Is email marketing still effective? With so much of hype surrounding social media, email marketing looks passé. This article tries to explore whether email marketing is still effective, and some of the best practices in email marketing.
In 2011, average return on investment for email marketing was $43.52 for every dollar spent.
Research indicates that more than 50% of consumers make purchases as a direct outcome of email. It also drives more ROI than any other channel including social media and PPC advertising.
More than 90% of consumers go online everyday to send and receive emails.
Internet users in the US engage with 11.8 brands via email compared to 7.9 brands through twitter and 9.4 brands through Facebook.
42% of consumers said they preferred receiving promotional emails.
What do these statistics mean to the marketer?
Email marketing is still the best form of online marketing. It still produces the best return on investment. Of course, these numbers will vary depending on the best practices, and the tact and skill of the marketer. The best practices listed below will serve marketers who are looking to set-up or improve the email marketing systems in their company.
Now, the best practices
Best Practice #1: Permission based – double opt-in
Email marketing has to be permission based. What does this mean? Subscribers to your email list should have specifically asked you to add their contact details to your database. This could be done by either a double opt-in form on your website, or if you are collecting information offline you may have to specifically ask them to check a box on the form that clearly gives you permission to add them to your mailing list. There are several online softwares like aweber, icontact, constant contact and mail chimp that can help you set-up a web-based form to collect subscriber information.
Best Practice #2: Option to Opt-out
It must be easy for subscribers to opt-out of your mailing list. Good email marketers usually have an unsubscribe link at the bottom of their emails or at a prominent location that makes it easy for subscribers to unsubscribe to your mailing list.
Best Practice #3: Clarity of permission
When subscribers opt-in, they need to be told what information they will be receiving. Is it going to be special offers, information, articles or promotional emails? When subscribers are opting into your mailing list, they are giving you permission for something specific. For example, someone opting into a business newsletter does not expect to get information about women’s skirts. So, be clear about what information the subscriber will be receiving.
Best Practice #4: The sender and the subject
Subscribers need to know who they are going to be receiving information from. The sender information has to be clear and accurate. The subject line should not be deceptive. The email has to be related to the topic in the subject line.
Best Practice #5: Scheduling Frequency
The scheduling frequency needs to be consistent. If you send an email every Friday, then continue sending an email every Friday. You may break this pattern once in a while, but for the most part try to be consistent.
Best Practice #6: Mention if your message is an advertisement
A lot of email subscribers do not mind receiving an advertisement, but they need to be told that it is an advertisement. So, do not try to deceive an advertisement as educational content. A lot of companies try to deceive sales letters as educational content.
Best Practice #7: Follow CAN-SPAM and other laws
CAN-SPAM relates to both email and other electronic messages. To know more about CAN-SPAM, visit http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus61-can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business
About the Author
Vinil Ramdev is a Business Writer, Entrepreneur and Marketer. He is also an author of several ebooks on business and entrepreneurship. His latest ebook “Simple Ways To Build An Authority Blog” is now available for immediate download at http://goo.gl/rSVFG for just $2.99