There was a lively discussion among the Inbox Insiders recently that provides food for thought for all email marketers. It started simply enough with a question about how to help a user view email via a BlackBerry....
From insurance and real estate agents to the florist down the street and the local café, small businesses are all around us. Recently I've had a lot of inquiries about how, if at all, a small business should utilize email marketing. First, unequivocally, small businesses should utilize email marketing. It's inexpensive, relatively easy to execute, and a great way to keep in contact with your customer base. The key for the small business owner/marketer is to create a plan, keep it relevant and don't overcomplicate things.
My previous column, "Why the Email Open Rate Must Die" spawned a spirited debate, mainly on these three topics (click here to read the first column and all 17 comments): # Don't kill the open rate, but view it in the proper perspective. # PLEASE let it die! # What can we replace it with? You don't offer any suggestions other than to say we can do better. I stand guilty as charged of not offering an alternative to the open rate in that first column. I will remedy that in this column.
The Internet has made sales cycles longer. "Selling now takes more time and resources then ever before. The sales cycle has become 22% longer as buyers are taking longer to consider their decisions. Plus, buying is being managed more professionally." (Source: Sirius Decisions) Is this true for you? What a great opportunity for email marketing segmentation strategies! Just by segmenting your prospects from other subscribers, you can boost revenue, improve conversion from email marketing, strengthen buyer satisfaction and build your brand.
The Email Diva is beginning to feel that her days are numbered. A quick view of my three inboxes shows the reigning philosophy of email is "more is more." As a result of this and the emergence of new communication media, I believe we are on the road to killing the email channel.
Wouldn't you love to have full animation or even video in email? We know for a fact that rich media in email works from a performance perspective. I've seen results as high as 60% improvement in bottom line results with the use of rich media. Unfortunately, in today's world of spammers, phishing and cybercrime, the ISPs have restricted our creativity to a point we struggle to even get images rendered.
Major retailers have finally accepted Earth Day as a significant selling occasion, as evidenced by their email marketing around the holiday this year. The number of emails from retailers that mentioned Earth Day more than tripled this year compared to last year. And if you include emails that included eco-friendly messaging but didn't explicitly reference Earth Day, then the number increased more than six-fold over last year.