Email marketing remains one of the best ways to reach a large and targeted audience at a low cost. Although that’s great news for legitimate B2B businesses, the proliferation of email has also opened the door to ineffective or unscrupulous tactics that have changed the way prospects respond to email. When the average American worker gets more than 100 emails a day, it’s no wonder most of them are diligent about filtering. In 2015, the strongest email marketing strategies distance themselves from ″spray and pray″ emailing and embrace content-rich, contextual email that hands more control to readers.
Here’s what you need to know to tune up your email marketing in the coming year.
Bring on the Content
The single biggest improvement any company can make with its email marketing is in its content. Give people something compelling enough to open, and they’ll open it without the need for ″gotcha″ subject lines or hyperbole. Newsletters that pique your audience’s interest get opened, but to drive that interest, you need content creators who can supply a steady stream of news, actionable articles and infographics.
When it comes to email, one size doesn’t fit all. People respond to personalization. With marketing automation, you can deliver a tailored messages to targeted segments of your audience instead of broadcasting generic copy that blends in with the other hundred or so emails waiting for their 1.2 seconds of attention. Automation also takes care of follow-up emails and triggered messages that move prospects closer to sales qualification.
Let’s Get Analytical
Custom dashboards streamline email marketing at the front end, but it also improves every follow-up campaign with more in-depth and timely analytics than stand-alone mailing systems offer. Analytics tell you where you’ve been so you can chart a better course to where you want to be, and email marketing is an ideal application of the process. Analytics improve your audience segmentation, and with better segmentation, you’re able to generate more qualified leads. With built-in A/B testing options that operate in real time, you get results while a campaign’s running, giving you an edge not only over your competitors but over your own previous events.
What’s Hot and What’s Not in Email Marketing
To understand where email marketing is headed, it’s worth looking at what email tactics the marketplace is leaving behind. The continued sophistication of email filters lessen the effectiveness of mass mailings to an undifferentiated audience, resulting in shrinking response rates for this style of marketing. Segmentation, customization and timing give your email marketing campaigns credibility and differentiate your messages from spam. Standardized subject lines and calls to action are also on their way out after years of exposure have desensitized readers to the same old pitches. Customized subject lines, humor and creativity win higher open rates.
A larger email database gives you a deeper pool of qualified leads and more segmentation options. The industry’s moving away from limited software systems that aren’t scalable in favor of more powerful tools that can handle big data. It’s a numbers game – when you work with a database of millions, you get more results than you would working with thousands.
Talking to your readers as people, not prospects, and giving them content worth clicking on will keep your email marketing strategy moving forward. Email is set to grow even more as a marketing medium in 2015, so preparing a better email marketing plan now will pay off throughout the coming year.
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