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Force24

Email Marketing

Top tips for better email marketing

By Adam Oldfield, CEO at Force24

Email marketing has been around for a quarter of a century – and it shows no signs of slowing down. Not only does it provide a powerful way for marketers to tell recipients about promotions, brand messages and news – it’s a versatile, low-cost, and efficient tool helping marketers to deliver hyper-personalised comms that are measurable and create positive ROI.

This can certainly be the case if an industry professional chooses to use an integrated email marketing platform that supports their brand in customer engagement.

Of course, the next email campaign will go somewhere as soon as the organisation clicks ‘send’ – but how do marketers know if they’re sending the right message to the right person, at the right time? Plus, modern-day marketers are today battling with privacy and data protection pressures which have come to the fore following the introduction of GDPR so the vital nature of ensuring every piece of comms is compliant has never been more important.

What that also means is that there’s an even greater expectation for brands to only send hyper-personalised content to individuals who have consented to receiving it. With that, the power is ultimately with the recipient and – with data protection regulations and the ability to hit ‘unsubscribe’ at any given time at their fingertips – they truly have the sender right where they want them.

However, marketers are also in a powerful position if they couple email content with an intuitive marketing automation platform because it’s soon to become their most cost-effective, efficient marketing channel. When brands plug in automation too, it can help to understand the audience on a more granular level – resulting in professionals sending relevant digital comms as a result.

So, what are the benefits of email marketing platforms, and what should marketers be looking for when they’re ready to buy a savvy tool that could help transform their customer conversations and empower email deliverability?

  1. Liberating email marketing

As an email marketing tool, it’ll be able to take on the mundane and time-consuming everyday tasks that industry professionals end up putting to the bottom of the ‘to do’ list – such as retrieving data from each campaign which, when manually carried out, can take several hours to collate, and something that won’t ever be entirely complete.

With marketing automation, brands can disconnect from the wheels of the marketing machine as it’s able to manage those routine jobs. And the result? Organisations can spend more time focusing on strategy, creativity, and customer conversations and continue to ensure their brand is engaging the right people, at the right time.

2. Email marketing platform integration for multi-channel journeys

For comms to work in harmony and drive real results, companies need an email marketing platform that can segment audiences and talk to multiple groups of recipients at the same time – all from one email build.

A savvy email marketing platform enables teams to create hyper-relevant landing pages, microsites, newsletters and email journeys – in minutes. And if a marketer is saving hours each week thanks to automation, just think how much time they can spend creating their next campaign!

3. Measuring the metrics that matter

What is being monitored to discover whether the latest email campaign was a success or failure? Are brands analysing what improvements they could make? If they’re only looking at email open and click through rates, it’s vital that marketers delve even deeper into the data because these ‘vanity metrics’ don’t tell the full story as to howengaged a recipient was.

For example, a reader could’ve accidentally clicked on an email and discarded it seconds later. And unfortunately, not only are they not interested in what that piece of content has to say, but the organisation itself is getting skewed data as a result.

However, any savvy marketer will know that they shouldn’t ignore them altogether – it’s just a case of not relying on them as the only form of measurement. Instead, using an email marketing automation platform can monitor each campaign alongside what the lead scoring data is telling marketers about every individual’s interaction in their brand, and where they are in the buying funnel.

And, if marketing departments are  unsure as to what lead scoring is, imagine numbers above each recipients’ head based on how engaged they are in the organisation. The higher the figure, the more these individuals should be targeted with hyper-relevant content they want to consume.

4. Unlocking personalisation using email marketing platforms

And speaking about ultra-individualised digital comms, if brands are sending the right content to the right person, at the right time, email campaigns will be far superior to those of a manual send. That’s because customers are being targeted with the type of material they’re interested in, and it goes a long way towards showing that they’re the onlyperson in the room that a company is talking to (even when the businesses is speaking to multiple recipients).

Consumers no longer want bland, irrelevant ‘batch and blast’ emails because the overall message will be loosely received by all. An audience needs to be segmented into specific groups so they can receive tailored sends that show the brand understands their of-the-moment interests.

Plus, when marketers plug in an email marketing platform, they can help to guide audiences through their customer journey and support conversion thanks to their hyper-relevance.

How to market to the over-50s

Force24’s Managing Director, Adam Oldfield, offers his insight into what digital marketers need to know when effectively communicating with ‘silver surfers’…

There’s a strong market emerging that digital marketers cannot afford to ignore, especially as they are proving to be an affluent demographic when it comes to loyalty and brand commitment – and that’s the over-50s.

According to NatWest ContentLive, the so-called ‘silver surfers’ market not only accounts for over a third of Britain’s population, but they hold around 70% of the country’s household wealth.

Further statistics in this article also underline how these customers are fans of online shopping too – with 75% of adults aged 55-64 logging on to buy products and services in 2017, as reported via the Office for National Statistics.

So, what do marketers really need to understand about this group, in order to effectively get their messages across? 

Firstly, it’s a demographic which holds traditional values close to them. They prefer to buy from people they trust, and have a level of engagement that certainly shouldn’t be underestimated – or overlooked – by brands.

However, it’s important that marketing departments approach this kind of audience in a different way – and that’s by embracing their ethos of wanting to get to know people.

Why? Because the over-50s place long-term value on the organisations who show they truly care about their individual needs. Therefore, businesses need to demonstrate a commitment to connect, and take them through their purchasing journey in a personable, humanised way.

When it comes to understanding when to engage too, if marketers try to communicate with this target market at the wrong times, the audience is more likely to unsubscribe because they guard their inbox like it’s their front door – they certainly don’t care for blanket brand spam.

What they do hold true value to is security, and, that’s where marketing automation can be a real benefit to companies. Having such a platform ensures communications are relevant, land when most timely, and are sent in-line with the end user’s preferred frequency.

Automation allows for companies to super-personalise their marketing can help to build the trust this audience requires, as well as collect crucial data, in order to understand what the customer is looking at – helping departments to escalate the purchasing journey, at their desired pace.

Finally, another element for firms to really consider is the artwork included when sending their comms. This demographic is less design-critical – they prefer a polished, well-constructed piece of marketing over something that’s contemporary or graphic-heavy. They want value over vibrancy.

In order to really connect with the over-50s on a level that will create a long-standing relationship, organisations have to be patient and put real effort into personalising their messaging, in order to show how dependable and trustworthy they really are.

Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay

6 killer marketing metrics that really matter

By Adam Oldfield, MD of Force24

The life of a digital marketer is rarely straightforward. Whilst other communicators may perhaps argue it’s easier for their digital peers to evidence ROI, those within the world of email marketing, for instance, may be quick to defend their position.

Because yes, they have a wealth of metrics at their fingertips, but it can be difficult to know where to start.

Rather than focusing on what is arguable a vanity metric – like a click rate or, even worse, an email open – it’s important that marketers look deeper at the data to offer a true bottom line impact.

Insight relating to a brand’s data subjects, list segmentation, and the evolution of those segments, will help a marketer to understand what excites people and drives them to engage. Instead of asset-based reporting, professionals should therefore be concentrating on audience reporting, to assess campaign performance through a user’s eyes.

But how do marketing departments get these bottom up metrics that matter?

  1. Segments are key

Not exactly a metric in itself, but the data that matters can’t be uncovered until segments have been built to see how they are performing, how they’re growing (or shrinking) over time, and what the average lead score is. The more segments created – the better. Automation should make this possible in only a few easy clicks.

  1. Lead score matters the most

‘Lead scoring matters only for B2B marketers’ is a huge myth! Savvy lead scoring takes ALL engagement from any type of user. A points-system should be set so it can be tallied and a pre-defined ‘tipping point’ – tailored to the brand – should trigger when to act. Lead scores help to decide exactly who to focus on at any given time.

  1. Analyse average lead scores per segment

The average lead score of a segment may peak and trough over time. This data can be used to draw engagement curves that indicate seasonality, optimum purchase times, crucial cross-sell periods and when an existing customer is most likely to re-book/buy. This type of analysis also helps to quickly identify strong or weak segments within a data set. It also helps draw correlations between lead scores and campaigns, web activity and, most importantly, the number of leads actually secured. 

  1. Segment evolution

It is important to understand how a list is growing or shrinking – is the data in a segment diminishing, for example? And what might this mean? 

  1. User web engagement

We know browsing behaviour gives us a deeper insight into a user’s interests and needs, but only one in six organisations use it effectively. Web collateral should therefore be designed to support this information gathering, and engagement across this online real-estate should be analysed.

  1. User marketing preferences

It’s just as important to understand what your segment does NOT want to see – you’ll be surprised by the level of variation between data sets.