Despite the great attention to social media, the answer to the question of whether email is still relevant to your marketing arsenal is YES.
Email is a powerful marketing tool used in conjunction with other e-platforms as part of a company’s big-picture marketing strategy. As with all marketing, email marketing requires that you have a detailed understanding of your customers.
If email is used exclusively as a marketing tool, the critical understanding of customer-preference is heightened.
Email is more potent when combined with other e-marketing platforms such as micro-message marketing (Twitter) and social media marketing (Facebook). When included as part of a unified marketing platform, email provides your customers with information, peer-group support, and feedback that helps drive their purchasing decisions.
The relevance of email marketing is magnified with the depth of knowledge you attain about your customers—demographics is a starting point as you pinpoint customer segments—and the information each requires to pursue their interest in your product or service. This information may be technical and data-heavy; but it also includes the relationship-building, trust, and community that consumers have with your organization. Your operating philosophy for customer satisfaction and retention often is initiated via an email or email marketing campaign. As with all business, as it relates to your customers in a personal way, customer loyalty will grow.
Underlying the preceding discussion is the ability for email to provide targeted information to each customer based on past interaction, stated preferences, and their online activity. Not only is email capable of being content-sensitive, it is also imperative that it is platform savvy. Emails can be, excuse me—they must be—formatted correctly for each of the possible devices upon which they are being read. These include an ever-expanding variety of smartphones, tablets, netbooks, notebooks, desktops, and the variety of browsers and browser versions being used. Email creation and delivery is more sophisticated now than ever.
Benefits to advanced technology in email marketing include:
When you include a web-version link within your campaign your email subscribers will see a web version of the email with a small bar that has social sharing options. This is the gateway to your social media platform. Because emails can be forwarded and shared, including links to other viral forms of marketing, such as embedded YouTube videos, compelling graphics, or simply valuable content, they are a tool to reach a wider audience at less cost.
Email List Management
The Synchronization of Email Subscribers and Campaigns with Sophisticated Database Management
The use of subscription fields provide for emails that are automatically generated on specific anniversary dates—anything from birthdays, to lapsed subscriptions, to content that is being updated on a scheduled basis. Customers are provided information in a timely way. Auto-responders provide recipients with the immediacy they expect from Internet communications.
Subscriber actions allow you to set certain things to happen when a subscription or unsubscribe action occurs, when a link is clicked, when a campaign is read, etc. You can setup subscriber actions to update subscriber information, perform subscription tasks, send campaigns, and more. This is a benefit of email that is unmatched by other forms of marketing.
Email is Part of Your Brand Identity
Brand identity is part of a unified message—both visually and contextually. The relevance and responsiveness of an email marketing program is all integrated into your company’s branding. I will discuss email and branding in future blog posts.
The use of technologically advanced email marketing programs, which are part of an integrated marketing plan, is one of the reasons that email continues to be a relevant marketing tool.