Email Marketing in 2019
Email marketing seems like a no-brainer for most organizations. It has grown over the years and prospects are looking to be communicated to in a certain way. But email is not what it used to be, and tactics are ever growing as users become more aware of the digital landscape.
Customers are becoming more tech savvy and know what they want when it comes to communication, but do we? In this article, we will cover a handful of tactics that can be implemented to level up your 2019 marketing campaigns.
Fun Fact: 59% of marketers say that email marketing is their most effective channel in terms of revenue generation
Email marketing seems to be getting more and more complicated as the years go by — A/B testing, dynamic content, surveys, CTAs, the list goes on. But in reality, all of these tactics have been developed and implemented to make our jobs easier. They provide us with data to make smart decisions and to allow users to choose the content they want to see. And at the end of the day, all of these tactics are going to help increase your close rate and marketing ROI.
Mobile, Mobile, Mobile
Yep, mobile is still happening in 2019, but the numbers are even higher. It is estimated that mobile is accounting for 50% of email opens… and those numbers are growing. Ensure that your designs, builds and sends are all going to be mobile-friendly. Test content on multiple devices to be sure that it is rendering properly across devices.
Studies show that if an email does not look right on mobile, it is likely to be deleted in less than three seconds. With smartphones becoming the primary device for many actions in our daily life, it is no longer an option to have communications that do not render properly. Don’t lose 50% of your opportunities. Make sure everything you create moving forward is optimized for mobile.
At a time where digital reach is at its current peak, we, as consumers, are still inundated with influencers and brand pushing, #ad or #sponsored. Consumers are becoming more aware of the somewhat seedy “influencer marketing” tactics and are craving authenticity. Combine that with the Facebook follies that we are all too familiar with and it creates an environment that is pushing users away.
Consumers are tired of being played for dummies and this is where brand authenticity can shine. Treat your consumers like you would want to be treated, and you will be amazed at how far a little respect can go. Work to connect with your users on an emotional level and scrap the sales pitch.
This turn in marketing is easier than you think. Start with storytelling. Be honest. Tell the story of your company or your successful clients. Do you have a talented writer who can do both? Perfect! This is your opportunity to speak “one on one” with your audience and be real. Use this opportunity to be transparent and begin developing a relationship with your viewers.
Users are spending increasingly less time with salespeople and performing a majority of the information search on their own. Curating content that will move people through the funnel is no longer a luxury but a must-have. And this will lead us to our next trend: Lead Nurturing.
For some of you, this may seem like last year’s news … or even 2015’s news. But it needs to be covered. Lead nurturing is the process of developing a relationship with your users as they work through the sales/marketing funnel. Providing your users with high value, informational content that will help them resolve an issue or pain point.
Put the sales pitch on hold. This can be a hard pill to swallow for some organization, but if you want to increase your close rate and marketing success, it will be necessary. This topic could be a whole article on its own, so we will cover this from a high level.
Lead nurturing will allow you to build rapport with your audience and establish thought leadership before the sales process ever begins. Providing your users with high-value content that touches on their pain points will help to position you as a reliable source for information and keep you top of mind for solutions in the future. Establishing that foundation is key for a successful relationship that ends with a qualified lead being pushed to sales.
The King: Content
No email marketing campaign is complete without content, the valuable assets that address the pain points and provide solutions for your target audience. Content marketing is being applied by more companies every year and is becoming a staple in marketing campaigns. With this shift in the market, it is going to be imperative that your content stands out for the pack.
Don’t create content with the hope of users engaging with it. Create content that encourages users to engage and share. Dare I say, go viral? That might be a stretch, but you get the point. Create content pieces that are going to appeal to your audience in a deeper way, whether this is an emotional connection, excitement or thought-provoking. Go beyond the surface level. Also, extend the invitation for two-way communication in the comments section, or directly engage with your audience.
Personalization and Privacy
There is a fine line that we must navigate as marketers between personalization and privacy. Consumers are growing ever more wary of big data aggregators and the fact that their personal data is being sold and used. Government agencies have worked hard to combat this with GDPR, CAN-SPAM Act and the newest, CCPA. So what does this mean for us? We know that customers have an expectation of personalization, but when is it too much? With great power, comes great responsibility.
First things first. We must follow all of the guidelines that government agencies have put in place. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in extremely large fines. In large part, these new rules are there to ensure that personal data is protected. Still buying lists? Might be time to re-think that strategy. We can help!
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s focus on the customer and personalizing content for them. This type of personalization goes beyond adding an individual’s first name or company to the email. This is focusing on the individual’s needs on a deeper level.
It is time to put content in front of your audience that is relevant to them. There are many different ways that this can be accomplished, but the easiest and quickest way is a marketing automation platform. There are a number of platforms available for all different sizes of business. Find one that fits your best (might I recommend HubSpot, SharpSpring or Pardot?) and utilize all of the tracking capabilities that it comes with.
Marketing automation platforms will help you track what users are doing not only on your website but in emails, content, media and more. This will allow you and your marketing team to micro-segment your audience based off of their pain points. I won’t get into the nitty-gritty of how this all works, but the moral of this story is this: provide your users with content that is specific to their needs. Retire the catch-all emails and the early sales pitch.
Quality Over Quantity
The only numbers game we play is looking at the KPIs that are being crushed during marketing campaigns. The patented email blast is a thing of the past. This ties into everything that has been discussed in this article and might even be the cornerstone that holds it all together!
Email marketing is no longer about getting your brand in front of as many people as possible with irrelevant messaging. It is about reaching specific users with a very targeted approach that will provide the end user with quality and valuable information. This is your opportunity to position yourself as a thought leader in your industry while laying the foundation for a mutually beneficial relationship.
This may seem like a lot to tackle all at once, but with a properly developed plan, these tactics are achievable for all organizations. Take your email marketing to the next level, reach your users at the right time with the right content and push qualified leads to sales. Implementation of these tactics are not only for your benefit but the benefits of your users, remember, they have a pain point that you have a solution for – convey this information to them via relationship building and thought leadership. All of the pieces will fall into place if you give it time, hold on the sales pitch, provide answers and watch your close rates increase. If you have any question, please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss how email marketing can help your organization.