Email marketing is far from dead. There are approximately 251 email marketing software solutions currently on the market, with 89% of marketers saying that email is their primary channel for lead generation – which is great! But is email the most effective form of communication when it comes to engaging more directly with customers and building brand loyalty?
There has been a lot of hype around the concept of ‘taking the workforce mobile’, with instant messaging and social channels such as Yammer being a popular choice for companies getting word to their employees quickly and effectively. However, there has been less talk of applying the same processes to the way in which we communicate with customers, from a retailers perspective at least. Part of this is due to the understandable desire to employ less than intrusive methods of communicating with customers, as part of a broader move away from scatter-gun mass marketing.
Search any site for tips on increasing email open rates and the first thing they’ll say is to make sure your email templates are built for mobile responsivity – there is no doubt that reaching your customers on mobile is key. 75% of Gmail’s 900 million users access their accounts on mobile devices – in fact, in 2015, 33% of all email opens occurred on an iPhone. That said, all web mail app opens decreased last year, with Yahoo! Mail seeing a 28% drop and outlook.com down a staggering 42% to just 3% of opens.
So, we know that mobile is the key platform for reaching customers, but is email the most effective form for every type of communication?
Unlike email, instant messages don’t get jousted by junk mail gatekeepers or lost in the flurry of offers and hourly Groupon deals. People naturally react to instant messages and notifications quickly because it is the way in which they communicate with family and friends on a daily basis. It’s not surprising then, that messaging drives higher open and click-through rates and a better, more personal customer experience.
Being open and easily accessible is vital when building a lasting and loyal relationship with your audience. Consumers want to hear from you – 61% like to receive weekly promotions, 28% would even want them more frequently. With YUDU, having a branded app allows you to create a dedicated channel that isn’t cluttered with third-party, irrelevant content. Moreover, it allows you to engage with a database that you already know has some level of familiarity and interest with your brand, enough so that they’ve downloaded the app.
Emails with social sharing buttons see a 158% increase in click-through rates, so be social, include live feeds and updates alongside your latest editions and back archives – create one place with a faster rotation of content, encouraging users to check in with you regularly and consequently increasing engagement and sales.
Email marketing is a necessity. However, think about the different types of content you’re pushing through that channel – are the sorts of special offers aimed at cementing brand loyalty most effective through e-mail channels? Be smart and use apps to effectively utilise your pre-qualified list of already engaged customers who are highly familiar with your brand.