Email may drive your organization’s marketing, but when was the last time you thought about how you use it? It might be time for some smart adjustments. Read on for a few useful tips.
Four decades ago this year, a guy named Gary Thuerk sent an email promoting a new product line. It broke pretty much every rule you know about email today.
The message, sent for Digital Equipment Corporation, went to everyone on a list, without any personalization or even any thought toward targeting. But as Marketing Land noted last month, that email drew $13 million in sales for DEC, one of the computer industry’s first large companies.
Some say that, 40 years later, email marketing is past its prime, but despite many claims that email is dead or on the way out, it’s turned out to be far more resilient than most of the marketing channels that were expected to replace it. Still, it’s smart to periodically rethink your email approach, including both tactical and technological considerations.
A few ideas worth trying:
Put a personality out front. The rise of email hasn’t just been a shot in the arm for marketing tactics like the ever-present drip campaign, but it’s also been a big win for editorial newsletters that are often driven by individual voices. The concept has gained momentum thanks to TinyLetter and has helped foster newsletter startups. Associations could pull it off, too. With the right voice and right level of engagement, it could be a great new direction for your marketing strategy.
Leverage the signature for engagement. If you’re looking for a way to more naturally promote your organization or grab data that you can act on, use your email signature, which can be expanded with a variety of tools and even optimized through the use of UTM tags. It could be a way of turning outside member engagement into a form of light email marketing.
Research the market. Email marketing tools have evolved significantly in recent years. While you might be comfortable using one tool or another, potential alternatives could offer cost savings or technological benefits. It’s a buyer’s market right now, and the technical expertise of many email service providers is rising—so much so that Adobe spent nearly $5 billion on a marketing provider that specializes in email. Take advantage of that.
Dig into your deliverability stats. If you don’t like your email performance metrics, it could be that your emails aren’t connecting for reasons that are less about content and more technical in nature. You might be putting a lot of work into fundraising emails that are going straight into recipients’ spam folders, or your list may be weighed down with “prior invalids” (bad email addresses) or disengaged users. Those factors can hurt deliverability. Don’t be afraid to do the occasional purge.