When the Internet was young, slow and extremely limited, there was email. Yet, as the Internet has expanded in size and scope, email has remained prominent, even as other Web-based communication services have grown and diminished. In 2015, Outlook and Gmail combined served more than 1 billion users while various smaller webmail providers added another 2.3 billion users; In 2018, that number is sure to be much larger, considering that more than 650,000 email accounts are created every day.
For businesses, this information means one thing: email marketing is alive and well. First, email marketing remains exceedingly cheap, especially considering the number of consumers it can reach at low cost. Secondly, because so many people use email every day, marketing messages sent through email are more likely to be seen and engaged with than other business communications. Emailed marketing can be more closely tailored to individual recipients, and businesses can close sales through email without requiring the time and energy of sales staff.
Undoubtedly, email marketing will remain a relevant strategy in the coming years – but businesses will need to modify their email tactics to optimize effectiveness. Here are a few top tips for impeccable email marketing at the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019.
It’s well and good to send customers marketing emails before they make a purchase – to advertise sales and discounts or new product lines – but many sites are beginning to see greater engagement success by sending marketing emails after customers buy something. Post-purchase emails express gratitude for a customer’s purchase and advertise additional products that might complement their prior purchase. There is a strict sequence of communications necessary to drive revenue, and businesses should begin launching theirs in 2019.
Email marketing can be exceedingly time-consuming, which is why more businesses should be migrating to automated email tactics in 2019. Because email is not diminishing in importance – and because email marketing is proving to remain a relevant strategy – businesses should want to find ways to reduce the demand of email marketing while optimizing its effectiveness. Automation tools do that, and they do that outstandingly well.
Customer data gets old fast, and businesses that have built an entire marketing automation plan on collected information might already be seeing inefficiencies due to outdated facts. Fortunately, there is a solution: social data.
Data obtained through social channels is real-time and up-to-date, providing an overview of customer interests and providing a wealth of information to use in developing preferences and predicting behavior. Businesses should use social data to compile their email marketing lists and customize email marketing content.
More than half of all Internet traffic comes from mobile, and though conversion through mobile device remains low relative to traditional computers, businesses should be focusing on making all online assets mobile responsive. It is no longer an option for businesses to cater to mobile users; it is necessary for continued success into the future.
Modern consumers know that most of the marketing messages they receive are automated, so when they receive any kind of personalized touch, they are grateful for it. Thus, businesses should take one of two paths:
- They should spend time personally reaching out to each recipient or at least small groups of similar recipients, or
- They should invest in artificial intelligence to tailor email marketing messages automatically.
Speaking of artificial intelligence, businesses shouldn’t be afraid of using advanced technology in their email marketing strategy. There are plenty of sophisticated email marketing apps on the market to assist businesses in developing and deploying an effective campaign, and many more will undoubtedly emerge in 2019.
“Inbound marketing” has become somewhat of a buzzword over the past year, but the strategy remains no less sound than it was in January 2018. Instead of permitting disruptive and intrusive marketing to plague prospects, businesses should want customers to gravitate naturally toward their products and services. In general, that means supporting an email marketing strategy that focuses on keeping customers happy pre- and post-sale and cultivating loyalty amongst the audience.
It’s easy to get excited about increases in any sort of engagement, but businesses need to stop investing so much energy into improving metrics that don’t truly matter. For instance, open rate and click-through rate have been shown to have little effect on business revenue. Instead of wasting resources chasing this sort of customer engagement, businesses will begin to monitor revenue-focused metrics.
Unless a digital plague renders the Internet inoperable, email will not disappear any time soon. In 2019, businesses should double down on their email marketing investments, using the above strategies to convert and reconvert customers on their email lists.