By Michael Foster.
Some marketers will tell you email marketing is dead. In an age of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and WhatsApp, people just don’t use email that much anymore, and since the eyeballs are gone, email doesn’t work like it used to.
Email consumption may be down, but people still use email for serious business more than any other online medium. Anyone with a job can confirm that most business is discussed through email — and seldom any other way, with the possible exception of Slack if you’re a telecommuter.
So with email still the king of business correspondence, email is also a place where people go looking for serious, reliable information. Thus email marketing campaigns still work, too, as a lot of people use email to find trusted information for commerce. If you’re looking for financial advice or a good deal on shoes, you’re still more likely to take a pitch seriously if it shows up in your inbox than if it shows up in your Facebook feed.
That’s great for email marketers, but how can they harness this intention-based behavior without being seen as spammers who are immediately ignored?
To make email work, you need to understand how your target audience is thinking when they view their inbox. You also need to understand how this thought process changes during the day. When you check email in the morning, you’re not thinking in the same way as you are when you check your email at home after work. How is this relevant to marketers? How is it relevant to your marketing campaign? Is there a reason your audience will be more responsive at a certain time of day?
Likewise, framing your pitch is crucial. You can win or lose customers in just the first few words of a subject line—something that your potential customer base is substantially more likely to read than the headline of a Facebook post or the characters in a Tweet. This opportunity is great news for email marketers, but it’s also a tremendous creative challenge. Is there data on what email subjects work, and is there a guideline for what approaches to take when writing your email subjects?
Fortunately, the answer to these questions is “yes.” Email marketing is one of the oldest digital marketing practices out there, and while email has changed over the decades, its basic use case hasn’t changed much. This relative stability means that email marketers have a phenomenal amount of data and experience to establish best practices for email campaigns — and knowing these best practices will help you get an edge in your own email campaigns.
At this year’s LeadsCon, Wilde Agency’s Chief Creative Officer Nancy Harhut will lead an intense 25-minute session on the topic, full of examples of email campaigns that were effective. Harhut will go over what made these campaigns successful by addressing both consumer behavior and the inherent nature of the email medium to improve results.
Click here to register for LeadsCon New York 2016.