Email for Engagement

Almost 270 Billion email messages are sent every day and 60-70% of it is spam. There is a constant battle between email spam filters and spammers.
As an email marketer you always walk on a tightrope. Despite all the challenges, Email marketing is still the most effective way of reaching your customers generating $38 for every marketing $. If Used effectively this can be a long term and sustainable marketing channel for your company. An optimized email list is your strategic asset.

Why Email Marketing?

Of all the marketing channels available at your disposal, email offers you a distinct advantage as a marketer. No other channel can match the level of control over noise and mass personalization that email marketing offers.

The web giants own like Facebook, Amazon and Google own the internet. The rules of engagement need to suit them, you must just follow. Google, Bing, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram does not exist to send traffic to your website. Moreover, Google is turning into a portal, you will see a decreasing CTR even while your rank is improving.

When search engines were the prominent source of traffic, you rushed to do SEO, then came the era of referral traffic and everyone rushed to guest posts on Reddit, Quora or where not. Despite Google’s continuously failed experiments with social media, there is a constant debate whether it will continue to send traffic to your website. The rich snippets, AMP pages, Google Answerbox, or Google Discover offers you a clue, not all traffic generated for your content is coming your way.

Once upon a time, social media became the major source of traffic, and you rushed to build great fan pages. Today, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter keep altering the algorithm in a way that suits them more. With the sole aim of forcing the user to spend more time on the platform, they make it harder for you to drive traffic to your website.

Google, Facebook, and Amazon would like you to keep contributing content but would mind sending traffic to your website or app. (Unfortunately, you need to comply.)

Email offers a greater control over content, reach, deliverability, conversion and offers a higher ROI.

Is your Email List a panacea?

Certainly Not. Majority of your list will be using Gmail and Google can fix the rule of engagement.

The average email open rate is around 19%.

Your email has started landing in the promotions tab. It’s not a free ride anymore. Despite everything, email marketing is still giving the best ROI.

Your content needs to drive loyalty. Your email list needs to be refreshed regularly. You also need to maintain an above average open rate.

A loyal list will continue to drive traffic; email marketing is going to stay. As a marketer if you produce good content you can serve the majority of it on your own website and keep driving a good amount of quality traffic over a period of time.
No other channel can match the level of personalization at mass which email can offer.

Its Email Gmail Marketing

Just like your SEO is mostly about Google, so is email marketing. Don’t believe me? Check your email list now. I bet about 90% of your list members have gmail ID. This is specially true if you are a B2C company. Here is one great resource if you want to avoid spam or promotional tab of gmail

How to win with email marketing in 2020

As a marketer, you always need to be on your toes to get the best out of your email list. You need to find new ways to constantly grow email list, keep the list engaged and spam free while creating interesting content.

Steps to get started with Email Marketing

Decide your email marketing goal

You need to have a long term understanding of what success in email marketing looks like. What do you want to achieve with email marketing? Depending on the type of business you are in, your email marketing objective would differ.

For a blogger/publisher email could be a right channel to drive repeat visitors, build a fan base for their content. Email becomes a medium to accelerate ad revenue.

For an ecommerce business email marketing can be a way of driving sales and sharing exciting offers with their consumer.

For an affiliate business, email can be a source of recommending selected product to your subscribers, driving affiliate sales and growth.

For a B2B SAAS product, email can be a way to drive free trials, build thought leadership and engage their potential customer.
For an offline business email can drive store visits, reviews and engagement.

Choosing a right goal makes it easy to measure success. Here are some resources to help you choose the right email marketing goal.

Choose an email service provider

Once you have decided your email marketing goal, its time to choose a email marketing service provider. With so many options to choose from and everyone claiming to be best in what they do, it’s a difficult choice to make. Some of the criteria you can use to decide are
1. Cost – Both long term and short-term cost, some tools are initially free but costs fortune once your email list grows.

2. Email list size – its hard to predict what would be the size of your email list but you can get a rough idea. If you are operating in a B2C, D2C or an e-commerce environment, you will have a bigger size of email database, while if you are in a B2B space or a niche segment the database size will be comparatively small.

3. Deliverability – You will not be able to determine the deliverability beyond the data shared by the tool itself, but if your email service provider often hangs out with the spammers it’s a clear reg flag, you may have to face the burns of a spammy neighborhood.

4. Automation – Marketing automation is a vast field, almost all tools have limited features here and there, but automation is a strategy which requires great content, integration across landing page, websites, social, paid and other channels. To begin with check for the email sequencing and segmentation features offered by your tool.

5. Templates, on-boarding and ongoing support – A great template gallery makes your life easy. Go beyond just designs. Ask for specific life-cycle templates such for stages like cold emails, on-boarding, lead nurturing, pre-sales and post-sales.

My suggestion is keep your tool investment to minimum, start with a free trial or freemium version. Success in email marketing comes with persistence, patience and takes longer than you might have expected.

Start building an email list

This is where you will start feeling the pain and pressure. Do not start with a paid email list, it surely not going to work. If you are already in business, you must be having some customers who interact with you, start by inviting them to download your lead magnet or to subscribe to your email list.

Do not assume that you have right to spam anyone who done business with you in the past! It often backfires. You may irritate someone who is already irritated with one of your customer support reps. Here are some steps to start building email list.

  1. Give people a reason to join and stay in your email list. Create a valuable lead magnet or give away and promote strategically within your target segment, on your website.
  2. Create and optimize opt-in forms on your website and social media channels.
  3. Keep your email list engaged for a long term success.
    Here are few great resources on building and optimizing an email list.

Growing Your Email List

Growing your email list a good challenge to take as a digital marketer. It’s a classic marketing flywheel. You need to convert you existing subscribers into your fans while driving new ones to join. If your content is valuable enough, your existing subscriber base will fuel your growth, if its not able to live up to the expectations, your list will be stagnant soon enough. Here are some good resources to help you learn how to grow email list.

Segment and personalize your email

This is where real power of email lies. Segment well to personalize at scale. Segment based on data you collected about the customer.
Their interaction with your product,
Level of engagement with your content,
Information they shared with your while signing up.
Implement progressive segmentation based on engagement (This is valuable for SAAS products)

Some of the segmentation mistakes to avoid –

Do not add your customer in multiple lists.
When you are sending a similar message to multiple lists, make sure its exclusive. No one wants two emails with same content.

Improving Email Open Rates

People get too bored even with good content and consistency. Keeping a high open rate would be another good challenge to have. Google also tracks how your subscribers interact with your email, your emails will start landing in spam if high percentage of your subscribers do not open your email consistently

Great resources to learn email marketing

Email marketing tool stack

Frequently Asked Questions