When it comes to communication, email is still the prevalent choice. This remains true whether a recipient uses a PC, mobile device or both. According to the Radicati group, there are currently 3.3 billion registered email addresses. That number is expected to grow to 4.3 billion by 2016. Here are other important email statistics:
- 93 percent of email users in the US are subscribed to email lists and are sent at least one a day.
- 91 percent of email users check their account at least once a day.
- By 2017, email users in the US will increase to 237 million.
- 75 percent of social media users consider email their favorite form of communication.
- 64 percent of US email users open emails on their mobile devices.
It is imperative to have an email list in today's market. In 2013, 56 percent of US business increased their email marketing budgets. In addition, 50 percent of US businesses portioned 20 percent of their marketing budget towards email. However, the messages need to be sent to a qualified and targeted list. Mass messaging can become a waste of time and resources. Here are a few reasons why email marketing is advantageous:
- It increases your company's visibility.
- It sharpens the potential for instant responses.
- Emails can be used for upselling and cross-selling.
- Your list can be used to generate feedback.
- Consistent contact helps you keep in touch with your clients.
How Do You Stand Out?
One of the issues with email marketing is your client base continues to get deluged with messages. You can't forget that each email is a direct competitor to your own. It is not just about using information; it is about using the right information. Does your historical data give you the ability to properly recognize trends? According to a Monetate survey:
- 95 percent of organizational data remains under-utilized.
- 39 percent of marketers think data should be collected more frequently.
- 26 percent of organizations don't use real-time data to personalize messages.
Make Data Your Best Friend
One of the keys to successful email marketing is how you retrieve and use your data. Don't let your tools go to waste. Track clicks as well as unique opens. Leverage tools to tell you which links received the most traction. Find out which messages had the highest conversion rates. Research the types of devices your clients use. Keep in mind your mistakes and successes from the previous year, and aim to improve. Here is how you can retrieve real-time data:
- Countdown clocks for deals.
- Have a timer for the number of specials left.
- List the number of other participants involved in a promoted transaction.
- Ask your subscribers to join a focus group.
Content Makes a Critical Difference
Now that it is 2014, email recipients have caught on to email marketing techniques of the past. They want something new, fresh and different. People want appealing online content, and this has filtered down to email messages, as well. Sending an email with a product photo and a call to action is no longer enough. Here are ways to get their interest:
- Use of video.
- Link to a case study.
- Targeted and dynamic content.
Don't Forget Automation
If your company has a hundred or a thousand subscribers, you would not have the budget to hire enough manpower to tend to each one. However, you can make use of automation. There are plenty of email service providers who offer it. Create a welcome series of emails for new clients. Have birthday emails sent out, perhaps with a small special offer. Send messages when a customer leaves your site without making a purchase. Email thank you notes once they do buy something. Message inactive users to re-activate their subscriptions. Additionally, you can also send messages regarding loyalty programs. Proof that automation works:
- 66 percent of email recipients bought something after receiving an email promotion.
- 41 percent make second purchases if they received email recommendations based on previous buys.
- Companies have seen between 15-25 percent increases in sales from personalized product suggestions.
Connect Email to Social Media
If your company has a Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn page; use email to drive your customers in that direction. All of these outlets can be used to increase sales and visibility. Pinterest is also becoming much more important. In fact, the number of sales generated from Pinterest has quadrupled in the past two years. Send emails around links to your social media pages.
Mobile vs. Non-Mobile
We do live in a mobile world. Within the past decade, sales of mobile devices have soared past PC sales. There are arguments to be made on both sides, but the data is quite straightforward. Should you optimize your email for mobile devices? Absolutely, and here's why:
- 66 percent of Gmail messages are retrieved on a mobile device, as opposed to 19 percent opened on desktops.
- 48 percent of all emails sent are opened on mobile devices.
- 63 percent have deleted non-mobile friendly email messages.
- 96 percent of the US market uses a mobile phone.
- 44 percent of the US market uses a smart phone.
- 29 percent of the US market uses a tablet or eReader.
All sent emails have to be optimized for mobile. There is no longer a way around it.
Just Say No to Spam
People can spot spam from a mile away, and most people don't have time for it. If your messages are considered "spammy," you can expect a multitude of canceled subscriptions. Spam emails peaked in 2010. It is also worth noting that from 2010 to 2012, spam decreased by 21 percent. Email marketers are realizing that it just doesn't work.
Email marketing shows no signs of deterioration. Your data can be used to determine your buyer's habits. Furthermore email helps your business grow into a long-term, as opposed to a short-term position. In increases retention, and when used correctly, it augments sales. No one can deny that email continues to be the world's most widely used online marketing tool. With all of this information, how are you elevating your email marketing techniques for 2014?