Email Isn’t Dead; You’re Just Doing It Wrong

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Email is dead, or so the headlines claim. While getting to “inbox zero” is the current goal, brands should not underestimate the power of a well-crafted email campaign.

Email’s Resilience

Since email marketing became popular, marketers have debated the viability of email campaigns. Email no longer has the insanely high open rates it once did. But email is still opened 20 times per day on average. That’s why modern marketers can continue to link email campaigns to ROI.

With the rise of smartphones, email has never been more effective. A recent study found that roughly one-third of consumers check email on the go. 75% of those polled said they mostly use their phones to check email.

Whatever you sell, most qualified leads are glued to their smartphones, where their email apps are just a tap away. You can easily reach prospects by sending high-quality content directly to their inboxes—just make sure the content is valuable enough for them to open it.

But therein lies the issue. Attention. So many emails, people only open and act on those they trust. Without trust in your brand and no interest in your message, prospects will most likely delete your email without a second thought. Worst case, you harm the brand. Your constant, irrelevant messages irritate them. Some may even trash your brand on social media. Bad.

Email can be a high-stakes game if played badly. Email marketing has a lot to offer, but only to those who can effectively put themselves in their prospects’ shoes.

Sending Emails That Matter

Every great marketing strategy starts with the buyer. Your awareness stage prospect needs a different message than your consideration stage buyer. Adapting your message to the buyer’s journey improves key metrics (like open and click-through rates) while providing your sales team with qualified leads. The more specific your emails are to a prospect’s stage in the sales cycle (awareness, consideration, or decision), the better.

Consider the following best practices for an automated email drip campaign that scales well and supports your sales team:

  1. Sales enablement takes priority

An email campaign’s goal is to generate revenue. It’s a sales enabler. Remember this from the start.

When ready to write, decide which stage of the buyer journey to focus on. Aware of their issue when you talk to prospects? Are they starting to think about solutions? Are they ready to decide?

Set KPIs and benchmarks to chart the course. Consider what tone will quickly build trust with your customers. Should your brand be friendly and casual, or do you need to be seen as an expert to gain trust?

  1. Targeted audiences react better

You could send an email to everyone. You could also lose money and get a similar close rate.

Smart segmentation is essential for email drip campaigns. Fewer, more targeted emails are better. Prepare ahead of time by getting to know your target audience. What worries them? What are their aches? So, what are their roles and goals in their organizations?

Separate the leads who will buy quickly from those who will take longer to decide. If you push too hard for a purchase, you risk alienating your new audience.

Automation should handle the heavy lifting

Your marketing automation solution can deliver new content at regular (but not intrusive) intervals without the need to hire an intern. Automation helps scale.

Limit email communications to trigger-based outreach during the awareness phase. Take a link click or email open as an invitation to keep communicating. Accelerate communications as prospect activity increases.

Let the robots work. Spend your time creating engaging content that your audience wants to read. They should anticipate your emails if you do it correctly. If you want high conversion rates, you need lots of relevant, high-quality content.

Lacking sales-ready leads? What could you do better? Investing more time in creating valuable emails with relevant content may be the missing marketing strategy.

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