Consumers no longer sit at home, ready to receive whatever marketing messages we think are important! In the new digital world, consumers run the show – they browse for the info they need to solve their problems as they arise.
This means your email content needs to be good to get their attention.
Here’s how to work smarter (not harder) to ensure your emails hit the mark.
Who are you talking to?
Taking the time to understand different generations’ behaviours and perspectives pays dividends when it comes to engaging them online.
Millennials are digital natives who are keen for brands to engage with them online, according to research. They are responsive to social media, intuitively-designed apps and online communities. They are facilitators and learners, and connect with platforms that promote the storifying of the self.
For Baby Boomers, the digital world is about connecting to passions, keeping in touch with people, and shopping. They are more likely to go online for advice, information and self-education, but don’t insult their intelligence; they’ve been around the block and see themselves as learned, even teachers. At least 90% of Baby Boomers use email, and social media use is ever-increasing for this group.
What do they want from you?
Boomers want to sit and listen. They came of age well before everything from banks to insurance had a digital interface, so they engage with provable, structured content, classroom style. They grew up with snail mail and longer attention spans, so verbal content is the way to their hearts.
Millennials want to try and see. Online content is part of their reality and they are drawn to messaging that is experience-able, spontaneous, and authentic. They want striking visuals and calls to action to help guide them to exactly what’s next.
How can you engage with them on email?
In Deloitte’s 2016 Media Consumer Survey Report, 39% of respondents identified an email from a company/brand as having a high or medium influence on their buying decisions. The channel is alive and well, and as cost effective as ever.
The welcome email
One of the most popular email engagement tactics is the single welcome email. Welcome emails generate four times the total open rates and five times the click rates compared to other bulk emails, according to analysis by Experian CheetahMail.
The welcome email (or series of emails) is an opportunity to consolidate your brand’s connection with the new subscriber, enhance your online store’s credibility, and offer them something of value in their first personalised interaction with your brand.
Re-engaging inactive subscribers is a tactic that aims to bring subscribers back into the fold. You might ask them about preference or interest changes, entice them with an exclusive offer, or invite them to join a loyalty club to make them an insider.
Another powerful tactic is using behaviour-based triggers to connect with consumers. Have they signed up but are yet to make a purchase? Have they abandoned a shopping basket? Have they clicked a ‘Learn More’ CTA on a particular topic?
Use this information to deliver more relevant – and therefore more engaging – content. Being responsive to moments, milestones or movements in the consumer’s journey with your brand is an effective way of engaging them in the new digital landscape – is as close to real time as you can get it (Hint: research Marketing Automation).
Being relevant works
Continuous improvement of the relevance and response of your email marketing is key.
A/B testing of subject lines shows which subject lines are standing out of subscribers’ inbox clutter. Try different phrasing or including different sales offers to find out which achieves higher open and click-through rates.
Another technique is perfecting the timing of sending emails. Alas, there is no one optimal send time (although science says its Tuesday at 10am) – it really depends on the recipient, the industry and the context.
Adjusting the times and days that a campaign is sent out and tracking the engagement analytics is the best way to see what works for your subscribers.
Towards better engagement in the new world
You have to work smarter – not harder – to improve customer engagement with your brand in the new world.
Your target audience is not here to learn about you, they’re here for you to solve their problems. Different generations and demographics have different ways of engaging with online content to resolve those problems – it’s up to you to make your content work for them.
So, don’t reinvent the wheel – popular email marketing tactics are popular for a reason. And remember: measuring, testing and improving the relevance of your content is the backbone of all good email marketing!
Need help with your email marketing strategy? Contact us on 1800 737 266 or firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can help you achieve your goals.