A “Giving” Approach Makes Email Campaigns More Effective

It is amazing to realize that, for the most part, those under 40 years old have never known a world without email. Today, it is hard for most of us to imagine life without it. It helps keep us connected with friends and family, we can easily share files and images, and now we can even legally sign documents digitally through email. Of course, it didn’t take marketers long to discover how cost-effective email can be in reaching potential customers. This, of course, led to an abundance of spam, negatively impacting the strategy. Consumers quickly learned to identify spam and instantly delete it or have it sent to a spam file unread. This caused some marketers to abandon the process. Others have reacted by adjusting to the marketplace and making adjustments to their strategies.

Why should marketers reexamine their email marketing tactics? First, consumers have made adjustments in how they treat marketing emails, so adjustments need to be made by marketers. Secondly, there are tremendous returns on investment when email campaigns are properly conducted. Recently, a survey by Direct Marketing Association and Demand Metric indicates that email marketing can have an ROI as much as four times higher than other marketing strategies, including social media. That is impressive and worth pursuing.

The key? Remembering that email is not a customer acquisition tool as much as it is a communication tool that can help build relationships. It is those relationships, then, that deliver consumers through the consideration, conversion and recommendation phases.

A Better Way to Engage Consumers

An article written by our CEO takes a deep dive into how to build stronger relationships and better engage consumers through email campaigns. Christine uses the old adage, “it is better to give than to receive,” in creating effective, high ROI email campaigns. She points out that while many marketers “talk” to consumers, it is far more effective to initiate a two-way conversation. This gives them more and better ways to come to you. These “better ways” may include offering valuable information, product-related tips and tricks, shareable discounts, or by inviting them to provide their thoughts, opinions and experiences on social media.

Some marketers have a reluctance to any approach that does not provide an instant ROI. Alemany’s approach, however, is based on the fact that it is far better to build loyal customers through email than to make a single, quick sale and having future emails sent to spam filters or instantly deleted. These are customers worth investing in. It also brings to mind another adage that can apply to email marketing; “patience is a virtue,” and “it is better to pass by a nickel to pick up a dollar.”

A “Giving” Mentality

Building a “giving” email marketing strategy starts with segmenting lists to refine your target to your audience. This not only leads to better customization, but recipients have a much better sense the email was destined for them and their needs. This helps build those powerful and eventually profitable relationships.

Once a list is segmented, build a content map to deliver the most valuable and relevant information to users. This could be in the form of infographics, a white paper or newsletter. An email marketing schedule should follow, usually based around special or significant occasions that may impact your subscribers or your products. These could include holidays, conventions and seminars, new product introductions and more.

Of course, ultimately, you will want to measure and monitor results. These “results” should include much more than just sales. It could include shares, subscribers, social media likes, responses to surveys and polls, and other forms of connection. Adjustments to campaigns should be made according to results.

Consumers want to do business with those they feel are knowledgeable and trustworthy. Building relationships through a giving approach is a powerful way to build those strong connections. It positions you as an approachable expert in your field and a natural, easy-to-make a choice when it comes time to make a buying decision. People still buy based on their own reasons, not reasons provided them by a marketer. Give them more of those reasons to do business with you, and they will respond.

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Online Marketing Trends in 2015

Online marketing, or digital marketing, has grown rapidly in recent years.  Two things are clear: online marketing is here to stay, and its growth is only set to accelerate in the future. The following are four of the trends expected to show themselves in 2015.

  1. Content marketing will become increasingly important
    Content marketing was one of the stars of 2014, and 2015 is set to continue and accelerate that trend. According to recent reports, more than half of business-to-business marketers are significantly increasing their budgets for content marketing in 2015. In addition, the type of content will shift toward long-form content, such as white papers, long blog posts and in-depth articles. Content marketing is becoming a vehicle not only for companies to market themselves but also to establish themselves as thought leaders in their niche or industry while also generating a loyal community or readership.

    At the same time, there will still be a significant market for short-form content, which will primarily be utilized on social media platforms as a way to generate viral content.

  2. Social media marketing will increasingly focus on mobile marketing
    There are now more than 1 billion smartphone users worldwide. These users represent the most important segment of the Internet economy, as they are the ones who use the Internet the most, are the most engaged, and are most willing to post and share content – thereby contributing to content going viral. As a result, online marketing will continue to focus on content that is optimized for the mobile format, which includes short-form content marketing, as well as social media advertising that is focused on the mobile platforms.
  3. Email marketing will evolve
    Email is one of the oldest technologies of the Internet and is sometimes overlooked by marketing agencies and departments that might prefer to utilize flashier and more cutting-edge digital marketing strategies. Nevertheless, email remains one of the most important marketing tools available, and 2015 promises to be another big year for email marketing.

    That being said, email marketing will also see a significant increase in the number and quality of tools available for marketing campaigns. One of the most significant trends is an increase in email analytics data, which helps marketers determine how often emails are opened and how often the links within those emails are clicked. The ability to determine which emails are most effective can then be used to create more effective email campaigns.

    Email is also increasingly being used as a gateway to social media channels. In the past, email was largely considered its own section of an overall marketing strategy. However, the goal of email marketing campaigns is increasingly to drive traffic to social media platforms, where that traffic can be presented with a company’s social media marketing campaign.

  4. Digital marketing budgets will increase
    Perhaps the most fundamental trend in digital marketing is the fact that the industry is growing rapidly. With the number of Internet users increasing and knowledge about how to monetize that traffic increasing at the same time, it makes sense that budgets directed toward these efforts would grow as well.

    According to recent reports, about 80 percent of companies are expected to increase their digital marketing budgets in 2015, with the vast majority of those companies expecting to increase their budgets between 5 and 15 percent.

    At the same time, the number of workers in the digital marketing industry is expanding as well, with digital/social, content creation, data/analytics and mobile strategy among the skills most highly valued by marketing agencies hiring new employees.


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