Email is always the part of a marketing plan that receives the least amount of attention, and I can never work out why.
Yes, email isn’t shiny new or sexy (I don’t think it ever was), but using email marketing efficiently is a smart way to increase revenue without having to spend a fortune.
But here’s the most crucial thing about Email marketing; Email marketing is tried, tested and most importantly, it works!
With some thought and consideration, and you can create incredible, tailored email campaigns which can leave a meaningful, impact on your customers.
Unlike most other forms of marketing, emails can start off generic, collecting information and becoming more personalised as you communicate over time. The environment is entirely controllable, providing you with a level of insight that you just couldn’t get elsewhere.
Imagine a snowball rolling down the mountain, picking up customer sales as you improve your communications with them.
You are that snowball, that snowy mountain is your customers waiting for you to pick them up and cuddle them.
Rather than see emails as transactions, you need to view emails as a conversation with an individual.
This perspective is an important one as it moves you away from reactive short-termism and towards a meaningful, long-term interaction between two people.
To understand this point clearly, imagine you want to learn how to juggle, an essential skill if you are going to join the circus.
Bingo the clown: Tells you to buy juggling balls. You purchase juggling balls; Bingo then ignores you.
Chuckles the clown: Tells you to buy juggling balls. You purchase juggling balls; Chuckles then tells you to purchase more juggling balls.
Krusty the clown: Tells you to buy juggling balls. You purchase juggling balls; they then Krusty tells you to buy a unicycle.
Dumbo the clown: Tells you to buy juggling balls. You purchase juggling balls; Dumbo sends you some juggling tips afterwards
Binky the clown: Tells you to buy juggling balls. You purchase juggling balls; Binky asks if you would like their free guide to juggling which includes other things you can juggle with once you get good. To keep you motivated, Binky sends you top tips, tricks and learning methods.
Which Clown is most likely to help you realise your juggling dreams?
Who are you going to speak to next time you want to buy your juggling clubs?
Who are you going to recommend to your other circus mates?
It’s obvious; Binky is helping me to achieve something. He cares and won’t pull the joker out on me.
The data supports this perspective too, check out these key stats:
The probability of selling to a new prospect is only 5-20% compared to the probability of selling to an existing customer 60-70% according to the book Marketing Metrics.
It is 6-7 times more costly to attract a new customer than it is to retain an existing customer. Source: White House Office of Consumer Affairs
3 in 5 Americans (59%) would try a new brand or company for a better service experience. Source: American Express Survey, 2011
If increasing sales is about better relationships with customers, then creative and personalised email marketing needs to be a cornerstone of any great marketing plan
Email marketing is perceived as dull and a product of a bygone era.
You won’t get an upstart marketing director saying that they are focusing on email because it just isn’t as sexy as the latest data trend available.
Sending an email is also a short-term move often suggested by CEOs and Managing Directors in a board meeting, painting email merely a reactive marketing tactic, to be used as and when required.
Not only is this wrong, but it completely misses the point of what emails can and should be achieving for business.
A companies approach to email marketing reflects their approach to their customer needs and what those customers are worth over the long term.
Companies engaged in making effective email strategies are committed to relationships, not just transactions. A focus on relationships provides massive dividends in the long term.
Plus considering the average Brit user now picks up their mobile device more than 1,500 times a week, getting email marketing right should be higher on marketing leaders to-do-lists than ever.
Much like content marketing, quality email marketing takes time to do correctly.
Time to think about what you want to say, in what way, to which group of people.
Email marketing also takes time to implement, to test and then to change according to the results.
But once you get it right, the effort is totally worth it.
One company I worked with was able to increase their profitability by £3.5 million a month, just by improving their email flows.
Think about that, that’s £42 million a year, just by focusing on some emails. That’s a pretty good return on investment, by anybody’s standards!
Email marketing: Investing for the long-term
For those of you, like me, who like taking on the unloved beast that is email marketing, there couldn’t be a better time to do so.
Luckily for us, email marketing doesn’t have to be as hard to crack as most people think.
By following a few steps and rolling up your sleeves, the email novice can quickly become the master.
Learning useful email marketing principles also rubs off on other areas of digital marketing, especially as email has essential marketing principles such as personalisation, A/B testing, measurement and ROI as a given.
You will be dominating those monthly performance meetings before you know it!
Because there are many aspects of email marketing, I will be breaking down this guide into individual chapters.
That way, you can skip between different articles depending on the level of breadth or depth you require.
Or if you want to have an understanding of everything, you can happily read through the whole guide!
The chapters in this guide are:
This guide will give you all the basics you need to understand why email marketing is essential, what the principles of email marketing are and what results you can expect from your work.
Most importantly, I will show you things that I have done which have worked and explain why they worked so you can understand how to use the same logic for your business.
Everything included in these guides works and has been tried and tested, allowing you to spend less time learning and more time doing. You get to learn from my mistakes over the years!
Joining a business often means you have a problem to solve, rather than to start from scratch. With this in mind, I have also broken down each of the three main categories of email marketing; Acquisition, engagement and retention.
Acquisition marketing – Speaking to new customers
In-life or engagement marketing – Engaging with your current customers and getting them to purchase or engage more with your brand
Retention Marketing – Keeping customers from falling out the funnel.
That way, if you are planning on creating a killer acquisition email campaign to increase sales or a retention campaign to keep your customers purchasing your products, then you can.
As Einstein said, “The more I learn, the more I realise how much I don’t know.”
With this in mind, I also cover more specific and technical attributes of email marketing such as email content, email design and technical skills required such as APIs, tracking, measurement.
If you are interested in any of these subject, you can find links throughout the guide which will take you to the right place.
Of course, while I try to get every aspect of email marketing covered, there will always be some areas I miss.
With this in mind, please feel free to add comments or questions and I will answer them and create articles on specific subject areas as required.
If you are interested in getting my services to help improve your email marketing, then please get in touch for a confidential chat.
What is email marketing?
In the next article, you can find out what email is and how it works.