It seems to be a common sentiment these days that advertising by email is “on its way out” or “dying. Certain people are even wondering whether the new Gmail updates are “the end of email marketing.” The simple fact of the matter is that advertising by email continues to be one of the most cost-effective and resilient ways to market to a wide audience.
This is not to say that advertising by email is a foolproof marketing strategy. It is far from it. Effective ad campaigns will be well-researched, creative, and highly impactful. Far too many good email campaigns are doomed from the start because they simply were not executed effectively. By tracking metrics and building an engaging campaign a well run email marketing strategy will deliver a greater return on investment than any other web marketing platform.
Here’s a few surefire ways to identify a flagging email campaign, and hopefully address the problem as well:
Your Emails are Never Opened
Disregarding the most basic metrics is a common and serious error in email marketing. When advertising by email your main goal is to reach a broad audience. If your open rate is sitting at three percent, that means that you are missing out on engaging 97% of the people on your list. Something must obviously be amiss.
When advertising by email monitor your opens and click-through rates closely; there are a number of programs and services that can handle this task for you. By paying close attention to valuable data you can craft an effective message that will reach a wider range of people.
Cultivate an Engaged Email List
When advertising by email there is almost nothing more important than your list. The list of names that you have worked long and hard to cultivate is often generated using a wide variety of tactics. Many customers opt-in by filling out a form, but this is not the only way to build a list. A tactic called opt-out, or “negative consent” builds large list quickly, but we’ve discussed some of the ups and down of opt-out before.
One of the major problems with using opt-out list building is building a list of customers who are not engaged. They will not open emails, click through links, or otherwise interact with your message. When advertising by email in effect these are “misses”. Unengaged subscribers can lead to low email opens as mentioned earlier, and can generally drag your list down.
There is no “right” way to build a list, but building a list using opt-ins has shown to often lead to more engagement from the targeted audience.
The End of the Eblast
Crafting a specifically tailored message will be much more effective than blasting over and over with the same impersonal eblast. If your eblasts become too repetitive they will look boring, and people will stop reading them.
Utilize the metrics available to you to craft an effective and engaging message. Don’t be afraid to experiment! See what works and keep doing it.
Advertising by email is not hard, but it does take effort and there are some solid general guidelines to follow. You might hear many of the same things said over and over, but that’s because they are just that important. If you take the time to think, use your metrics, and put the effort into creating an engaging campaign, then advertising by email remains one of the most effective ways to market on the Internet.