Jumping into the world of email marketing is daunting. Email terms, best practices, emerging technology, and platforms can be overwhelming. Luckily, I had BrightWave and a whole bunch of email nerds to teach me the ways of email marketing (not to mention the stellar sessions at EiQ).
Here are some of the things I have learned in my first month of email marketing:
1. Email is Not Dead
I had always heard that email was a dying industry, much like newspapers or movie rental companies. I never really bought into this mentality, but I will admit that email was not the first thing that came to mind if someone said ‘digital marketing.’
With an expected annual growth rate of 4.4%, email is far from dead. Email is so close to the data that it is still an effective channel for digital marketing. Personalized content is more attainable than many other forms of traditional marketing, and tracking conversions and revenue generation is easier for email marketers than most.
2. The Importance of Unsubscribes
Coming into email marketing, I thought the word ‘unsubscribe’ was taboo. It only took a few days to learn that bigger database sizes are not always better, and that unsubscribes can be a good thing. The ‘more subscribers is better’ approach doesn’t consider the importance of segmentation, bounces, and customer engagement rates.
I’ve learned that understanding preferences is vital. Allowing customers to choose (or implicitly inferring) what they receive information about, how often they hear from a company, or even allowing them to hit ‘snooze’ on a mailing can drastically increase email performance. At the end of the day, unsubscribe rates are not the death sentence I thought they were.
3. Breaking Down Marketing Silos
Most companies keep marketing channels siloed within their organization. Customers interact with these brands on every level across marketing platforms, which means that companies need to integrate marketing efforts more than ever. Keeping email content in line with other marketing channels can make a drastic change in customer retention levels.
4. Relevant Content is King
As a non-marketer, I never thought about the importance of relevant marketing messages. Now, I’ve realized that sending subscribers appropriate subject lines, preheaders, images, and content could not be more important.
5. Ultimately: Learn as Much as Possible
I have spent a lot of my first month watching co-workers, shadowing meetings, and working on a lot of platform trainings. Taking everything in was overwhelming at times and often downright confusing (the difference between personalization and dynamic content? Come on!). Now, with a little more time under my belt. I can say that building a basic understanding of the platforms, processes, and terms is a crucial foundation.
It’s been an overwhelming first month of email marketing. I have learned more than I imagined I would and have debunked many of my thoughts on email myths.