Email Marketing Is Not Dead! How to Use It to Increase Conversion?

For several years now people have been saying that email marketing is a thing of the past. Apparently, trends have turned to other communication channels. As a result, email marketers are facing unemployment and companies offering email marketing tools are threatened with bankruptcy. 

It’s all a myth. 

The years go by and email marketing is still going strong. And during the Covid-19 pandemic it has even been experiencing its second youth! The only thing that has changed is the nature of this channel – just like the nature of the world is different. 

Email Marketing Today 

In recent years other communication channels have developed – including social media – which has resulted in smaller budgets being allocated to email marketing. Today’s recipients of email marketing communication have also changed – they have different awareness and expectations than five or ten years ago. First of all, a new generation – the Gen Z – has grown up, and it is much more aware of its needs and capabilities (and therefore is more demanding) than the previous ones. But still 95% of the Gen Z uses email every day! (data from Global Email Benchmark Report). 

This shift in audience mentality means that the efficiency of the email channel – if only used wisely – can actually be greater than before. By targeting and personalizing messages, you can achieve much more while spending much less. So, if you adapt to these changed expectations, you can still acquire customers and build their engagement via email. All you need is advanced communication personalization. 

Personalization: What It Is (Not) 

Many people instinctively assume that personalization is either addressing the recipient of an email by name in the subject and/or body of the message, or signing off emails with the name of a real employee to give the message a more “human” face. Meanwhile, personalization is so much more. 

Sure, using your first name or signing your emails with your own name is a good practice, but it can only take you this far. Personalization is based on the planned and consistent use of all available data about customers and their behavior in marketing communication. You need to include: 

  • Purchase data – this is your starting point for any further actions. You need to know who bought what and when, and how much they spent. And if they didn’t – you also need to know why. 
  • Segmentation – do not put all your customers in one box, instead group them according to common characteristics, e.g., product categories they buy, frequency of their shopping, the amounts spent, etc. 
  • Automation – create an email communication workflow for individual behavior patterns (including engagement in your messages, i.e., whether they open/click emails or not) and assign customer segments to them. 
  • Behavioral data – that is how users behave on your website, e.g., how much time they spend there, whether they abandon shopping carts, etc. Depending on what they do – or what they don’t do – send them automated email reminders. You don’t have their address? Ask for it via e.g., a pop-up in exchange for a small benefit. Also, bear in mind that some undesirable customer behavior in your online store may result from its poor UX! 
  • Upsell/cross-sell – automatically offer complementary products and better models – some customers will surely go for it. 
  • Loyalty – build it through discounts, special offers, points given for subsequent purchases. Loyalty programs do work, so create your own. Remember that retaining existing customers is much cheaper than acquiring new ones. 

Also, bear in mind that the above elements are interconnected and interdependent. 

Email Marketing Must Make Sense 

When creating your next marketing email, answer key questions: what do you want to communicate? To whom? When? And for what purpose? Only then should you start designing communication. Then consider additional solutions that will help you do it even better: 

  • RWD (Responsive Web Design) – make sure you create a responsive message layout – more and more users use email on mobile devices; according to internal iProspect data, making your message responsive increases its openability by 3.5 percentage points. 
  • A/B Testing – check what works, what doesn’t and test new ideas. 
  • Good technology and deliverability – email marketing tools vary, so choose one that offers maximum deliverability while also can be easily integrated with other eCommerce tools. 

Instead of a Summary 

Remember that the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts also depends on other factors that you control in earlier stages. To make sure your actions are getting the desired effect, never use an old contact database, have well-defined segments, use a decent email marketing tool and invest some effort into honing your strategy. 

Good luck! 

This article was written in cooperation with Ola Derlecka, eCRM Manager at iProspect. 

Written by
Jarek Wasielewski
Digital Content Specialist at ExpertSender
After work: local historian. Double bass enthusiast.
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