If there’s one technology that’s stood the test of time as a marketing technique, it’s email. News of its death has, on multiple occasions, been greatly exaggerated.
But is the end of marketing emails and e-newsletters in sight? What should building products brands do… to make your email marketing programs stay vital in this world of quickly shifting technologies and attitudes?
It should be no secret that we’re a proponent of email marketing. You’re most likely reading this article because of an email we sent you. But times are changing, and they could have an effect on how marketers use email.
As technology has become more pervasive, it’s created the means for marketers to get unprecedented access to audiences and their data. Prospects’ online activity gives companies a window into each target audience’s unique desires and preferences, and has allowed us to become ultra-narrow with our targeting.
This includes being able to harvest emails and permeate people’s inboxes with special offers and branded messaging. But protecting people’s privacy and data is flashing a “warning signal” in today’s society and as such, has become much more than a mere obsession.
Two Sides of the Same Coin
There are two schools of thought on how email marketing will be affected and how the granddaddy of marketing technology may evolve.
The first, is that email marketing may further fall out of favor simply because it will become too difficult. Inboxes will become even more sacred, and blasting emails will require much more of an uphill climb.
Getting people to willingly sign up for a brand’s emails will be just too challenging. And if there’s anything marketers like, it’s tactics that are streamlined.
The second school of thought, is that email marketing will become even more important.
For a couple of decades, the power has been steadily shifting to the side of the consumer. Technology has given people access to all the information they could ever want… and they no longer have to rely on slick advertising and sales arguments to make an informed decision.
The technology privacy regulations are a continuation of that trend. In order for marketers to reach consumers via email, those customers actively have to want to receive them. And as a result, the emails people receive — while diminishing in number — will trend higher in value.
We actually think the two schools of thought can be conflated as one-and-the-same. Two sides of the same coin. Digital marketing is growing up from its Wild West days. And marketers will have to work harder to win permission to be included in people’s inboxes.
But those brands that execute well, will enjoy better relationships with their customers and as such, will see their emails’ effectiveness explode.
The New (Old) Rules of Email
In this new landscape, how should marketers approach their email marketing programs?
We recommend three critical rules of email marketing that brands ought to follow:
As in every valued relationship, this is by far the most important of the rules. By giving permission to email them, recipients are demonstrating that they trust you. What that trust entails depends on the terms under which they opted in. But please don’t violate that well-earned trust. Do what you said. Deliver the content you promised.
The content you deliver is what will continue to attract and engage your digital database. Each of us today remains inundated with messages, all the time, and our attention spans are lower than ever. So it’s critical that your emails contain thought-leadership content that respects the value of your recipients’ time… while also engaging, and even providing a welcomed respite of fun to consume.
Your audience will come for the value you offer, but they’ll stay for the consistency. If you offer the same level of increased value every day, week or month — your audience will stick with you. If you falter in delivering on-time — prospects will forget about you — and may wonder why they invited you into their sacred space. Worse, they’ll unsubscribe.
These “rules” are becoming more important than ever. Not following them will ensure that your email marketing – and even your marketing approach in general – will quickly become irrelevant.
Following them will help you maintain a close relationship with your customers. One built on trust.
Assuming you have developed a strong, growing list of subscribers, it’s inevitable that over time you’ll need to conduct “refresh” exercises through your database. As prospects depart companies (and their emails become inactive), as inboxes get saturated… your bounce rate may start to rise and your open and click through rates may decline with it.
Kleber & Associates can help you evaluate different content strategies and optimize building product email marketing campaigns including:
- The top methods for optimizing subscriber lists
- How to conduct re-engagement campaigns
- The best ways to add value to your emails