Why is your e-mail marketing failing?
2009, Wall Street Journal published an article claiming - email was dead. And from that day onwards till now – close to 1.5 million posts had been submitted online, echoing email’s demise.
So what does this say? Has e-mail actually been a passé?
Marketo’s “The Definitive Guide to Engaging Email Marketing” that weighs in a hefty 155 pages – states the contrary opinion – email is more important than ever. The old way of “batch-and-blast” email marketing has given way to a more trusted, more relevant, more conversational, and more strategic e-mail campaign.
Read further as we bring for you key insights from the very same report:
The hysteria around the death of email has clearly proved the dominance/influence email has on our lives. While there’s no denying the fact that traditional and social channels are buzzing aloud, email is still the most preferred form of communication.
Image source: Marketo
Email is the quickest and most direct way to reach customers with critical information. In fact, email is the one channel consumers’ access regularly.
Do not believe?
Imagine: On any given day, you may or may not visit your blog, Facebook/Twitter/Linkedin/or Google+ profile; but in all likelihood, you will check your email every day, if not multiple times a day. The same applies for your consumer too.
Illustrating the importance of e-mails further, here are a few key statistics:
- Currently 3.3 billion email accounts are created in the world
- 94% of Americans age 12 and over use email as one of their regular activities
- 58% percent of adult Americans check email first thing in the morning
- 77% of consumers prefer to receive marketing communications through email
- Email is the number one source for all age groups including 15-24
- Email generates nearly a 2X return compared to other channels.
How successful are the companies in getting the desired success in e-mail marketing?
While every small and large scale organization has realized the benefits of e-mail marketing and is executing e-mail campaigns regularly – the success ratio is very minimal. Know why –
The rise of the New Buyer
1. Buyers have become empowered: The overabundance of information along with better search and sharing technology has made product information ubiquitous. Consequently, consumers are getting instant information gratification through the web. Whether, it is knowing the specs of the product, comparing the product pricing plans or going through other customer reviews – consumers are doing it easily and often anywhere anytime (thanks to the internet-enabled smart phones). Not to forget the rise of social media that has made information more transparent and flat for everyone to read, use and share.
All this has resulted in one thing: Buyers have become more self-directed. No longer are they depending on the company to provide information, based on which they will make the purchasing decision.
In most scenarios, they are already developing brand perceptions/product selection before making the first interaction with the brand.
2. Buyers are opting out speedily: While buyers have become both tech savvy and brand sophisticated – they have become fickle minded too. They are completely aware of the different ways of marketing and while they subscribe to receive company e-mails they have a hell lot of expectations. They expect companies to inform educate and entertain. And even a dot of irrelevant information can bore or worse, irritate them – making them unsubscribe quickly.
Moreover, consumers who unsubscribe from emails are only the fraction of the total opt-outs. Majority of consumers prefer to passively opt out – i.e. ignore the emails.
In short, buyers have become quick in tuning out the noise of today’s digital circus. And this inevitably has made marketing techniques (like e-mail) more difficult and challenging. The challenge of course is: to consistently send engaging e-mails to buyers.
3. Buyers have set high expectations: The big players in the market are enjoying the customer preference due to several reasons – one of which is providing a seamless experience to customers across all mediums. And it is this pampering that has made consumers demands the same level of experience from other companies too.
Result: today’s buyers expect (from every company) a unified, streamlined and personalized experience across all touchpoints: website, social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), email marketing, etc. With most of them having extremely busy schedules – they look for information in the medium that is most convenient for them at the moment.
Add to this is the demand of customized information. Buyers expect companies to keep track of their purchasing history, communication preferences, and desires and then feed them the exact information when they require.
The fourth factor
Imprecise Metrics: Majority of marketers use old-fashioned ESP tools for e-mail marketing reports. Unfortunately – these reports do not give correct insights on total number of unsubscribes, clicks, opens, bounces, and so on for each email campaign. Stuck with imprecise metrics, marketers do not a correct insight into the level of customer engagement lost or achieved.
Needless to say, in such a situation, email marketing gets reduced to being a tactical channel, relegated to the sidelines instead of becoming a strategic part of the company’s revenue plan
What is the solution to an effective e-mail marketing campaign?
Today’s consumers are always on, always connected, and always overwhelmed. An average customer is usually exposed to 2,904 media messages, in which he/she pays attention to 52 and positively remembers only four.
Experts speak - Considering the short attention spans and intelligent buying habits, companies cannot supply static information to buyers in a mass email campaign.
They are required to understand that traditional paradigms no longer cut it. It’s time for shifting the ways they’ve been previously engaging with the customers across online channels throughout their lifecycles. And this can only happen by following a two-step process –
- Learning how to write compelling and personalized e-mails that engage each and every prospective customer individually and personally.
- Investing in marketing automation software to deliver the e-mails and track the under-performance and over-performance of each e-mail campaign.
Patricia is a full time CRM consultant at ConvergeHub and part-time blogger. She has earned herself quite a fame as a specialist and market expert in CRM software. In the last five year she has worked with various companies as CRM consultant to help them move their businesses to cloud. Her expertise lies in offering cloud CRM consultation, CRM customization and integration solutions to small enterprises. For last one she is engaged in building ConvergeHub, cloud-based CRM solution for SMBs, as a consultant.Follow her at Twitter: @convergehub