A decade or so ago, some people predicted the death of email marketing. But like so many other things, email marketing's "death" was greatly exaggerated.
One of the main reasons email didn't die is because of the the rise of mobile devices. Think about it. We're connected to our smartphones almost 24/7 (raise your hand if you sleep with yours!), which means we're connected to email.
Bottom line: if you're in business, you can't ignore the power of email or, more specifically, email's important role in your marketing efforts. The key is making your email marketing as effective as possible.
What is Effective Email Marketing?
1. Effective email marketing is permission based. This means people have given their explicit permission to be added to your database. Buying email lists isn't an effective email marketing strategy since those people have NOT given permission.
2. Effective email marketing has purpose. Every email you send should have a specific purpose. Examples of purpose include education, offers, or even specific "asks," where you ask for the sale. Sending an email simply to send it is not an example of purpose.
3. Effective email marketing is targeted. Not everyone in your database should receive the same message. Why? Well, because your database is likely filled with many different types of people--customers and prospects. Within the prospects list, people will be in different stages of the buying journey. Some people might be doing initial research. Others might be poised to buy. Even your customers can be segmented into different lists (e.g. VIPs, new customers, etc.).
4. Effective email marketing follows best practices when it comes to design and copy. Copy should be clear, clean, and error-free. The design should support the copy and enhance the reading experience.
5. Effective email marketing should be optimized for mobile devices. The biggest mistake we see companies make is that they overlook the stats we stated at the beginning of this article: more and more people are reading their emails on mobile devices. Therefore, your emails MUST be readable on smartphones and the like.
6. Effective email marketing is a process. You'll never be "done" with email marketing. There will always be new people entering your pipeline. And once leads turn into customers, your email marketing won't end; it will adapt to the customers' journey and meet their specific needs.
7. Effective email marketing should evolve from conversations between sales and marketing. Email marketing should never be done in a vacuum. Sales and marketing teams should come together to discuss the different people in the database, the different purposes, the different goals, and so forth. (Hint: here's why having solid buyer personas can help.)
8. Effective email marketing can be challenging for one person to do. Often, it takes a village to make email marketing work. Think marketing teams, sales teams, and (often) some outside support that can help ensure the emails are set up properly from a mechanics perspective, but also design and copy.