Conquering the Myths of Email Marketing Part 1

When SalesForce Marketing Cloud released their recent State of Marketing Report, it showed that, despite the rise of direct social and mobile marketing, email marketing is as effective of a marketing platform as ever.  Not only is it increasingly effective, but it’s significantly impacting ROI for businesses who are regularly using it well.

There are many different ways to do email marketing, and you can choose the approach that best suits your business. You can send out automated emails, or you can use marketing automation software to create and send personalized emails.  That said, the medium works differently for every brand and industry, so we set out to discuss some of the popular myths and mistakes in order to help continue to point people to the best practices to successful email marketing.

Conquering the Myths of Email Marketing Part 1

1. The younger generation are the heaviest users of smart phones and tablets, so most segmentation should cover a young target demographic.

According to Pew Research Center’s findings on U.S. smartphone use in 2015, smartphone ownership certainly is highest among young adults, but 79% of people between ages 30-49 and 54% between the ages of 50-64 are using them.  That’s a significant amount of the population to target out when segmenting your lists.  According to Hubspot, tablets are highest used in the age group between 30-55 and the Guardian shows tablet usage jumped by 12% this year for 65-74 year olds.

Additionally, when was the last time you heard anyone from GenY emailing back and forth with their friends?  SMS Marketing might be an avenue to explore in their case, but more importantly you should be tapping into your site analytics to find out who is exploring your content, especially visitors from previous email campaigns.

2. The same email marketing campaign should be sent to a first time or repeat customer.

As mentioned previously, segmentation is very important in other ways and this is a key area – you should be targeting both new and existing customers with different campaigns using content that is based on their previous purchases or engagements with your business.  According to Bain & Company’s research, repeat customers will spend approximately 67% more than new customers and their word-of-mouth recommendation of your business should be considered 3x more valuable than organic campaigns.

This being the case, it would certainly be worth following the model of the retail industry like Amazon, Target, Kohls, Macy’s, etc in using existing purchasing data to send very targeted emails to individuals as well as group incentives to repeat customers.

3. Anyone who has signed up will read emails from your business.

How much physical junk mail do you get on a weekly business that you don’t take the time to contact the company to unsubscribe from?  Email is the same way – just because I signed up for deals from Spirit Air doesn’t mean I’m going to open the one that they send me every. single. day.

It also turns out that a lot of users are opted-in to email services through proxy forms for incentives or to access premium content.  I think you’d be hard-pressed to find someone under 35 who doesn’t have a separate throwaway email account for this exact purpose.  According to another recent study, 25% of your email list will expire each year as subscribers change jobs, email providers, etc.  As consumer life grows on some lists, the length of time on a list can actually grow the possibility of a spam complaint.  At 31 months, 43% of a list were more apt to finally complain.

4. Simply removing bounced email addresses is the same as list cleaning.

As email providers are cracking down on ensuring their users (and ultimately themselves) are in compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act, it’s more important than ever to maintain a clean list, which is more than  just removing bad email addresses.

The Email Stats Center found that removing subscribers who have no engaged (this means clicked through, not just opened) in over a year instantly increases your deliverability rate by 3-5%.  Having a cleaner and more engaging list can also have  a huge impact on your bounce rate as well, as some marketers are seeing a drop up to 95%.

5.  Open rate is solely impacted by the subject line.

While the subject line heavily impacts whether an email will be opened (first impressions and all), don’t rule your business (or sender) name out of the equation.  There’s an element of trust associated with having a place inside of an email account and some marketers are starting to think that the sender name is becoming the primary reason for opens.  Receiving an offer from a name or brand that you trust is much more likely to catch your attention that one that you’re unfamiliar with.


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