Is Email Marketing Still Important?

Email marketing is still an effective method for customer outreach. Visit now to learn more about email marketing for your business.

With all the latest and greatest social media platforms and mobile apps out there, has email marketing become outdated? Well, no, it’s quite the opposite, actually.

Not only is email marketing still an effective method for customer outreach, but it’s also a proven method to boost your sales. So, if you put email marketing on the backburner last year, it’s time to dust it off, put it out front, and get cooking in the coming quarter.

Email marketing stands the test of a fast-paced time

It wasn’t that long ago that email seemed like a novelty – so different from the “snail mail” we had known all our lives. Today, it’s estimated that there will be 4.9 billion email accounts by the end of 2017. In terms of business email accounts, there were 929 million mailboxes in 2013, predicted to increase by five percent over the next four years – totaling over 1.1 billion accounts by the end of 2017 – all according to the Radicati Group.

Over time, email has transitioned from desktop use and has gone mobile. Research says that mobile (with its 51% share) now accounts for the majority of email opens. While businesses still rely on the desktop for email access, people (especially Gmail and Yahoo! users) are checking their email while they’re on the go.

Now that you know people and businesses are still tied to their email (with projected increases), how can you use this to your advantage to reach them successfully?

Your business already has one foot in the door

At the end of the day, your business is focused on making a sale. Whether it’s an in-store promotion, a television advertisement, or a coupon code promoted on your Facebook page, it’s all about convincing your customer to purchase your product or service. Email marketing is a direct and effective way to close the deal – especially when you consider there will be 1,779 million mobile email users worldwide compared to 1,573 million worldwide social media users by 2017.

Your email customer list is an invaluable first step. This group, compiled over time, is most likely a mix of people that have purchased from you in the past or have chosen to sign up for your mailing list. In other words, you have tangible and established interest with these existing and potential customers. Since these people want to hear from you and have “opted in” to your outreach, make sure that you don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to talk to them when they have open ears. So, let’s get started with some basic tips!

Choose your email-marketing provider

MailChimp, Aweber, Campaign Monitor, iContact, Constant Contact, Mad Mimi, Benchmark, and GetResponse are some of the leading providers out there right now, just be sure to determine which platform and functionality work best for your business.

Put your irresistibly unbeatable deals here

According to Forbes, customers that arrived on your blog or site through email are more likely to shop and spend more. Therefore, include plenty of exciting “VIP” discounts and special offers that your customers can’t resist.

Get targeted and get analytical

The more you know about your customers, the better. Once you have your list of people, you can start dividing them by demographic indictors including location, gender, parents, etc. After all, some of your messages and special offers may be more relevant to specific niches within your target audience.

With these emails, and all of your other campaigns, discover which specific elements are the most effective. For example, are there subject lines that seem to work better than others? (MailChimp says personalized subjects with a sense of urgency are effective). Or, does another layout achieve more clicks than others? You should test all of these components and then refer back to your analytics. This will help paint the picture as to which email marketing tactics work and which fall short.

Pay attention to detail! Really!

Once that email is out there, it’s out there. Therefore, make sure everything is perfect before you send it to the masses. Spelling, live links, and tested discount codes all matter. And never bait-and-switch with a promotional subject line that won’t deliver in your email. Finally, remember that 70% of consumers will unsubscribe from an email list if it isn’t attractive on their mobile device. A solid design goes a long way.

Make timing matter

Depending on when you send your email, your customers may be more receptive to your message. Constant Contact says that Monday is gaining steam as the best day of the week to send out emails – beating out the old favorites Tuesday through Thursday. Experts say to avoid the 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. window since this is the most popular email-sending time. Instead, plan to send out your email either between 8 – 10 a.m. or 4 – 6 p.m. Of course, these are just suggestions. After some testing, you may find that your target audience prefers a completely different day and time of the week to hear from you.

Have something to say before you send an email

The key to email marketing is all in your value proposition. You need to be certain that you have something important to say before you ask your customers to listen. Once you deliver a benefit to your target audience (whether it’s information or special pricing), they will allow your brand to be a part of their lives. If you break this trust (i.e. sending emails out every day without value or incentive), it won’t take long until your customer becomes an “unsubscribe.”

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