Email Marketing – Tell Me Why, Again?

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HERE’S A FRIGHTENING FACT – on average, people spend six hours a day on email. In my life as a marketer of fancy luxury things, I get asked about email’s relevancy – by my clients, at cocktail parties, or in the grocery line. (That last one happens when I offer an unsolicited opinion about the choice of products at the POS.) And of course, I have answers.

The truth is email has the broadest reach, the highest return on investment, and the most successful acquisition rate. Over any social media channel. Seriously. So, are they still effective? Do millenials look at emails? Does frequency matter? Let’s talk…

1. “Should we use eblasts to focus on selling products or pushing our design services?”

If you offer both, why miss an opportunity to sell something? Often, custom design provides higher profit margins, so re-inforce that message. While snail mail is still viable, eblasts are interactive and encourage immediate engagement. And – if designed with clever intent – deeply seductive. Really, who hasn’t at least clicked on something just out of curiosity? (hmmm… let me see your browser history.)  Always offer products to not only show your curating chops, but to engage the reader longer, push traffic to your site and maybe even sell something.

2. “Are email campaigns more effective than social media? Can we just do one or the other?”

Is this a trick question? No, you can not just do one or the other.  57% of (2 billion) internet users worldwide said they are more apt to buy a product in a store (a store!) after getting a marketing email. Eblasts remain the #1 driver of conversions in digital marketing. Social media on the other hand, engages your audience – it tells them about you/your brand, what time you run on the beach, that you prefer tacos to sliders, and that your puppy loves lounging on Fortuny pillows. This engagement is foreplay to a lasting relationship. Followers grow to “like” you and in order to be part of your life, they buy into your brand. Email campaigns give them the lever to pull to buy.

Based on average open rates and click through rates for all industries, here’s the drill down: 

If you have 2,000 email subscribers, 2,000 Facebook fans and 2,000 followers on Twitter – this is the reach results:

  • 435 people will open your email
  • 120 Facebook fans will see your message
  • 40 Twitter followers will see your message

3.”I hit ‘delete’ on zillions of emails every day. I don’t want our clients getting overloaded so let’s just send one eblast a month.”

I delete eblasts every day, too. But if the content is interesting, I don’t unsubscribe. What’s the difference? I’m interested, just not right now. Repetition keeps a brand top-of-mind for when your client is ready to pull the trigger. Once a month? I’m going to forget you all together. Once a day? Not for a luxury brand, there is nothing that urgent about a $500,000 diamond bracelet and you will get ‘unsubscribes.’ Take a look at your history to determine a benchmark. High open rates? Great, your audience is looking forward to your next missive. A spike in unsubscribes? Maybe too much in their inbox, but more likely is the content is not interesting or relevant to them. It’s a bit of a dance, but there’s a sweet spot. Keep it consistent, keep an eye on metrics and keep going!

More questions, please.