Why Email Must Be a Part of Your Marketing Mix
If email is the least expensive and easiest way to understand consumers, then why aren't businesses embracing it more fully? In a recent survey from ClickSquared, conducted with The Relevancy Group, we learned over a six-month period that marketers segmented audiences based on email clickthrough only 42 percent of the time. Email open rates were evaluated even less, at 35 percent.
Yet the data gleaned from email subscriber opens and clicks enable precise audience segmentation and targeting, enabling marketers to create highly effective, personalized and relevant communication streams based on observed subscriber interests.
So what do marketers need to do to better take advantage of email, impacting the bottom line?
Email deliverability is key. Getting your email delivered to the intended recipient and tracking the back-end process is of the utmost importance. Start with bounce management (i.e., a clean database and a plan for constantly updating/cleaning it). A clean database allows for fewer hard bounces (bad data), which allow you more time to evaluate and act on the soft bounces (technical issues).
Employ anti-spam measures and follow them. Follow practices to ensure your emails aren't labeled (or rejected) as spam. You can maintain good deliverability rates by sticking to the following tenet: send relevant, timely, useful emails only to people who have explicitly opted in to your marketing programs.
Understanding the relationship of opens-to-click, and then clicks-to-conversion gives marketers the clues to fine-tune their messages. For example, having a low open rate in conjunction with a high conversion rate points to either a deliverability issue or a poor subject line. A high open rate accompanied by low clickthrough points to an offer that's not sufficiently relevant or compelling. Paying attention to these important metrics can help you understand what needs to be tweaked (and retested) to achieve better results.
Examination of these key elements is imperative when building a successful campaign; however, marketers need to take a step back to discuss how to create content that enables clickthrough and open rates to be measured.
Effective email content is all about relevancy. Relevance is the most important aspect of email marketing. Knowing something about your customer and using that insight intelligently makes them pay closer attention to your messages. Your database is a gold mine of information waiting to be discovered. Find the nuggets you need, extract them and incorporate them to quickly become relevant.
It's evident that email marketing is a highly measurable form of customer dialog that facilitates real-time assessments of the health of customer relationships. It's easy to use, simple to measure, and provides valuable feedback for future campaign execution and management. Used effectively, email can be the primary element in an effective cross-channel marketing strategy.
Michael Thompson is the chief deliverability officer at ClickSquared.