Weren’t there predictions years ago – heck, even to this date – that email marketing would be dead or fade away into obscurity?
Despite the notion that email marketing is an antiquated form of digital marketing, the truth is is that email marketing is not only surviving but also thriving in today’s environment. It remains one of the most popular methods of digital marketing today because it’s effective, affordable and simple.
Ostensibly, data from Marketing Charts highlight that email marketing is the least difficult to employ, while social media, content and mobile marketing are the hardest. The results are also incredible. Private businesses are experiencing an estimated 4,300 percent return on investment from their email marketing campaigns.
With that being said, like any other kind of marketing out there, email marketing does present its own plethora of problems and challenges, though they’re not as hard to circumvent like other digital marketing practices on the market. However, with a little bit of determination, due diligence and practice, much of these issues can be avoided or solved.
If you have yet to embrace an email marketing initiative then you’re likely wondering what challenges small- and medium-sized businesses face. On the other hand, if you’re in the midst of executing such an email marketing plan then you’re all too familiar with the obstacles.
Here are just four of the common email marketing challenges SMBs face daily:
- Boosting open & click-through rates
- Generating new subscribers
- Improving deliverability rates
- Producing a stellar mobile email campaign
As noted, these are very common issues that SMBs come across when instituting an email marketing campaign. But you should not fret because here are solutions to these problems.
Boosting Open & Click-Through Rates
SMBs will understand how difficult it can be to get your subscribers to not only open your emails but also prompt them to click on a link inside the email. People are swamped with emails every day – we receive dozens of emails daily – so you have to lure subscribers in with some white-tap methods that can help boost your open and click-through rates.
Here are several tips to execute to give those numbers a little bit of momentum:
- Subject Line: the very first thing a subscriber will see is the subject line. This is where they will either hit delete or click on the email. Don’t make the subject lines too long, use numbers, utilize strong language and avoid heavy punctuation. The subject line will make or break your campaign so make sure to use tools toA/B test before fully committing.
- Personable: you should always remember that you’re writing an email to a person and not to a monolithic group. Therefore, you should be personable by using your company’s email, identifying yourself and being friendly (don’t be so serious).
- Customization: customizing, or personalizing, your email ties in with being personable. Each email should be tailored to every subscriber of yours, which consists of writing the person’s name, inserting personalized facts about them (their favorite color) and/or writing “you” regularly.
- Spam: email providers have really enhanced their spam filters in recent years. This is one of the biggest hurdles that businesses have to overcome because there are many signals that are sent to suggest a certain email is spam. To avoid hitting spam, do not add special symbols and characters, refrain from using certain language and ensure your email doesn’t look like a brochure!
- Quality: quality over quantity is something that should be your motto. It’s all about producing quality content as opposed to sending out multiple emails per day or week. Identifying your email as high-quality, you have to make sure the spelling is impeccable, the grammar is correct, images are limited and the links aren’t overdone.
By incorporating these strategies into your email marketing campaign, you’ll likely see an uptick in both your open and click-through rates.
Generating New Subscribers
The entire point of an email marketing campaign is to garner new subscribers. From a consumer standpoint, you’ll have to provide a clear value proposition in order to generate new subscribers. What this means is that you will have to outline the clear benefits of what consumers will receive from subscribing to receive emails from your brand. Once you have a nice healthy sum of subscribers, you’ll experience an increase in sales and a bigger bottom line.
Here are a few tips to try out to give your number of subscribers a little boost:
- Make it simple for visitors enter an email (ensure the opt-in forms are easy to see, use and access); perhaps you could even try an interactive opt-in bar.
- Encourage current subscribers to forward your newsletter; you could incentivize the entire process by offering a discount or a free product.
- Allow the subscriber to choose what they’ll receive and when they’ll receive it.
- Use the power of social media to garner new subscribers.
- Fully maximize the preview plane in emails, like Gmail and Outlook.
Subscribers are essential to the health of your email marketing campaign. You can never have too many subscribers so you should always find ways to increase your subscription list.
Improving Deliverability Rates
A 2014 study discovered that email deliverability isn’t getting any easier. According to the research, one in six emails never reach its intended recipient because they’re either spammed or blocked. At the present time, six percent of all emails are spammed and 11 percent are blocked, and these figures are only growing as email providers come up with more ways to protect users.
So, just how can you improve your deliverability rates? You can always try out these techniques:
- Install either a confirmed opt-in or a double opt-in because single opt-in lead to higher spam rates.
- Check your sender reputation score through Sender Score; a lot of businesses see lower deliverability rates because they have a very low reputation score in the first place.
- Maintain a consistent sender schedule. If you’re sending emails on a Wednesday afternoon then ensure that you always send emails on a Wednesday afternoon.
- Audit your subscription list to make sure that you don’t have dead emails that will hurt your bounce rate.
- Want to avoid spam complaints? Use the “from” after your name (for instance, John From Blockbuster or Jane From RKO Pictures).
To avoid the spam folder, new SMBs and digital marketers need to study the elementary facts of deliverability. One of these is that ISPs are changing the way emails are delivered. The other fact is that legitimate businesses tend to add more white-hat practices into their email campaigns.
Producing a Stellar Mobile Email Campaign
Did you know that more than half of all emails are opened on mobile devices? Yep, it’s true. This means that SMBs and digital marketers need to craft email campaigns that are also tailored to smartphones. Simply put: you can’t ignore smartphones and tablets anymore!
A mobile-friendly email is just another layer in your email marketing campaign cake. You may groan at the idea of working on this step, but it’s a valuable aspect of your marketing endeavors.
Before you get into the technical details of your mobile email campaign, here are five tips you have to remember when constructing this part:
- Concentrate on the character length of your subject line (make sure it sticks to under 30).
- Use a pre-header text, which is often overlooked, because it’s the first line of copy of your email and can serve as a preview into your email.
- Keep your content brief, don’t overload your emails with images and provide some clicking room.
- Ensure that your call-to-actions (CTAs) are front and center. In other words, they’re noticeable and the recipient understands what you want them to do.
- Finally, test out your campaign across multiple devices so you know how it looks.
Email marketing isn’t dead. It’s just been updated for the 21st century and today’s improved standards. This form of digital marketing should’ve never been abandoned. Sure, it may not be as sexy as social media marketing or content marketing, but it’s just as effective, if not more so!
Although the virtues of email marketing are endless, SMBs do come across some hiccups and speed bumps once in a while. They can often be avoided or defeated altogether with a little bit of experience and some tips. After you’ve mastered email marketing, you’ll become dismayed with all of the other kinds. With that being said, it’s important to be diverse in your branding strategy.