Email marketing still the most popular communication channel for sales & marketing
When asked which channel customers prefer to use to communicate with sales, email still appears in first place, closely followed by the telephone. This was also the case in today's survey of my international sales and marketing team.
Social media is lagging behind. Why is this still the case? E-mail is a direct and personal communication that immediately lands in the addressee's inbox. Once an addressee has given their email and consent to communicate with you via it, marketing can begin. It is simple, inexpensive, and efficient and, if necessary, can be started directly from your own e-mail programme without any major tools.
What is automated E-Mail-Marketing?
In addition to transactional e-mails, which we all know well enough from our everyday work, there are regular marketing e-mails and automated marketing e-mails in e-mail marketing. The use of automated email marketing requires the implementation of appropriate software. This allows for complex, fully automated and personalized e-mail campaigns.
We distinguish two types of automated e-mails:
- Automated emails that are sent based on certain behavior, so-called triggers. These are e.g. a registration, a download of a white paper or the booking of a webinar.
- Automated emails that are sent on the basis of a defined point in time. These are e.g. birthdays, a longer period of inactivity or the anniversary of the first news subscription.
Marketing Automation vs. automated E-Mail-Marketing
However, marketing automation encompasses much more than just email marketing. SMS messages can also be sent automatically, or the publication of content on social media is automated.
Automation enables companies to add new leads to defined contact lists and to communicate with them in a personalised way. I will explain how this works in the following.
How does email marketing automation work?
Normally, automation starts with a landing page that contains an incentive (a white paper, an offer) and offers a corresponding sign-up form. When the prospect signs up, he is automatically added to a corresponding contact list in the automation software and is then offered information that has been defined in advance in the system and is tailored to his customer journey with further information. Direct addressing of the customer from the data left behind is integrated.
Lead Nurturing and Drip Marketing
This process of engaging in a dialogue after a trigger is called nurturing. With lead nurturing, it is important to think in advance about what the customer needs successively and how to provide him with the necessary knowledge in a meaningful way step by step so that he becomes more interested in the company's offer each time. A more advanced form of nurturing is drip marketing, in which customers are gradually asked for more data and answers and the subsequent automation processes adapt to the content of these answers.
How do you get the e-mail adresses?
Without email addresses, no email marketing can take place. Therefore, it is of great importance to collect "good" addresses of real people who have an interest in the offered service/product and to provide them with offers in a target group-oriented manner.
Essential sources for the e-mail addresses are:
- Data collection from new and existing customers, which of course should always include the email address and consent to send information.
- Call-to-Actions (CTAs) on the web pages: this can be a button for contacting the company, for a direct telephone call or for downloading an offer.
- Data generation via helpful downloads: many people are willing to leave their email contact details in exchange for useful content. You can find out how to create such content on the topic of content marketing.
- Offer to be included in a newsletter with exclusive information that cannot be found on the website in this way, or with access to webinars or advance information.
- Landing pages with a high conversion rate can be used to acquire email addresses.
- Use pop-up windows to register for webinars, newsletters or direct contact.
Should you buy adresses?
I advise you not to buy addresses, because in my view these business models are no longer viable. Basically, every person whose email address you receive would have to give you permission to email them. This is hardly feasible with purchased addresses. The quality of such purchased addresses is also often questionable.
Basic requirements for good e-mail marketing
In my experience, the following points are essential if you want to do good email marketing. Many of my clients still work on the basis of completely individual mailings that you send via your Outlook programme. This can also be successful in the early stages of setting up a company in a highly specialised niche. However, in order to conserve your own time and to avoid confusion, confusion and - worst of all - a lack of DSGVO compliance in customer communication, you need to switch to professional email marketing as soon as possible.
Professional e-mail marketing tool
In any case, you need a professional tool that allows you to manage different marketing campaigns for different customer journeys. A good tracking function of open rates and subsequent users on an offered website is also urgently needed. This is the only way to know if your mailings were successful and where you need to improve. Accordingly, reporting and an analysis function to evaluate performance should be possible. The tool should allow you to assign your contacts to different contact lists depending on their interests or needs. This is called "segmentation". And last but not least, the tool must provide for lead management for different phases of the customer journey, from lead generation and capture to lead nurturing. When choosing an email marketing tool, it is important to align with their marketing needs.
Double Opt-In must be guaranteed and waited for. This means that after a prospective customer has registered, he or she receives another confirmation e-mail, which he or she must also confirm before he or she is actually entered in the contact list and can be provided with automated e-mail marketing. DSGVO compliance is guaranteed if the sender can prove this personal opt-in of the recipient.
It is essential that the emails include the correct salutation and name of the addressee.
The subject line must be meaningful and at the same time arouse curiosity. It is not an easy task, but one that pays off, because e-mails with appropriate subject lines have a much higher open rate than those with less appropriate subjects.
Keep sending times and content reader-friendly
The time of sending for the emails and also the type and amount of content should be adjusted exactly to the reader's expectation. So use those times when your target group is most likely to be sitting in front of the computer and prepare the content in such a way that it is not too long and not too short, but can be processed well.