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Category - Email Marketing

Email Marketing is not dead

Why Email Marketing Runs Rings Around Social Media

Just like the fashion trends, marketers tend to change their mind about email marketing, particularly when it’s compared to social media.
It’s a case of: RIP email marketing. Wait, it’s alive! No, it’s actually dead. Hold your horses, it is ALIVE! What’s going on?
As a team that works with email marketing every day, we believe quality engagement and sales leads can still be generated through email. As long as it’s done well, of course.
I know what you’re thinking, how dare I turn my nose up at social media; it’s the way of the future, it’s going to solve world hunger and have your babies! It will wake you up with a skinny latte every morning.
Don’t get me wrong; social media can be an important part of your marketing if it makes sense for your business. But don’t put it ahead of email marketing.
Where’s the Proof?
You want evidence that email marketing is the digital performance king? Here are a few figures:

Email marketing acquired 40 times more customers than Facebook and Twitter combined (McKinsey).
72% people prefer to receive promotional content through email, compared to 17% who prefer social media (Marketing Sherpa).
Email marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel, including search and social (Monetate).
For every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI (Campaign Monitor).

More Numbers
Picture a full cup of rice as the number of emails sent out every day. In comparison, daily posts on Facebook and Twitter would be just ten miserable grains. That’s because email has almost three times as many user accounts than all social media channels combined (MailMunch). That’s 2.9 billion emails all up.
In the same breath, every single web search made on every search engine every single day is just 1/100th of daily email traffic.
Too many marketers are too busy chasing the latest Google algorithms and keyword magic bullets that they’ve neglected their email marketing strategy.
Quality Over Quantity
You’ve now seen email’s reach and the amount of traffic it has compared to social media platforms. If you’re thinking traffic doesn’t mean much and a small quantity of well-targeted marketing aimed at quality traffic will nail larger amounts than a couple of hundred shotgun pellets sprayed at random; you’re right. That is precisely why email trumps social media for quality and quantity.
MailMunch compared the performance of email and social media marketing in an interesting way. Let’s assume you have 2,000 people on an email database, 2,000 Facebook fans and 2,000 followers on Twitter. Based on industry averages, this is the exposure/engagement your target market would have with your messages:

435 people will open your email
120 of your Facebook fans will see your update
40 Twitter followers will see your tweet

But it gets worse. Here are the average click rates by channel:

Email marketing: 3.57%
Facebook: 0.07%
Twitter: 0.03%

Email is Personal
You thought Facebook was the most personal medium? Think again.
First, consider the above stats and comparisons. Second, the majority of people don’t go to Facebook for 1-on-1 online conversations; they open their emails.
The inbox is like the Holy Grail – people guard it highly and once someone allows you access it means that they’re interested in you or your offering on some level.
Email Gets More Attention Per Customer
You are more likely to get face-time with your leads if you use email, not because they’re hanging around their inboxes more than their Facebook pages or searching Google, but because email makes room for repeated contact.
In fact, it’s ‘invasive’ contact. It’s right in their mailbox, and that’s very different from posting a status update or tweeting which can get lost in the tsunami of online content.
Provided your content is worth reading, your customers and prospects are more likely to take a minute to open that email.
Email is a Transactional Medium
People expect to receive offers in their inbox, so their tolerance levels are a little higher than on social media where they just want to be, well, social.
Through email, you can train customers to expect offers from you while imparting value and positioning yourself as a thought leader. In turn, customers will start to look forward to receiving your emails.
And since you can make unlimited contact with them over time, you are significantly more likely to catch them when they are ready to buy.
Image Source: Shutterstock

The Email Strikes Back

Imagine a time long, long ago: 2002.
Facebook was but a twinkle in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye. ‘App’ was nothing more than my nickname. Big data sounded like a Clint Eastwood movie. And digital marketing, well that meant banner ads, websites, My Space profiles and spam emails.
Good times.
Fast forward to today and boy, it’s SO much more exciting! Digital technology is infinitely more ingrained in our lives and all manner of platforms, programs and strategies are now available to digital marketers.
There’s only one problem: those pesky bean counters keep on wanting you to deliver a profit from your investment in digital.
Hate that.
There is good news, however.
If you thought Facebook’s 1.4 billion users was impressive, how about another digital platform that has 3.9 billion users. It has a 300% higher conversion rate than social media with sales that have 17% higher value. And here’s the kicker: for every $1 spent on this platform, the average return is $44.25. That’s a lot of beans to count.
So what is this amazing digital platform? It’s, wait for it, EMAIL!
Email? Are you serious? Email is so, well, old and boring.
Yes, compared to all the latest digital, mobile and social media thingamies, email marketing has whiskers. It hasn’t had the digerati WOW factor since the 90’s. And if you’re waiting for an invitation to deliver the keynote at a digital marketing conference dissecting your highly successful email marketing program, don’t hold your breath.
For a time there, the figures suggested that email was on the way out. According to the McKinsey iConsumer survey there was a 20% decline in email usage from 2008 to 2012, inversely proportional to the increased popularity of social media, instant messaging and mobile apps.
Given that many marketers have the attention span of a tsetse fly, the endless new digital tools to play with are tailor made. You get your head around Instagram and then along comes Pinterest. You master YouTube and then you have to contend with Periscope (or Meerkat). Heaven!
The key problem that digital technology has created for many marketers is that there are so many new platforms and methods to learn about that the ‘what to do’ has taken the focus away from the ‘why to do it’.
I’ve seen millions of dollars spent on ‘doing digital stuff’ with no clear strategy as to how the activity will lead to increased sales, awareness, new customers or more satisfied existing customers. As for a longer-term vision that builds on the momentum that’s been created by the initial digital campaign, forget about it.
Of course, it’s not all doom and gloom. Smart marketers have been focused on building digital assets since the 90’s; starting with opt-in email databases through to active communities on target market appropriate social media platforms.
While the jury’s still out on putting all your eggs in the social media basket, there has been a clear resurgence in email marketing’s appeal.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s 2015 State of Marketing report found that for 73% of marketers email is core to their business. Tellingly, 60% see email as a critical ‘enabler’ of their products and services this year compared to 42% in 2014.
Even though there hasn’t been anything new to get excited about with email since Adam was fretting over the Y2K virus, the savvy among us know that if it’s results you’re after email marketing is what you should be doing.
Not that the humble email in and of itself is anything special. As with any type of marketing, the magic is not in the technology or the delivery method, it lies in the ability of that marketing initiative to take the target market from point A to point B.
As you’ve no doubt experienced, in the hands of amateurs and villains, email has the power to damage and dilute a brand. How many deathly dull email newsletters have you received that talk all about the sender and nothing that’s remotely interesting to you?
And then there’s spam.
It could be argued – convincingly – that any commercial email that doesn’t focus on what your market is interested in and what can help them is spam.
So be warned. You don’t have to be selling dodgy medical cures or timeshare apartments for recipients to hate you for wasting their time and clogging up their inbox.
Conversely, effectively crafted email marketing is still what it has always been: an incredibly flexible, highly targeted, trackable and results-generating strategy.
Here’s a fun exercise: compare the cost per personal contact for email versus any other sales or marketing method. We did this recently for a client’s Business-2-Business email marketing campaign and compared it to their salespeople calling on the same number of customers who opened the email. There was around a $275,000 difference in favour of the humble email. It’s enough to give those bean counters palpitations.
By all means do the fun digital stuff; it may not achieve terribly much but it sure as heck can look good on your CV.
However, if you’re the person responsible for generating leads, driving sales and serving your customers more effectively, email marketing could well be the solution, digital or otherwise, that you need.
 
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Email Marketing

 
 

Is Email Marketing to Health Care Professionals Worthwhile?

1995 is acknowledged as the year the internet first became commercialised. Since then, electronic communication strategies have been deployed by numerous industries and millions of companies. So digital marketing is not new.
With pharmaceutical companies cautious and risk-averse however, digital marketing has never been wholeheartedly embraced by the industry as a viable way to achieve objectives. This has clearly been changing over the past 12-18 months.
With the traditional rep model – and its costs – under review like never before, many pharma companies are tentatively looking at digital, particularly email marketing to HCPs as an effective means of engaging, detailing and even servicing. Of course central to the effectiveness of such a strategy is the willingness of HCPs to firstly opt-in to receive eDMs from pharma companies and to then react or respond in the desired way.
What we know with absolute certainty is that digital has changed the way medicine is administered by HCPs. In a Tick Yes survey conducted in September 2014 of a sample of 1,000 Australians, 88.6% said they researched their symptoms online before visiting a doctor. Not surprisingly, 94.2% said the credibility of that medical information was moderately to extremely important.
So HCPs are being confronted with better informed patients every day thanks to the internet. Naturally, better informed does not mean correctly informed. That’s why the personal interaction patients have with HCPs is crucial and will never be replaced by a website.
So what does this mean for pharma companies? Logically, as your HCP customers’ world has changed, so too the strategies for marketing to them should evolve as well. Reps still play a vital role of course, but email marketing in particular can reinforce key information that has been or is about to be delivered by the rep.
While that sounds all well and good, it’s at about this stage of conversations with pharma marketers that the objections start coming out: Why would HCPs opt-in to get emails from lots of pharma companies? I get 100’s of emails a day; no-one would read our eDM. It would just be seen as spam. We have nothing new to say.
They’re all valid points. My contention is that most pharma organisations look at direct electronic communications around the wrong way. Instead of looking at digital as new and risky, look at it as a way to better reach and inform time-poor professionals at a time convenient for them. Instead of worrying about spam, look at creating content that is unique, engaging and useful for your audience. Instead of worrying about getting opt-in, focus on giving HCPs meaningful reasons to do so. You don’t worry about how many other pharma reps are knocking on the doors of the doctors you’re targeting, so why worry about other eDMs they may be receiving.
As with your treatments, it all comes down to quality. Put together a confusing eDetailer, deploy a mediocre sales team, have no engaging story to tell and your efforts will fail. The same applies with email marketing. Don’t make the mistake of magnifying the objections to the extent that it seems all too hard and the risks are too great. Then there’s the other strategy killer: only talking about what’s important to you. I don’t care that your rep from south-eastern Queensland has been with you for 25 years; what can you give me that will help me to better care for my patients? If this sounds like a rookie mistake why do so many organisations keep making it?
Just over a decade ago we created an opt-in email database of GPs for a major pharma company and then proceeded to communicate very successfully with the GPs using eDMs targeted to their interests and needs. So this is not a new strategy.
Email marketing to HCPs can be effective and is worthwhile but you need to think of it as marketing strategy first and a digital marketing strategy second. As with all things, the best results await the people who do it best.
 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
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Is this the future of email?

Sorting through the email inbox can be tedious, but all that could be about to change…
Are we entering a new age of innovation? One that changes the focus from opening as many streams of communication as possible to one intent on streamlining all the available channels and helping everyone organise the masses of content we now see on a daily basis?
If three young Australians are right, the answer is a definite ‘Yes!’. And surprisingly, it is email – in many ways the progenitor of social media and online content, but now largely viewed as a necessary evil rather than a fluid, intuitive and fun means of communication – that is leading the charge.
The Aussies in question are Cameron Adams, Dhanji Prasanna and Jochen Bekmann, three former Google employees who have left the search giant (apparently frustrated at the company’s work culture) to work on Fluent, which they claim will not only allow people to deal with their inboxes ’20 per cent faster’, but also fix the ‘stagnated’ service.
According to the trio’s blog, Fluent has been born ‘out of a desire to create a communication product that is design-led, fast moving and – most importantly – pushes email into the future. A tool that accurately reflects how people communicate today and will adapt to what they want tomorrow… Fluent is all about you and how you communicate.’
To achieve this laudable goal, Fluent’s creators say six overriding principles have been employed:

Simple conversations;
Streamlined workflow;
Access anywhere;
Beautiful design;
Seamless experience for desktops, small screens and touch devices;
Communicating in the best way possible.

Check out the ’98-second introduction to Fluent’ to get a fuller idea of how it’s going to work…

Inspired by social media
And if you think the look of Fluent is familiar, that’s because it is. Working with Gmail (although it will be integrated with other email services like Hotmail down the track), Fluent displays emails – and, importantly, their content – in a user-friendly stream similar to Facebook and Twitter.
In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Adams explained how the intention has been to allow users to work more quickly through their emails: ‘Rather than having to receive a message, look at the subject, click on it, read the conversation and then decide what to do, we sort of present you with the information that you need to immediately [take] action on it.’
Users are also able to quickly browse attachments through a slideshow and the ability to search whilst typing – a development clearly inspired by how the Google search engine now operates. It also allows users to check multiple accounts at the same time, which Adams believes will be of particular benefit to ‘independent professionals and small businesses’.
These developments are not without their sceptics, but by offering them – plus the ability to search via a timeline – to time-poor users, it stands every chance of being successful.
 
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.