Making authentic connections with customers is the raison d'être of content marketing. You have many options for how to make those connections, from chatbots to social media, to an old-fashioned, face-to-face conversation. To maximize your marketing budget, you need to take advantage of all the tools at your disposal. One that is relatively inexpensive and easy to measure--though sometimes misunderstood--is email marketing.
According to Opt-in Monster, 99% of email users check it every day… some as many as 20 times per day! You can use this habit to your advantage to forge those crucial connections with customers. However, email only works if you do it right. Make sure you follow best practices for email marketing. And, like with other marketing efforts, you must quantify email marketing results. If you don’t measure, you can’t improve. Perhaps more important, you can’t show results to your leadership.
Let’s look at how to overcome resistance to embracing email marketing and how to demonstrate to your leadership team why email marketing is important.
Email: What is it Good For?
Before you jump into an email marketing campaign, figure out what you want to achieve with it. Understand its strengths and limitations, and blend that information into your content marketing strategy. Reach users with tailored messages, stay top-of-mind with existing customers, or reel in those looky-loos who haven’t yet made a purchase.
- Cart abandonment causes major frustration for many ecommerce businesses. What if you could recapture those lost would-be customers?
- You already put resources into producing useful content for blogs, whitepapers, and more. Syndicate it to a wider audience by using email marketing.
- Building on the point above, email can drive users to gated resources on your website, where you can collect more actionable information from them.
- Every savvy business owner knows it costs less to keep a customer than to gain a new one. Delight and nurture your existing customers and stay on their minds with email.
What to Measure
Now that you know what you want to accomplish, outline how to measure it. You may measure every factor on the list below or only some of them. In addition, you might develop your own metrics, depending on your email marketing strategy. Review these options to starting thinking through your goals:
- Open rate
- Click-through rate
- Conversion rate
- Resource downloads
- Form fills
- New sign-ups
- Bounce rate
- SPAM complaint rates
For any email program, you will want as many people as possible to open your emails. So you’ll start with your open rate. “What’s a good open rate?” You’re likely to hear this question from your leadership. You can research average open rates, but that may not tell you much. You will decide as you go what makes an acceptable open rate for you, then aim to improve it from acceptable to fantastic.
Similarly, you will set your own benchmarks for each metric and then measure against yourself. An experienced agency partner can help you set reasonable expectations for your industry, business size, and position in the marketplace.
Measure Your Email ROI
Leaders value ROI. So, treat your email marketing efforts like any other investment. Track your expenses for resources such as:
- Strategy time
- Content creation
- Photography or graphics
- Programming or template population
- Time investment to monitor and track results
Measure those expenses against the results you identified above. Some come with an obvious monetary figure--for example, that prodigal shopping cart abandoner. To quantify other factors you will need to assign a value. How much is it worth to you, for example, for a prospect to fill out a form or download a resource? If it helps, consider how you would present this information visually in a chart or graph for your leadership team.
You might even set a value for each email address on your list. Use caution here, however, as more is not always better. Sending email that no one will open hurts your open rate. Or worse, getting flagged as a spammer can hurt your reputation or even threaten your ability to continue email marketing.
Keep your list clean and up-to-date, periodically take steps to re-engage inactive subscribers, and use best practices for collecting emails in the first place.
Why Email Marketing Works
People have come to expect updates via email from business that interest them. While many users report annoyance at promotional message in their social media feeds, they accept them more readily in their inboxes. This is likely because users feel more in control with email. If they don’t like a certain brand or the frequency of its updates, they simply unsubscribe.
Email works best as part of an integrated content marketing strategy. It can play a key role in maintaining constant communication with your subscribers. This is your chance to speak to them directly. Leverage it to generate authentic connections and reinforce your other forms of communication.
As with other forms of content marketing, use email marketing to add value. Give subscribers useful information and position your business as a leader in your space, where people can turn for good advice. When you put the customer at the center of your strategy, email marketing will take you to new places. Your leadership team will see the results for themselves.
Bayshore Solutions is an end-to-end digital agency providing customized brand storytelling, web design & development, e-commerce, digital marketing, creative, and hosting solutions to companies seeking to grow their business. For over 23 years, we’ve helped clients define their audiences, create compelling stories, implement innovative technology, and grow their brands.
Call us at 866-352-4791 or email us at email@example.com to chat about how we can help take your digital presence to new heights.