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Ask a Digital Marketing Agency in Melbourne: Does Email Marketing Still Work?

2 May

Most of us receive far more emails than we want to read – or even can read. Check your email inbox right now… no doubt there are a bunch of important work and private emails fighting for your attention.

And alongside them, you probably have a sizeable spam list.

email inbox

Ah, email spam. There are few things that everybody can unanimously agree on… and email spam is one of them! Maybe it’s a Nigerian “prince” who needs your help to reclaim his throne, or a fantastic once-in-a-lifetime “investment opportunity.”

Fortunately, the majority of emails in your spam box are harmless. We’re willing to bet if you open your spam box right now, you won’t find much more than benign promotional emails.

Catalogues from your local supermarket, promotions from your chemist or newsletters from a service you may have used in the past… you get the idea.

Here’s a question: how often do you open these messages and read them?

We’re willing to bet the answer is “not very often.”

And that’s today’s burning question: if you don’t read any of the catalogues and brochures in your spam folder, why should your customers? Just how effective is sending out email newsletters and brochures anyway?

And if your EDM campaigns aren’t working out for you, what changes can you make to start getting results?

The history of email direct marketing

Marketing has existed in one form or another since antiquity – sales signs have been around ever since Egypt, and historians and archaeologists have found evidence of Roman gladiators acting as spokespeople for blacksmiths and merchants!

Direct marketing however is a much younger discipline.

A lot of that has to do with how the first modern postal services didn’t come into being until the industrial revolution. After all, it’s a lot harder to send out newsletters without a postal service!

With the establishment of national postal services however, direct marketing such as brochures, newsletters and flyers have become a staple of marketing strategies.

And when email was invented in the 1960’s and 1970’s, marketers were quick to jump to the new medium.

Why use email marketing?

While email might seem a little old-fashioned next to IM apps such as Messenger or social media platforms like Instagram, EDMs are still a very effective marketing tool.

Reach people who are already “sold” on you:

Many digital marketing agencies in Melbourne encourage their clients to use email marketing because they’ve built up an impressive mailing list over the years.

If you’re engaging in email direct marketing, a mailing list is essential – basically, you’ll need a list of all the people who’ve ever expressed an interest in their business or purchased something of yours in the past.

After all, it’s easier to sell to someone who’s expressed interest than selling to someone cold!

Emails can be targeted and personalised

Do you have a database of customers, previous clients or loyal registered users?

If so, congratulations – EDMs and catalogues might be the perfect marketing tool for you!

Sending emails out to people who are already on your database means you already have all their details – name, address, purchase history – which can be used to customise messages.

Hopefully you don’t need us to tell you that people respond better to content which is tailored to them – have you ever received an email that didn’t get your name right?

I bet it didn’t do a very good job of convincing you to purchase their product!

So if you have all this information about your customers, why not use it to make messages they’ll genuinely want to respond to?

Cheap and time-effective

Unlike performing SEO or content marketing, email direct marketing is an extremely quick process: type up your EDMs, pick out the people you want to target from your database and send!

Of course, we don’t need to tell you why you should be using email marketing – after all, if you’ve already decided to make email direct marketing a part of your marketing plan, then you already know about its benefits.

No, you want to know whether your email brochures and newsletters are working.

Why your EDMs aren’t working anymore

While not as flashy as your website or as new and exciting as your branded social media accounts, email marketing is still an essential part of any company’s digital marketing mix. And done right, it’s still very cost-effective.

If your emails aren’t giving you the ROI you’re looking for, it’s not necessarily email’s fault – there a number of other reasons why no-one’s opening your emails.

So before you disregard email marketing completely, read through this list of common reasons… who knows, it could be the case that these are what are stopping your emails from converting.

And if you’re still stuck, it might be a good idea to arrange a conversation with a digital marketing agency in Melbourne!

Changes to email clients

While email might not have changed much since the early days, email clients have.

Platforms such as Gmail and Outlook are getting better and better at separating automatically-generated emails from the stuff written by real humans every day.

What this means for your EDM campaign is that your emails are very likely to turn up in your customers’ spam box… and as a result, customers are much less likely to see your emails.

You’re off-target

One of the biggest strengths of EDMs are that you can target specific customers.

Like we mentioned before, this is where email’s greatest strength comes from – and without databases of all your customers, it wouldn’t be possible.

But what if your databases aren’t up-to-date… or worse, are flat-out wrong?

One common mistake that we see many first-time digital marketers make is purchasing mailing lists from third-party sources to get started.

Needless to say, this is a very bad idea.

Without a doubt the most potent advantage of using databases is that they allow you to target the right people.

Buying a third-party database leaves offers no guarantee you’ll be reaching your intended target market – or even if your recipients are even faintly interested!

While it does take time, building a good database with your actual customers is the best way to ensure the accuracy of your databases.

Of course, even then it’s important to make measures to keep your customers’ details up-to-date. People change email addresses.

Other times, they may have made a typo.

Some people might not feel comfortable putting down their real email and might have made something up. Whatever the reason, your emails aren’t being read.

If you notice a low open-rate or worse, lots of your emails bouncing, then it might be time to look at your databases.

Your email content simply isn’t very interesting

Sometimes the problem can be traced back to inaccurate email databases. Other times, it can be blamed on changes to email clients.

Sometimes however, the only person you have to blame for your emails not converting is yourself.

The key to any conversion is making your content, pitch or selling point valuable is relevance.

Does the recipient care about what they’re seeing?

Does it matter to them?

Is it relevant to their interests?

Is it interesting?

If you can’t confidently answer yes to those questions, then it might be time to go back to the drawing board.

Because while you might be able to target your emails to incredible precision, or personalise the content, if your emails simply aren’t very interesting to your recipients, you’re not going to get much of a response.

If you want your emails to be clicked on, here’s a couple things to focus on:

What do your customers want?

Obviously, they want your product or service.

But what aspect of it?

It helps to home in on the part of your product that is most relevant to your customers – is it the unique features, the benefit, the price or none of those three?

Format properly

Did you know that 67.2% of people check their emails on their smartphones?

It’s not hard to imagine why – and it’s also not hard to imagine why some recipients may be turned off by formatting that isn’t mobile-friendly.

Even with plain text emails, it’s important to consider the limitations of a mobile screen and work around them.

Personalise your message

Not every person is the same, and that applies to your customer base.

Different customers want different things, and your emails should reflect that.

Of course, we’re not suggesting you type out each one manually – whenever possible however, try segment your recipients into different groups based on the products they buy, how much the generally pay or even their demographics.

Finally, write a compelling email

It might seem obvious, but it can’t be overlooked!

email marketing

So what should you do?

Despite all the doom and gloom, email is still very much worth investing in.

In 2017, there was an average of 269 billion emails sent. Furthermore, they’re cost-effective – you can conduct EDM campaigns completely in-house!

While old, email isn’t going anywhere. Many people still check theirs daily, whether for bills, work-related messages or online subscriptions.

The only question is how exactly you need to conduct your campaigns to get the most out of them. Fortunately, we’ve put together a handful of useful suggestions:

Segment your mailing list

No two customers are identical.

While they both might be interested in your brand and product, that might be the only thing they have in common – they might be completely different ages, have different interests and even buying histories!

If you want your EDMs to be truly effective, you can’t settle for sending the same email out to everybody on your mailing list. Instead, if you have the information, personalise everything you send out.

Fortunately, most email marketing services and clients allow you to divide your email list for targeted content.

Additionally, most also come with the ability to customise content, even when sending out bulk messages.

After all, you have all this information about the people on your mailing list… why not use it?

Be consistent

We’ve all been there – we’re trying something new and it doesn’t quite work out, so we resolve to never

Like with many things, the key to success is consistency. After all, no athlete ever made it to the Olympics by only going to the gym once a month, for example!

And when it comes to your email marketing, the same rule applies.

Digital marketing in general is all about maintaining consistency.

In our experience at iformat, effective digital marketing is about putting together good strategies and quality content and then sticking with it, even when

If you gave up your email marketing after a couple of short weeks because it “wasn’t doing anything for you” then we have bad news:

On top of sending out EDMs regularly, think about creating a schedule for your email marketing

Bring it all together…

Who doesn’t love social media?

With the ability to instantly reach out to and interact with your customers and supporters, is it any wonder that social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are proving such big hits with digital marketers?

The power of social media to build rapport between you and your customers – not to mention, generate revenue – cannot be overstated.

The end of email marketing?

Despite its problems, when executed properly, email direct marketing can still be an extremely cost-effective tool for your business.

Make no mistake, email direct marketing is here to stay.

Of course, to get the most out of your digital marketing efforts, relying on email alone simply might not cut it – you need a comprehensive mix of different strategies and channels.

iformat is a digital marketing agency in Melbourne that offers a range of digital services to enhance your EDM campaigns including search engine optimisation, website design, content marketing, social media… the list goes on and on!

If you need help getting started on a comprehensive digital strategy that helps your business grow, get in touch with us on 1300 88 64 50 or use this contact form here.