Email is considered to be a system for sending messages from one individual to another via telecommunications links between computers or terminals using dedicated software. In terms of marketers using email, it is considered to be a way to reach consumers directly. For example direct email marketing reaches those interested in your business’ area of expertise which reduces the need for Spam to be sent.
An Explanation of Techniques Associated With Email:
Personalise Email Without Using Names
Research done by Fox School of Business (2016) has shown that receivers of email have become more wary of fraud, identity theft. For example the discount website, Groupon, does not personalise their emails with the recipients name but targets them instead by their location to show the customer’s nearest deals. Although this may help make the emails more credible it also removes some of the personalisation aspect of emails.
Research done by Adestra (No date) found that emails with subject lines of less then ten characters had an open rate of 58%. This has also been proven in Barack Obamas 2008 election campaign which featured subject lines of ‘Hey’ and ‘Wow’. From this, the majority of $690 million raised for the campaign came from such emails. This demonstrates the crucial need to having a quick short subject lines in order to entice the audience.
Experian Marketing Services stated that although there was not a specific rule on what is considered to be the optimum time to send emails, it was found that the best opening rate was between 8pm to midnight. As well as weekends also preforming better then weekdays.
Econsultancy also noted that there is a difference between top click hours and top open hours. Top clicks hours are between 8.00-9.00 AM and 3.00-8.00 PM which means that email receivers are more likely to follow through to the website from the email. However, opening hours infer that the consumer is simply just opening the email and not specifically engaging with the email’s content. It was also found that the top timings for opening emails are 8.00-9.00 AM and 3.00-4.00 PM.
Give Something Away
Blue Wire Media tested various types of email and found that giveaways were a clear winner in terms of consumer engagement. This is proven in the company Incentivibe who increased their email subscriptions by 200% just by doing a giveaways.
Ensure it is Optimised For Mobile Devices
With the ever growing popularity of smartphones the need to have mobile optimisation is crucial. Experian’s “Quarterly EMAIL benchmark report” found that 53% of all email openings occurred on a tablet or smartphone. With such a statistic, many companies are starting to transition to creating email content that is accessible for such consumer needs.
Why Choose Email?
E-mail is considered to be a very strategic method of digital marketing. Research conducted by Chaffey (2012) found that email had a significant number of benefits over other sorts marketing communications. A good example of this, is that email has a higher response rate than direct mail. A massive contributor to the increase in response is the fact that emails are increasingly being mobile optimised therefore people can read and react and respond to the information on the go, something previously mentioned before.
Another valid reason as to why email is such a highly regarded method of marketing by companies is due to its extremely low cost. It costs only 0.1 pence to send an email which is obviously extremely low for a company. Therefore, email is considered to be a channel for mass mail, whereby there is a large scope for engagement between the consumer and the company/business which obviously helps to build a strong relationship between the two.
As email is so cheap and relatively simple to create structurally, this means there are more options for keeping it more up to date and fresh for the consumer by sending one or two emails a week. Likewise, as it is a cheap method it also means that there is more option for creative scope. On the other hand, mobile applications are expensive to create and updates occur intermittently which means that it is hard for apps to realistically compete with the marketing that email can offer.
Finally, email is a highly precise method of communication and can be measured in a highly sophisticated way. One aspect of email marketing that is really useful for marketers is the way that the ‘click through rate’ from the ‘call to action’ of the email can be monitored and measured. This helpful aid allows companies and marketing departments to see who’s interacted with the email and followed through and been tempted by the call to action.
Asos – A Casestudy
An example of a company who uses email to the best of their ability is Asos. They do this by regularly updating customers on what is new and trending in the world of fashion but perhaps more specific that engages customers are the subject lines which focus almost exclusively of offers and discounts. This again links to Blue Wire Media on ways that companies can their increase sales.
Shown below is an email sent from Asos to their mailing list which is offering a 30% discount with a specific code. Also included is a voucher points system which acts as an incentive for customers to keep buying products from Asos as when a certain level of points are reached more reductions can be made such as free delivery. The addition of including deals and discounts in the email has lead to an overall increase in Asos’ sales as a mass market are tempted by their discounts.
Critique of Email Marketing
Email marketing presents many advantages to achieve a company’s goal of generating sales. However, drawbacks also occur when attention to detail is not prioritized.
The content of an email is key as when it is delivered to the consumers inbox it is imperative that it is relevant to its target audience so that interest is not lost. Ensuring a well written and attractive email where the receiver is not overloaded with information is vital. The receiver may have only signed up for the email as part of a promotional offer but marketers can now use this to their own advantage through stimulating appropriate content, as they have potentially gained a new customer.
The wording of the subject line has significant importance as it is the first thing you see before opening the email. An interesting subject can be the deciding point of a customer’s decision to open and purchase or delete and unsubscribe.
Huge amounts of time and money are spent by companies to perfect their desired design and layout. Although, as many receiver’s will open the email through different devices, the format may be altered and look differently to the intended look. This can devalue the message, making the email pointless. Images may be lost or wrongly placed, and so appropriate coding should be used to keep customers attracted. In addition, mistakes such as spelling, grammar and irrelevant above the fold content, all need to be perfected within the email design.
The main cause for unsubscribing is the frequency of emails sent. An overload in emails will not encourage a receiver to stay subscribed as it may become frustrating. However, integrating email with different forms of media, such as through social media like Facebook and Twitter, means that the customer’s inbox is not flooded with emails and interest is overall maintained.
Using findings from various sources it can be concluded that email is the best way for marketers to promote their work as it is a platform that reaches a large audience in a short amount of time. By utilising findings from Econsultancy, marketeers can use send times to their advantage and choose slots which should bring the most successful outcomes in terms of sales. Likewise, if a short, clever subject line is included this again should engage further with the receiver and promote a higher click through rate to the webpage.
Even though there are many negatives towards email as a marketing platform, it can be regarded as one of the most appropriate as it is a mass mail platform with a personal touch as it is sent straight to the receivers inbox.
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