For a marketing channel that’s only been a factor for a couple of decades, email has accumulated its share of marketing myths. Here are some of the most tenacious ones, along with the truth behind them.
Myth: Email Marketing Is Dying
Every year, some pundit predicts the demise of email marketing, and every year, the doomsayers are wrong. The truth is just the opposite: Email marketing is more robust than ever, thanks to more sensitive automation software that lets marketers deliver more relevant mail to their mailing lists. Far from replacing email, newer social media tools work in conjunction with it and act as a force multiplier for it, making email one of the most effective marketing channels available in both B2B and B2C applications.
Myth: List Hygiene Is Just about Cleaning Bad Data
Not long ago, this myth had a kernel of truth to it. Marketing automation and email management tools hadn’t gotten sophisticated enough to measure KPIs and evaluate lists according to sales readiness or other parameters, so the focus was largely on pulling invalid data from the list. That’s still an important role, and scrubbing email lists of invalid names is a must. Now, though, data append software and marketing automation can effectively reconstruct data, rescuing email addresses that contain transpositions, misspellings, and incorrect extensions.
Myth: The Inbox Is the Finish Line
It isn’t enough to get email to the right recipient. A welcome email is just the starting gate, not the end result of email marketing and list hygiene. Batch-and-blast, fire-and-forget, spray-and-pray – whatever you call it, the tactic of sending out huge volumes of the same impersonal email to a whole list is outmoded. Successful email marketing means monitoring engagement and behavioral histories of email recipients so marketers can deliver more relevant, customized content to them.
Myth: There’s a Best Time to Send Email
The idea that there’s a single formula for finding the best time to send email makes no more sense than suggesting there’s a single pair of shoes that will fit every set of feet. Industries and businesses are highly idiosyncratic in their timing, and the ideal time for emailing one isn’t necessarily going to work for others. The best time to send email marketing messages is about half a second after your lead needs to read it. How do you make that happen? Triggered emails are one attractive answer. Because they go out on your customers’ schedule and not your marketing director’s, they reach your leads exactly when they need to.
Myth: There Are ‘Magic’ Words in Email Marketing
Some people believe certain words are like voodoo curses, bringing the pain of undeliverability just by using them in a subject line. Others believe there are words that produce huge response rates when they appear. The truth is that no words in a subject line are automatically toxic or tantalizing. A well-crafted email subject line relates to the subject matter, fits on a mobile device’s screen, and gives recipients a reason to click – no magic words or hexes involved.
Myth: Email Is for Lead Generation, not Customer Retention
This myth is half right – email is a great tool for lead generation. It’s just as good, though, as a customer retention tool. Through newsletters, discounts, customer loyalty programs, replenishment reminders, and special preview offers, email excels at letting customers know they’re valued. Marketing automation systems segment your audience and let you welcome new arrivals while caring for the customers you already have. Customers are too valuable to lose by forgetting about their needs once they’ve made a purchase, so make sure your customer care resources are in place.
As fun as it is to look at email marketing myths, the real excitement is in discovering some of the truths about the state of the art in marketing. Automation that sends out customized emails to everyone on your mailing list, analytics that spot larger trends in conversion rates, and real-time testing techniques make email marketing a vital tool.
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