Compared to traditional marketing, digital marketing is still the new kid on the block, so it’s only natural that the true potential of email marketing is not widely known. For those of you who don’t fully understand the reach of email marketing, I’m going to review the five w’s (who, what, when, where, why) of email marketing.
Everyone who has an online presence should take advantage of email marketing. Not only is email marketing one of the most inexpensive ways to reach your audience, it also yields a high return on investment. In fact, according to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing has a ROI of 4,300%. If this statistic doesn’t convince you that email marketing is worth investing in, I don’t know what will!
Some of the most common types of email marketing campaigns include:
- Newsletters are a great way to provide your current and potential customers with news about your company and industry. They’re ideal for sharing your most popular blog posts, along with upcoming events and other information.
- Often consisting of lists and links, digest emails are similar to newsletters and are often focused on the same goal as the newsletter; however, they tend to be easier and quicker to read.
Dedicated or Offer Emails
- An offer email presents an offer to the recipient, such as a new product or service, discounted pricing, or an upcoming event. Dedicated emails are generally sent to your entire email database.
Lead Nurturing Emails
- Lead nurturing emails help guide your leads through the sales funnel. These emails are typically a series of automated emails sent to segmented lists.
- Transactional emails are triggered when a specific action is taken. For example, after a lead fills out a form for an eBook or any other offer, you will send a transactional (thank you) email. Transactional emails are also email confirmations of purchase and shipping details from e-commerce sites.
When it comes to sending email marketing, it’s not simply “send at this time, on this day”. While some times have a better performance, saying, “send all email marketing on Monday mornings at 11am” will not always be effective.
According to Experian’s 2012 email benchmark study, various days and times performed well for different variables. While Mondays produced the highest ROIs, Fridays had a higher click-through rate. Despite the lowest volume of emails sent on the weekends, Saturdays and Sundays saw the highest open and click-through rates. Overall, response rates to emails were highest early in the morning and at night.
Although these are great jumping off points, the only way to determine what will work best for your business is to test emails. Send your email marketing at various days and times to see what produces the best results for your business.
Where (or to whom) you’re going to send your emails is an important aspect of email marketing. This is where segmenting your email lists is going to be extremely helpful.
Generally, lead nurturing and transactional emails are going to be the most segmented emails. Newsletters and digest emails will typically be sent to your entire contact list, depending on the content and the purpose of the email. Dedicated and offer emails should be highly segmented, but are also great ways to entice your leads to take action.
If you’re still wondering why you should invest in email marketing, here are a few reasons to consider:
- The ROI of email marketing is simply astounding (at 4,300%, as seen above).
- According to ExactTarget, 91% of consumers check their email daily.
- 74% of consumers prefer email as the primary channel of commercial communication, according to Merkle.
- According to the Direct Marketing Association, 66% of consumers have made a purchase because of an email marketing message.
- Email marketing increases brand awareness, which is crucial to acquiring and retaining customers.