Email marketing has changed remarkably in the past decade. Most of you will have noticed the obvious switch from text-based content to the visually loaded HTML based email we receive today, thanks in part to the technological advancements of home PCs and internet bandwidth as well as the standardisation of the WWW as a platform. Marketing emails today can have as much visual impact as a double page spread in a glossy magazine, but in my opinion the biggest and most important developments for us marketers have all been happening behind the scenes.
Email systems that were once comprised of a simple message composition window and address book, have since developed into fully-featured bi-directional campaign management tools, with integrated reporting and tracking tools far surpassing those of all the traditional single-directional media channels combined – print, television, radio and outdoor. As a marketing strategist, the measurability and accountability of marketing spend is of fundamental importance and is the best way to ensure our clients get the greatest bang for their bucks.
Here are some of the biggest benefits to using a campaign based email system such as our own Mailbox –
- Campaign management and reporting tools. Understand how many potential customers your campaign is reaching and what content they are interacting with.
- Comprehensive customer database tools. Segment customers into targeted databases based on what they have been interested in and how they have interacted with your email.
- Comprehensive customer reporting tools. See who is on your database, when and how they signed up. What and when they have interacted with within you email campaigns.
- Data garnered from the reports can help you better understand and identify behaviours of your customers. This knowledge should flow-on to other marketing activities.
- A/B split testing. The system will send out two different emails to a small sample of the database. The email with the best feedback will be sent to the remainder of the database.
- Template based content creation. Load in multiple templates for use in different situations or for different target audiences.
- The target audience is created by YOU. Be as selective or as broad as you like. Email campaigns are not constrained to an audience dictated by the media (TV channel, radio station, newspaper readership). *This can either be a good or a bad thing
Email marketing, as I see it right now, is grossly under-valued and under-utilised by most. The traditional compose-and-send way of marketing has validity, but the real value of email marketing is in what happens after the email goes out – the ability for you to come back and evaluate the success of the campaign. This combination of cost-efficiency, ease of use and accessibly to real-time feedback is in my opinion, second to none.
As good as email marketing is, it will never replace traditional media, but combined correctly with others tools as part of the marketing mix, it does have the ability turn a good campaign into an exceptional one.
In time, the quality and quantity of data gathered from these types of bi-directional communication systems is sure to improve, and with further advancements it will become even more accessible with even less effort. But if you want to stay ahead of the game, the data is available for those willing to invest a little time to utilise it.
Click here to visit our dedicated Mailbox mini-site.