Checking your email may be a trope of modern life, but how many of the emails that you receive on a daily basis do you actually want to read?
Despite your best intentions, the reality is that you probably swipe left on a majority of the communications you receive. They’re banished to the recycle bin without a second thought, and before you know it, the emails you want to see are caught up in your spam filter.
More than 281 billion emails were sent in 2018. With the average person receiving upward of 40 emails a day, many brands find competing with the noise difficult, and struggle to make their messages heard in customer inboxes. Despite this, when done correctly, email marketing can be one of the most lucrative channels for your brand. Well-executed email campaigns have the power to boost engagement and entice new customers, while naturally increasing ROI – making it a valuable marketing tool for any business.
Integrating email marketing into your wider direct marketing could be the key to making your brand stand out from the crowd. Here’s why…
What can email marketing bring to your direct marketing strategy?
Email marketing can be an effective way of marketing your brand to established and potential customers, by providing a low-cost method of standing out from the crowd.
Comprising primarily of permission-based, opt-in emails, marketers can ensure they are providing the right people with the right messages – instead of bombarding large groups of people with irrelevant messages that will end up in the junk folder.
The popularity of email marketing has faced a resurgence in recent years, as marketers embrace data, segmentation and personalisation to provide customers with an experience that is beneficial to them – not full of unnecessary communications. While emails were once part of a one-size-fits-all approach, brands are now utilising innovative tech and data to provide established and potential customers with the messages they want to see.
Now that marketers are focussing on providing customers with a more authentic experience, brands are reaping the rewards. Improving the customer experience has a host of benefits, namely an increase in engagement and the subsequent ROI on campaigns.
The benefits of making email marketing part of your direct marketing strategy
Over 70% of emails are automatically dumped in the spam bin – but this can be easily avoided if emails have appropriate subject lines and use personalised merge tags. Providing your brand or business only communicates with pre-existing and potential customers (who have opted to receive emails) with the things you know they’ll be interested in, your emails should stay out of the junk folder.
As email providers – like Gmail and iMail – become more intelligent, integrating email marketing in with your brand’s wider direct marketing strategy could be the key to avoiding the spam filter.
Enhancing the customer experience
A customer wants to feel valued by the brand or business they are choosing to share their data with.
Making the customer feel valued is easy. By utilising personalisation, segmentation and automation, marketers can organise for emails to be automatically sent to commemorate events like birthdays and national holidays. Giving customers a “birthday gift” – like a personalised discount code or offer will make the customer feel valued by the brand.
Such a simple action is easy to achieve – it can be set up in an email platform and sent automatically on their birthday – and can convince the customer to return to make purchases in the future. If a customer has made a previous purchase of a product or service, their data can also be analysed in more depth, to provide them with appropriate suggestions for future purchases.
Providing customers with suggestions and ideas for future purchasing is a great way to bolster the overall experience – giving the brand character, without appearing overbearing. Naturally, improved customer experiences will subsequently lead to…
Opting to provide customers with curated emails based on their buying and browsing habits can increase the ROI of your campaigns.
Now that marketers are electing to move away from sending one-off emails, in favour of direct email marketing campaigns, the length of the customer journey is shortened significantly. Being able to support customers with their future purchases will only further improve brand confidence, increasing the likelihood of the customer returning.
Even if you believe that your business is too serious for personalised emails, enhancing your campaigns will increase engagement, leading to more clicks and more purchases. By combining innovation with personalisation and strong design, it’ll become easy to create emails with character, that will automatically become more engaging for your intended audience.
The brands winning with their direct email strategies
Without a strong email marketing strategy, many brands would not be as popular amongst Millennials and Generation Z as they are. Here are some of the brands that are managing to make their voices heard:
Glossier, the New York-based beauty brand, has become the unlikely face of an unusual email tactic. By sending communications to customers that fluctuate between compelling product-lead pieces and obscure-yet-light hearted messages (often featuring content that is irrelevant to the brand), the social media response is often huge.
Not only do fans receive these emails, but they also tell their friends and share their experiences on social media. Not only this, but these obscure messages do largely detract from the quality of the product-lead emails they also send. The sheer number of positive tweets and Facebook that these emails attract generate positive attention for the brand.
Similarly, Birchbox is a monthly beauty and skincare subscription service that pride themselves on their authenticity – and their fans love it. Working to appeal primarily to Millennial and Generation Z women, you pay a monthly fee and receive a range of products in return. Once you’ve signed up for the service, Birchbox works hard to ensure that the customer experience is always high-quality – so you don’t cancel your subscription – and their main way of communicating with fans is through email.
Their emails may appear simple, but they combine personalised merge tags with a conversational tone of voice – giving customers emails that are addressed to them and tailored to the preferences they have already established with the company. The informal tone helps customers feel connected with the brand – almost like they are talking to a friend and acting on recommendations, not being coerced into making further business.
ASOS, the British online fashion and beauty retailer, know that the secret to their customers making repeat purchases is through curated emails, automation and personalisation.
Sending a customer an email on their birthday would be easy – but ASOS are considerate of their intended demographic. Knowing that a customer will not be making a purchase of, say, an outfit for their birthday on the day itself, they give customers a discount for their birthday purchases two weeks beforehand.
Then, on the big day itself, a better discount is sent through – encouraging customers to make future purchases with a customised, time-sensitive discount code.
These emails also come paired with the brands that ASOS claim to love – knowing that there is a high chance that the customer will also enjoy the same brands – and potentially use their discount on the same brands.
Adopting a direct email strategy can be the key to continuing to connect with customers. By keeping the conversation going – following the customer journey and providing suggestions to support future purchases – brands can stay relevant – not end up in the trash folder.