Email marketing may seem like a thing of the past. Full inboxes with newsletters and advertisements, half of which you no longer know whether you have registered for them. The government was right to regulation with regard to the registration process, content and unsubscribing of newsletters. However, the fact that the government has had to provide regulation says something about the level of email marketing a few years ago. Writing a good e-mail is an art and we will show you how not to do it.
The government curtailing email marketing sounds scary, but the government doesn't have much to say about the content of emails. Not more than what an average conscience tells us in any case. Then the question is: does email marketing still make sense in 2015? According to Forbes, business magazine, email marketing in business-to-business organizations is still the most effective† What makes an email campaign effective can vary from campaign to campaign. One campaign may focus on lead generation, and another may focus on promoting a new product or service.
Whatever the goal of a campaign, everyone wants it to be effective. Prominent marketing sites are full of examples of effective email marketing campaigns. Mailchimp, a free tool to set up email campaigns, regularly provides best practices to ensure that each campaign achieves its goal. An example of this is A/B testing. This means that you prepare two types of mails and send mail A to target group A and mail B to target group B. In Mailchimp you can see exactly which mail has the highest open rate and which mail has the largest click-through rate. Through a process of trial-and-error, it is then possible to determine, for example, which subject line works best and which content appeals most to the target groups.
Enough about how to do it. Making mistakes is part of doing business, but it's always better not to do it yourself. An overview of the biggest email sins:
1. Subject line too long
We don't have to talk about the speed of the society in which we live, but this is something to take into account. The average recipient of your e-mail has better things to do than read an e-mail of which half of the content is already in the title. Research from Marketing Land shows how many words the subject line should have to increase the chances of the email being opened.
The best example of irrelevance explained AddThis on our digital doormat. This provider of fun blog topics indicated that it was interesting to blog about the Superbowl. After all, there is no better-watched sporting event… in the United States. And here it goes wrong (see image 2).
AddThis apparently did not take into account the fact that many 'subscribers' of their newsletter are not resident in the United States. The Superbowl is broadcast in the Netherlands by the channel that also broadcasts Dutch football matches. The difference is that most Dutch football matches take place during the day and the Superbowl takes place at 00:15, Dutch time. Perhaps the tip is obvious: provide relevant content and know where your subscribers are.
3. No Shareable Content
One of the worst things you can do today is stuff your email with promotions, discounts, and new products. This is nice for the newspaper of the local toy store, but for an average business-to-business organization this is no longer sufficient. The purchasing process at these types of companies is slightly more complicated than
company A makes a purchase from company B
(see image 1).Constantly proving your worth is important to ensure that a (prospect) customer makes a (second) purchase. In addition, doing business in B2B consists a lot of making contacts and getting sales from your own network and networks of partners and customers. Referring to good (own) content can ensure that the mail is shared within a different network than in which you are normally active.
An email with dry text can never appeal in a time when everything is made visual. Social networks such as Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook focus on visual (photos). In fact, Facebook focuses on video. Moreover, all the clichés are true: a picture speaks more than 1000 words. Research confirms this: “90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60.000X faster in the brain than text” (3M Corporation, Zabisco† The IRS can get away with just text, but if your organization doesn't have a monopoly position, you'd better make sure your email stands out by creating visual appeal.
For which newsletters moeten we register and which ones should we stay away from in 2015? Let us know in a comment, or leave a message on our Facebookpagina.