3 Tips for a Successful Email Marketing Program

Email Marketing is an easy way to reach your customers, and as I’m sure you all know, it is also comes at a nice price. Email continues to be the hero, providing the best ROI for reaching an audience year-over-year.

The results from the 2018 Data and Marketing Association (DMA) outlining the U.S. spend on direct mail vs. email aren’t shocking to anyone. Direct mail (offline) spend topped off at $8.20 per piece, as opposed to $1.56 for email.

However, one huge disadvantage of email marketing is that noise levels have reached a plateau. One study claimed the average business person received 95 emails a day in 2018.  I doubt that will change anytime soon.

Keep these things in mind when honing your email strategy: Be mindful of customers who are digitally overloaded, both in their personal and professional lives.

Here are other important tips:

1) Protect against unsubscribes – When overloading inboxes, you risk customers not wanting to hear from you anymore. While monitoring metrics, don’t be fooled by a low unsubscribe rate of a high-volume campaign. Instead, monitor the customer opt-out rate for the best insights into how you are doing.

Maintaining the ability to email customers over a longer period of time increases the likelihood that you will have an email presence when the customer moves into an active buying cycle. You have to nurture your list to really excel at email marketing.

2) Customize and personalize – Customizing is key for those companies that have a high-volume stream of email. In a recent market test, an R.R. Donnelley retail customer showed a 30% reduction in monthly customer opt-out rates for those who had a customized volume stream. Ask how often your customers want to hear from you. It’s important to give them frequency as well as content options.

Knowing the type of content your customers want to consume will also help you with your personalization efforts. Do not use a one-size fits all approach as it’s no longer acceptable by many consumers. Translation: they’ll delete your email.

3) Avoid becoming a spammer – Annoyed customers could lead to your emails getting marked as spam. Actively scrub your list to help keep your reputation clean. This will also help to get a truer picture of your overall email program with more accurate metrics.

The RRD customer I mentioned above was able to reduce their spam complaints by 35%. They adjusted their pace to the interest level of their customer, while still communicating on a regular basis to the entire list. That’s a sound marketing strategy at play there.

Jumping back to print (you know that I have to go there) – In 2016, the DMA reported that customer response rate for print increased year-over-year by 43%. What’s even more telling is that prospect response rates increased by more than 50%!

How is this possible in a digitally dominated world?  Well, it’s because mailings are being paired with digital intelligence. When it comes to prospecting, or the ability to tie analytics to acquisition, email comes in second place to direct mail. They both have their strengths and weaknesses.

Here is an idea:  Why not combine email with direct mail to take advantage of each other’s strengths? Tune in next time for a deep dive into that topic.