There are so many digital tools you can use to reach potential customers these days: digital ads on Google or Facebook, social media pages and advertising, videos, remarketing, blogs, websites, and more!
In this new and evolving landscape, it’s easy to forget about one of the first digital marketing tools many of us used: email. It’s easy to scoff and say, “Email is so 2002! Surely there are new, more exciting, and more effective digital tactics these days!”
Newer? Yes. More exciting? Most definitely. But more effective? That’s where email may surprise you.
Shoppers prefer email
An article from CDG1 cites a recent study with some surprising results when comparing the effectiveness of email to social media: “Forty-four percent of respondents cited email as one of their most preferred digital communications channels for brand interaction.
“In addition, three-quarters of online shoppers said they are either somewhat likely or very likely to open an email from brands. Just shy of one-quarter (24 percent) of online shoppers surveyed cited social media among their preferred channels for interacting with companies who own, market and sell brand-name products or services.”
Other articles, like a comprehensive article called “Is Email Marketing Dead? Here’s What the Statistics Show,”2 tells a similar story. Here are some highlights:
• Email is still the most-used form of digital communications — more than 90 percent of adult Internet users are email users.
• 95 percent of companies are still using email in their marketing mix (a higher percentage than any other form of digital marketing).
One report referenced in the article claims that each dollar spent on email marketing yields a $38 return.
One of these statistics alone is enough reason to stick with email, and the combination is undeniable. Yes, email marketing is an older form of digital marketing, but it is still one of the most important.
With that in mind, here are the four things I think are most important to remember when you are creating emails:
Be brief. The best email marketing messages are short and to the point. If you have an offer, state the most attractive points quickly and let people click for more details. If you include articles in your emails, offer the title, a juicy sentence or two to pique your reader’s interest, and then link to the full article on your blog or website.
Write a killer subject line. If you have an offer, don’t hide it; put it in the subject line. At the same time, you don’t want your subject line to be too salesy — make it personable. “25 percent off our spring selection — because we’re thankful for you!” is a good subject line. “25 percent OFF RIGHT NOW!” is not. Business Insider has a helpful article called “15 Tips for Writing an Excellent Email Subject Line,”3 which offers just that.
Send your email at the right time. An excellent resource for this information is an article called “What 10 Studies Say About the Best Time to Send Email.”4 The results differ a bit depending on whether you are sending to businesses — Tuesday at 10 a.m. has been the best time for years, and remains so — or to individuals: Tuesdays are good, but so are Saturdays, and 8 p.m. may be the most effective time. Try to send email when people are primed to read, based on the research provided by helpful folks who study such things.
Optimize for mobile. Just like your website, your emails are likely to be viewed on a mobile phone, so make sure your emails — like your website, right?! — are responsive.
In other words, your email design should adjust dynamically to look good on full computer screens, tablets, and smart phones. If your emails don’t look good on a phone, people who use their phones for email (54 percent according to a recent study5) will be unimpressed. Most major email services these days (MailChimp, Constant Contact, iContact, etc.) offer responsive templates.
The lesson here? Don’t put email marketing on the back burner. It’s still one of the most effective tools in your marketing toolbox.
Just make sure that, when you click the send button, you’re putting your best foot forward.
1Surprise: Email Tops Social Media When It Comes to Consumer-Brand Interaction (2017, May 30). Retrieved August 30, 2017, from https://cdgportal.com/blog/index.php/2017/05/30/surprise-email-tops-social-media-when-it-comes-to-consumer-brand-interaction/.
2Is Email Marketing Dead? Here’s What the Statistics Show (2017, April 3). Retrieved August 30, 2017, from http://optinmonster.com/is-email-marketing-dead-heres-what-the-statistics-show/.
315 Tips for Writing an Excellent Email Subject Line (2014, March 19). Retrieved August 30, 2017, from http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-write-an-excellent-email-subject-line-2014-3.
4What 10 Studies Say About the Best Time to Send Email (2016, March 23). Retrieved August 30, 2017, from https://coschedule.com/blog/best-time-to-send-email/.
5The Ultimate Mobile Email Statistics Overview (2017, June 5). Retrieved August 30, 2017, from http://www.emailmonday.com/mobile-email-usage-statistics.