Even as countless new channels of communication come into the marketing mix, email remains at the top of the ladder for a number of reasons. Brands can develop deep databases of prospects, messages can be crafted quickly and marketing automation tools make it easier than ever to launch and manage complex campaigns. Forrester also found that 85 percent of retailers see email as the least expensive marketing tactic.
However, some brands have forgotten to check off the basics on their email marketing to-do lists, as social media and alternative advertising techniques become more common tools in the arsenal. To help these marketers get back on track with effective, profitable email marketing strategies, here is a look at a few aspects of this approach that simply cannot be forgotten.
In the digital age, data is the currency of success, especially when developing an email marketing campaign meant to drive leads and sales. Organizations should scour the Web for as much information as they can find on their target audience. Ideally, a brand will have a marketing automation platform that will help organize this data in a simple and streamlined way, as stated in recent piece for ChiefMarketer.
“You can use this information from your marketing automation software to better understand where your customers are, how they’re coming into contact with you and where you should focus your marketing efforts,” said contributor Mike Bird.
Once all this data is collected, brands can’t let it sit around on the shelf. This information took a long time to gather and it needs to be put into action in order to see a favorable return on investment. One of the best ways to achieve this is by segmenting databases of prospects, a practice that dates back to the early days of marketing wisdom.
Of course, modern email campaigns require segmentation with a bit more strategic consideration, meaning that decision-makers must think beyond the standard categories of age, gender and location. Factors such as browsing history, purchase patterns and even social media preferences can all be included in the segmentation process, allowing brands to achieve a new level of targeted email precision.
Even with stellar segmentation and plenty of data to run a massive email marketing campaign, these efforts will not fulfill their potential unless the leaders of these initiatives test the impact of their messages before they send them out. Not only are tests easy to perform, but they can also offer a huge amount of insight into the preferences of the target audience and the trends affecting the email marketing arena at large.
To truly make the most of testing, marketers need to become comfortable with experimentation and innovation. This means playing with new ideas and trying them out, even if they may not be considered email marketing 101 material. The concept extends beyond email, of course. As Bird stated in his piece for ChiefMarketer, “you can use split testing to make better landing pages, emails, ads and even social media posts.”
While email segments can set a brand on the right track for email marketing success, messages need to also be personalized with a bit more detail in order to yield results. Including the first name of a prospect or mentioning a past purchase can often be enough to compel someone to click.
As with any aspect of marketing, decision-makers will need to try a wide variety of techniques before they find the method that works for them. Even then, continued analysis and evaluation is necessary for success. With these keys in place, however, a brand should be well on its way to crafting the ideal campaign.