If you’ve been reading our blog posts regularly these past few months, you know that we’re big proponents of having a solid marketing toolkit to best promote and represent your brand and product(s). Whether we’re talking about digital sell sheets, or optimizing your social media marketing strategy, these different tools should be a part of your marketing efforts. But the marketing fun doesn’t stop there—this post will take a look at email marketing and how brands can wield this tool to their advantage.
The importance of email marketing
Remember the time before the Internet, when mailer upon mailer would land in your mailbox promoting the latest and greatest new products? Those direct mail pieces have evolved, and with the birth of the digital age, are now delivered electronically, or what we would call email marketing. Essentially, any time your company emails your customers, you’re sending out some form of email marketing, whether it’s a general message from your company, a promotion, or a special customers-only deal.
While there may be some consumers out there grumbling about how they get flooded with marketing emails from different companies, email marketing is still a relevant and essential part of your overall digital strategy.
“E-mail marketing is still the most underrated marketing channel for any business, hands down,” says Max Bidna, CEO and Co-Founder of Hell’s Creative LLC. “When done right, email can build brand awareness, drive sales, and, most importantly, help brands stay top of mind before, during, and after the buying decision.”
In fact, a study of 1 billion shopping sessions that occurred in 2019 found the conversion rate for email (ie, a customer reads your email, then makes a purchase) was 2.3%. That may not sound high, but it is double the conversion rate from social media, which was at only 1%. The key to successful email marketing, however, is research. Any brand that will use email marketing must have an in-depth analysis of its consumer audience if they want their email strategy to be successful.
“Email marketing based on customer-centric research has yielded really powerful, really fast, really visible results,” says Jeffrey Windsor, Vice President of Content Marketing for 97th Floor, a digital marketing agency. Windsor says their approach to email marketing is audience-first, and each individual segment is carefully researched, and a persona built for each, before crafting content for those personas. And that’s brought the brands they work with great success.
“With one client, we took over their existing email marketing program,” Windsor says. “We spent a few weeks doing our research, but as soon as we launched they had a 300% increase in opens and clicks. And their call-center was literally overwhelmed by their order volume. The opens and click stayed mostly consistent (though the call volume decreased to a manageable level, much to their relief).”
There are some aspects of email marketing that brands need to be aware of to ensure success:
- Make sure your message is designed properly for email. Catchy subject lines may entice them to open the email, and once they do, you don’t want them to hit “delete” immediately because your graphics are all over the place, and your message is jumbled. Invest the time and skill needed to create a marketing email that works and looks good no matter if consumers open it on a computer, smartphone, or tablet.
- Set a cadence for your emails. As mentioned above, people often get irritated when they get flooded with marketing emails. Figure out and set a cadence for how frequently you want to “touch” your consumers via email marketing, and stick to it. Less is more, in most cases.
- Offer an opt-in option. To ensure you’re not spamming your consumers with emails, offer them the option to opt-in to your emails rather than just sending emails to anyone who makes a purchase or stops by your website. That way you know you’ve got an interested party on your hands, and thus your chances of them reading the email, and conversion from that email, will go up.
Popular email marketing services
There are numerous services available in the current digital marketing environment to help you manage your email marketing strategy. Let’s look at a handful of the more popular ones to see how they compare.
One of two OGs of email marketing services, Mailchimp breaks down email marketing by the type of message you want to send, and allows brands to easily add content and distribute it to all or selected segments of your contact list.
The second OG of email marketing services, Constant Contact offers free templates or access to optimized templates for your email marketing campaigns. It’s often best used for campaigns that focus on newsletter-style, rather than revenue-driving emails.
Designed specifically for e-commerce sites, Klaviyo is noted to have a powerful segmenting feature, which can mean your marketing emails are hitting the right targets with appropriate content.
CM Commerce (Formerly Conversio)
CM Commerce’s name kind of says just what it does: email marketing campaigns that both build relationships…and then convert them to a sale. The platform can help foster and track leads through the email campaign and encourages user-generated content that can be leveraged later.
RangeMe Service Providers
RangeMe offers suppliers on the platform to tap into their network of Service Providers, including marketing providers who specialize in email marketing. Brands can evaluate the services in a single spot, and connect with these services to ask questions and find out more about what they offer.
Choosing the right email marketing service
Understanding the ins and outs of these top email marketing services can be relatively easy but then the question becomes, how do you choose? There’s no one-size-fits-all option, but rather it comes down to which service will best fit your business.
Alex Epner, Associate Director of Lifestyle Management for Hawke Media, notes that the data and web behaviors provided by sites like Klaviyo and Mailchimp help them properly target their client’s users with the products and information they need, and that will help drive conversion. As Epner notes, “Making sure you understand who your target market is, and how they want to hear from you is key.”
As an emerging brand, email marketing services can provide an easy way for you to stay in front of your customers. Understanding what kind of campaign you want to have, and having in-depth knowledge of your audience will help you segment your campaign appropriately. Email marketing isn’t going away, and when done right can bring great rewards!
Interested in working with a marketing specialist? Browse Service Providers on RangeMe who are ready to take your brand’s email marketing to the next level here.