a dedicated marketing expert who understands email strategy.
- All you need to bring to the table is your logo, your ideas for offers and/or messages, and your list of email subscribers. We consult with you about how to incorporate your overall marketing goals into your strategy.
- After that, we do all the work. That includes copywriting, selection of imagery, layout design, and the actual emailing in accordance with your address list. Of course, you review and approve each email before it goes out.
- Our standard package includes two strategically designed email campaigns per month and eight social media posts per month.
- We ensure your emails are mobile-friendly and maximized for any smartphone, tablet, or PC screen.
- We offer some of the highest delivery rates in the industry.
- We schedule and implement your social media posts, adding in curated posts from around the web targeted specifically toward your followers.
- We provide comprehensive reporting and analysis on your campaign.
- The cost for full-service Pro+ Email Marketing Service is a fraction of the expense commonly associated with hiring your own email specialist or marketing agency.
What if I decide to create my own campaign?
If you opt to DIY (“do it yourself”), VerticalResponse provides free online resources to help with your email strategy. If you prefer, we also offer campaign consulting services on an a la carte basis.
Some businesses invest in specialized email software that walks them through the creation process. However, an email campaign involves more than just crafting content and graphics. To maximize your campaign, someone on your staff will likely need familiarity with HTML coding, data administration, analysis of performance metrics, and A/B testing.
Your strategy depends on your goals, time, and resources, but here are some general suggestions for proceeding:
- When possible, segment your audiences for an up to 40 percent improvement in open rates.
- Decide what range of content you’ll offer. Study what competitors are doing, then strive for original content that’s hard for your readers to find elsewhere. Consider promotions, tutorials, recommendations, reports on industry trends or research, explanations of company functions, comments on current events, FAQs, profiles of clients or employees, surveys, contests, previews of upcoming events, descriptions/photos of new products, inspiring quotes, blogs, polls, news articles, or humor. Besides copy, you can include anything from photos to illustrations, infographics, or videos.
- Consider starting a monthly newsletter and soliciting audiences for subscriptions.
- Develop a consistent voice, adjusting your level of formality to your readership. In general, readers prefer a likable, conversational tone.
- Think in terms of “sticky” content — useful, fun, or humorous information in bite-sized pieces to capture readers’ attention and keep them coming back for more.
- When appropriate, tie your content into holidays, current events, and pop culture happenings.
- If you lack time or resources to create content yourself, source it from social media, business partners, trusted websites, or companies that produce it for you.
- Include links that send readers to your website, blogs, or YouTube videos.
- Install widgets allowing readers to instantly share your key content on their social media sites.
- Compelling subject lines have a high impact on your open rate. Think fun, punchy, and short. Subject lines should be no more than 50 characters long. When in doubt, subjectline.com scores subject lines for viability.
- Incorporate clear calls to action throughout the email with links or buttons through which readers can “Watch the Video,” “Learn More,” “Get More Info,” etc.
- The human brain processes visuals in about one-tenth of a second, so be sure the imagery you’ve chosen makes sense, is high-quality, and is easy to download. GIFs and videos can be especially powerful.
- Ensure all your content is mobile-friendly, since two-thirds of emails are now read via mobile devices.
- Incorporating an easy-to-find “unsubscribe” link can save you from accusations of spam, add to your credibility, and improve your open and click-through rates by eliminating the uninterested.
- Consider adding email opt-in forms to your social media sites.
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