Is Email Marketing still Effective?

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In a time where email marketing plays such a vital role in corporate growth, it’s also become quite a desensitised conversion and communication channel. Users and community members are downright over being bombarded with emails. Click through rates have never been as low and organisations have to really fight to stand out from the crowd.


Companies seem to have a similar journey here. They send a few emails on a variety of diverse topics and the successful outcome excites them. It’s clear that this is a dominate communication channel and they plan to capitalise on it. This generally leads to companies scaling up their efforts. Building in a bunch of emails, auto pushing triggered content and emailing customers by the hour. Once targeted audiences are now mixed across non-particular segments as companies feel the more they send, the more they will make, but this isn’t the case.


Well the truth is, when it comes to Email Marketing we have a tendency to over communicate. We believe that if we send a specific email or message to which generates $4000 in revenue, then we should be able to send the same type of transactional email as often as we like and still achieve the same results. I hate to the be bearer of bad news but that’s just unrealistic. Think about the excitement you felt discovering ‘deal of the day’ services such as Groupon. I’m quietly confident you opened their first few emails with enthusiasm, but enthusiasm quickly turns to irritation when you receive 20 emails from them each day.


Over communicating turns into a Email Marketing Monstrosity that is spinning out of control! Segmentation goes by the waist side and your audience is opting out at higher rates than ever. But why? How can we fix this?




The first step for taking control of this situation is to do an analysis and audit of the channel. You need to know what emails are being sent, how frequently these are being sent, what the unsubscribe rates are vs the generated revenue from each message type and any other information you can find. Next you need to know your audience. Who are you sending emails to? What type of audience groups are you communicating within? Is the entire offering relevant to the overall audience? I’m guessing not!




Have you segmented your list? If so, how? Demographical, geographical, social and behavioural is always a good start. Make sure you are talking to the right audience. If a segment of your audience is Australian university students then don’t send them an email to buy a 5 star holiday getaway to New York City. Chances are the audience is not going to convert.


Don’t be afraid to find relevant content either. If you know a particular segment of your audience converts well through email marketing then you can actively seek new products and services that are relevant to this market. So if our previously mentioned ‘Australian University Students’ segment converts well, then we could potentially seek out ‘Cheap as Chips. Holiday's on a Dime’ type offers specifically for this market. An opportunity missed if you did not segment your audience.




How frequently you send emails really depends on your offering, service and audience. Finding that recipe for success is trial and error, however monitoring the data is the only way you will get it right. Having said that it’s important that youfind a way to say all you need to say to an audience at once. Don’t send the same audience 3 emails per day because you have 3 things to tell them. Work it out. Integrate messaging and present as a holistic offering or message.  




Think of innovative ways to increase your open rates. Perhaps develop a loyalty program that drives engagement through incentives or align with new promotional partners and products. Remember that when it comes to email marketing, the novelty falls away pretty quickly.     




Posted 6 November, 2014 Official

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