is Email Marketing still relevant?
Yes, absolutely. It doesnt matter that most of your customers use Whatsapp to communicate, people use Social Messengers more. Email Marketing is still relevant. However Email Marketing has evolved and if you want Email Marketing to be relevant for your Business, you need to eveolve too.
Email Marketing has been around 1978, yes 1978. The first email was sent in 1971 and the real email revolution came in 1991. It took 20 years from the first email sent to when Hotmail made it available for every body.
During this period Email had become the primary communication tool and more and more people started using it. Hence it was only natural that toold would be made that would help us communicate effectively with people at large and make sure that it had some level of personalisation.
In the Initial Phase, the only personalisation available was the ability to add first name and maybe companies name. Something which even today guarantees you a higher open rate.
Aweber was one of the first to launch what was called a commercial or for profit service which allowed people to communicate to larger lists with a single email while allowing personalisation. A whole lot of companies including the name majority of people are familiar with “MAILCHIMP” which came in the year 2001.
The next stage of email marketing was the Drip campaigns where you could warm up the audiences over a set period of time by having premade sequences which would be sent on pre defined intervals.
Companies soon realized that this practise was not the best as by now all email service providers had upgraded the spam filters and people got the second email even without opening the first one. This brought in automation builders, which let you set a condition that second email would only be sent once the first one had been opened or a link had been clicked in the first one.
This worked well and led to stats that we discuss below.
As we see from these Stats Email is still alive and kicking and still gives you a ROI of $42 to $1 you invest in it. What has changed however is how much more one can do with Email Marketing today. Today Email Tools come with sophisticated journey builders and these in my opinion are the game changers.
To get the best bang for the buck, Email Marketing should not be seen in Isolation it has to be a part of your Marketing Strategy and has to work in tandem with your Social Media Marketing and SEM. Let us start with what the Objective of your Email Marketing campaigns should be.
Everytime you send an Email Campaign out your objective should be to educate the people, solve a problem maybe and try and bring them back to your website where the said problem has been explained in greater detail. (If you came here via my email then the Objective of that Email Blast was achieved)
You need to build a customer Journey roadmap to help you warm up the audience who had taken action on your email. As an example, If they clicked on this link on the email blast send them another email which gives them more information on a related problem, also add that audience to your Social Media paid marketing list, show them more Ads on your product.
Leads don’t convert on the first email they receive what you need to do is build touchpoints. a Customer Journey roadmap helps you build this roadmap. If you are using an Email Marketing tool like Sendinblue then it has a Website tracking script leverage that to have pre set messages being sent to them when they are on a Particular page.
Let me explain this with an Example.
For a Hotel:
You send an Email to the F&B guests (All those visiting cards you collect at every Restuarant) informing them of an upcoming food festival with a call to action bringing them back to the Website for more details on this.
This information is captured by both Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel code installed on your Website. You have set up a retargeting AD on Social Media which now starts showing them ADs on this upcoming food festival.
The lead who came to your website now also visits another Page which is for a speciality dining Restaurant. Your Email Tracking code records this as does Facebook Pixel and Google code. The person gets added to the audience of the speciality restaurant and starts seeing a different AD for this restaurant as well. Your Email Tracking tool sends them Information about the speciality restaurant 2 days later.
For a Travel Agency
You email about 4 new packages to your existing Database, based on what the recipient likes he/she clicks a link to a particular package. They get added to the audience of this package on Social as well as Google Retargeting, now they start seeing more ads on this Destination.
Also your Email Marketing website tracking script shares details of this package with them, which helps them get more information. A few days later they come back to this email and click on the other package which you had shared, this interaction is also recorded and now they are a part of 2 audiences.
All this happens on Autopilot once the customer journey roadmap has been built, multiple touch points are created if you have set up the entire journey.
For a Travel Agency, a customer clicking on multiple packages can also have an automated task created in a Tool like Sendinblue as it has a built in CRM as well. This task can inform the Manager that this lead is warming up and maybe a call to them can help you close the deal or bring them one step closer to closing the deal.
For the purpose of explaing it here, I have taken 2 very simple examples, a customer hourney roadmap that I usually built has 8-10 steps in it and the purpose of this roadmap is to create multiple touchpoints to warm up leads.
Here is the link to a Video which covers some parts of it, It basically helps you bring your Database to life if you have not used it regularly in the past.
Just because you may be paying a Monthly Subcription to a tool, lets not go overboard with how often we send the emails to people. Over 50% of people unsubscribe because they feel they are getting too many emails from a Business.
As a Hotel you have multiple databases, (If you have merged these then you would not get the same ROI as a Segmented Database) for each of your departments. Build customer journeys for each ofn these departments and bring traffic back to your website and then communicate based on what they have visited on your site.
Send around 2 meesages a month with their own Journey paths. If you see all transactional messages and marketing messages that your tool is sending you will soon realize its worth. Add to this a tool like Sendinblue which has a built in CRM to go with it, you can further segment the data and Lead scoring to go with it.
This in turn would help you know who your warm prospects are.
As a Travel Agency, try and restrict yourself to 2 messages a month as Campaigns but once again built Customer Journey roadmaps for each of the destinations you have covered in these messages.
If you have 4 Destinations in a campaign and each of these in turn has a 8-10 step email automation plus depending upon what pages your email recipients visit on your site which in turn also should have their own email automation, you would not need to communicate more than twice a month.
Both Facebook and Google give you the option to bring your list and create targeting audiences however Facebook also gives you the option to build what is called a look alike audience from your list.
This would be audiences having similar traits to your list andthat makes it easier to grow your potential audience pool.
However many a times the problem that I have seen is people use multiple emails and the email you have on record v/s the email used to sign up for a Social Platform may be different, so uploading a list doesnt always guarantee the same result.
What has however worked very well for my clients is driving the traffic over from Email to Website, as then we can capture the client details on Social and can target and retarget.
How it works is rather simple, most of ushave social apps on our phones and in a vast majority of cases we also open emails on phone, when we click a link in that email and are redirected to the website, the cookies stored in the browse/app helps capture the visitors ifnormation and match it with Social Media.
That is why it is recommended to always build lookalike audiences from your Website visitors as well as Email Database.
Your Old Database is a Goldmine, it doesn’t matter whether you are a Hotel or a Travel Agent. The Saying your List is Gold still holds true.
Email Marketing when done wrong still gives results, but done right it can increase your engagement and Conversions by many fold. If your Email Marketing is not giving you the ROI as I mentioned in the begining then there are 2 possibilities
A) Your Database is out of date and needs to be pruned.
B) You are doing it wrong.
Need help in building a Killer strategy which combines your Database, Social Marketing and makes your Data come alive in your CRM. Talk to me, If your database is halfway decent, I would help you bring it to life in as little as 60-90 days.
If you are searching for best Places to visit in India and have zeroed in on North India and the area of Interest is Culture