Blog - Digital Marketing Skills E-mail marketing - Emir Al Kafadji

Digital Marketing Skills: E-mail Marketing

If you’re thinking of working with digital marketing, you need to make sure that you develop the right skill-set and E-mail Marketing is one of the top skills you will need. If you’re just joining, make sure to check out the other parts of the series (links will be updated as the articles come out):

  1. Graphic Design
  2. Social Media Marketing
  3. E-Mail Marketing
  4. SMS Marketing
  5. Web Design
  6. Using CRMs (coming soon)
  7. Google Analytics (coming soon)

E-mail Marketing

“Who even reads e-mails?!”, you’re probably thinking to yourself. Don’t fool yourself, E-mail is a hidden gem in the marketing world. In fact, the number 1 rule for digital marketing is “Build your e-mail list”, to loosely quote Christopher S Penn, Co-Founder & Chief Data Scientist, and Marketing Over Coffee cohost (2 of my favorite podcasts and resources).

The reasons behind this “rule” may not be what you think. Apart from the potential for great success in e-mail campaigns, your e-mail list is a gift that keeps giving. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Google, LinkedIn and Twitter allow you to upload your own list of customers e-mails (and sometimes other data) which they will use to match with their audience, and allow you to create “audiences” using these lists in your marketing/remarketing campaigns. This allows you to remarket to your audience even if they haven’t actively engaged with you on that platform before.

Furthermore, your e-mail list stays in your possession even after platforms disappear. I know it’s hard to imagine that Facebook will vanish, but think of all the platforms that have disappeared in the past. Now, imagine if you relied only on that audience and have no way to extract their details. You have no way of reaching out to your audience anymore. Slightly less of a doomsday scenario, but much more likely are the fact that platforms restrict your exposure more and more as time goes by, and try to get you to pay for that exposure. Remember the reach of Facebook posts only a few years ago? Yeah, that’s Facebook’s way of squeezing you to the point where advertising on the platform is your only viable choice.

Your e-mail list is platform agnostic, or more precisely: cross-platform. You can always reach out to that audience (as long as they don’t unsubscribe, of course) and the costs are minimal, sometimes even none!

The data

I will let the mindblowing data speak for itself. All the statistics below are based on two reports from 2019 done by The Direct Marketing Association (DMA). One of them is the Consumer Email Tracker 2019 and the other is the Marketers Email Tracker 2019.

  1. Email remains the key strategic channel according to marketers (91% rated important), followed by social media (83%).
  2. ROI from email marketing now stands at just over £42 for every pound spent, an increase of almost £10 from the previous report.
  3. Lifetime value (LTV) of each individual email address has also risen sharply by 33% year-on-year. Moreover, LTV is perceived higher in B2C (£41) than B2B (£35).
  4. The majority of consumers (59%) prefer email communications from brands above any other channel, no matter the context, followed by text (20%) and face-to-face (12%).
  5. 56% of consumers say they open and read over half of their emails – compared to 57% last year – and rank brand recognition (46%) as the key factor in their decision to open an email.
  6. The majority of consumers (75%) said they like to be sent discounts and offers, e-receipts (61%) and advanced notice of new products and sales (58%) from brands.

What you need to know

There are a few things that you need to get right when it comes to e-mails:

  1. Consent
  2. Frequency
  3. Relevancy

Many marketers like to rely on scraped e-mail lists from the internet, or illegally acquired e-mail databases, but according to the reports around 43% of customers will unsubscribe from a list because they don’t recognize the brand. Apart from the obvious reason that people don’t like being spammed by random companies, with the rise of new legislation regarding user-privacy and data transparency, customers are more aware of the e-mails they receive, they question how companies got their e-mail addresses and are more vocal about their privacy. Make sure you have made it clear to your customers that you will collect their e-mail address and send them e-mails, and honor their wish to be unsubscribed.

While looking for a stock photo to put here, I came across this gem. You gotta love stock photography!

Don’t overdo it with the e-mails! You are probably aware yourself of how many e-mails you receive and how many you actually open. If you start receiving a promotional e-mail every day from your bank, you will very likely unsubscribe and potentially tweet about it. Don’t be that kind of marketer. Instead, you should make sure that every message you send is at the right time, with the right message. According to DMA, when offered an opportunity for control, 36% of customers say they would like to reduce the frequency of emails they receive, 31% would like to specify the products/services they hear about.

If you’re a student in Europe, how likely are you to be interested in car insurance in Australia? Not very likely. You need to ensure that the message you send is relevant to each and every customer. Pretty much every marketing tool allows you to personalize/customize the message you send to each of your subscribers, so make sure to set those features up, but also to understand your customers and attempt to predict what they might be interested in. Sadly, in the report, just 14% of consumers said more than half the emails they receive from brands are useful. Consumers report Amazon as the leading brand when it comes to doing email well, with almost twice as many people selecting the online retailer over their next competitor (Ebay) – although nearly half (49%) declined to name a brand or said they couldn’t. Be like Amazon.

Where to learn

Thankfully, there is no shortage of online materials and resource to learn how to do marketing well, but in my experience, the best thing to start with is to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Think of how many e-mails they receive and why they should spend their precious time to engage with your e-mail. Why should they click on your links or reply to you? Nevertheless, here are some great places to get your learning on, in no particular order:

E-mail campaigns can be a great way to communicate with your clients, so don’t be shy to start learning, start designing your amazing e-mail campaigns and get a piece of that 4100% ROI!

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