Putting Excitement Back Into Email Marketing
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"Email is the tightest link ever forged between buyer and seller."
So said Engauge Chairman, Stan Rapp at this year's Email Evolution Conference, the highest form of praise any medium can receive in the advertising industry. Which makes us wonder why so many marketers waste this valuable channel with uninspiring copy and repetitive campaigns.
Email marketing doesn't have to play second-fiddle to social media in the excitement and innovation stakes (or any other channel for that matter). If marketers were to bring the same sense of creativity and subscriber engagement to their email marketing campaigns as they do to social media, it wouldn't just be the 'tightest link' between buyer and seller - it would also be the most profitable.
Social media is an unknown quantity with marketers still exploring ways of monetising and measuring it without being seen as invading peoples' personal space. Email marketing on the other hand presents a channel where targeted marketing materials are welcomed, read and actioned in clear measurable ways. Subscribers are even opening up to receiving more marketing messages from companies - a positive sign of wider acceptance of the channel.
Email marketing can only ever be accused of being 'dull' when marketers fail to make the content engaging. Prompting subscribers to interact with emails using surveys, 'letters to the editor' sections, viral elements suitable for forwarding on to networks and account updates can help create a sense of community and engagement that is otherwise absent from less-inspired email marketing campaigns.
Interactivity doesn't have to be about complicated HTML and Flash (in fact, for email marketing it shouldn't be since these hinder email delivery) - just give consumers a chance to contribute, a reason to pass the message on and a lot of your creative and engagement issues will be taken care of for you. Evaluate your existing marketing campaigns and ask yourself - how can they be more engaging? With consumers opening the doors to receive more email marketing messages, it's now your turn to get the conversation started.