While March enters and exits like lion that may have eaten the lamb, this week's digital marketing roundup focuses on email. It's a channel that seems to have gotten the reputation as being the lamb in the digital marketing animal kingdom, but more closely resembles a lion in its ability to reach a specific audience and dig its claws in. Perhaps because email has been around longer than other marketing strategies, it doesn't pack the powerful punch of newer channels like mobile advertising. However, many organizations are realizing that email has some serious teeth. This week, we look at what makes email marketing so impactful and areas for improvement.
1. "Is email marketing cheap – or does it have a high ROI?" – MediaPost
For those marketers who don't know how to respond to their bosses when they ask about the return on investment of their email marketing campaigns, it's easy to respond by highlighting the cost-effective nature of email. According to the article, this is a signal that the company doesn't have the resources necessary to develop a strong email marketing strategy. More sophisticated organizations know the value of precise segmentation, personalization and matching campaigns with customer journeys. Citing from the Direct Marketing Association, the article said the average ROI for email is $43 for every dollar spent. That figure shouldn't be the target, considering there are higher values that balance with low-performers to reach that median score. In short, companies should move their focus from cost to ROI.
"A staggering minority – between 5 and 10 percent – of companies invest in data to develop email marketing campaigns."
2. "Why the future of email marketing is data-driven" – PerformanceIN
One of the most staggering statistics pulled from this article is the fact that a minority – between 5 and 10 percent – of companies invest in data to develop email marketing campaigns. Companies that want to get a clear picture of how well their email messages resonate with consumers have to invest in analytics. This includes using tracking tools that tell the marketer when the recipient opened a particular link – and then follow the customer's journey from that point. Other important metrics are bounce rates, unsubscribes, open and click-thru rates. When this information is compiled and measured over time, marketers can learn what consumer segments respond to a specific product or service category. In the end, it makes for more effective campaigns.
3. "4 areas of email marketing improvement" – Marketing Land
According to writer Daniel Faggella, the four phases of email marketing are: collecting, connecting, converting and circulating. This article is an illuminating look at the thought process that goes into making email marketing work – and double-checking that it's still working. In essence, the first step in developing a strategy is reflecting on current state of lead generation and sales. By doing so, companies can learn which sources are pushing the highest-quality prospects. Once this is accomplished, it's important to foster a nurturing campaign, which can be done with email automation to follow up. Here, businesses need to look at response rates and integrate A/B testing to compare different email iterations. Converting and circulation aim to draw customers in and keep in touch with them.
4. "Send emails your subscribers actually want to read" – Direct Marketing News
Customers are familiar with email. Along with direct mail and TV ads, it's a marketing channel with great longevity. That doesn't mean everyone loves it. A report from Technology Advice cited in the article indicated 40 percent of U.S. adults ignore marketing emails. While the majority still interacts with them, only 16 percent do so with any frequency. This represents a call to action for marketing professionals to deliver more relevant messages so that consumers who may not distinguish between an ad and spam begin to see the value in email marketing. A couple of the key points are personalization and delivery frequency.