Email continues to adapt, even as some continue to disregard its long-term success. As the purchase process of customers has evolved, marketers and email software programs are evolving to meet their needs. B2B businesses are becoming more reliant on email as a means of generating content marketing leads and, according to a recent study, content is what feeds the flame of success. According to BtoB's "Email Marketing: An Established Channel Evolves," 47% of marketers said improving their email programs is dependent on increasing their ability to deliver content relevant to specific segments of their audiences (Tweet this stat!). This post takes a look at what modern marketers think about their email efforts and provides tips on how you can be more successful with your own email campaigns.
Re-Inventing the Wheel
Email marketing strategists continue to reinvent their email campaigns as consumer behaviors change. Targeting, triggering, and the content within an email are all changing as marketers dig deeper into their metrics and analytics to see which emails yield the greatest click-throughs. While the ability to improve campaigns is heavily dependent on more targeted segmentations, other campaign needs marketers cited are:
- Improved lead nurturing (43%)
- Improved list segmentation (30%)
- Increased personalization (25%)
- Better data analysis (24%). Marketers said they are increasing the frequency of e-newsletter production, investing in video and multimedia content and creating tailored messages based on these types of content.
The BtoB study also took a look at the greatest email challenges. Leading the list again was content, according to 58% of respondents, followed by difficulties in measuring ROI (40%), concerns over deliverability (34%) and problems with expanding opt-in lists (30%).
Triggered emails are becoming more common as businesses look for ways to increase their marketing automation. Form registration for pieces of content, such as white papers, requests for product demos and website browsing behavior are just a few of the actions that often trigger emails. Integrating your email campaigns with your website analytics is just one way to get started with multi-channel integration.
According to BtoB's survey respondents, social sharing is a tactic that helps improve email marketing campaigns. 54% indicated social sharing via email increases brand reputation and awareness (Tweet this stat!), and 24% said the tactic extends the reach of email content to new markets. Social sharing via email can also increase email ROI, accelerate the growth of email lists and help your marketing team generate more qualified leads. At the very least, you could gather additional data about your current subscribers.
3 Steps to Your Own Email Evolution
If your email marketing strategy has gone stale, the flame has fizzled or you simply want to improve on the strategy you already have in place, here are 3 steps you can take to
- Consolidate your email databases. Having a single email database will allow you to better manage email frequency and will provide you with the opportunity for greater data-driven insight into your audience segmentation.
- Develop a mobile strategy. From content to design, you'll need to consider your mobile user base and determine whether or not your landing pages and email are touch interface friendly. Having a single-column format for your email messages will make email viewing much easier for mobile users.
- Prioritize your campaign needs. If your business has determined that segmentation is the biggest hindrance to your current success, focus on segmentation first. In business, it's all about priorities, so focus on making one aspect of your campaign better and then move on to the next. Don't try juggling it all at once.
As with nearly aspect of your marketing efforts, measuring your results is a must. While click-through rates and open rates are great indicators of how well your campaigns are performing, make sure you also pay attention to social attention and conversations garnered by your email messages. Use the data your business has available to create the content your customers want, distribute it with the right frequency and triggering, and continue to focus on your needs one-by-one to take your email efforts from a puff of smoke to a roaring fire.