Do email campaigns really work?

Short answer: Yes.
Longer answer: It depends.

Email campaigns can be incredibly effective. They’re an ideal choice for ecommerce stores as they have a low cost per message and can have clear, direct and measurable results. If email marketing didn’t work, you wouldn’t have a spam box.

Why is email marketing effective?

Most email users are in the habit of checking their inbox every day. During a business day, office workers may check their email a dozen times – or even a dozen times an hour. As a result, it’s an effective way of getting a message to your customer base.

Emails can also provide a very clear link between an advert and an action. As an example, an email from an ecommerce store like Amazon will almost always include multiple links to any product mentioned – perhaps in the headline, in the item name and also in the image shown. This lets readers immediately react positively to the message and help trigger latent sales.

Not every message will result in a sale

Spammers make money because occasionally – very occasionally – someone responds to one of their junk messages and send them actual cash. Their hit rate may be as low as 1 in 100,000 messages but it doesn’t matter, because the cost of sending these messages (for the spammer) is negligible. Likewise, for legitimate ecommerce stores, having a longer email list will normally result in more sales.

Not all email lists are equally valuable

If you don’t want to send 100,000 emails before you get a sale, then you’ll need to target your pitches better. The easiest way to do this is to ensure that the customer list you send to is a good one, with relevant contacts. This means that if you do buy in a list from an industry or professional body, make sure it has good quality leads. As an example, sending an advert for a tool system to a thousand mechanics is probably more valuable than sending it to ten thousand early years teachers.

You can have more than one list

It’s completely normal to have multiple mailing lists. A good email marketing campaign tool will let you cross-reference lists, so that you don’t send the same message to a single address multiple times. Common categories include: people who clicked ‘sign up to our newsletter’, previous customers, email or social network contacts and bought-in lists. Ecommerce stores benefit particularly from automatically subscribing all customers to their newsletter, but an opt-out must be provided.

Content is king

While there are technical challenges to overcome, content is still king. A boring, useless or irritating email will be quickly deleted while an interesting message will be read. Content can include text, images and even video clips. Short messages are not necessarily better – if your audience appreciates a high level of detail, for example including technical information, you’ll have space in an email to satisfy their needs.

At boxChilli Digital we have a huge wealth of Email Marketing experience that we want to share with our customers. If you are a business based in Portsmouth, Hampshire or surrounding areas and would like to find out more, visit our pages, view our portfolio or meet and contact our web design and digital marketing team. We really like to talk.

Anders Bohea – Managing Director – boxChilli Digital Marketing

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