Now more than ever, everyone is looking to get the most bang for their marketing buck.
That being the case, Return On Investment (ROI) has become a very popular topic. Companies want to be assured that every marketing dollar spent produces qualified, measurable results.
So let’s cut to the chase: email marketing has the highest ROI of any online marketing vehicle. There’s an estimated $48.29 ROI for every dollar spent; that’s 70% higher than any other direct-response vehicle, according to eROI.com. Using your own list (known as email marketing to house lists) remains the highest contributor to lead nurturing and lead generation of any online or offline marketing tactic, according to Marketing Sherpa.
Email Marketing Terms Explained
One of the most desirable characteristics of email marketing is its ability to measure results. This unique characteristic is, in fact, the very brains behind its impressive ROI. To analyze these results, it’s important to understand a few basic terms of email metrics:
Delivery Rate: Percentage of emails delivered to an audience’s inbox. This is not the same as total emails sent—see “Bounce Rate.”
Open Rate: Percentage of emails delivered that the audience actually opened.
Click-Through Rate: Percentage of audience members that opened the email and clicked on a link located specifically within the body of the email itself. Details on specific links that were clicked are tracked by most reputable email service providers.
Bounce Rate: Percentage of undelivered emails. There are many reasons for bounced emails: Soft bounces occur if the user’s inbox is full, or if their server is down. Hard bounces occur for invalid email addresses, abandoned email accounts, or if your email was flagged by a spam filter.
The SPAM Factor
Now we couldn’t get too far into email marketing without mentioning the dreaded four letter word – you know it – the infamous acronym that plagues email marketers at every turn: SPAM. It is the monster created by the many fly-by-night email abusers who continue to litter our inboxes to this very day. Respectable professionals (such as Austin & Williams) who perform email marketing campaigns regularly do everything in their power to combat SPAM, implementing the very best practices in both content and technology, to avoid being considered SPAM and fighting to improve the integrity of email marketing by swaying the public opinion that not all marketed emails can be classified simply as “junk.”
The goal is to separate a marketing campaign from being deemed as SPAM. In order to do this, we must change our perceptions of email marketing.
Continued Connections: Changing Our Frame of Mind
First, we must realize that email marketing is much more than just direct marketing; rather, it’s something that is viral, shareable and accessible at home. It can be accessed at work or on-the-go, used for immediate alerts/confirmations/reminders, and offers users the choice of subscribing to only the content they prefer.
Email marketing’s key benefit is NOT that it is a quick-to-launch marketing tool. It is best used as a dialog-starter, a way of generating communications that engage your audience and ultimately converts them into customers.
That’s the problem with using the term “email blast.” It’s not the phrase that’s incorrect; it’s the thought process behind it. Thinking of emails as individual blasts without considering the frequency of the emails or the relevancy of the content is like shouting at a room full of strangers, then running away. It’s completely ineffective if you’re looking for long-term results.
So don’t blast AT your audience—connect WITH them. Don’t treat emails as quick one-off campaigns; take time to build an online relationship. Segment your audience by their interests or demographics so you can provide targeted content, incentives or offers that they would find useful. When your audience receives emails on a regular basis with content they value, that relationship will continue to grow brand trust and generate leads.
The same golden rule applies to emails as it does to web sites – content is king. Deliver engaging, relevant content and you’ll not only have high open and click-through rates, you’ll have satisfied customers, and watch your ROI soar.
Check out Effective Email Content: Avoid Spam Filters and Effective Email Content: Attract Attention to find out more ways to avoid being flagged as SPAM, your legal CAN-SPAM obligations, and why more than 50% of your audience may not be seeing your email messages.