email_enhanceThere is a common misconception that email marketing is part of a dying breed. The advent of spam mail has further entrenched mistrust in the general emailing population.

Those in the know have even created the term “email fatigue”, which basically depicts a user who ignores a large number of email messages due to having fallen behind in reading and answering them. The most common reason for falling behind is often due to information overload.

These are some of the facts:

 

Spam Facts

  • 60 billion emails are sent daily

  • 90% of all email is spam

  • 64% of spam servers are in Taiwan, 23% are in the US

User Facts

  • The average business user receives 25 email messages per day; increasing 10% per year

  • The average business user spends 2.6 hours per day reading and responding to email

  • 38% of employees have sent an email without the required attachment

  • 34.1% of users open an email by 5 pm

  • It takes 77 minutes a week for an employee to manage their mailbox, such as cleaning out old messages and filing old messages or attachments

  • It takes 27 minutes for a user to delete or archive enough messages in order to be able to use the email system again after hitting a “quota limit”

  • It takes 8.2 minutes for a user to find an email that is older than two weeks

Email Marketing Facts

  • Email click through ratio is best on Wednesdays, reaching 3.9%

  • 60% of business correspondence has grammar or spelling errors

¹Facts Source: Justin Hartman – MD and Co-founder of Afrigator

Email can be an effective marketing tool, it is important, however, to use it correctly.

Decide on what you want to accomplish:

  • Raise media visibility

  • Create a buzz

  • Increase business from your existing clients

  • Increase registration to events

Implement strategies to keep your email current and effective:

  1. Think Long Term. Keep in mind that you need the reader to want to continue receiving your emails. The unsubscribe button is an easy out for your reader! Offer something that is not only valuable or useful right now, but also a year from now. Perhaps consider a series or topical messages or seasonal information.

  2. Give To Receive. Consider very carefully what you can offer your reader that is of value to him / her. A company newsletter with a fancy graphic is not a give at all. Provide usable information. Perhaps put yourself in the shoes of your reader and consider first if this is information you would find useful or interesting yourself. Intrigue your reader in such a way that he / she will want to see what you’ve got coming next. If your newsletter is relevant, a good percentage of your subscribers will read at least one out of every four you send. Be patient and persistent because a well-managed regular email campaign will definitely produce results for your company.

  3. Create a Connection. Emails often come from a corporate email address like info@ or sales@ and your reader can’t be expected to feel a connection to Mr. Info@. Send a message from your Company Spokesperson, be it your CEO or Sales Manager etc. Make your email more personal by signing your email with a name and make sure the email address matches. Your readers will be more likely to respond to an email if they feel there is a real person sending it and reading the responses.

These are some dos and don’ts:

Avoid Unsolicited Mail. Make sure you don’t send mail to readers who have not asked for it. Don’t be tempted to buy email databases and then inundate them with emails. Rather build your own list of colleagues and friends and grow it from there.

Provide an Opt-In Option. This ensures that people joining your database do so willingly by clicking on a link sent via email to them.

Provide an Unsubscribe Option. We mentioned the peril behind this feature earlier, but it is important to provide your readers with the ability to remove their details from your mailing list. Traditionally in mail management systems this happens without your knowledge and ensures the list manager doesn’t simply re-subscribe your reader.

Keep it Brief. Resist the urge to send large emails to your database without their permission. The general standard in bulk mailing is to keep your newsletter or announcement to under 100kbs.

Utilise Your Email Signature. Create a link to your website in your email signature. By placing ‘http://’ ahead of your web address e.g. http://www.cltsolutions.co.za, you create a live link to your website. The real benefit in this is when you are simply sending out questions to people online, or responding to theirs, this signature will show up every time.

Why wait?

The time for your firm to invest in email marketing is now! The current economic climate has everyone scrambling to cut costs. A recent MarketingSherpa study shows that reducing email marketing during this period would be detrimental.

The gist of the recent study is that organizations who view email marketing as a tool to build and nurture long term relationships with existing clients and customers are finding that, even during lean economic times, the return on investment from email marketing continues to increase. This is measured by higher clickthrough, open and conversion rates.

“Modest investments in testing, best practices, measurement and, most importantly, providing relevant content will generate powerful ROI [from email marketing] – especially in a time when selling to existing customers will be a key to survival.” – MarketingSherpa

In essence:

Email marketing it is still one of the most powerful, cost effective communications and marketing tools there is for businesses to use. According to annual studies by the Direct Marketing Association, email still delivers the top return of ANY marketing medium.

Give special attention to the elements listed above. If your effort falls short in any one of these areas, you can expect a poor response.

Contributed by:
Candice Turnbull
candice@cltsolutions.co.za
031 207 1532

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