Today’s era of email revolves completely about finding the right things to send to the right people at the best times.
More marketing companies, who are utilising email as a marketing channel, are beginning to realise that less is more. Essentially, if you ever plan to send an email, the last thing you want to do is shove an essay down your reader’s throat.
The average email is said to be read for just 11 seconds, or in terms of words, most likely anywhere between 30 and 100 words.
When companies who know nothing about email spend hours creating a newsletter they think people will enjoy reading, they have no idea why their ROI and engagement statistics are lower than they would have hoped for.
Email newsletters are dead – What we really mean by this is that they still produce results, but they’re a slog, they take time, and can often provide little engagement and sales. Why is there little engagement you ask? – Well, when was the last time you read an email for more than 30 seconds?
To understand why email newsletters suck, we need to explain the difference between email newsletters and email campaigns.
Firstly, a newsletter is the delivery (By email or normal mail), of important information. It isn’t written with sales in mind at all. Email newsletters are to share updates about the company, the industry the company is in, and any relevant news.
Without the sales aspect, you will notice a lot of newsletters are heavier in content as opposed to email campaigns and general sales emails.
Email campaigns are sales-orientated, but not sales-driven. All campaigns involve subscribers, who are actively interested in what the company has to offer them. Content in targeted email campaigns is customer-driven, as opposed to newsletters, which are more centred towards the company themselves.
No marketing campaign should be started with the idea that pressuring sales works, because it doesn’t. If you want your campaign to work, you need to find out the type of person that wants your product or service, and move forward from there.
Email newsletters aren’t really customer orientated, but the odd few avid readers will take interest in the industry and read these emails. This is rare nowadays however, because more people are realising that information about a company, about an industry, can be accessed instantly via a Google search, or simply by checking the company’s website.
Email campaigns provide beneficial resources that are tailored to the reader, something they won’t find by just searching online. Campaigns gain momentum when your subscribers enjoy the content you’re giving them, and share it with their friends as it is rewarding, either because they’re receiving a product, they are learning a skill, or their loyalty is being valued by the sender.
If you have read a newsletter recently, you’ll notice a lot of the time there is no focus towards you as the reader. It wouldn’t matter if you were old, young, male, female, from the north of England or the south – The same newsletter is probably going to everyone in their list.
That’s exactly the problem with email newsletters as opposed to having a targeted email campaign. If there is no segmentation, no personalisation, then your subscribers won’t feel like they have a relationship with your company and your team.
If you want a better ROI, email newsletters are somewhat in the wrong direction. Targeted email campaigns, however, give you a chance to build from your portfolio of followers.
The last thing you want to be doing is asking these people to buy, as it may take months for some of them to do so naturally anyway. Take pride in your email campaigns, you should try to understand that the vast majority of your readers are staying subscribed because they’re interested.
We don’t like to think of email campaigns as a way to directly boost sales – It is more of a get-to-know action tool. You have the freedom of being about to send out a wide range of content. When comparing this with a newsletter, you might find some content is forced, as the format of the email remains the same.
The content is a little stiff, in the sense that you have to stick with the same industry news, and you don’t really get much in return from your subscribers to find out how they’re finding your email content.
Email campaigns are great, you can send out surveys, welcome emails, limited time offers, intuitive tips and lessons, product announcements, and much more.
It’s always going to be a waiting game, and you have to keep your finger on the pulse, so you know when the best time will be to send an email. The best email campaigns aren’t fixated on one date and time, so you aren’t limited to a post per week, or a post per month (At least, that’s what we believe).
Logging onto your emails with something in your inbox is always a pleasant surprise, especially if it is targeted for you. It has your name on it, you begin to build trust with the brand, and you start to think about buying from them, despite them not sending anything related to a sales pitch.
The power of placing the subscriber first is invaluable, and if you keep your content vibrant, modern and actionable, the time will arrive when the subscriber becomes interested in buying your product.
As we have said, email newsletters are purely informative, and email campaigns can be too – Just make sure your subscribers are the stars of the show. Give them the chance to let their views be heard, and focus your content around the benefits your brand will bring them for staying in the loop with your emails.
A big advantage of using email campaigns as opposed to sticking to an email newsletter is that you can incorporate other elements of your business into the content. Calls to action play a big part in our own email campaigns, and they can work for you too.
Link your website, your store, a free helpful document for your subscribers (Such as an instructional piece). It isn’t about the email as such, it’s about how you get your subscribers to go further than the email – To your store, your website etc.
This is where your ROI (return on investment) is said to spike up. Whenever you have a soft selling approach that involves consistently providing your readers with relevant email content, you’ll see that your initial investment into your email campaign is paid off. The sales will come eventually, but email marketing is far from a get rich quick scheme.
You don’t want to expect results too quickly. Just like if you meet someone for the first time, don’t expect them to pour their secrets and favourite things to do in private on the first date.
Remember statistically that every pound spent on email marketing returns as much as 30-40 pounds.
The money you invest isn’t designed to pay for sending one big email to 5,000+ subscribers. It is there to tailor your campaign. You should be investing in personalisation tools, and ways to effectively find trends from your emails, such as engagement (Best open time, biggest click-through by age). MailChimp is one of the best tools to use for these elements of your campaigns.
Not only that, but you should enjoy sending out emails for your marketing campaigns. No doubt if you’ve sent out newsletters before, you can find it a little draining – There isn’t much to mention about the company some weeks.
Your email subscribers might have a lot of varying interests, so utilising a campaign to get an insight into their tastes and trends will help you kick-start a back and forth conversation with them, ultimately turning them into a loyal subscriber, and customer. The relationship is more valuable than the sale.
Email newsletters are lazy – No interest is taken into your customers when it is them who are the most important part of business continuity, status and profitability. Obviously your staff contribute greatly to this too, but their focus should also be on the customer. If you still send out newsletters at a fixed time of the month, we recommend that you stop.
Mix up your schedule (Or even better – Don’t stick to a schedule!), throw in a surprise email, utilise the resend technique, keep your calls to action simple and minimal, and simply take priority for your audience. IF you don’t enjoy writing your emails, how do you expect your customers to enjoy reading them?
Remember to stay awesome, and prioritise your email campaigns, they can be the source of the largest ROI of all forms of marketing in business.