There are approximately 3 billion email accounts in the world. That’s more than all the social media networks combined.It’s the online standard means of communication. It still drives more revenue than Content and Social Media outperformed only by Search. It’s cheap to use, easy to measure and you can quickly drive response. Email marketing is a bit of an art, a delicate balance of targeting, content strategy, frequency, creative and response optimisation. Results are fairly predictable post test phase.

The reality of business today means your emails need to be optimised for mobile. The proportion of email opened on mobile devices reached 41% in the second half of 2012. Trick here is to use a responsive template. If you don’t have a mobile site then services like Spark will help you to bridge that gap.

Testing is important, its an optimisation exercise you can do before the majority of your emails go out. I’ve tested subject lines and found a difference in open rates of up to 3%. This may not sound a lot but on 20,000 thats 600 more people I get my message in front of. Nothing worse than getting an email where images are compromised or links won’t work. Double check everything or risk your company’s reputation.

Trade Email Addresses for Content

I reviewed 18 sites for Aberdeen based Energy Industry supplier businesses this weekend. 70% are hosting downloads and product PDFs on their sites but aren’t collecting any data from potential customers interested in the information. If you ask for an email address for every downloaded paper, price list or product spec from your site you’ll have new business leads you can proactively start a conversation with.

• Refer to the downloaded content in your email subject line so they know how you got their address when you follow up  ‘More on Reclor Winches’

• Make sure your email offers a few click thru options. Associated products, delivery times, sales contacts. Try to find out where they are in the sales process. Research shows buyers are two thirds through the buying process before they reach out to vendors.

  • Highlight an option which offers a response within 24 hours. The shifting work patterns of the energy industry mean buyers are often under pressure. You’ll be able to prioritise who you need to help out first without an automated system.

Use Video in Your Emails 

Video marketing increases sales and leads. If you’re not using video marketing, you’re losing customers to those who do. Businesses that incorporate video marketing into marketing strategy see higher engagement, click through and conversion rates.

The wider adoption of HTML5 video has allowed email marketers to embrace video in comms. Unlike Flash, HTML5 is supported natively in the browser, eliminating the security risks of third-party plugins. 50% of all email messages read today support HTML5 so people can watch video right in the body of an email.

• Using ‘Video:’ in a subject line can double the CTR.

• Video brings the CTR up to 67% higher than an average campaign.

• 59% senior executives would rather watch a video than read text. (Forbes)

• 65% of video watchers click through to visit a vendor site

• Click through rates in an email with video increase by as much as 300% (Forrester Research)

Start A Newsletter

Once you have an email database email newsletters can help to keep prospects interested.The aim is to become part of your buyers content consumption routine. To achieve this you’ll need to offer content which you audience will find useful and unique. Even when people want to leave your database you can make sure they’ll remember you by adding a bit of humour See Brilliant Unsubscribe

• Good for Lead Nurturing. Reminding them of what you do and providing content which will teach your audience about your business and give you an indication of what people are interested in.

• Great for Brand Building. Email newsletters help you to build brands – not by pushing  products, but by positioning them as experts in their industry. Newsletters show your target market your business is up to date on industry trends and understand business challenges.

• Relationship Building. Newsletters build trust. Service firms and those with complex products (Oil and Gas!) have a lengthy sales cycle ( sooooooo long )Email newsletters build trust by demonstrating knowledge, expertise and experience on the topics that matter most. To be ahead of the curve look at giving your sales team members the tools to create their own email marketing. Anyone who follows my blog knows I’m a big fan of Personal Branding. Using your own personality to enhance communications and become more memorable is a no brainer.

Cross-Selling and Up-Selling. Don’t assume that your audience knows everything about your business. An email newsletter is a great way to highlight other products or service areas.

• Collecting Data – Ask them to vote on their favourite business resources so you can cross target. Ask them to complete a profile. Offer business books, pads, diaries, pens, mugs in return for postal addresses.