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“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
While we all associate this phrase with the motto of the USPS, that’s actually not its origin (see Wikipedia for the details.) Still, if you’re like me when you hear these words, you sigh with longing for a postal delivery service that conscientious, caring and reliable. Instead, we’ve all rolled our eyes over the amount of “junk mail” that routinely fills our mailboxes, while deliveries we most want to receive—packages from loved ones or favorite brands, for example—can end up on a truck to nowhere.
For many of us, it has become a rare pleasure to receive a hand-written letter via old-fashioned-mail, and a thoughtful, attractive and relevant email from a business we support is also something worthy of writing home about–if anybody actually writes home anymore, that is–especially in this complex digital age.
As we shared in a previous article, “Why Email Marketing Still Sizzles,” email is one form of marketing that’s not going anywhere anytime soon, and if you know how to use it well, it can become one of your business’ most effective and authentic connection tools.
Managed with skill and intention, email marketing remains a powerful way to connect with your audience and gives you far more targeted–yet relatively inexpensive–access to your audience than social media ever could.
And despite what you may think, email marketing is still growing: Gmail alone has 1 billion users worldwide, and The Radicati Group predicts that there will be 3 billion email users worldwide by 2020 (that’s almost half of the world’s population). – HubSpot, 13 Things to Start, Stop & Keep Doing with Your Email Marketing in 2017
Email marketing is powerful because it gives you a direct-to-single-consumer medium for encouraging your self-selected captive audience to engage with content you have created specifically to be useful to them.
As you become an increasingly valuable resource via your emails, you’ll nurture deeper trust with your list members and be given permission to continue sharing products and services that you have developed to meet the needs of this specific audience.
Think email is just for us old timers? Even millennials and youngsters are still giving email lots of respect. In this comprehensive report by Adobe, Consumers are Still Email Obsessed But They’re Finding More Balance, “This age group is even more likely than others to get into their inbox ‘during workouts, while eating with friends and family, and even while driving.'”
Amongst all other types of communication channels with brands, consumers are all aboard the email train, and hopping on 24% more than they did last year.” “Despite the rise of Slack and other messaging apps, email still dominates the preferred method of communication. Email is exactly what consumers want from brands. But remember…
Consumers don’t want crappy emails from brands.
Consumers in our survey were also loud and clear about how they want to hear from brands. Sixty-one percent of consumers indicated that they prefer to receive offers via email, which is a 24 percent increase over last year. Adobe, Consumers are Still Email Obsessed But They’re Finding More Balance,
Here are the top tips that Adobe gives based on the input they received:
Make it personal: 34 percent of consumers said they get frustrated when brands recommend items that don’t match their interests. Know your customers in order to communicate with them.
Inform: 40 percent of consumers told us that they wish email content was less promotional and more informative. They’re savvy about when someone’s selling too hard. Focus your messages on the information consumers want. 19% are not happy that they have to scroll too much.
Maximizing the impact of your messages and increasing your click-through rates so that your emails generate action is a little art and a little science. Copy, images, layout, lists and the design platform you use will all impact how well your emails perform.
So, when we ask whether your email “delivers,” we’re asking if it accomplishes the following:
- Does it reach the intended recipient’s inbox, no matter what kind of obstacles (i.e. the snowstorm equivalent of a spam folder) get in the way?
- Does it get noticed, opened and read even if it’s likely one of several hundred emails received that day?
- Is it easy, even enjoyable, to read on a mobile device?
- Is it personal and relevant? Does it hit home for the reader, generating positive feelings, maintaining interest and inspiring some kind of action?
- Does it reinforce the reader’s happiness that she has put out the welcome mat for you in his or her inbox? Are you sharing something of value to the recipient, something generous and thoughtful (not unlike a box of homemade cookies arriving at a college dorm?)
- Does it create—or further cement–an authentic connection between the reader and your business? Will the reader feel like you took the time to understand what he needs or what interests him?
Consumers are telling us exactly what they want, so it’s up to brands to build the infrastructure and dedicate the creative resources that can hold up our end of this email relationship. We know people are keeping their eyes on their inboxes, even at dinner or the gym or walking down the street. This is the perfect opportunity for brands to delight them by sending exactly what they asked us for. Adobe blog
Even you can become an e-mail marketing aficionado, but you’ll likely need a little help to get things going with ease.
Learn more about email marketing by jumping into one of our MailChimp classes this fall. You’ll learn about strategy, design, deliverability and more to make the most of your email marketing efforts. There are even two opportunities to come and work in our office with our experts at hand, just in case you need a little more support as you design your next e-mail campaign.
Or, if you’d rather work with a team who can take care of the entire email marketing process alongside you, our team of experts can create a customized plan that meets the specific needs and goals of your business. Contact us to get the conversation started!
We hope to see you in class soon: REGISTER
10/4: Email Marketing 101: MailChimp for Small Businesses (1.5 hours, $99) 8:30-10am
10/11: MailChimp Live: Hands-on Support for Small Businesses (2 hours, $99) 8-10am
10/18: Every Drop Counts: Email Drip Marketing Campaigns using MailChimp (1.5 hours, $99) 8:30-10am
10/25: MailChimp Live: Hands-on Support for Small Businesses (2 hours, $99) 8-10am