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Email Marketing: The Critical Cog in Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Email Marketing.jpg
 Emails are most effective when personalized. The market is flooded with email marketing automation tools, many of which are affordable (if not free), easy to integrate with your CRM systems, and highly intuitive to build and deploy. It is quite simply the best bang you can get for your buck to build meaningful one-to-one conversations with prospects and customers.


There is a perception that email as a tool for marketing is passé and well past its useful life. Today's marketers and brand teams seem to be more focused in their efforts to leverage other digital channels like search, display, apps and social. There's no doubt these are great channels, but I wholly disagree with the perception, held by many, that email is dead.

Today, marketers have come a long way from the good old days of inundating consumers with communication consisting of little context or personalization. Dramatic shifts in consumer behavior and consumption habits, caused primarily by digital disruption, have rendered traditional techniques comparatively ineffectual and low on returns. It is my belief that businesses of all shapes and sizes must leverage email marketing extensively to engage and woo their target audience. When executed with precision (hello marketing automation!) and backed by great customer data, email can be more powerful than ever to help drive sales conversions, build customer trust and establish long-term loyalty.

"By the end of 2019, the number of worldwide email users will increase to over 2.9 billion. Over one-third of the worldwide population will be using email by year-end 2019." - Radicati

Emails are most effective when personalized. The market is flooded with email marketing automation tools, many of which are affordable (if not free), easy to integrate with your CRM systems, and highly intuitive to build and deploy. It is quite simply the best bang you can get for your buck to build meaningful one-to-one conversations with prospects and customers. When perfected, the wonders of email automation and data-driven insights ensure that the best brands and marketers are able to leverage email marketing to engage and convert consumers with speed, scale, and efficiency.

If you still believe email marketing isn't a critical component of your digital marketing strategy, then below are some key reason that will hopefully make you reconsider:

1. Email does a super job at being cost effective.
When executed well and backed with good quality data, email is possibly the most cost-effective means of modern marketing communication. DMA reports that email has an average ROI of $38 for every dollar spent. An astonishing 3800% ROI just through email! And you had some saying that email was dead and buried for good.

2. Email brings you speed, scale and reach.
Who doesn't use email these days? By the end of 2019, the number of worldwide email users is predicted to rise to over 2.9 billion. Over one-third of the worldwide population will be using email by year-end 2019! Email has the power to reach a wide base of active and engaged consumers at a fraction of the cost spent on other channels - both traditional and modern.

3. Email has a better conversion rate than social media.
Social media is big, no doubt. But despite its popularity, social is still not as effective as email marketing when it comes to acquiring customers and driving conversions. When it comes to purchases made as a result of receiving a marketing message, email has the highest conversion rate (66%), when compared to social, direct mail and more. Email marketing is even more potent as a conversion strategy when integrated with other channels like social, search and mobile. Whether it is including social links in your email templates or giving your audience SEO optimized HTML versions of your email, an integrated approach is proven to be more effective for increasingly channel-agnostic customers.

4. Email is a personal two-way exchange and can be highly customized based on the most granular of customer preferences.
The beauty of email is the level of personalization it can deliver to attract customer interest. When you have great quality customer data at your disposal (which captures their preferences and behaviors), you ensure that you communicate not only with your current customers but also with leads and prospects who fit your ideal buyer persona. Email allows you to address your target audience individually by name and at the right time to deliver tailored content (product information, promotions, notifications et al.) based on user attributes, intent, and real-time interactions. As per a study by Aberdeen, personalized email messages improve click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 10%.

5. Email is user action friendly.
An email aims to promote a mutually beneficial action for both the sender and the recipient. The simplicity and flexibility of its structure (subject, body, and call-to-action) ensures a speedy and positive action from recipients as long as it's the right message (personalized), at the right place (channel) and time (contextualized). The best emails are the ones that drive traffic to websites or other channels used to convert prospects. Campaign Monitor reports that an email that includes a call-to-action button instead of a text link is more likely to prompt a click-through and deliver a 28% increase in conversion.

6. Email is easy to automate and measure.
An email is fundamentally transactional in nature and hence a perfect candidate for automation. A plethora of email automation software allows marketers to automate their campaigns, and granularly measure and analyze every aspect of campaign performance. Automation helps increase speed of delivery at scale, decrease operational costs and, most importantly, increase conversions by as much as 50% for many B2C players. Studies have also revealed that automated transactional emails have 8 times more opens and clicks than any other type of email, and are able to generate 6 times more revenue. It is no surprise that a large number of enterprises are either already leveraging or moving to email automation technology. Measuring email marketing performance is essential to ensuring the effectiveness of campaigns. Email automation systems provide visibility into key metrics that help gauge campaign performance, identify areas for improvement, and help marketers optimize in real-time.

References:
• http://www.emailmonday.com/dma-national-client-email-report-2015 - DMA
• http://www.radicati.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Email-Statistics-Report-2015-2019-Executive-Summary.pdf - Radicati
• https://thedma.org/blog/data-driven-marketing/saturday-stat-series/ - DMA
• https://www.campaignmonitor.com/blog/email-marketing/2014/08/buttons-email-marketing-campaigns/ - Campaign Monitor
• http://www.experian.com/assets/marketing-services/reports/transactional-email-report.pdf - Experian

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