There are those that might be predicting the death of email as a marketing tool. Gmail’s new tabs might spell doom for a lot of marketers but those who know how to deploy email marketing effectively will still thrive in the coming new email delivery paradigm. We’re here to tell you: email marketing is not dead – if you know how to use it.
First off, those who understand that email is one marketing tool in a suite that includes search marketing/SEO, social media marketing, display ads, apps, and several more. Email should not be the sole source for outbound marketing efforts rather it should be deployed when and where it makes the most sense.
It starts with your list. Too many marketers rely on buying email lists or using implicit modes to gather email addresses. By “implicit modes” we’re referring to using an event such as completing a form to download a file or register for a webinar and having your email address used to send promotional emails without permission. Marketers often fail when they try to sneak a promotional email in without being approved to do so. Always get specific permission to contact your leads via email. One simple way to do this is to include a checkbox that reads “I would like to receive updates, offers, and news about (your company or its products)”.
Secondly, email is a more intimate touch point. You are in their space when you enter their mailbox. It’s incredibly important to honor that position and not waste their time. If a lead has given you permission to contact him by email, your brand has been elevated to the “interested” position in his mind space. Don’t ruin it by shooting “spray and pray” messages that end up providing little value. Use messaging that not only connects with your lead at an individual level but also gives him a reason to spend time with your brand. The reason should offer value in terms of acquiring knowledge, saving money (but avoid hyper sales tactics!), or providing a beneficial opportunity to improve his company.
Thirdly, stand out within box. Subject lines should not be misleading and provide immediate value. Buyers should know when they scroll through their box exactly what the message is and why it is important to open it. Avoid using personal names your leads won’t recognize – they almost always get sent to the bin. One tactic is to set up distinct addresses to display in the sender field. All email programs display the sender in the mailbox inventory; an email from “firstname.lastname@example.org” to a lead who used a sizing plugin on your retail clothing website can catch the eye of a lead scrolling through a crowded email box.
So don’t give up on email marketing – it’s not dead. Just figure out how to use this tool effectively.