For the last number of years, there have been countless articles and comments about the death of email. With social media and a new messaging app every few months, why would anyone continue to use something as old fashioned as email. I’m here to tell you that the reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated.
Think about it for a minute, what format do the social media sites use to communicate with you and try to get you back if you haven’t visited in a while? What’s the one piece of info that the majority of sites ask for if they can only get one? What do most people check most regularly? EMAIL is the answer to all of the above.
That’s because it continues to be a very effective medium since it’s both cost-effective and continues to deliver an astounding ROI (as much as a few thousand percent in different reports). If you didn’t know I was talking about email, you would jump at a tactic that offered even a fraction of that return.
A couple of posts ago, I talked about how email is the cornerstone of lead nurturing. But clearly not all email campaigns are the same. Here are my three Ps that can make your email marketing more effective:
- Permission: If you’re like me, then you’ll open emails from people you know first and then from companies you have a relationship with. That’s why getting permission to send email is so critical. There are laws in many countries that require a double opt-in approach but for me it’s more about sending emails to those who have said they want to receive them. But even permission can be taken too far if you send emails too frequently. I’ve signed-up for emails where I get 2 or 3 a day which I just start ignoring. You need to send emails to those that have given you permission on a regular basis but not too often.
- Personalize: The content of the email is as crucial as anything else other than the title perhaps. That’s why the content or offer in the email needs to be relevant and compelling. To do that, you need to make the email as personal as possible. Take advantage of the fact that you can talk directly to each person but at the very least segment the list and target the email as much as possible. And, make it seem personal by adding in their name and other info they have given you.
- Promotion: But for email marketing to be truly effective it needs to be part of a larger marketing campaign. You clearly want to have the reader take action which may be to download a white paper, attend a webinar or buy something. Email should not be your only tactic to do that. You also want to continue to build your list so making it part of multiple campaigns will help but don’t forget to use social media for this promotion too and make sure you have the ability to easily share the email with friends.
There are clearly other key attributes of a successful email campaign beginning with the email itself. Copyblogger summarizes good email as one that “deepens your relationship with your audience through effective subject line writing (getting your messages opened), your distinctive voice (getting those messages read), and delivering quality, niche specific content your prospect needs and shares with others (inspiring referrals and word-of-mouth).” Well put!
There are clearly good and bad aspects of email marketing. The bad have left a horrible taste in the mouth of many. I’m not going to say that Spam is not out of control. However, if you follow the three simple Ps above and respect your readers, email can be a very effective communications tool.