Email has become a cornerstone of modern life. There are an estimated 3.7 billion email accounts in existence, sending a daily average of 269 billion messages throughout last year. Sending and receiving email in the UK is still the most common internet activity, ahead of shopping and social networking. And the Direct Marketing Association suggested a few years ago email marketing can return £40 for every £1 invested in it.
The power and the story
Used appropriately, email marketing is peerless for increasing custom and improving enquiry levels. Over the last couple years, delivery rates have remained steady at around 98 per cent. Open rates hover around 15 per cent, with click-through rates standing at 1.5 per cent and numbers quickly scale. Send ten thousand messages to an opt-in distribution list, and you can expect 150 new visits to your chosen landing page. That’s genuinely impressive, considering how easy it is to distribute email UK-wide.
Any campaign to deliver email to UK consumers should focus on news or developments relevant to a British audience, such as product news or time-limited offers. Sales and discounts always capture consumer imagination, as will seasonal items or exclusive offers. Each message should have a call to action, like clicking through onto a designated landing page. An email might encourage recipients to add an item to their basket or steer them towards a YouTube video. Consider ways to front-load your key points into the email body, and then plan how to reinforce or expand on it once audiences reach the intended destination.
Email marketing’s power is squandered if companies don’t take responsibility for their actions. To be truly effective, it needs to remain respectful and non-intrusive:
- Never send emails to UK consumers who haven’t subscribed. Don’t assume a one-time customer has any interest in knowing about your 2018 Christmas campaign.
- Avoid bombarding people with messages. Monthly or fortnightly communiqués will generally be seen as acceptable – daily emails less so.
- Ensure every message has a hook or key point. People don’t care how great you say you are, but they’ll want to know how your products and services can help them.
- Don’t purchase third-party email distribution lists. These are full of unwitting recipients, liable to mark your message as spam and harm your sender reputation.
- Always provide a one-click unsubscribe option. Make this prominent, rather than burying it at the end of an email in 4 point font that blends into the background.
Handled correctly, email remains one of the most dependable marketing channels in terms of ROI. Messages are quick to prepare and cost-effective to send, even when using a distribution platform like MailChimp. This enables segmented targeting of customer demographics, with precise measurement of individual response rates. And it’s immediate – emails arrive within seconds of being sent, potentially being forwarded on and shared with a wider audience.