Decades have come and gone, but email marketing still remains strong. Learn how you can boost your email marketing strategies this 2019.
When someone mentions the 1970s, people think of vinyl records. They think of music from ABBA and bell-bottom jeans.
The Beatles broke up. Coco Chanel passed away. Stephen King published his first novel.
Interestingly, these three icons remain relevant today.
Do you know what else happened in the 1970s that continues until now? The answer might surprise you.
Ray Tomlinson sent the very first email.
Since then, it has been an important part of our daily lives.
There were new bands. Fashion trends came and went. Stephen King published many novels. The digital world is transforming, but email continues to survive the technological revolution. Let’s take a quick look at how email marketing has evolved.
In 1978, Gary Thuerk sent an email blast to 400 people to promote computers and this is regarded as the first email marketing attempt. The result was a whopping $13 million in sales! But, both email and the internet were still considered a luxury in those times. They were too expensive to maintain.
Then, Hotmail changed the game in 1996. They launched the world’s first free web-based email service. This opened up a whole new way of reaching customers.
As a result, marketers jumped head first in. Inboxes became cluttered with a barrage of emails. Soon, policies were set in place to protect customers from spam.
The nineties saw the creation of Yahoo! Mail, AOL, and Gmail. HTML based emails also became a thing. Since emails could now hold images and color, marketers used this to their advantage. They showcased their products physically even while using a virtual platform.
During the 2000s, 90% of commercial emails sent did not make it to the inbox. It was also found that the users opted out of emails because of ‘lack of relevance.’
This changed the way that marketers treated email. Sending emails and hoping users would open them was not enough. Marketers realized that they had to come up with the right strategies. They had to deliver their messages to get the results they wanted.
Eventually, email marketers implemented the triggered email automation strategy being used until now. In 2010, almost half of online marketers were using triggered emails.
Overall, email marketing today involves automation systems and strategic segmentation. There is also a focus on how emails appear on mobile devices. With billions of messages sent daily, email marketing is here to stay.
Ecommerce businesses are increasing rapidly. Thus, your email marketing strategy must stay up to date and relevant. It’s important to study the most effective ways of reaching your customers.
Whether you’re just starting out or you’re looking for a new marketing strategy, this will help you.
One of the best things business owners should do is to look back at the past year. Review the status of email marketing and see where your current strategies fit.
For 2018, email remained the top choice for marketers. In fact, 59% shared that email generates the most ROI for their company compared to other channels.
Here’s how email marketing looked like in 2018.
Marketers realized the need to continuously draw in their existing customers. The truth is, 80% of a business’s revenue is from only 20% of their customers. We usually focus on creating awareness. It is also important to spend time on maintaining customer relationships.
Personalization has come so far from addressing email subscribers by their first names. An Adestra study showed that 96% of businesses believe that personalization can improve conversions. Customers crave for a personalized shopping experience. 2018 started steering towards that direction. This included tailored product recommendations based on their former purchases.
The resources needed to obtain the necessary data were put to good use. Personalized email marketing strategies result in an increase in sales. Other benefits also include an increase in referrals and customers’ positive feedback.
Along with personalization, 2018 also saw the beginnings of serious list segmentation. Those who practice list segmentation have better open rates and lower opt-out rates. List segmentation also brings more leads and increasing revenue. While some have already reaped the benefits of segmentation, there is still so much to learn.
There were already 29% of marketers who segment almost all their emails. This percentage has nowhere to go but up as more specific segments are identified.
Last year, emails took on the look of microsites. Big, bold, and colorful images were not uncommon. However, despite crafting beautiful layouts, plain text emails still work the best.
The rise of mobile usage also gave way to responsive email templates. There has also been much focus on writing the copy in such a way that it will engage with the reader. Messaging has been more personal than ever.
Automation has helped 24% of marketers trigger multiple workflows. Another 24% only implement welcome emails. Automating your email marketing process is an effective way to send relevant messages that can drive more sales.
For eCommerce businesses with big lists, automation can save time and effort on a large scale. Marketers can do so much more with less. Although 53% of marketers surveyed are not yet practicing automation, it is bound to pick up the pace.
A comprehensive review would not be complete without looking over at some of the best email marketing campaigns that all eCommerce businesses can learn from.
Asana has always sent emails with catchy and attention-grabbing subjects. It’s almost as if Asana is speaking to you, and not to a big list of subscribers. Last year, they introduced their new ‘Portfolios’ feature. They used the eye-grabbing subject ‘The mission control for your team.’
Inside the email is a gif that shows you exactly what Portfolio is about. The email shows the dashboard tracking and completing tasks. It’s the perfect way to grab and sustain attention. It also leaves potential customers curious and wanting more.
We all know Airbnb as our trusted app when we need a place to stay. You may already be familiar with their automated follow-up emails. For example, you’ve browsed through some potential apartments for your upcoming trip to South Korea. You’re likely to get an email asking you “Hey, are you still going to South Korea?”
This time, Airbnb has outdone itself. They used more than just one piece of personal data. Here’s an example of an email that directly addresses the reader and suggests a weekend away from their hometown. The suggested destinations are the ones that other people from Denver are going to for a short vacation.
It’s nothing fancy. It’s simple, direct, and scores high on the personalization criteria.
Buzzfeed uses a combination of enticing subjects, strong call-to-action, and personalization. Through these techniques, they deliver content that will trigger a lot of clicks.
Usually, Buzzfeed includes a sales offer too. Moms will usually see teaser content they can relate to, resulting in them heading over to the site to read more.
Their personalization strategy is on a whole new level. When applied to e-commerce, this will most likely lead to an increase in revenue.
The year ahead looks to be another bright one for email marketing. Although there are still experts who say that email marketing is dying, it doesn’t look that way.
The more controversial social media is, the more that customers and marketers will look for alternatives. Email marketing is still the most direct approach you can take to communicate with your customers–no algorithm, no paid influencers, just data.
This 2019, the number of smartphone users is expected to be more than 5 billion. However, it was discovered that almost one out of five email marketing campaigns was not optimized for mobile devices.
We will be seeing a lot of optimization of emails for mobile this coming 2019. Since a large percentage of buyers also do their shopping via mobile, this is very crucial.
Personalization is expected to continue this year, with more brands hopefully investing heavily in it. Expect brands to be vulnerable and authentic as they focus on building better relationships and better customer experience.
Finally, 2019 will be the year of the return to long-form content. You have already seen it in Twitter’s expansion of character limit and in the release of full seasons of series. Email marketing makes it easy to send this kind of content. Plus, long-form, curated content gives off high value. As long as the content is valuable and engaging, your customers will be engrossed in it.
Out with the old, in with the new right? Not always. There are still some old school and basic email marketing strategies that you can apply even today. The thing is, it’s important to know the up and coming techniques that you can start exploring as early as now.
Expect an influx of interactive email experiences. Increase your email marketing statistics by providing customers with everything they might need right in their inbox.
Explore sending videos that will play without leaving the email browser or app. Include requests for reviews or feedback that customers can give right in their inbox.
This isn’t new, but it will do your eCommerce business good to develop more of these. Increasing your loyalty programs will provide you with more customer data to collect enabling you to understand their behavior deeper.
This will lead to more engagement with customers. It will also mean an increase in revenue if loyalty programs are implemented well.
AI will complement your email marketing strategy. At present, it is already helping marketers send personalized content and targeted messages. Forrester Research has expressed that businesses who use AI in marketing will gain more per annum compared to those who don’t.
This year, explore different aspects of your business that you can integrate AI with. Choose those which will provide you with deeper analytics and customer data. Remember, the key to reaching customers successfully is by knowing how they will behave.
A few years ago, this would be unheard of. After all, the goal is to have more subscribers so you can send your campaigns directly to them. This year, it’s going to be more about the quality of your email list rather than the number of subscribers.
Email list pruning can be set up as automation. It will send a notice to those inactive for a period of time and inform them that they will be removed from the list. Basically, it’s getting rid of those who don’t bring it revenue.
Chatbots were fairly new last 2018 and we saw home some businesses took to it already. Some prefer emails, but others prefer chatting. It’s best to show both options so you can capture a larger audience.
With chatbots, you can be more accessible and responsive. Chatbots pop-ups on your e-commerce site can also act as lead magnets for more conversions.
The technology looks like it will be staying for quite some time. Combine it with your email marketing strategy to start growing your business as early as now.
This is like segmentation in action. It’s can be tedious while setting it up. But once you put the pieces in place, you will enjoy the results. When you conduct an email marketing campaign, you already know that your subscribers will have different actions.
They should then receive different emails depending on their actions. The goal is to automatically update the segments in your list to make sure that each individual is receiving tailored emails.
Create a group for each stage of your funnel, and envision the movement of different buyer personas through the funnel.
Though A/B Testing is already being done by some e-commerce brands, you should do more of this. Maximize your email marketing by coming up with various information for the A/B Testing.
The more you do this, the better you will know your subscribers. You can also test out new email templates, new subject lines, and the new call to actions. Before you know it, you’ll be an expert in crafting the email messages.
Timing is everything. Your content and strategy might be on point. But if you send it out at the wrong time, you are risking the effort, time, and other parameters.
Generally, Tuesdays are the recommended days for email blasts. Large gaps between a series of emails in a campaign also need to be timed perfectly, to make sure that the customers’ interests are not dwindling while waiting for the next email.
A lot can happen in a year. In fact, next year, probably there will be newer ways to maximize your email marketing strategy. But until then, it is your call which ones you will apply to your business this 2019. Don’t get left behind!
Ramp up your email marketing this 2019 with us! Schedule a call now!