Email marketing – best practice

Once the dust settles and the UK’s exit from the European Union has officially kicked into effect, businesses will be required to find more creative ways to manage their customer relationships. This may relate to retaining existing customers or creating new business but regardless of which avenue is pursued customer service will be the key.

Progressive businesses are already placing extra emphasis on improving communications and adding value to customer interactions. Social media in the meantime has continued to become increasingly important, but email is still by far the most preferred communication channel with approximately 4 billion email accounts worldwide (increasing by 6% every year) and 75 trillion emails sent per annum.

With the mobile revolution that has swept through the world in recent times, it is clear that we are now engaging with a wider range of digital communications technologies more than ever before. As fiber-optics evolved and reliable high-speed global networks became commonplace businesses began utilising digital telephony, social platforms and video conferencing as key tools in the day to day running of the organisation.

Email has simultaneously prospered thanks to this “world wide web” with a massive increase in usage – Even inspiring research, aiding selection and substantiating decision making.

Marketeers nowadays are spoilt for choice when it comes the range of communication channels they have at their disposal, and the list is ever growing. The decision regarding which channels to explore is dependent upon the target audience, the nature of our relationships, our business culture and the expected effectiveness of the resources at hand.

Instead of completely discarding certain technologies and only sticking to a select few, the ‘smart marketer’ will approach each new task or campaign with an open mind and choose to use channels that complement each other.

For example there is a perception that more traditional communication tools such as direct mail and telemarketing are more effective and drive more revenue. While this could possibly be the case it is undoubtedly more expensive. In a case such as this a good tactic to employ may be to pre-qualify telemarketing targets and direct mail lists by sending out an eMarketing campaign. Thereafter using the powerful analytics you may choose to direct your attention to the people who engaged with your email in some shape or form by opening it and or clicking on any links. This process would form part of the prequalification process.

A business may intend to be more active on social media but just not have the social infrastructure in place. Simple social sharing buttons on emails make it effortless for a business’ email content to be shared by their recipients through their own social channels. For example a business without a Twitter or Facebook account can still take full advantage of the viral power of these two channels through the use of modern email marketing tools.

At present, email is King, and doesn’t look like it’ll be dethroned any time soon. A big challenge that must be overcome however, is that a lot of the emails that are sent around currently are ‘spammy’ and sometimes intrusive in nature. These come in the form of sales and newsletter emails, which recipients often send straight to the recycling bin without even bothering to open as well as unwarranted, involuntary spam!

The key to being heard in a sea of noisy spam is to create carefully planned and valuable messages that are targeted towards an appropriate community of recipients. The emails should be correctly personalised and be relevant with a genuine, achievable outcome that will satisfy both the sending and receiving party.

In addition to this, an understanding of the behaviours of the audience marketers wish to engage with should be taken into account. What devices and emails clients do they use? How do they manage their email? Which means of response mechanisms are they more likely to be comfortable with? Furthermore there should be a focus on analysis and reporting post-campaign in order to direct future broadcasts and give them the best opportunity for success.

There certainly are many things to be considered. The wide range of low cost (or free in some cases) easy to use email marketing tools that SMEs have at their disposal, means that well planned and thoroughly thought out strategies can help any business to improve the nature of their customer relationships.

In conclusion critical to email marketing success is understanding, planning and measurement. Anyone who employs eMarketing should understand the technological landscape, whilst simultaneously appreciating the psychological responses of recipients. Objectives must be clearly identified and strategies to achieve them put in place followed by decipherable metrics. It may sound complicated but it really isn’t. With a bit of time and effort, outstanding results are within reach.

At Solutions for Accounting we offer technical training and best practice services to help you make the most of email marketing. Transform your customer relationships for the better today!

Contact us on 0115 840 5075 or email