Convenience and flexibility are two reasons why email marketing will remain popular.
With all the dazzling marketing campaigns that cropped up in the past year it is easy to forget the underpinning metrics. What drives their success, what makes one more successful than another and what is it about a particular channel that makes it much better for my target audience?
Whenever new technologies appear on the scene, the important questions are often forgotten. Firms want to make sure they keep up with their rivals and adopt the latest techniques without proper consideration. In some respects this is a good attitude to have. Keeping your marketing arsenal up-to-date is vital. Particularly when trends in digital technology are developing so rapidly. But, diving head first into the latest online marketing fad can cause a number of problems – not just financial ones either.
For example, when social media started its march towards becoming an important business marketing tool, firms started throwing money at it. Despite the fact that social media campaigns were notoriously tricky to chart and return-on-investment difficult to define, the new technology was adopted wholesale. It wasn’t long, however, before businesses had to take a step back and analyse what it was about their social media campaigns that was proving successful and what was failing. Before long, a whole industry was created to cater for the maintenance of social media campaigns and the reversal of damage caused by ill-informed early forays into the medium.
What the early adoption of social media marketing showed was the businesses need to think carefully about what they expect from their marketing campaigns and what they hope to achieve.
The same is true for technologies that have been doing the rounds for considerably longer than social media. Take business to business email marketing for instance. If firms adopted the same attitude toward this as they did in the early days of social marketing, they would find their marketing addresses being blocked as sources of spam and their campaigns would fall short of conversion rate goals.
So as the New Year gets into full swing it makes sense to look at what must be considered if a marketing campaign is to prove successful. A good way of doing this is to look at why email marketing remains – and will remain – one of the top choices for marketing professionals.
Firstly, it is measurable. It is incredibly easy to follow the digital paper trail and find out which messages were successful, which didn’t make it through, and which were sent back by unhappy recipients. Monitoring is one of the core aspects of any marketing campaign and with email marketing it is extremely easy to not just do, but accurately quantify.
Secondly the outlay is minimal. With the right business lists in place and data that is segregated and up-to-date, companies can mount an email marketing campaign cheaply and easily. Even more money can be saved if the email design process is outsourced – not just the data gathering and creation of distribution lists.
Then there is personalisation. Email marketing can be tailored so easily that each individual recipient can be made to feel special. This isn’t just achieved in the design phase. Personalised email marketing campaigns are only as good as the business data that underpins them, so ensuring the quality of your business lists should be the first port of call.
All of these rules are a must for successful business to business email marketing, but they can be easily applied to any other form of advertising, be it social or direct mail. The benefit of using email is that all of these things are easy to achieve, which is why 2012 could be the ‘year of email marketing’.