By Rieva Lesonsky
All the attention social media gets in the marketing world might be convincing you that email is dead. Far from it. Email marketing volume hit record-setting levels during June 2012, and total email volume growth for this year is expected to surpass that of 2011, according to a study by email marketing company Responsys Inc. reported by BtoB Online.
Responsys projects email volume will grow by some 20 percent this year, compared to 16 percent growth last year. The company attributes it to several factors, including businesses shifting from direct mail and print to email; the greater ROI of email compared to other marketing channels; and the fact that many people prefer to get marketing messages by email.
- Keep your lists clean. List hygiene is crucial to good ROI. Regularly update your lists and use opt-in email to ensure you aren’t accused of spamming.
- Provide something of value. Depending on your industry, “value” may be useful content, important information or limited-time discounts and deals. Make sure your emails don’t come across as solely self-promotional and that there’s something in it for the recipient.
- Target. Segment your email lists by factors that matter to you such as gender, age, business size or shopping habits. Then you can send targeted emails to users tailored for their interests and needs.
- Use triggered emails. Emails triggered by customer behaviors or time frames are a great way to motivate actions. Consider sending triggered emails if customers leave items in a shopping cart on your ecommerce site, if they haven’t purchased from you in a while or to follow up on a recent purchase.
- Use analytics. Your email service probably offers tools to help you monitor what recipients do with your emails, including open rates, forwards and what links they click on. By drilling down and tailoring future emails to recipients based on past actions, you can reap big rewards.
- Test. If your emails aren’t getting opened enough, use regular testing to improve your success rate. You can test many elements, including time of day, day of week, subject lines and email length and content to see what gets results. By regularly testing, you’ll be able to learn what works and fine-tune your email marketing efforts accordingly.
Image by Flickr user Sean MacEntee (Creative Commons)Google+