Email is one of the few forms of communication that present at dawn of the modern technological age and remains just as relevant two decades into the 21st century. In fact, despite the doomsayers proclaiming “is email marketing dead?” the quantity of emails sent each day in 2019 is actually increasing. The number is already pushing the 300 million mark and is expected to rise to nearly 350 million by 2023.
In other words, the era of the email is far from dead. But that doesn’t preclude the fact that it’s certainly changing. Let’s take a look at the road ahead for email marketing
The Power of Evolution
It’s easy to feel that electronic mail is quickly going by the wayside. It’s common to find once-vibrant email lists suffering from low open rates. In addition, tactics and strategies that were incredibly successful just a year or two ago can fall flat. However, the numbers referenced above still stand as solid evidence that email remains a powerful channel of communication.
So what gives? Why is email still alive and well, but companies are suffering from low open rates and a general failure from their email marketing efforts?
The answer isn’t black and white — it boils down to evolution. Like nearly every other aspect of the business world, email marketing evolves along with technology, cultural expectations, and other factors. The marketing team must identify which tactics have become obsolete and which newer trends have taken their place.
What Doesn’t Work Anymore?
It’s fairly safe to say, at this point, that email campaigns — and in many ways marketing as a whole — can no longer embrace an “en masse” mentality. The era of mass communication, generic messages, and shallow sales pitches are at an end. In fact, if you can shift your focus from one of generic messages to a personalized approach, that alone will go far in bringing your email efforts up to date.
As email marketing tools have become more sophisticated, the expectation of recipients for a quality, personalized experience has skyrocketed. Emails aimed at larger audiences with little to no personalization are likely to find little momentum — if they even get through that spam filter in the first place. Instead, savvy marketers should look for ways to implement the abundance of modern email marketing tools and trends in order to revitalize their marketing efforts.
New Email Marketing Tools and Trends
How can you differentiate your email marketing efforts from the competition? How can you best appeal to your target audience? Market research is key to identifying your competitors and target audience, and this data can inform your emails. However, data alone can do little to bolster marketing results.
Instead, leverage your marketing research with the latest and greatest marketing tools and trends. There are plenty of ways to maximize the efficiency and productivity of your email marketing efforts. Here are a few of the top ways that cutting-edge companies are using their email lists to generate business.
Developing Your Brand
No matter how far back you go in history, businesses tend to be cold, calculated, and focused on the bottom line. But that hasn’t stopped modern marketers from using effective marketing techniques to humanize companies and brands in order to make them more relatable to consumers.
Emails provide an ideal format for this kind of effort, as companies can foster their personal brand and curate their online reputation through a direct line of communication with their customers. Creating content and tailoring your emails with the goal of humanizing your brand and managing your online reputation can help to:
- Build your authority within your niche.
- Demonstrate your superiority over the competition.
- Highlight real-world results and feedback.
- Maintain the attention of your audience.
That last one, in particular, can help not only to remain in the limelight but to develop your relationship with your customer base.
As already mentioned, the overwhelming modern consensus is that emails should be personalized to the recipient in order to help nurture a relationship in every way possible. To use an older model as an example of how this should be done, the Sandler Sales method has been a powerful tool utilized by salesmen and saleswomen ever since it was first developed in 1967. Even at that early, pre-email time, marketers realized that pushy tactics were not the best way to close sales. Instead, sellers knew to focus on things like bonding, honesty and qualifying the prospect by asking valid questions.
In the same way, email marketers should use emails to help nurture a meaningful relationship with their clientele. Personalize your content with relevant questions that apply to your particular niche. Use the incredible power of modern analytics to segment your email list in order to ensure that only the most relevant information is reaching each subscriber. However you go about it, make sure that your emails are being crafted with your ongoing relationship with each customer in mind.
Simply put, videos are one of the hottest tools in the current marketing toolkit. Embedding videos directly into emails has been shown to boost click rates by as much as 300%. Make sure to do so wisely, though, as tossing a video onto the end of an email without a second thought doesn’t tend to deliver much traffic. Instead, focus on:
- Adding “video” to your subject line — this can nearly double your open rate.
- Providing appropriate textual information within the email to present and explain what the video is about.
- Making sure the video is queued to an attractive, inviting, or curious thumbnail.
Email marketing isn’t dead, but it’s absolutely evolving. Naturally, marketers must take the time to purposefully craft their email marketing in order to remain relevant. Tailoring each message with personalized content, focusing on fostering relationships, and incorporating popular media like videos and gifs can help a company maintain interesting, attractive, and productive email marketing campaigns.