Website copy is a term that comprises a number of content marketing methods including:
- Opt-in Offers
- Press Releases
- Online Adverts
- Autoresponder Messages
- Online Videos
- Search Engine Listings
- Email Marketing
It’s likely that the menagerie of options above represent 85-90% of your company’s online sales. Email marketing may well be one of the most important yet under-utilised of the above options.In simple terms, generating online sales is a matter of attracting traffic to your website and converting these prospects. There are still far too many online businesses that focus the majority of their attention on the traffic part of the equation while settling for a fairly abysmal conversion rate. Email marketing, when done correctly of course, can provide one of the best Return on Investment (ROI) of any online marketing strategy.
Don’t make the mistake of trying to sell your products/services immediately. Great email marketing begins by gaining the trust of your target audience. It is a multi-stage process that educates readers and allows them to relax in the knowledge that the sender is an authority in its niche.
4 Quick Email Marketing Practices
- Using a double opt-in mechanism to prevent bad email addresses appearing on your list and also to ensure there are no unwilling recipients on your list.
- Make sure every single email provides useful content.
- Do not over-promote, use exclamation marks and avoid words like ‘free’ and ‘bonus’ or else your email will probably be sent to the spam scrapheap.
- Always provide an easy way to unsubscribe in case they no longer want to receive emails from you.
This is the name of Sway’s ecommerce site. Sway is a women’s fashion retailer in California and it cleverly collected email addresses via its 6 stores. Customers are enticed into providing their email addresses via web promotions like gift cards and coupons, classic advertising in action. SwayChic used this 3-step approach for success:
- Examine Existing Data – Analysis of analytics showed that the site received better customer engagement from emails sent on Tuesdays than emails sent on Wednesdays.
- Testing Engagement Patterns – Obviously, the company wanted to maximise profits while avoiding tedious hours wading through data. Its team focused on behavioural features such as past purchases and days/time of day with the highest email open rates.
- Segmentation – SwayChic finished by segmenting customers into time slots which revolved around the time of day with the highest customer engagement. Its technology allowed the company to place customers in different groups if their behavioural patterns changed.
After 12 optimised email campaigns a month, SwayChic found that the open rate of emails sent increased by 40%! Average click-through rates increased by 100% and revenue for each campaign rose by 200%. As well as proving that email marketing is effective, SwayChic also showed that timing is everything.
Still not convinced?
5 Compelling Reasons To Launch An Email Marketing Campaign
If you run a Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) and are not using email marketing, you’re making a major error. Campaigns such as these are extremely easy to do, cost effective , increase traffic and lead to a greater level of sales than just about anything else you can do on a relatively small budget. As good as SEO and social media are, they don’t compare to email marketing. According to the Email Marketing Industry Census 2013, 66% of marketers describe the ROI of email marketing as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’. This doesn’t mean that you should jettison other marketing forms altogether, it just shows that email adds yet another string to a powerful bow.
Without further ado, here are 5 important reasons why email marketing needs to be given further attention:
- ROI – According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) of the United States, the ROI for email marketing in 2012 was an unbelievable 4,300%! In other words, you make $43 profit for every $1 you invest. The DMA also stated that email marketing will yield over $82 billion in 2016, an increase from the $67.8 billion earned in 2012.
- Low Cost – This comes as part of a great ROI and it is possible to set up a free account with providers such as MailChimp. Obviously, free accounts have limitations but it’s not as if you have to break the bank for ‘premium’ services. Generally, you will be looking at $1 per 100 emails, about 100 times less than what you will pay for direct mail advertising that provides a rather dismal 1-3% ROI.
- Brand Growth – There are few marketing channels better than email for ensuring brand visibility. Did you know that it’s theoretically possible to reach 100% of your target audience with email marketing? This is because you will be sending your marketing email directly to the recipient’s inbox (assuming you get past the spam filter). It is essential that you only send emails to those who have opted-in and you must also use a reputable email provider. Follow these basic rules and your open and click-through rates will be extremely impressive. Compare this to the 30 or so seconds of visibility enjoyed by TV commercials!
- Audience Segmentation – The trouble with most marketing channels is that you’re not able to target a specific segment of your audience. The exceptions being SEO/PPC and paid social media adverts. The best email providers allow you to filter by customers, age groups, prospects, previous purchasing behaviour and much more. For best results, use email marketing in concert with converts gleaned from landing pages.
- Accurate Metrics – You can find out how your latest email marketing campaign fared in as little as 3 days. Look through the opens, visits, clicks, unsubscribers etc. to find out if your message had the desired impact. This will allow you to make the necessary adjustments and you won’t be left in the dark for weeks like with other marketing channels.
In the end, a successful email marketing campaign will take time and a well-thought out strategy but the results can be spectacular. Before you begin however, think of what you can offer that is of value to the target audience. Remember, their email address is valuable to you, what are you giving them in return?
Do you have an email marketing success story? We would love to hear from you and perhaps feature it in a future post.