Everybody and their great-grandmother has at least 3 emails scattered among different providers (a handful of us have so many emails we’ve lost count.)
Still, from a business standpoint email marketing is long past dead right? Digital mail came in and crushed direct letter mail, then soon imploded on itself. Internet marketers burned that bridge selling their get rich quick schemes and digital software that became outdated the minute customers paid the fee and hit the download link.
Before the second decade of this century, so many people got burned during the Acai hailstorm (dem berries cured everything from toenail fungus to anal warts) that consumer trust started to wane and many started to ignore any email that wasn’t from someone they actually know on a personal or professional level.
But email marketing isn’t dead — it’s thriving. As a customer acquisition and retention channel, there’s still nothing that beats it from a marketing perspective. That is, once you’ve landed the customer’s email there’s nothing that beats it.
People are still talking about emails decline because of the shift from email to social that occurred between 2008 – 2012 (a 20% decline in usage to be exact.) But that was then and this is now. Global email user stats continue to climb by the day, circa 2015 and beyond.
Check out some of these email factoids:
- Recent figures indicate that there are well over 3.2 billion email accounts in existence as of the end of 2014.
- Emarketer, a leading market research firm estimates that in just two short years (2017) those numbers will be fast closing in on 240 billion!
- 70 percent of consumers claim they always open email from sources they trust.
- Ask anyone who has an email and they’ll tell you they get at least one trusted email every day from a company they’ve subscribed to.
- Spend a dollar on email marketing and the average expected ROI is over $44.
- Close to 90 percent of all businesses polled in 2013 said email was still important to their marketing strategy.
- 43 percent of all total emails opened are opened from a mobile device (important information right?)
These are just a few facts I wanted to toss out. There are tons more. Basically, if you’ve given up on email or never started at all because of rumors and innuendos, it’s time to get your head out of your butt and start formulating a plan for email marketing success in the coming year. Most of the down-talking you’ll hear is from would-be marketers who never bothered to adapt to the changing landscape.
Here are a few tips you can use to get started:
Use the Pareto principle
The 80/20 rule has a place in almost every facet of business, including email. Send people valuable entertaining or informative content at least 80% of the time and they will open (and read) more of your emails. Most consumers are sales averse to begin with, but if they have to read a pitch for a product once in a while to learn something they’ll do it, giving you the chance to turn them from a prospect into a close.
Be clear about the email’s purpose
This is numero uno and one of the major reasons most of the successful emailers from yesteryear have fallen from grace using this platform. The tricky, link-bait-style emails just don’t cut it these days. Just be clear and transparent. If you’re following the 80/20 rule (like you should be) you shouldn’t have to trick or lead your customers into clicking a link to your sales lander. Leave the long copy for your landing pages.
Use single column design
Single column designs are more adaptive to mobile devices. Most people (myself included) will opt out from emails that aren’t responsive to their mobile devices. Personally, I don’t mind scrolling down, but I hate having to move the screen on my phone or tablet sideways!
Below the fold
We’ve all been taught that you won’t get a sale unless you ask for it. This is true, but you have to keep in mind that the email is a very delicate first step in your customer’s journey toward pulling out their credit card on your landing page. They haven’t gotten there yet and they never will if you’re sticking a “Buy Now” button in their face every other paragraph. Let the customer read your entire email, then invite them to click a link to your lander when they’re done. This practice is becoming very popular (due to its increased success-rate) among emailers.
Make sure your links are clickable by human fingers dangit
This is another major annoyance for mobile users. Ever found yourself having to tap a bloody link twenty times to get them to work? This often comes down to them being too small (unless your touchscreen is crap) and it’s a sure fire way to tick the user off. Always test your email links on your own (and your family, staff, etc.) devices to make sure they’re easy to open.
Tell them what they get in a call-to-action
Instead of what they have to do. Stay away from starting your CTA with archaic phrases like “Fill out this form “, “Go here”, “Click here”. Instead start your calls prefacing with what they’ll get: “Get paid…”, “Get cash now…”, Learn more by…”, etc.
Have Any You’d Like to Add?
Leave a comment down below and feel free to share your own thoughts. Tell me what you agree with and what you disagree with. What’s worked for you in the past year? What’s your email marketing strategy moving into 2015.