While some small businesses continue to look at email marketing with an element of disdain, this tactic is fast emerging as one of the most profitable, impactful and cost-effective in the digital space.
Not only is email marketing established as one of the three primary drivers of traffic to your website, for example, but it also delivers an estimated ROI of 4400% (or $44 for every one spent).
With this in mind, it is imperative that you make email marketing a key driver of your small business this year. Here are three prominent trends that will help to influence your campaigns and deliver viable returns:
Relevance Extends Beyond the Words that you Write
It is widely accepted that relevance is one of the most important elements of email marketing (and content marketing as a whole). After all, irrelevant content is cited by customers as the main reason why they unsubscribe from branded email lists, as they fail to connect with businesses or their propositions.
In this respect, creating relevant email copy for individual consumer segments is something that will optimise the impact of your campaigns, while this is something that can be effectively driven by the accumulation and analysis of data.
Relevance also extends beyond the individual words that you write, however, as it must also influence on the context and timing of your communication. Creating a topically relevant post and strategically timing its release also creates a natural hook that engages recipients on a far deeper level, while also establishing an organic vehicle for your brand and powerful calls-to-action.
This is a trend that will become increasingly important in the year ahead, as email marketing becomes increasingly popular and competitive among brands.
The Rise of the Cross Promotion
On a similar note, one of the best ways to introduce topical relevance to your email is to tie the brand into a renowned, real-time event. This type of collaboration between content and medium creates numerous opportunities for brands, many of which are best leveraged through the form of email.
Whether you are looking to raise brand awareness or host limited time promotions, associating your content with relevant events creates a sense of urgency that compels consumer action. It also establishes a unique and organic marketing hook that incentivises recipients to read, potentially broadening your reach and increasing conversion rates in the process.
We have recently witnessed the upward trend of cheaper first and business class flights through surging SME brands like Just Fly Business and more established, particularly long-haul flights airlines specialists, such as Emirates. These brands often tailor their prices and ramp-up email promotions during global sporting events and seasonal trends, in order to drive higher levels of engagement, solicit direct customer action and increase sales within a limited period of time.
Above all else, however, it also creates an opportunity for relevant cross-promotions and targeted offers that deliver greater value to customers. Is instantly enhances the proposition of your small business venture, which in turn ensures that the underlying message of your brand resonates with readers.
Personalisation Will Become Increasingly Important
As we have already touched on, email marketing is becoming increasingly popular, but this means that customers are likely to receive a growing number of communications over time. This will create intense competition between brands, so developing the right strategy will become more important than ever.
Make no mistake; brands to send out a high number of generic and overly promotional emails will quickly find their customers unsubscribing in droves. Conversely, those that push the boundaries of personalisation will thrive and potentially claim a larger share of the marketplace.
We say push the boundaries as the potential of personalisation is huge, while it extends far beyond placing each recipients name on the communication. This is important, of course, but the swathes of data available in the modern age means that this is just the tip of iceberg.
More specifically, brands now have ample opportunity to create custom content that reflects the browsing behaviour of individual consumers and relevant demographics. You can also introduce relevant product recommendations and calls-to-action to action through this medium, and such tactics are thought to increase conversion rates by up to 25%.
In theory, this should be easier for smaller brands due to their smaller mailing lists, while this type of brand often finds it easier to create a conversational writing style that engages customers.