Is Email Marketing Still Relevant in 2022?
Savvy marketers are always on the lookout for the next big trend. These individuals pay attention to new technologies often with goals of making their marketing dollars stretch further, boosting prospect engagement, or growing their reach. While it is important to know what is on the horizon and vet those new applications for your specific business, it’s equally important not to abandon tried and true marketing strategies that stand the test of time. One such example is email marketing.
Email marketing exploded in the late 1990s when Hotmail launched as the first free, web-based email platform bringing email to millions. Some saw Hotmail as a free email. Innovative marketing teams saw Hotmail as an opportunity to get their message in front of millions with very little expense.
Today, email marketing is still an effective marketing medium offering a great return on investment when executed properly. According to The DMA, email returns an average of $38 for every $1 spent. So how do you execute an email marketing strategy that delivers results?
Start with a solid list of prospects
The foundation for a successful email marketing campaign begins with a quality list of customers and prospects. The size of your list is not what is important. The quality of your list is what matters. Your list should be comprised of individuals who have opted in to receive your messages and have expressed an interest in your company. At all costs, resist the temptation to buy a list or scrape a list from published directories and databases. Your goal is to build a list of people who are a fit for your products and services and find value in the messages you send.
There are several ways to build your email list. If you are a brick-and-mortar store, create a signup list at the register. You can also leverage your website to recruit subscribers. MailChimp and Constant Contact, for example, have wonderful integration options that allow website visitors to automatically opt-in to your newsletter lists. Social media is also a great place to promote your newsletter.
Subscribe to an email marketing platform
MailChimp and Constant Contact are two of the most popular email marketing platforms. Templates make it easy to create your campaigns on the fly that are consistent with your company’s brand. Their list management features allow users to easily opt-in to receive your messages (or opt out if they later decide they no longer wish to receive your messages). Most importantly, these solutions are CAN-SPAM compliant which will help keep you from inadvertently violating the Act.
send regularly – unless you have nothing valuable to send
Once you have a platform and a solid list, create your communication strategy. If you blog (and you should…) use your latest blog as an email campaign. Email is also an excellent platform for promoting events, industry and company news, and sales promotions (provided you do not overdo it).
Your goal is to inform and educate your readers. Entertainment is also a great reason to reach out to your subscribers provided the content is relevant to your business and in line with your brand’s culture. Avoid the hard sale in your emails, however. The average person receives 100 – 150 emails in a single day. Many are deleted before opening. Aim for yours to be the email a subscriber looks forward to receiving. Don’t send an email of low value just to check the task off your to-do list. Not sending a message to your subscribers is better than sending a poorly planned message that leads a recipient to unsubscribe from your list.
analyize the results
Another benefit of email marketing platforms is the reporting capabilities these platforms offer their users. You’ll be able to see who opens your email, what links they click on, and a history of how often they engage with your newsletters. Not only does this information help you determine who your engaged readers are, but it helps you to create new content that is most popular among your readers. This will help you refine your content strategy to do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
You may be surprised to learn that the first marketing email was sent in 1978. There’s a reason why we are still sending and receiving mass commercial emails over 40 years later. It’s because email marketing remains a low-cost, effective way to reach consumers and influence buyer behavior.