Pundits have unanimously predicted that the popularity of email marketing will further soar in the coming years. 2019 has almost come to an end and we saw emails on mobile, personalization and AI (Artificial Intelligence) topping the marketing trends.
Digital Marketing expert Dharaneetharan GD feels that the key is to stick to the basics while being aware of the changes in the trends and smartly incorporating the two to execute effective campaigns.
He is the Director of Social Eagle, a digital marketing agency based in Chennai. Social Eagle handles over 80 clients that include Azus, Haagen Dazs, Ricola, Singapore Management University, Loyola College, Naturals salon and more.
Dharaneetharan sat down with us for our Expert diaries series to answer some of the most common email marketing questions asked to marketers.
“Why should I use email marketing?” is a common question for digital marketers. “Oftentimes, people underestimate the power of email,” says Dharaneetharan.
He goes on to explain that even though email is a traditional form of digital communication, email marketing continues to be the most effective way to advertise your business. In fact, the ROI for email marketing is $44 for every $1 spent—that’s higher than Facebook.
1. How can businesses — including digital marketing agencies use email marketing to their advantage?
To start with, email marketing is relatively easy, quick and inexpensive. While newsletters are the most popular form of email marketing, there are many ways for businesses to reach their target audience. After collecting the email addresses of their existing and potential customers, businesses can send them special promotions, holiday emails, sale coupons, new arrival notifications and so on. Consistent communication will help businesses develop a personal relationship with their clients.
For digital marketers, email has many uses. For instance, we can send out research material about social media trends that can make us come across as thought leaders. Furthermore, many digital marketing influencers use email marketing tools to promote and conduct online courses. Agencies can also use tools to conduct surveys to understand social media trends.
2. How do you encourage your clients to invest in email marketing?
As a digital marketing agency, we run simultaneous promotional campaigns on platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp, in addition to SMS and email marketing.
People often assume that a social media channel like Facebook is more viable, but that’s far from the truth. You might collect customer data like email addresses and phone numbers on Facebook, but it all falls under one segment. Email marketing, on the other hand, allows you to give each group of customers the right offer. This way, it comes across as a one-on-one personal conversation with your customer. This is largely impossible on social media platforms.
3. What are the features that marketers look for when choosing an email marketing tool?
First of all, we always look for a user-friendly tool that allows us to send more emails with less restrictions. A good email marketing tool should be able to send 5,000 – 10,000 emails at a time. We also look for tools that allow autoresponders for email customization. Most importantly, a tool must allow us to embed images and videos.
4. How much time does a brand or business need to spend on email marketing?
Again, email marketing is part of a larger digital media plan. Preparing content and images takes us a couple of hours, and sending emails through a campaign only takes a day. A brand can easily do four campaigns every month.
5. Is there a guideline that one must follow when sending out newsletters?
I follow three basic rules: First, keep the content crisp and clear. People have hundreds of reasons to be distracted online. Keeping your newsletter to the point means that your content is more likely to register in the minds of your subscribers.
Second, keep your emails visually appealing and play with the color theme of the brand. A lot of science goes into choosing the colors of the brand, so stick to that.
Third, always have a call-to-action button. If anyone is interested in what you have to sell or say, they should immediately be redirected to your website or landing page.
6. Can you give us examples of brands that effectively use email marketing.
I enjoy emails from Success Resources. They’re leading global providers of educational resources, seminars, and workshops. Both Jack Canfield—a self-help book author and motivational speaker—and Brian Tracy—a life coach and motivational speaker—have used email marketing to build a personal brand.
7. What are the challenges of email marketing?
First, we have to educate people about email marketing because they’re unaware of its advantages. Second, we need to ensure that people read marketing emails. They often land in folders other than inboxes and we still haven’t figured out a way to get around that.
Finally, clients sometimes expect us to send mail campaigns almost every day; however, that doesn’t work. There’s no hard-and-fast rule about how many email campaigns to send, but the number solely depends on the brand and the services they provide. As a digital marketing agency, we need to figure that out.
In this fast moving world, change is inevitable and this expert feels that the only way to move forward is to observe and learn.