This is a guest post from Adelina Benson.
Marketing is an intense field, and marketers are tasked with seemingly impossible challenges, such as engaging plummeting attention spans and growing numbers week over week.
Plus, there are tons of different options available to marketers, which can be both exciting and challenging in an intensely competitive market (especially one filled with companies all striving to overcome various complications and hurdles). In other words, there’s a lot of opportunity in marketing, but there’s a lot that can be confusing, too. So, what’s the best path for you and your company?
The positive side to marketing is the freedom it provides. No one has a perfect handbook for marketing a company, especially in our current time of nonstop communication. However, most marketers agree that antiquated marketing techniques (e.g. batch and blast emails) aren’t likely to be successful in the contemporary marketplace.
In fact, many companies are shifting to new technologies like AI and social media, and while this can be extremely positive for companies, it could be a mistake to ignore some marketing techniques of the past, especially in relation to email marketing.
Compared to newer technologies, email marketing has been around for a long time, and yet it continues to present a unique and wonderfully rich opportunity for you to market directly to consumers.
Read on to learn about four powerful ways your email list can be a valuable marketing tool.
1. Constantly utilizing segmentation
In today’s world, people are increasingly well-versed in the methods of marketers. In other words, people know when you’re trying to get them to buy something. This can be a complex problem for marketers, especially since each person wants a highly personalized experience.
“The end result of a lot of marketing campaigns is that they can feel snazzy or engaging but they belittle the potential customer or client and make them feel like they are a statistic, one little dot in a sea of other marketing opportunities for a company. This isn’t helpful for any company, but at the same time is incredibly hard to combat effectively,” says Jane Harper, senior marketer at WriteMyx.
The solution to this (very real) problem is segmentation. Segmentation involves breaking your audience into smaller subsets through the information you have about them.
You’ve probably used similar personalization tools on social media platforms like Facebook Ads Manager, but the technology is still clunky and can be fairly costly.
The difference with email marketing is how precise your segments can be. For example, you can decide to break up your email list in a number of ways, simply based on how subscribers interact with your products. All of these specific, company-oriented pieces of data can be employed to create a detailed understanding of your subscribers, and you can optimize your email marketing in ways that other forms of marketing struggle to achieve.
Plus, did you know most consumers no longer trust Facebook to keep their data safe? Learn more about the difference between email marketing and other digital channels by checking out this Campaign Monitor infographic.
2. The element of surprise
One of the other major tools you have at your disposal is the element of surprise. Email marketing, as we mentioned above, is traditional. Because of this, many companies don’t use it to its full advantage. Since other companies aren’t cashing in on email, you have a wonderful opportunity to surprise and delight your audience with fresh, unique content.
Take a look at this example from Pinterest:
Not only does this email aim to surprise and delight, but the recommendations are specifically based on the subscribers Pins and Boards. Something like this could change your customers’ experiences.
If, for example, a customer is accustomed to bland transactional emails and irrelevant promotional messaging, receiving a highly segmented, beautifully written, well-crafted email could instantly persuade them to move through your sales funnel. After all, you’re trying to compel your readers to take action by providing a great experience.
3. The ability to foster relationships
Perhaps the most glaring problem about newer forms of marketing is their inability to create trust with an audience.
Lydia Schwartzman, an email marketer at NextCoursework, explains it best:
“…There is an inherent problem with a lot of marketing techniques: They provide only a single repeatable opportunity to do ‘marketing.’ They don’t foster relationships in the same way you can do through intelligent email marketing.”
If you buy billboard space, all you can do is display an advertisement. It can be clever and eye-catching, but it’s not fostering a relationship. Email marketing, on the other hand, is an on-going communication with flexibility.
For example, when a customer receives a re-engagement email, it feels more thoughtful than promotional, and trust is being built through communication. You can even send an email on a user’s birthday, offering them a free gift as a birthday present.
You might even send an after-birthday email like Sephora:
Notice how the products in the email specifically correlate with the subscriber’s previous shopping data. This type of automation builds a dynamic of reliability and encourages brand loyalty on the part of the customer. Learn how you can scale your business with automation in this blog post.
Email allows you to introduce a dialogue, which is an empowering thing for the average customer. They have the freedom to respond to you with questions and concerns, unlike paid advertisements.
4. A smaller, more optimized data set
With some forms of marketing, you’re forced to send the same message to masses of people. With email marketing, however, you’re talking to a list of people who have already interacted with you and are voluntarily staying in touch with you.
Paying big money for the opportunity to market to hundreds or thousands of people who aren’t interested in your product could be less effective than marketing directly to interested, loyal shoppers.
Overall, the email list is an overlooked asset. Its simplicity means it’s less flashy but often more successful than other forms of marketing. Hopefully, these four tips will make you rethink the value of email marketing.
Not sure how to get started with email marketing? Check out our guide on getting started right now. You’ll learn why email marketing works as well as how you can use it to earn revenue and build relationships with customers.
Adelina Benson is an email marketer and writer. She develops email marketing strategies as well as editing and proofreading. She also works in communications, with an emphasis on innovative use of video. In her free time, she loves to help people reach their full potential.