Updated: Feb 27
Author: Ania McNamara
If you’re like most people in the developed world today, your email inbox is stuffed with likely hundreds of emails from retailers and websites which you have never opened and never intend to, so as a business owner yourself, it’s easy to assume that email marketing doesn’t really work. However, the statistics about this enduring sales channel tell a different story – one that demonstrates you should concentrate much, if not most, of your marketing efforts on developing great email communications with your prospects and customers.
For example, did you know:
According to Campaign Monitor, for every dollar spent on email marketing, the average return is $38. Yes, that’s a 3800% return on investment!
The Relevancy Group found in a 2015 study that US marketing executives believe their email marketing alone drives the same amount of sales as their social media, website, and display ad efforts combined.
McKinsey found that email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter, and according to Marketing Sherpa, 72% of consumers prefer to receive promotional content via email.
DMA reports that segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue.
As you can see, skipping on email is a huge missed opportunity! Email takes a little more time to set up, test, and perfect than social media, but with the returns it promises, it’s more than worth it. And when you use a program like MailChimp or Constant Contact to build your list and automate your communications, it becomes much more of a snap.
Ready to get started? Here are a few important tips to absorb as you setup your email marketing:
Make sure you build and maintain a targeted list. You can certainly purchase lists of people who are likely to be interested in your product or service in order to get a jump-start, but it’s actually a better long-term strategy to collect real prospects from a sign-up on your website. That way you know everyone on your list has at some point been truly interested and engaged. Otherwise, you may alienate more people than you attract by sending spam!
Pay special attention to your subject lines. That’s really where you sink or swim, as an email marketer. Try to keep them short and to the point (50 characters or less), use punctuation or numbers to emphasize and direct attention, but stay away from all caps and don’t go overboard. Even if it doesn’t end up in a prospect’s spam filter, he or she will write it off as spam if the subject line “sells” too hard.
Have subscribers “verify” their email addresses. Having an email verification process (usually an email with a simple “verify” link) once subscribers sign up for your list ensures that your emails stay out of their spam.
Segment your lists and campaigns. For best results, you shouldn’t be sending the same emails with the same offers and products out to everyone on your list. You can segment your contacts based on demographic information, what they’ve previously purchased, or any other pertinent category. Personalized and targeted emails increase click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 10%. Plus, fewer and more targeted emails means your messages are less likely to be perceived as spam and will get more attention from every person on your list.
Once you’ve gotten started, consider A/B testing. A/B, or “split,” testing is what really helps you refine your email marketing setup and take your success to the next level. When sending out a campaign or newsletter, consider sending a different subject line, or including different images, for half of the recipients, and track what kind of results you get with one vs. the other. As you go through this process, you’ll start to discover what kind of content really works. Most automated email marketing programs have a function that allows you to easily A/B test your emails.
Good luck! We’ll be the first to say that a built-up list and a consistent, effective email marketing scheme are invaluable tools in your kit for amazing sales.