In the first of a two-part series, we look into why automated email marketing platforms are having a moment – and how to make them work for you…
Pressure on marketing spend decisions have never been more intense – with recent incidents such as the Facebook outage highlighting just how much your business website is dependent upon third party technology. Meanwhile, the recent sale of Mailchimp for $12 billion is a clear indication that email marketing remains a vital tool for retailers. But why is now the right time to focus on it?
The experience of Mailchimp co-founder Ben Chestnut proves that sometimes it’s best to stick with a hunch. Despite many early potential investors warning him that relying solely on email marketing was destined to fail, he felt that the company’s central remit – supporting small businesses to reach their audiences and to grow their potential customer base – was a sound one. The global technology platform, Intuit Inc. certainly seem to agree, having acquired his company for $12 billion.
In email marketing, timing is everything
So why is this happening now? A number of factors have combined to create a perfect storm for automated email marketing platforms such as Mailchimp.
First, let’s look at some stats:
There are over 4 billion email users worldwide (and 7 billion email accounts). That’s over half of the world’s population. In 2020, over 306 billion emails were sent and received every day (a figure expected to reach 361 billion by 2024). Of those, a billion emails a day are sent thought Mailchimp. And all this from an initial insight that small businesses were struggling to send out newsletters to their customers, particularly as their databases grew.
A captive audience
Email is still a fool-proof way of reaching your customers: 95% of consumers check email every day and, thanks to the ubiquity of smartphones, it is now becoming second nature to access email via one’s mobile (nearly half of users prefer smartphones to access personal email, with 58% of respondents to an OptinMonster survey saying they check their email as soon as they wake up).
The convenience of being able to access email via the phone in your pocket (or on your bedside table) means that marketers need to ensure their emails are mobile-optimised. The figures only point in one direction: as recently as 2019, just 61% of emails were opened on a phone. By 2020, that figure had grown to 81% – and the number for 2021 is only going to be higher still, thanks to remote working, home-schooling and significant changes in the way we work and communicate. (Meanwhile, 80% of people in a Super Office survey say they would delete an email that isn’t mobile-optimised.)
It’s getting bigger
In 2020, thanks in part to the Covid-19 pandemic, the total volume of emails sent globally grew by 7% (compared to 2.5% the year previously). And, it seems, customers are warmed up to the idea of being sent email marketing. They even say a promotional offer is the main reason for them to like receiving an email (52%), ahead even of the email being of personal relevance to them (50%).
What’s more, 60% of consumers report making a purchase after receiving a promotional email. Even more impressively, Business of Apps reports that conversion rates from email ads have shown a 32% year-on-year increase.
What makes email marketing so highly valued? It’s a simple matter of maths. Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective channels for communication to consumers today – and offers the highest ROI. Not only do consumers respond positively to promotional emails, the evidence is there that the interest leads to conversion / sales: with 60% of email users buying something as a result. In comparison, the equivalent for social media marketing messages – the big buzz in the sector – is just 12.5%.
How to deliver effective email marketing
A few tips to help you to teach more of your customers and communicate to them in the right way:
Build an engaged subscriber base – an active audience that likes receiving emails from you is more likely to move down the conversion funnel to becoming a paying customer base.
Develop ‘Lead Magnets’ – start converting prospects into leads with engaging content, promotional offers and a sense of personalisation and exclusivity.
Don’t forget remarketing – customer retention also involves winning back past customers. Look at behavioural data to work out where they fell off the page – and how you can entice them back in.
Social proof is everything – Customers may be wary of being sold to by brands, but testimonials from their peers is a different matter. Social proof from sites such as TrustPilot can be one of your most influential marketing tools.
Mobile optimisation – Think Mobile First, every time. It’s how the vast majority of your customers will see your emails.
And that’s just the start. Check back for more insights on email marketing – including retaining and growing your customers and increasing their spend…