The Evolution of Email Marketing

“You’ve got mail!” Remember when you used to be excited to hear that voice? Now, we’re smothered with email. With all this email overload, a lot of people are saying “email is dead”.  . So, how do you keep your message from getting lost in the fray while having the most impact on the reader and your bottom line?

This week, we discuss the email marketing mistakes many of us make with CEO and Founder of Inbox Pros, Chris Arrendale. While many view the platform as a dying tool in the overall scheme or strategy for advertising and raising brand awareness, our guest disagrees. In fact, research indicates that every email address is worth $40 (who knew?), so email marketing still has the best marketing ROI—by far.

In his view, email is not dead, just evolving. For many CEOs who rely on this method of advertising their company and its services, email marketing has become  a complex system of algorithms, engagement models, and anti-SPAM laws.

Don’t Let Your Customers Get “Email Drunk”
It’s that time of year again. Ugh—the holidays. Time to get hit with the inevitable sales promotions and pitches. This means emails, and lots of them. Arrendale warns that consumers get “email drunk” when faced with a full inbox of ads. “Now more than ever, it’s important to focus on things like branding and subject line,” he states, ”I think it’s also important to focus on the content itself; making sure that whatever message you want to put across is right there, up top, within the first two seconds of somebody reading the message.”

According to Arrendale, it’s all about reputation.  And, one way your reputation is suffering is by sending out notices with a “@noreply” tag in the address line. “So, you want me to buy from you, but you don’t want me to respond to you? That doesn’t make any sense,” Arrendale observes. When you have an open dialogue or communication link with your customer, it shows the Internet Service Providers and the networks that your correspondence is wanted. But, it’s more than that. Formatting can also “help to increase opens and clicks,” Arrendale explains. For his company, it’s about coming up with the right “subject line, cadence and frequency,” making your approach as engaging and appealing as possible

Keep it Clean
There’s also value in purging your lists. It’s all part of what he calls “email hygiene.” “Instead of saying, at 12 months (of no engagement), we’re just going to cut everybody off,” Arrendale says, “What about at six months, you change the way you message people?” Clearly, you don’t want to lose them because every name in an email database is potential revenue. “It depends on your buying cycle,” he argues, “if you have a longer one, 12 is too short. In could be 18. Or 24. Try something different.” By making purging a regular practice, you are constantly fine-tuning your email approach. It’s all about engagement. “They may want to buy from you again,” Arrendale explains, “you just haven’t hit them with the right message.”

There are still ways to get to these “emotionally unengaged” customers. “Brand your unsubscribe and preference pages to include social media links,” Arrendale points out. “Maybe they want to follow you on Facebook or Twitter, or LinkedIn, something like that.” These alternative ways of reaching consumers can be very valuable as well.

Email Is Evolving…Are You...

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