Email marketing is growing at a phenomenal rate. Just how fast is email marketing growing? Here’s what the experts say. Forrester’s® Interactive Marketing Forecast reports that American firms forked over $1.51 billion on email marketing in 2011—and predicts that they’re going to spend almost a billion more than that by 2016.
Why Email Makes Cost-effective Marketing
Email marketing saves advertisers big bucks. A programming team using Web analytics can blast an email marketing campaign to consumers anywhere in the world with on-the-money demographic precision—for a whole lot less than the cost of TV and radio spots. What’s more, email marketing is a very efficient way to boost your customer base, because it’s expanded far beyond PC-based email. As of 2011, over four out of ten U.S. cell phone users pack smart phones with Web and email access. For that reason, email marketers have more access to more consumers than ever before in history. Another important factor: big-time email marketers are getting major ROI boosts by replacing tired old copy with fresh, compelling Web content. It’s been estimated that compelling creative content will help email advertisers score double-digit profits in 2012.
Use eCPM to Measure Email Marketing Clout
Email marketing operates by effective cost per thousand impressions (eCPM). eCPM precisely determines how good email ads are in getting consumers to their Web sites and converting them into actual buyers (conversion rate). Advertisers, quite naturally, look for high eCPM and high conversion rates. So should you.
You zero in on eCPM for an email marketing ad by figuring out the total revenue earned by dividing the total number of earnings by the total impressions multiplied by 1,000. Since clients advertise on a Pay Per Click (PPC) basis, that’s a vitally important fact. What’s more, you have to connect with a narrowly targeted audience to maximize eCPM. More importantly, you must produce high-quality ads that will motivate a general readership to want to click on them.
Content relevancy is crucial to maintaining a high click rate. It’s also very important to make your content alluring and exciting—to address the “What’s in it for me?” Testing for ad format (colors, borders, subhead and headline placement, etc.) also boosts click rates.
Score High Conversion Rates
You have to convert web site visitors into buyers to boost revenues. For that reason, conversion rates contribute directly to eCPM. To increase conversions rates, consumers must trust the advertiser and feel confident that they are getting a fantastic deal or a deal that ranks comparatively well. The ad copy must establish this value proposition. The email marketing copy should also convince the consumer to act immediately so that when they hit the landing site, they’ll immediately buy or take action. Frequent calls to action within the copy subliminally spur the consumer to act to get to the Web site—and after they get there, to act after. To create even more trust with consumers, remind consumers about comparison shopping and product reviews in the ad copy. This prompts the consumer to purchase when they hit the landing site.
Encourage Impulse Buying
A persuasive email marketing ad can motivate a consumer to buy impulsively; and it can convince the consumer that the advertiser has delivered on the ad’s promises. This is where is most important. You can increase click-throughs by the following:
• Use verbs that compel the reader to click; this may also trigger automatic buyer response for clicks to the client Web site and product purchase.
• Repeat the same phrases (mirroring copy) within the subheads and calls to action.
Make the Most of Every Customer Touchpoint
In support of the vitally important “up-sell, not cold call” precept, your should take advantage of every customer interaction and touch point–both online and offline–to ask for email addresses and permission to email (asking for email address twice is common practice to reduce typos).
In using this approach, you typically deploy tactics such as:
• Use an opt-in or subscribe option on campaign landing pages.
• Launch “easy join” promotions (text, banners, and/or buttons) on Web site home pages and other high-traffic pages (on every page).
• Offer customer service and call center representatives.
• Create offline campaign calls-to-action (e.g., print ad, direct mail ride-along, and/or standalone direct mail offers with URL to online opt-in form).
• Use Paper forms at conferences, events, or point of sale.
• Conduct exhaustive, ongoing analytical testing to determine the effectiveness of word counts for subject lines/headlines/subheads/CTAs/body copy and layout templates.
• Rigorously apply the insights gleaned from testing to all content writing, continually fine-tuning content to increase click-through rates—which in turn increases lead generation and acquisition rates.
• Go beyond traditional online and offline acquisition channels to take advantage of emerging tactics such as social networking and paid search.
• Maximize these new acquisition opportunities by complying with legal requirements and industry best practices for maximum return on investment (ROI).
Avoid Spam Filters
To dramatically boost inbox deliverability rates, you must avoid spam detection within the subject line. The subject line should be compelling, perhaps mysterious, and contain a call to action that entices the reader to open the ad. Open rates increase with subject lines that address the reader’s needs or “pain.”
Obviously, then, in email advertising, creative quality makes as important a difference to ROI as increased consumer access and low cost. So, to tap the profit potential of email marketing, get prospects clicking with strong, culturally relevant creative content.
Increase Click Rates
If you follow all the guidelines about email marketing outlined in this article, you will inevitably increase the click rate per ad, thus attracting advertiser Pay Per Clicks. Since clients pay for ads based on the click rate, it is very important to make ad copy compelling and relevant in every possible way.