In the 46 years of its existence, email has become more of a marketing tool than a casual interface for friends and co-workers. In fact, according to TowerData, the first email marketing blast ever sent in 1978 achieved a whopping $13 million in revenue, which amounts to about $78 million today. And the email trend continues: A recent survey from the Direct Marketing Association and Demand Metric found that email marketing receives four times more ROI than other marketing avenues, including social media.
Looking at these statistics, any contemporary marketer could easily assume that customer acquisition is email’s primary use. But while lassoing in buyers is certainly an essential part of email marketing, it is merely one of its several applications. In fact, you can leave a lot of opportunities on the table if you do not diversify your email efforts.
A Multipurpose Tool
Ironically, email’s spike in popularity has led to its detriment in recent years. By now, most of the population knows how to spot spam, and consumers are conditioned to delete items that appear overly promotional. To combat these knee-jerk email responses, your job as a digital marketer is to build reciprocal relationships with customers.
Because consumers are reluctant to embrace basic, conventional marketing emails, you need to vary your approach to maintain their interest. You might have their attention, but getting them to the consideration, conversion, and recommendation phases of the revenue generation loop requires creativity and a give and take mentality.
Too many marketers talk at their customers rather than engage in a two-way conversation. However, more giving approaches are simple ways to get prospects to come to you. Consider tactics such as sharing your customers’ thoughts and experiences through social media, sending key information around their needs and your products’ benefits, and making it easy to share discounts or offers.
It is worth mentioning that the above “giving” approaches often fall short in generating any immediate revenue, so they are easy to overlook. “The State of B2B Email Marketing” shows that 77% of B2B marketers rely on email marketing to increase ROI. This comes as no surprise considering that it is easier to send mass emails than it is to distribute personalized, relationship-building messages. But while those impersonal emails might hook prospects initially, they are likely to end up in their spam folders before long. You need to use multi-touch attribution models to measure their effectiveness.
4 Ways to Give More (and Take Less) in Email Marketing
Imagine your intentions behind email marketing as taking the valuable content you provide to consumers—even if it does not deliver direct ROI—as giving. When you do this, it becomes clear that marketers today take more than they give. To change this in your own work, consider how the following four email marketing methods stray from the taking mentality to focus more on giving to customers and prospects, fostering powerful relationships.
1) Segment Your Customers
Forgoing the give and take model puts your strategy at risk of becoming too generic. Additionally, it fails to tap into your audience members’ diversity and appeal to what matters most to them. However, with a segmented email campaign, you can achieve a 760% increase in revenue, according to Campaign Monitor. By segmenting your base, your emails that ask for ratings and referrals (what consumers can give) have a better chance of being passed along.
2) Build a Content Map
Specific groups require different content, and a one-size-fits-all approach will not attract anyone in particular. Once you segment your audience, building a content map should be your next step. After all, your creative emails mean nothing if you do not share the most relevant content to your subscribers. Start with your largest segment and expand from there.
If you give something of value to each segment, such as a whitepaper or infographic that accompanies an email newsletter, each unique demographic is more likely to remember you and find value in your emails—resulting in more views, clicks, and shares.
3) Create a Schedule
Planning ahead means building an email marketing schedule each quarter. For example, let us imagine that you have a conference coming up and you want to meet your customers while you are in town. To be proactive, create a schedule that highlights the dates when you need to start targeting your emails specifically for that event.
When you are creating your schedule, though, remember that give and take is a never-ending process—once your customers have bought your product, keep the dialogue going. For instance, Harry’s, a shaving supplies company, sends a guide to its customers explaining post-shave routines. In doing so, it gives an award in the form of content, making customers feel special and appreciated. If you do something similar for your product, your customers might tell their friends about it, too.
4) Monitor Key Data
Every marketer understands the importance of reviewing data, but few try to uncover the subtext of that data and make inferences about what to do next. When it comes to gauging the success of these give and take email marketing approaches, monitoring results is essential. If your latest emails have low referrals and unimpressive KPIs, stop wasting your time with them.
The DMA claims that the click-through rate, conversion rate, open rate, and ROI are the most significant metrics to analyze when it comes to email marketing. Paying attention to these items can help you optimize your approach and provide clarity about which give or take efforts are the most impactful.
The first step in developing the best email marketing method is to ask yourself whether you are getting the right results. From there, adapt each strategy to your customers’ responses and balance out your give and take approaches to further solidify your efforts. True, it might be tedious at times, but following these steps is a strategic way to take advantage of email marketing’s full capabilities and give you an edge over the competition.