Email: Turning Emails Into Customers
Most companies have embraced email—and they spend a lot of time and money to grow their email lists. This is good, but it’s not enough. The most successful email marketers not only work on growing their email lists, they work to turn email addresses on their lists into fully engaged customers. Here are a few ways to leverage editorial and service email messages to drive sales.
Editorial and service messages have much higher open and clickthrough rates than marketing messages (see chart at right). They offer a key opportunity to drive sales, because there’s much higher engagement than with marketing-only messages. But, for most companies, they’re still a very small part of the email marketing mix; less than 8 percent of the volume sent, according to the “Q4 2011 Email Trends and Benchmark Report” published by Epsilon and the Email Experience Council.
Service and editorial messages engage readers, because they provide value without requiring a purchase. But that doesn’t mean they can’t include marketing content with a call to action to drive sales.
One of my clients has an email newsletter that publishes weekly, along with a standalone marketing email that is sent on a monthly basis. Each issue of the newsletter has a higher conversion rate and drives more revenue than the “strictly marketing” email.
The key here is the e-newsletter content. It’s focused on helping readers solve a problem. It provides practical advice for success, showcasing the company’s expertise in this area. At least 60 percent of the content of each e-newsletter is editorial. The readers get the benefit, tips for solving their problem, without a purchase. Up to 40 percent is promotional—marketing the service the company provides, which helps readers solve the same problem.
Many companies send e-newsletters—the key to success is the quality of the content. Good content, which provides benefit without a purchase, builds relationships and drives sales. Content that is a thinly veiled sales pitch, or that’s “all about