Email Marketing vs. Direct Mailing
Studies have recently show that email marketing is far more effective, much cheaper and offers faster results than direct mailing. It’s not merely faster to create and send but also delivers immediately to a sizable group of target consumers. Response rates from e-mail range around 40-60% and it is simple to track the open and response rates granting you the potential to analyze just how effective or unsuccessful your campaign has been.
“The Direct Marketing Association puts email marketing’s ROI for 2011 at $40.56 for every $1 invested. The figure for 2012 is predicted to “fall” to $39.40, when email will account for $67.8 billion in sales. Email is bringing in $40.56 for every dollar spent on it in 2011, according to the DMA.”
Tips for Effective Email Marketing
- Avoid Accidental Spamming: Send bulk email only to those who have given you permission. Include an obvious UNSUBSCRIBE link on all you emails. And make sure to read up on the CAN-SPAM act to avoid any trouble.
- Educate & Inform rather than Sell: Consumers these days are bombarded by sales pitches, so rise above the competition and offer your subscribes valuable content they can use and learn from. They will appreciate and remember you and your company if you do.
- Make it easy to Read and/or Scan: Most subscribers are busy people who get a lot of email, so it’s safe to assume you don’t have their undivided attention for more than a minute or two. So be brief, get to the point and break up your content into short paragraphs, bullet points or lists. Include subheadings and images to guide readers through your email and make it easier to scan, and add a teaser to the top of your newsletter to tell subscribers what’s in store.
- Design your Email to compliment your branding: Your email campaigns should match your brand’s look and feel. Use a professionally designed header that includes your logo and/or tagline. If your emails are consistent with the rest of your company’s content, then readers will feel more familiar from the start.
- Reduce the Noise: Most subscribers will not see your images based on their mail server protocol, so use images sparingly, rely on html to enhance the look of your email and never use an image to convey a critical or important message.
- Think mobile: Make sure your email is mobile-friendly, otherwise you will miss out on a large percentage of your recipients. Send out a test email to yourself to verify how it looks and reads on several devices.
- Set a Schedule and Stick to It: Whether you set your emails to be sent weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc, make sure you stick to it. Let your subscribers know the schedule as a courtesy so they can decide if they want to be on your list.
- Track your Progress: Most email newsletter services offer free reports that contain helpful information. Pay attention to your open and click rates, and identify any patterns that make those numbers go up or down. If a campaign receives a high number of unsubscribes, then try something different the next time.
“For all the sophistication of mobile devices, email marketers see the most success with layouts that have as little noise’ [i.e., graphics, photos and video] as possible and the call to action visible without scrolling.”