Igniting your most powerful marketing channel

Very rarely do you see email marketing at the top of any “what’s hot this year” list (unless, of course, you’re reading articles from the last century). But there’s no denying the power of this channel, even in 2014 — especially in 2014. Brian Solis opened his keynote at the Email Evolution Conference (EEC) last month by stating that, “email connects the bridge between the business and those that keep it in business.“ That’s a powerful statement about the importance of email programs.

Here are three tips to consider when developing your email-marketing plans:

  • Automate and educate. Automated campaigns are great ways to continually educate subscribers about a product or service, and they can be very easy to set up. Hey, these people asked you to email them, so there’s no reason not to use those addresses to:

-Educate subscribers through a welcome series and introduce them to other ways they can connect.
-Delight them with a special deal on their birthday or celebrate their activity within your platform, like anniversaries or accomplishments.
-Address inactivity with a re-engagement email that reminds subscribers what you’re all about and what’s new since they first subscribed.

Don’t be afraid that sending a higher volume of emails will result in more unsubscribes; not sending because of that fear could be costing you millions. And finally, although many of these campaigns are automatic, don’t just set it and forget it. Watch the results, optimize the content and constantly innovate as new technologies become available.

  • Be creative. Think outside of the inbox. Sorry for the pun, but there’s no excuse for plain, nonresponsive, boring emails these days. 65% of emails are opened on mobile phones — if you’re not considering that in your design, you’ll lose customers every time you send an email. Be creative; personalize content; test adding a character to a subject line when applicable; use tools to add videos to your messages; and so on. Your subscribers will notice, and they’ll appreciate the uniqueness in their otherwise very cluttered inbox.
  • Test, test, test. As with any marketing endeavor, do not forget to test! Your list changes daily, which means that how your subscribers respond to messages will change. Just because one template layout worked last quarter, doesn’t mean the same is true today. Run A/B tests (constantly), use creative optimizer tools if possible, and test which calls to action make your subscribers convert.

It may not always seem trendy, but email marketing is still extremely powerful and highly relevant — and the #1 way consumers want to receive marketing messages. Give the people what they want, and you’ll enjoy the incredibly high ROI that email can generate.

And if you’re traveling to SXSW this year and would like to discuss the evolving world of email marketing, join me during my Mentor Session. Or connect on Twitter I’d love to chat!