A lack of resources, strategy and budget constrains are the largest hurdles facing content marketers today, suggests a recent study by Ascend2.
Some 53% of the 300 content marketers polled by the research and marketing company responded that a lack of internal resources was the biggest challenge to achieving content marketing success.
About 42% of marketers expresses that a lack of effective content marketing strategy was their largest hurdle, while budget constraints spell trouble for 40% of content marketers.
Email has a return on investment of 3800% according to the Direct Marketing Association, and is by far the most fruitful content marketing channel.
“Email is the workhorse of the industry,” says Cynthia Price, vice president of marketing at Emma, Inc. “Nothing has a higher ROI and people are still using email in really effective ways -- it just works. But it takes more to work and you need to get smarter about it, this isn’t a batch-and-blast world we’re living in anymore.”
Emma is web-based email marketing platform with over 50,000 customers, and offers a range of marketing technology features at varying price points. In addition, the email marketing company also boasts a services team to help customers from a strategic standpoint.
Price says that strategy is a key to optimizing the return on investment of email marketing and creating personalized customer experiences. She offered three recommendations for how small business owners and email marketers can begin thinking more strategically.
1. Define Your Goals
“This is where it starts,” says Price. “What are your goals?
Defining the business goals of the email marketing campaign is one step towards offering a personalized experience to a customer by setting immediate expectations. It creates a formula for the rest of the marketing campaign, and is a keystone to any strategic plan.
Simply pulling the levers and not considering the core of the marketing message and campaign is a recipe for disappointing results, says Price.
2. Consider the Customer Lifecycle
Email is an incredibly personal channel, where customers have raised their hand and asked to be communicated with. Marketers need to consider every email as a touch point in a customer’s lifecycle.
“A welcome email is incredibly important,” says Price. “It sets expectations, most often by offering some sort of a goodie right out of the gate, and helps customers understand that being in this email world with you is a good thing.”
An essential tool for any marketer regardless if they’re strapped for resources of with no budget constraints at all, marketing automation is an essential tool that makes welcome emails as easy as clicking a button
3. Focus on Relevant Data, Not Big Data
Marketers can now tap into countless data sources to target consumers, including geographic location-based data, demographic statistics, email engagement analytics and a customer’s entire past experience with a brand.
“Part of the problem is, there’s just so many data points,” says Price. “It can certainly get overwhelming fast, and you don’t need all of it – some of it is irrelevant.”
Marketers do not need a data scientist to begin tapping into the power of data, says Price. She recommends email marketers consider how they would speak to a customer face-to-face, and what they would say.