Why email isn’t dead and how to make it work for your business

Gavin O'Callaghan

30 May 2021

‘Email is dying!’ ‘Millenials have killed email!’ Since the popularity takeover of social media, suspicions have been cast over how long email would last. Some cried that it would be obsolete by the start of this decade. We beg to differ.
Who doesn’t enjoy receiving a handwritten letter in the post? A personalised email is no different and is still one of the most direct, cheapest ways to reach your customer.
Email marketing can be an excellent tool in your business’ arsenal to engage with customers. In fact, it is ranked as one of the most effective digital marketing techniques. A well-executed campaign can convert a potential customer into a buyer and encourage repeat purchases and loyalty from first-time buyers.
With journey maps triggered by the customers’ behaviour, to scheduled publication times, email marketing platforms like Mailchimp, Get Response and Hubspot can ensure you reach your customers when it’s most helpful for THEM.

An email inbox is like a home– be a good guest

The most important aspect of email marketing to remember is to treat a person’s inbox like their home. A person’s inbox isn’t a free-for-all, so you can’t go barging through the door uninvited (GDPR regulations see to that). Think of those ‘no junk mail’ stickers on letterboxes. You need to bring something of value, whether that’s a sparkling conversation, a gift, or a something you’ve created just for them. Emails should nurture a relationship with authentic, personal messaging mixed with offers and updates. Don’t be tempted to pitch or hard sell all the time.

So, what will you bring that will delight people when they open their inbox and see your brand’s message waiting there?

In other words, how can you make the five minutes of opening, reading and digesting your email worth their time?

how can you make the five minutes of opening, reading and digesting your email worth their time?

Use autoresponders to engage in real-time

Like any good guest, it’s rude to arrive too early, too late, or not at all! Emails can be scheduled so that they always arrive consistently and at the right time. Data varies on when is the best time to send an email for highest open rate and click-through rates, but keep in mind your customers’ behaviour and when THEY are most likely to be browsing their inbox. In addition to scheduling, email autoresponder can help you respond instantly to an action. These automatic email responses are triggered by behaviour like a transaction or subscribe. The benefit is that when a potential customer interacts with your brand, they get a response in their time, without you having to do anything. So even if it’s 2 am when they’re doing late night shopping on your eCommerce site, they will still receive a purchase confirmation email.
Autoresponders also save you time so you don’t have to manually send out responses like “Thank you for subscribing” after each person signs up to your email list.

Common autoresponder templates include:

  • Thank you for subscribing/signing up
  • Confirmation of purchase
  • Shipment update
  • Abandoned cart
  • Onboarding email
  • Customer feedback
  • Event reminder

Automation workflow takes the autoresponder a bit further and creates a sequence of events, where each milestone triggers a different response. Depending on how a person interacts with your website or previous email will set them out on a particular path in the automation journey.

For example, if a potential customer adds an item to a cart but then abandons it, this action can trigger an email a few days later to remind them its there. If still they do not purchase, another email can be triggered after a week with a special incentive offer.

Don’t make these automation mistakes

We encourage to use automation where possible, but look out for these common pitfalls when getting started:

Don’t have permission

Since the implementation of GDPR regulations, a person must opt-in to your list. Even if they purchase from you, they need to willingly opt-in to receive marketing updates and offers.
Also, what you will do with their data must be clearly spelt out in an easily accessible Privacy Policy. Be sure to include an “unsubscribe” option somewhere in the email to give people an out.

Not personal enough.

Don’t show up at someone’s doorstep without knowing who they are. Segmenting your audience by location or product types can help you to craft and send emails that are tailored to their interests.

Studies also show that personalising emails by using their name, increases engagement. A simple “Thanks for subscribing, Dave!” can go a long way to making you less spammy and more human.

Not taking enough time to think about what THEY would need in the email

They’ve subscribed! Congrats! But do they know what to do next and how to do it? Is it clear how often they can expect you to communicate with them? Are there links to your website, social channels?

Answer these types of questions by mapping out thoughtful user journeys. Try to anticipate your customers’ needs, questions, and actions they need to take. Then tailor the copy to address them. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from customers to see where clarity can be improved.

Missing an opportunity to upsell

Emails provide the perfect opportunity to incentivise purchase with a special offer or showcase new products they might like based on their history.

Increase loyalty by offering something they can only get through their your email campaign such as a 10% off voucher or a sneak peek at a new offering. If you’re emailing already, make it work for you and ensure your potential customers are being converted.

In the wake of COVID, we rely even more on seamless e-commerce, easy contactless payments, and clear digital communication. And a perfectly-timed, tailored email to a potential customer can be just the right nudge to convert them on a sale.

If you need help setting up your email marketing campaign, get in touch with us today.

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