Email marketing has been around for decades, but it is still one of the most effective digital marketing channels available when it’s done well. Email today needs to feel like one-on-one conversations with each audience member, but it also needs to scale. Make sure your strategies are up-to-date so your emails are getting delivered and cutting through the noise.
It also emphasises how digital marketing does not occur in isolation, but is most effective when it is integrated with other communications channels such as phone, direct mail or face-to-face. As we have said, the role of the Internet in supporting multi-channel marketing is another recurring theme in this book and chapters 5 and 6 in particular explain its role in supporting different customer communications channels and distribution channels.
With brands using the Internet space to reach their target customers; digital marketing has become a beneficial career option as well. At present, companies are more into hiring individuals familiar in implementing digital marketing strategies and this has led the stream to become a preferred choice amongst individuals inspiring institutes to come up and offer professional courses in Digital Marketing.
Targeted mailing is when the advertiser mails to a segmented list of addresses using geographic, demographic, and psychographic filters, among others. While a targeted mailing is often more relevant to the audience and can result in greater engagement and response, it tends to be expensive, especially as you add more refined filter criteria (also known as selects).
Besides the fact that email blasts can be spammy and impersonal, they’re also not the most effective way to make money. Although a large-scale email blast is sure to convert, it’s not because sending it was a strategic move — it’s because you cast a wide net. If you crafted a targeted newsletter instead, you’d see a better conversion rate and you’d be able to replicate the strategy many times over. Marissa Petteruti calls email blasts a wasted opportunity to generate more revenue, citing:
A simple and cheap postcard that incentivizes and encourages people to follow you on a certain social media platform, hosting an online sale with coupon codes that are distributed via mail, using QR codes to unlock small freebie items, or giving additional entries into a contest hosted on your business’s website are all great methods that not only give your direct mail a strong call to action, but drive traffic to your online footprint as well, which will only continue to grow in importance through the years.
The benefit of that is when you do need to announce a new product or sale, you can count on the fact that you’ve already been in touch, having built a relationship over several weeks/months, and are much less likely to annoy your readers. Of course, it’s important to schedule your autoresponder sequence on specific days so that you know when you can afford to send an email. More than one per day and you’re probably mailing too much.
Use personalization. Personalizing the content of your emails (depending on your segment from Chapter 3) will make it infinitely more relevant and valuable to them. Personalization is so much more than inserting your subscriber’s first name into the email. You need to tailor the actual content of the email to address their needs. For instance, an online retailer will find it much more valuable to read an email with the subject line, “How to build backlinks to your eCommerce store” than just a generic subject line, “How to build backlinks.”
Many consumers have reservations about online behavioral targeting. By tracking users' online activities, advertisers are able to understand consumers quite well. Advertisers often use technology, such as web bugs and respawning cookies, to maximizing their abilities to track consumers.:60 According to a 2011 survey conducted by Harris Interactive, over half of Internet users had a negative impression of online behavioral advertising, and forty percent feared that their personally-identifiable information had been shared with advertisers without their consent. Consumers can be especially troubled by advertisers targeting them based on sensitive information, such as financial or health status. Furthermore, some advertisers attach the MAC address of users' devices to their 'demographic profiles' so they can be retargeted (regardless of the accuracy of the profile) even if the user clears their cookies and browsing history.
Understanding Mobiles: Understanding mobile devices is a significant aspect of digital marketing because smartphones and tablets are now responsible for 64% of the time US consumers are online (Whiteside, 2016). Apps provide a big opportunity as well as challenge for the marketers because firstly the app needs to be downloaded and secondly the person needs to actually use it. This may be difficult as ‘half the time spent on smartphone apps occurs on the individuals single most used app, and almost 85% of their time on the top four rated apps’ (Whiteside, 2016). Mobile advertising can assist in achieving a variety of commercial objectives and it is effective due to taking over the entire screen, and voice or status is likely to be considered highly; although the message must not be seen or thought of as intrusive (Whiteside, 2016). Disadvantages of digital media used on mobile devices also include limited creative capabilities, and reach. Although there are many positive aspects including the users entitlement to select product information, digital media creating a flexible message platform and there is potential for direct selling (Belch & Belch, 2012).
Dimensional mail: Grab your potential customers' attention with mail pieces that are not the envelopes or postcards that people are used to getting but ones that have dimension, such as bulky items, boxes or tubes. These have a much higher response rate than the mail pieces you are sending now. Switching from your current format to a dimensional piece is very costly, so before considering doing this you need to know your budget. However, you can expect a lift in response. One of my favorite examples is sending a "message in a bottle" in the mail. This direct mail campaign featured a little plastic bottle with a label on it. Inside was a note on how to buy the company's product. Something like that stands out and gets opened.
This one really ruffles our feathers because it implies that you are shoving a bunch of spammy emails down your unsuspecting audiences throats. Blast away! In reality, we want email to be strategic, targeted, personalized, and properly segmented. Additionally, we want the content to be simple, direct, to the point, and useful. With this in mind, the word "blast" seems a bit too intense.
If you’re serious about growing your business, building a healthy email list should be one of your top priorities. When it comes down to it, your list is one of the only online assets that you have 100% control over. Having a solid social media presence is absolutely essential (here’s why), but you’ll always be at the mercy of new and changing algorithms (think Facebook’s Edgerank). And achieving high search engine rankings is great too, but again, you’re at the mercy of changing algorithms and updates.
Digital marketing activity is still growing across the world according to the headline global marketing index. A study published in September 2018, found that global outlays on digital marketing tactics are approaching $100 billion. Digital media continues to rapidly grow; while the marketing budgets are expanding, traditional media is declining (World Economics, 2015). Digital media helps brands reach consumers to engage with their product or service in a personalised way. Five areas, which are outlined as current industry practices that are often ineffective are prioritizing clicks, balancing search and display, understanding mobiles, targeting, viewability, brand safety and invalid traffic, and cross-platform measurement (Whiteside, 2016). Why these practices are ineffective and some ways around making these aspects effective are discussed surrounding the following points.
If you’ve been following along from the beginning, you have now learned how to grow your email list to epic proportions, you’ve segmented your list so that your emails are highly relevant to each individual subscriber, and you’ve learned how to send amazingly effective emails that have a high open-rate. Now you are ready to automate the process and turn your campaigns into money-making machines!
Particular groups of customers can be targeted or even individuals. Offering individual customers special deals on merchandise and/or services on the customer's birthday, for instance, is one example of email marketing personalization. (A restaurant might send an email to customers on their birthday offering 50% off an entree,) Email marketing helps a business develop and maintain a relationship with a customer over time that hopefully results in increased sales and increased customer loyalty.
If you are still interested in trying direct mail, I would suggest using USPS Every Door Direct Mail Service. With this service, you can target the specific area you are interested in sending a mailer to. If you have the budget, send out 1,000 direct mail pieces to start and see how many sales you get. It’s a good idea to include a promotion, like 15% off of your first purchase, to entice people to buy your product. If you use a code that is unique to your direct mail campaign, you will also be able to track how many sales came directly from your direct mail piece.
Focus on the reader first. You should always write your emails to address the needs of your subscribers, not yours. Offer ways to solve their problems, don’t simply talk about your products and how great they are. (This is a part that so many companies get wrong.) Ask yourself, what are the biggest pain points/struggles for my subscribers? How can I solve their current problem in this email?
If you say, “I want to see what type of response I get from my first email before I send more”, it’s not going to work. Email marketing is marketing, not magic. You wouldn’t expect to get a great return on playing a radio ad or running a TV spot just once. Don’t expect a great return from sending just one email. Tell yourself you’re going to test the effectiveness of email marketing for a period of time (a full year is a reasonable amount of time). Remember that customers will open emails differently depending on the time of year and even the time of day that your email is sent. To get as many customers as possible to open your emails, you need to commit to sending emails over a period of time.
Try different hyperlinks to see what works best for your audience. You might create three different groups and send each link to your home page, product pages, and blog. You might also try CTA links with different wording, or test an email that includes the same link two or three times. The data will tell you what works. Low click rates may mean your emails aren't compelling, or the information isn't useful for that audience.
Be aware from January the popup opt in is going to decimate your Google search rankings, so the evergreen welcome mat and overlay (which you’re using on this page on exit intent) are going to be things of the past (unless you want to lose your position in the SERPS…). Time to get rid of the popups now and move to content upgrades inline in your articles (which you do really well in this post!).
The effort you put into building your email list is one of the best investments you can make online. Having access to the inboxes of targeted prospects means you can continue to build and nurture relationships over time, and become a trusted source of valuable industry knowledge. Then, when it’s time for your prospects to buy, you’ll be the first one who comes to mind.
Every week, the folks at InVision send a roundup of their best blog content, their favorite design links from the week, and a new opportunity to win a free t-shirt. (Seriously. They give away a new design every week.) They also sometimes have fun survey questions where they crowdsource for their blog. This week's, for example, asked subscribers what they would do if the internet didn't exist.
You don’t even have to think you’re a spammer to feel bad. Many of us feel bad just for sending too many emails. Often solopreneurs are downright terrified of sending an email update to their subscribers. They say they don’t know what to say, but I think it’s that they’re afraid, somehow, that they’re bothering their subscribers. They aren’t sure they deserve to be in their inboxes, even if those same people signed up for their emails (through a double opt-in process, of course).
This is why it’s so important to make the time to establish strong connections with other influencers in your niche, and to view them as collaborators and not competitors. It was because of the relationships that we’ve built with these other influencers that allowed us to have our lead magnets and content shared directly to their own community. Which in turn led to us growing our mailing list by 56,000 new subscribers in just 30 days.
You can send people to a landing page on your website that has a URL that is specific to your direct mail campaign. You will then need your vanity URL to redirect to a tracking URL. Unfortunately, this will only be a useful measure of success if you are trying to drive traffic to your site. To learn how to do this, view this white paper by Brian Clifton explaining ways to track offline marketing. You can purchase your vanity URL here.
Electronic mailing lists usually are fully or partially automated through the use of special mailing list software and a reflector address set up on a server capable of receiving email. Incoming messages sent to the reflector address are processed by the software, and, depending on their content, are acted upon internally (in the case of messages containing commands directed at the software itself) or are distributed to all email addresses subscribed to the mailing list.
There are many vendors out there who sell lists or rent them (though renting means that the list seller maintains ownership and control of the email list). These are collections of email addresses that the vendors sell to any business or individual who can pay the fees. Your email list is considered to be a purchased or shared list if it’s provided to you by a third party, like an email list vendor or affiliate. There's a few ways that vendors build these non opt-in email lists.