The internet is a very fluid environment. Standards change, people’s perceptions change and in the last ten years of the internet, we have seen amazing growth in both technology and the engagement time. ( The amount of time people stare at their screens for, which if you are anything like me is on average 13 hours a day.)
An effective website has become less of a luxury and more of a necessity for modern business owners, and there are a lot of ways they can help your image and growth. A great site can also help you to connect with your customers in ways that have never been available before, including social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. With the coming and going of Web2.0, there has been plenty of new and exciting web applications and services that speak to the new generation of internet users.
Sadly, email marketing, one of the most popular methods of communication for businesses online has been left behind in 1999. Many business owners use email newsletters to deliver information about new product releases, specials on purchasing prices or general news about the company. It’s quite easy to setup and run these campaigns, and can be a really cost effective form of communicating with potential and existing customers. The problem however is that the way people consume and act on information has drastically changed in the last decade. The effectiveness of email marketing has been steadily dropped off and you may indeed have noticed it with your own business and the returns you get from these types of newsletters compared to the past.
There has been a fundamental shift away from traditional advertising in the past decade. Ads that used to capture the imagination and attention of visitors simply are not as effective anymore. People have learned to skim over these forms of advertising and look for the information they came to the website for. To give you an example, back in the early days of the online revolution, graphic banners were the most popular form of advertising, in particular the 468 x 60 pixel sized banner.
These were everywhere, and are still used in places today, however internet users quickly became accustomed to the size and shape of these banners. They learnt that any information delivered in this types of shape and dimension was more often than not a paid advertisement and only wanted to sell them something. Their behaviour quickly changed and these banners lost nearly all effectiveness for advertisers.
Email marketing is no different. The traditional forms of newsletters are almost as recognisable as the poor old 468×60 banner. They come into your inbox and your customers quickly spot them as a potential pushy salesman ( or woman )
1) Engage Your Readers
Don’t speak at your customers, speak with them. Only deliver content to their inbox that will have an actual effect on their business or lives. Speak with them about how your products or services can benefit them. The old mantra ‘ Features Tell, Benefits Sell’ really rings true here. Don’t tell them how many wheels your bicycle has, tell them about the wonderful places they can go riding it.
2) Get Creative With Delivery
Don’t go down the same path as the humble banner with your newsletters. A fresh approach to delivery is required to present your message and avoid that apathy towards being ‘marketed to’ by your readers. The extra investment in time and money spent creating a unique design and delivery style for your email communications can come back in spades with increased reader open rates and actions.
3) Monitor, Report and Adjust
If your email marketing software doesn’t give you adequate reporting, you need to change to one that does. To effectively monitor your ROI from email, you need to know the key metrics about the campaign and monitor these every time for improvement.
You need to know
How many recipients opened the email?
How many unsubscribed?
How many took and action and clicked through to your website?
Now Pay Close Attention –
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