23 Oct Goldilocks and the email marketing strategy
It’s no secret that to survive in today’s digital world, businesses must incorporate some sort of online marketing strategy. And with the need for a prominent social media presence and strong website SEO, you may find yourself wanting to streamline your efforts and wondering about email marketing – is it still worth your time?
At The Digital Boutique we feel that email marketing is by no means dead – but as with any other marketing platform, it certainly can be an ineffective use of resource if not used wisely.
Why email marketing still matters:
We are checking our emails more often than ever
87% of people in the UK own an email account and most us are checking them up to 15 times a day. Madness, right? As a small business, one of your main goals will be to maximise awareness of our brand and email marketing can be an important platform to use when it comes to increasing exposure to potential customers. Meanwhile, 83% of people own a smartphone (actually, that figure jumps to 94% of people aged 16-24) and this has made email completely portable, allowing customers to check their accounts more often, and in more places, than ever before. What messaging you reach your customers with is only the beginning – you need to consider where and when they might read your email, and how you want them to react. It’s a lot to think about – but can have great impact when you get it right.
Customers prefer email marketing
Not only does email marketing help to extend brand awareness, but according to research from DMA, customers actually prefer email marketing to other forms of marketing. In fact, 73% of 2,000 respondents chose emails as their first or second favourite marketing channel.
It’s cost effective and can offer a personalised experience
Emailing customers may not seem as trendy as advertising on popular online platforms such as Instagram and LinkedIn – but it is certainly cheaper. Therefore the ROI is likely to be higher. Email marketing also offers the ability to communicate with target audiences through more relevant and personalised content than via standard social media posts, something that is becoming more and more important to customers in today’s world.
Why email marketing isn’t working for you:
You send too many emails or they are hard to read
Marketing is no longer a one-way conversation and if customers don’t want to hear from you, they can simply unsubscribe. The most common reasons people will unsubscribe from emails are that they are receiving too many, the emails they are receiving aren’t easy to read or they don’t support the device they are using. With 83% of people owning a smartphone, 70% owning a laptop and 58% owning a tablet, the majority of us have more than one device to access emails on. So your emails need to be responsive and able to address this.
Attitudes towards personal data and GDPR
Recent data scandals have left customers wary of sharing their personal information online and the government has tightened its data protection laws with the addition of the recent GDPR policy (read more about what GDPR means for you here). Companies are therefore under more pressure than ever to gain trust from their customers when handling their personal information, and this trust can make or break your email marketing strategy. Handling personal data incorrectly can significantly damage your brand image.
Customers want a two-way conversation
Although email is an effective tool when creating brand awareness and encouraging your customers to take action, email alone will not be the success of your online marketing campaign. Today’s customers like to (and expect to) be able to communicate with brands, address their queries and share content with their friends – email alone cannot fulfil these needs.
How to get more from your email marketing efforts:
Take the time to personalise emails and create content that is relevant to your individual customers. Examples of this include using first names, distributing personalised discount codes or making sure your email content is highly relevant to them. This will help you to show your customers that you value them and make reading your emails worthwhile.
Think like Goldilocks
Don’t send too many… don’t send too few… take time to get it just right. There is no magic number when it comes to how many emails you should send each week or month, but it’s important to find out what works for you. Too many can become intrusive and annoying, leading customers to unsubscribe. Too few can leave your brand forgotten.
Gaining trust from your customers is one challenge, but maintaining their trust is another beast entirely. Being responsible with your customers’ personal information will not only help protect your brand’s image but also help you to retain customers long term. And of course, it’s the law.
Take a multi-channel approach
Make sure that you combine email marketing with other platforms to promote your brand as part of a larger digital marketing strategy. Online platforms should complement each other, ensuring that your message is consistent across the board will help drive brand confidence.
Keep it professional
Keep your emails short, sweet and easy to read whilst considering the device your customers will use to access your messages. This will help your messages to come across as professional and improve the overall user experience with your promotions.