Entrepreneur - - By Charles Costa

The Myths of Email Marketing

Are you currently using email marketing campaigns to promote your business? If not, is it because you feel that email campaigns are irrelevant for your business? If you are using email campaigns, are you sure that your campaigns are as effective as possible? As with many other things in life, the field of marketing is filled with rumors and anecdotes which sound great but in reality can harm your company.

Fortunately, the examples listed below will help you significantly improve your email marketing strategies. While this article is focused on common myths of email marketing, another SitePoint article provides additional insights on email marketing best practices.

Myth: There Is a Best Time to Send Emails

While marketing experts often recommend researching the best times to post content on your business’s social media accounts, email is a little more flexible. Social media posts need to be timed because social streams are fairly dynamic and it’s impossible for most people to automatically see every post within their network.
Email on the other hand doesn’t need to be timed because customers aren’t waiting specifically for your messages. In fact, data from AlchemyWorx shows 85% of emails are opened within two days of being sent however only 21% of conversions happen within two days of the email being sent.

Myth: There Is a Correct Frequency for Marketing Emails

When it comes to creating an email strategy, figuring out how many emails to send to your customers can be a challenge because in many cases you don’t want to flood your customers’ inboxes, but on the other hand, you still want them to be familiar with your brand. As long as you are adding value to your customers you can get away with sending frequent emails. The best way to figure out the right number of emails to send is to have multiple frequency tiers, and to know the exact purpose of your messages.

If you’ve ever signed up for an account on a major website, chances are that you’ve seen multiple subscribe options on the signup form. By offering multiple subscription options to your customers, you can develop different loyalty tiers and tailor your content to different audiences.

As a bare minimum, you should be sending out emails once a month so that your brand remains familiar to customers. In general however, you’re best capping your email blasts to once a week as you don’t want to overwhelm your recipients. Additionally, you shouldn’t create filler content just to make your emails more frequent. The best way to minimize unsubscribers is to ensure all your material adds value to the reader. If something doesn’t, then leave it out.

Myth: Everyone Should Receive the Same Email

Going back to my point about different tiers of email frequency, when you are sending out emails, although opt-in forms allow your customer to immediately decide how often to be contacted, there are other cases where this isn’t possible. If you run an eCommerce site for example, figuring out how often to contact a customer after a sale can be a challenge.

Fortunately, the solution to this is simple. By using automation, A/B testing, and segmentation to make sense of your traffic and optimize the content sent out to your customers. For example, if a customer purchases clothing from your site, you could send them follow-up emails about clothing sales. If they purchase electronics, then send them alerts about new products in that space.

Taking this concept a step further, by analysing your email activity logs, you can spot your most loyal readers and tailor additional exclusive content to them.

Myth: Newsletters Must Be Short and Sweet

Although most marketing material needs to be concise to keep the reader’s attention, newsletters should be used to help build a long term relationship with the reader. You should start your newsletters with a call-to-action to encourage conversions, but aside from that you should have additional useful information to keep them subscribed.

You can even repurpose content for your newsletters if you’re short on time and need material to send out. Check your archives and look for well-performing content from a few months back. While you should still tweak the content a bit, in general you don’t need to reinvent the wheel with your material.

Conclusion

The one common thread of email marketing is that you should treat this medium as a method for building a long term relationship with your audience, rather than for trying to make a one-off sale. As with most things in business, what works for one company isn’t necessarily going to work for another. This is why you need to conduct ongoing tests of your email campaigns to ensure that they are actually serving their purpose.

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