Hayley Strang, Field Marketing Manager, UK & NE at Mapp Digital, explains why email is still an important means of communicating with consumers – even the younger ones.
You have probably heard it said that email will become obsolete – but don’t believe a word of it. Nobody is abandoning email anytime soon. Despite the increase in marketing trends and new communication channels, people still love to receive emails in their inboxes. Owing, in part, to email’s enduring appeal, email marketing remains one of the most cost-effective ways to reach consumers today.
Personal, transactional, and timely email marketing campaigns consistently outperform other digital channels when it comes to generating higher-than-average open and click-through rates. According to the Data & Marketing Association (DMA), for every pound spent on email marketing, the return is an impressive £42. But how can marketers effectively harness the power of email marketing to deliver the most value? What are the issues that might be holding back an email marketing campaign from delivering the very best results? And how do the most recently hyped marketing trends compare as alternatives?
As a marketer, formatting email for mobile devices is a must. With 50 per cent of email marketing campaigns being opened on mobile devices (Litmus June 2021) and users glued to their smartphones, email with a mobile-friendly design is indispensable.
Emails that are not mobile-friendly are also raising your bounce rate exponentially due to poor user experience. For most audiences, marketing emails that will work well for mobile should take priority over emails for desktop, or you run the risk of turning off a huge number of readers with a desktop-friendly template. Mobile-friendly email design looks and works the same way all the time, no matter what kind of device views the content. Such designs include a simple navigation menu, static content, and images appearing smaller on mobile due to a compact screen. Marketers are also well advised to create a mobile-friendly landing page.
Millennials / Generation Z
It’s been said that millennials don’t engage with emails, but for many reasons this is untrue and unfair. Despite their love of texting and social media, email still remains close to millennial hearts. According to YouGov, 44 per cent of millennials began using email between the ages of 10 and 14 with 60 per cent saying this is how they prefer to hear from brands. Another important thing to note about these younger consumers is that they don’t have the burden of many years of marketing email subscriptions to sort through. Similarly, as many of them receive fewer work related emails, younger generations tend to receive far fewer total emails compared with older generations.
Millennials may use email differently to other generations, but they still want to hear from the brands they love on a regular basis – the trick is to understand the best email marketing strategy for a younger audience. They are a savvy group who will be turned off by uninspired marketing tactics. Although millennials might not always be attracted to sales boosting emails, they also like marketing emails grabbing their attention if they find them helpful and informative. Above all, personalisation, and emails that allow an authentic human connection to develop are the most effective.
Instagram and email complement each other brilliantly from a marketing perspective. Besides including the Instagram icon in emails with a link to the company Instagram account, marketers might also use Instagram-style photography paired with coupons to increase click-through rates and conversion rates. Even if a company has plenty of Instagram followers, there’s every possibility their followers will miss posts. But if marketers have their email addresses, they can send important information like launches, product information, and promotions directly into their inbox. Marketers can tweak the rules by asking others to sign up to a specific email list.
Email continues to be one of the most viable and valuable marketing channels for building a long-lasting bond with audiences. While emails still generate high engagement levels with content from brands, many marketers can still improve by using compelling Instagram images and content within emails. Instagram continues to be an untapped and unexplored source of high quality images and marketers can use Instagram content in their email newsletters to great effect.
TikTok is not for kids only anymore – it’s time for marketers to take TikTok seriously and consider it as an additional channel to reach their audiences. TikTok is increasingly becoming a content platform and, as with Instagram, TikTok is complementary to email. TikTok is primarily a video app based on user generated content and video is an entertaining way for users to connect and interact. Marketers are well advised to include TikTok videos or video links in their email campaigns. Videos, just like any other interactive content, increase the likelihood of customers clicking through to a marketer’s website. It works exceptionally well with product launches, teasers, behind-the-scenes or event testimonials from customers.
Customers should be encouraged to interact with a brand on TikTok and feature user generated content in email newsletters. This will act as social proof to other prospective customers that a brand is admired by thousands of people like them. It will also increase the engagement rates by people that do interact on TikTok, as they will be looking out for their post to be featured in the next email.
GDPR simply means making sure the readers give clear, unambiguous permission to receive marketing emails. It was created so consumers know their data is protected and being used by brands they have trusted with personal information. This just means that they opt-in to emails they would like to receive from brands they are interested in.
Marketers should not look at the limitations of GDPR as restrictions, but as guidelines that can be used to develop more profitable uses of email marketing. Providing your forms are equipped with clearly defined requests for consent on the use of consumer data you can remain GDPR compliant.
Significantly, they can also continue to profit from email marketing as earned media, and even build stronger customer relationships built off better email lists.
Email is indispensable
Today, email is a crucial part of any kind of communication, be it private messaging or eCommerce campaigns. That’s why launching effective campaigns that will catch the recipient’s attention is as necessary as having a well-organised, easy-to-use website. Email enables marketers to reach more users for less. It’s hard to imagine a business strategy that does not leverage email marketing to connect with customers. With its powerful ROI, far-reaching quality, and continued relevance, email marketing is still as vital now as it has always been.