Archive for April, 2012

Email marketing: Becoming better at it

Allegra Michael Grant

 

 

 

 
So, why write about, “Becoming Better at Email Marketing”? Isn’t email marketing dying the proverbial slow death? Isn’t it falling under the wheels of those racing chariots called Facebook, Twitter, SMS Texts, LinkedIn, Pinterest or whatever other communications channel that will be launched next month and worth a billion dollars two years from now? Well not really.

Current surveys of consumers’ communications preferences by companies such as ExactTarget illustrate that every day

  • 91% use email
  • 57% use Facebook
  • 57% use SMS Text

Since 2008, personal communications via email has declined from 66% to 45%. It has been moving to social media channels. However, permission based email marketing communications has increased from 72% to 77%. In other words, 77% of people prefer to receive product information via permission based email marketing instead of social media channels. This cuts across all age groups from 15 years to 65 years of age. The preference for permission based email marketing is so far ahead of other methods of marketing that it is almost a one horse race.

More good news – 66% of respondents have made purchases as a result of email marketing messages and 63% use email to share content with their friends and family. Sharing of content on Facebook was 33%. That’s 30% less than email marketing.

Here’s some suggestions from MarketingProfs, Silverpop and Target Marketing that will improve your email marketing:

  1. Ask for permission to send information via emails (permission based email subscribers) and make it easy to opt out with one click.
  2. Make the content relevant to the recipient. In 50 characters or less tell what’s in it for them and what they should do.
  3. Deliver the emails to arrive at the times in my previous article.
  4. Do not send email “blasts” or the internet service providers (ISPs) will start to block your messages. Narrow your focus to the right people.
  5. Send a loyalty offer to subscribers who most often open your emails.
  6. Avoid spam trigger words like “Free”, “risk-free”, “guaranteed” and “!!!”
  7. Keep the offer text above the “fold” area (top 200 to 259 pixels). This is prime real estate area for the 3 to 5 seconds they focus on your message.
  8. Use one-line pre-header text to outline the offer. These are ideal for mobile devices.
  9. Use a clear call-to-action button and clickable URL link above the “fold”.
  10. Aim for 450 to 500 pixel width for both desktop and mobile users.

 

Next week: More Email Marketing Tips

Email marketing: Confusion says…

Allegra Michael Grant

Every generation has been able to lay claim to having fallen under the old Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.” The flux of social, political and economic changes over the ages have made life on this planet “interesting”. The wheel, the printing press, the combustion engine, the automobile, the airplane, the personal computer and the internet to name a few have all been disruptors, creators of “interesting times”.

Today, in the world of marketing and communications we live with more opportunities and yet more confusion than ever before. Opportunities because, as never before in the history of mankind, marketing can reach out to anyone anywhere and at any time. Confusion because no one single method of communication has proven to be the most effective and no one knows what method to use to obtain their objectives. So let’s explore the confusion…

Let’s pick one for today. How about Email Marketing? Email open rates are highest on Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays. They are typically opened during the morning between 7:00 and 10:00 AM. 75% of daily social media users said email is the best way for companies to communicate with them. Yet, in the last half of 2011, overall email delivery rates were down 4.5% while B2B email delivery rates were up 6%. In summary, B2C delivery rates are dropping. Why? Well, better blockers, marketers’ sender reputations are deteriorating and consumer email overload. The answer? Become better at email marketing.

 

Next week: Becoming Better at Email Marketing