So many lessons that apply to digital marketing as a whole were learned in email. Email marketing encompasses everything from brand introductions and product recommendations to advanced content marketing strategies and purchase transaction confirmations.
Despite email having the highest ROI of all digital marketing channels and being the most direct route to the customer, marketers don’t give it the attention or budget that it deserves.
According to a recent study by the Economist Intelligence Unit, marketers spend significantly less on email marketing than other digital interactive channels, even though it is proven to deliver the highest return. To improve engagement and conversions, it’s time marketers take email seriously. And it may not be as difficult as you think.
Historically, email has been a static medium with marketers relying on the antiquated batch-and-blast technique, paying little to no attention to segmentation, personalization or campaign cadence. But today’s email is much more dynamic with endless possibilities to capture your customers’ attention when it matters most! With triggered emails you can engage with your prospect at the point of passion and use behavioral data to send meaningful content that customers and prospects will care most about.
Is Your Email Marketing “Team” One Person?
Don’t let the possibilities overwhelm you. For companies with limited resources and understanding of email marketing best practices, advanced email marketing tactics may seem daunting.
Oftentimes, the dedicated email marketing “team” consists of one person using a home grown or simple list management and send engine solution. Or they may have purchased a comprehensive digital marketing platform and are only using a fraction of the available functionality.
Updating profile information, creating segments, testing content and crafting messages that dynamically adapt to different devices and customer contexts is achieved by using various enterprise data stores to refine content targeted at different marketing personas. But all too often it involves fumbling through multiple spreadsheets, systems, and manually inputting data. So how can these companies begin to take email seriously without making major new investments?
Companies that can attribute revenue directly to email (such as online retailers, publishers and hotel and travel booking sites) understand the opportunity associated with email best practices. Small adjustments in strategy can significantly impact conversion rates. As noted in the chart below, the 46 percent of marketers that employ A/B testing double their conversion rates. For the 54 percent of marketers who don’t, they are leaving money on the table.
Email Best Practices And Statistics
As you can see below, marketers that focus on the advanced email marketing tactics described above can improve deliverability, open rates and conversions.
A Realistic Approach That Won’t Break the Bank
The secret is to find solutions that are cost effective, require little IT intervention and can automate workflows to avoid staffing up for new projects.
Consider these options when tweaking your email marketing strategy:
• Capture The Behavioral Data With Ease. Rather than purchase a complete web analytics suite, consider companies that provide platforms for capturing web behavioral data in real time and are already integrated with email platforms.
Instead of focusing on total web analytics capture, these companies collect only the data you need to create web behavior-based segments, leverage web content for email creation, and can trigger messages for shopping cart and browse abandonment programs.
• Focus On Deliverability. Deliverability best practices are constantly changing, given they are based on new ISP rules and regulations. Instead of scrambling to keep pace with these changes, partner with companies that do this for a living. They’ve created monitoring tools that provide forward views into deliverability risks and have advanced capabilities that can manage your company’s reputation end ensure that messages reach intended recipients.
• Take The Guesswork Out Of Email. Don’t just rely on intuition; turn to solutions that automate A/B/N split testing. These solutions automate the definition of testing samples for testing specific subject lines, content and offers.
• Connect To Enterprise Data Stores. Stop chasing the dream of one system of record for all customer data. Consider data integration projects that extract and sync the data you need. New integration approaches provide an alternative to inflexible, coding-intensive, point-to-point API based integrations.
Email’s track record speaks for itself. As the marketing channel that is the heart of all customer interactive strategies and has the highest ROI, it’s time to start taking it seriously. Take your email strategies up a notch and put these tips into action.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.