Email marketing continues to top the lists of high return-on-investment (ROI) marketing techniques, with an astounding $44 dollars of value for every $1 spent.
But more companies using use email marketing creates unique concerns for the coming year, especially when combined with an upswing in technology that offers new ways to reach audiences.
We’ve compiled some of the top email marketing challenges we foresee in 2019. We’ve also provided guidance on how you can overcome them so you can continue to benefit from your email marketing’s high ROI.
The top 3 email marketing challenges of 2019
More than 59% of businesses identify email marketing as the most effective marketing channel for their brand. And reliance on email marketing will only increase in the upcoming year as distrust in social media continues to grow, as does the need for authentic connection.
This means that optimizing your email marketing efforts will be critical to gaining additional success and revenue from your marketing strategy in the coming year.
1. Understanding your audience for best results
Having in-depth, personal knowledge of your audience is one of the best ways to fine-tune your email marketing for optimal results.
Additionally, being able to relate to your subscribers in specific, tangible ways will set your business—and your emails—apart from the other campaigns crowding your subscriber’s inbox.
So, how do you discover what your audience wants and needs? Your first priority should be to create a segmented campaign.
Segmentation for the win
One size does not fit all when it comes to email marketing, which is why you must break your audience down into smaller, differentiated groups to be effective.
Segmentation ensures you’re sending relevant content to each member of your audience.
There are numerous ways to segment, including:
- Demographics (age/gender/etc.)
- Geographic location
- Survey responses
- Purchase history
- Location in the sales funnel
- Website behavior
Segmentation is also a great way to stand out from your competition, as many brands either don’t use this technique or don’t use it to its fullest extent. In fact, 21% of marketers use almost no segmentation.
Personalization to take your results to the next level
Another way to keep your spot in the inbox is to provide your customers with a personal touch.
Along with helping to create a real relationship between you and your target audience, personalized emails can increase opens as much as 26%.
Personalization can range from adding your target’s name to the email subject line, to remembering their birthday or the anniversary of their relationship with your brand, or even making recommendations based on their past engagement:
If you’ve taken advantage of segmentation, you’ll have a host of information that can help you personalize your emails to fit every customer, even down to recommending products for their specific needs:
Choose whatever personalization technique makes the most sense for your industry and you’ll see increased loyalty from your fans which means increased revenue over time.
2. Keeping the audience you have is more valuable than chasing new leads
Do you realize that nearly 80% of your sales come from just 20% of your customers?
Marketers know the significant value of keeping current customers happy. A great way to maximize the lifetime value of your customers is by carefully moving them through your funnel with targeted email marketing.
You can begin with a welcome series that delivers value, educates them on your brand’s value and story, and captures their attention, like the following:
Ann Taylor’s welcome email is short, sweet, and full of value.
Not only do customers understand immediately what to expect from future emails (special offers, inspiration), but they receive a valuable coupon to spend right away.
Another way to interact with and grow customer loyalty is to provide emails that reward them for specific actions, such as buying often or engaging with your brand.
Here are some great email campaigns to send next time you want to reward your most loyal customers:
- Remind frequent customers about redemption vouchers or coupons
- Give VIPs early access or special discounts on sales
- Send them thank you emails from specific personnel
- Offer perks like free shipping or extended ordering times for sales
- Offer coupons or discounts for sharing on social media
Anthropologie’s email exudes gratitude to their loyalty program members:
There are so many ways to stimulate trust, loyalty, and revenue from your existing customer base using email marketing, all of which contribute to higher ROI.
3. Getting even more ROI from your email marketing campaign
Email marketing campaigns are known for their stellar ROI, but you might be missing out on even higher numbers if you’re not using two simple, yet critical techniques: automation and testing.
Automation that’s based on behavior triggers, like clicking on a website link, signing up for a mailing list, or purchasing a product is simple. And yet, 41% of marketers know that using automation increases marketing ROI, among other benefits, and still many marketers don’t actually use automation for their email marketing campaigns.
Automation can save you time, increase lead generation, retain current customers, and contribute to the health and effectiveness of your overall marketing strategy.
Hand-in-hand with automation is A/B testing. That is, determining which of a set of emails resonates best with your target audience.
Despite the effectiveness of testing, half of marketers claim they almost never use it.
Testing can allow you to get a good idea of metrics and performance numbers for campaigns, test (or re-test) experimental ideas, and allow for small changes that are hyper-targeted to specific segments of your audience.
A good A/B test can help save time—and money—and help you streamline your email marketing campaign to target specific outcomes while increasing ROI.
Getting back to basics is the key to email marketing success in 2019
There are plenty of new trends on the horizon for email marketers. Chatbots, artificial intelligence (AI), and even live video streaming can all help you make the most of your marketing strategy, but only if you have a good grip on the basics first.
Customers expect personalized, relevant, valuable interaction with you and your brand and no technology can replace authentic connection for staying on the pulse of what your audience wants and needs.
A scattered marketing approach that’s technology-driven can lose focus on the most critical aspect of lead-generation and retention: your customer. Forgetting to keep your customer and the benefits your products or services offer them at the center of your marketing is a mistake that can be devastating to your strategy and your bottom line.
Disconnected, irrelevant email—no matter how technically brilliant—can result in increased churn, lowered engagement, and, ultimately, loss of revenue.
Staying true to the basics of email marketing will help cement your relationship with your customers and keep your marketing strategy on point.
If your marketing team concentrates on understanding and overcoming the three top email marketing challenges of 2019, you’ll be in a good position to rock the new year with increased ROI and a solid customer base.
Our suggestion for success includes understanding and retaining loyal customers as well as implementing automation and A/B testing to make the most of your current and future email marketing campaigns.
Apply new techniques and technologies where appropriate but don’t forget to begin with a strong comprehension of the basics of email marketing tactics for optimal results you can be proud of.