We live in the “Age of Customers” – According to Forrester research.
Meet today’s buyer – Digital Buyer. Thanks to Smartphones, Social Media & Web, these channels provide instant information to customers.
Consumers can access detailed information, pricing, and reviews about services/products anytime anywhere – Just need finger/thumb with a Smartphone.
And, social media provides a great platform to check any business social activity and it give consumers a way to compare.
It’s time to through out old style of marketing because traditional & old marketing mediums are becoming less effective as buyers get more smart & tech-savvy.
Today’s buyers are not average, they’re wise to the ways of marketing. As a buyer, i believe company should inform & entertain me, but never irritate me. It’s very simple, if they don’t keep communications engaging, I’ll opt out.
I am self-directed (like digital buyers) to make purchase decisions. I never interact any brand directly. Firstly I find the information which i am looking for in the digital channel that is most convenient for me at the time (Whether i’m in front of my laptop at home/work or in lines at Pizz Hut on my mobile). I check brand website, social media platform (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram), content/blog etc. before making a decision.
So moral of the story is, By the time a buyer comes to you, he’s probably already made his purchasing decision, so don’t be just a typical sales girl/man; be a smart advisor or counsellor.
Happy customers delivers a big and predictable — return on investment: Happy customers, on average, tell 9 people about their experiences. – Sarv Blog
If you want to win them, you must be obsessed with them, understand their needs and entertain each and every customer individually and personally.
It’s a challenging as well as an exciting to be a marketer. Because in present advertising model, you must be dynamic, don’t put the static information to buyer (more precisely digital buyer).
But question still remains, how to entertain & engage with buyers?
Your answer is right here – Personalized, Relevant, Engaging Email!
(Image Credit: Make a Meme)
Perhaps you’ve heard somewhere from someone that, “Email is no more alive, it’s dead!” Many marketing pandits (or intellectuals) claiming that email is dead.
In 2009, The Wall Street Journal published an article – The End of Email Era. According this article, “Email has had a good run as king of communications. But its reign is over.”
In fact, if you Google “Email is Dead,” you’ll get over 24,40,00,000 results. This is the huge number in comparison searches bring up only 1,33,00,000 results for “blogging is dead,” 10,30,00,000 for “social media is dead,” and 8,12,00,000 for “Michael Jackson is dead.” Are you serious?? ( Current data at the time we’re writing this article on 12th March, 2016)
But truth is opposite the data – Email is still Alive & Well, surprisingly it matters more today than ever before.
There are many channels available – Traditional channels like T.V., Radio, Newspaper & news channels such social media, mobile etc. But email still is the most direct & popular way to engage with consumers. Because we’re addicted to email.
Let me ask you some questions:
1. How many times a day do you check your email?
2. Have you checked your email while reading this article?
91% of consumers reported checking their email at least once a day.
These statistics will give you full insight:
There are nearly 4.1 billion email accounts worldwide by year end 2015, with that number expected to increase to 4.9 billion by the end of 2017.
Email is expected to grow to $12 billion by 2016 and email traffic is estimated to grow to over 192 billion emails sent per day by 2016.
A recent study concluded that email is almost 40 times better at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter. – McKinsey & Company
When asked which medium consumers would like to receive updates from, 90% preferred an email newsletter, while only 10% chose Facebook. - Nielsen Norman Group
My point is, email is not dead, it’s alive & still doing well. As a marketer, it’s still your number one marketing tool for reaching targeted audience quickly.
Read Following Statements:
“I would recommend that anyone who thinks they need to prove the value of email in a world where Facebook is one of, if not the biggest sender of email in the world, to stop sending email for a whole month and see if they keep their job.” – Dela Quist, Email Marketing Leader, CEO of Alchemy Worx (Visit Here)
“Email is the most influential & powerful marketing channels out there.” - Neil Patel, Co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and KISSmetrics, WSJ calls him a top influencer on the web (Visit Here)
“Email remains an immensely credible and profitable channel, with an immense reach to boot. To not have it as an active part of your marketing portfolio is sub-optimal. Email = totally worth dating, engaging, marrying and having babies with.” - Avinash Kaushik, Author, Digital Marketing Evangelist (Visit Here)
But it’s facing some challenges.
#1. People don’t want to be your marketing target. Sales pitches, advertisements, and other interruptions irritate them.
Digital Consumers have their own definition of spam emails. If they don’ like your message, they will make sure they don’t see it again.
Whether you agree or not but most of marketing emails irritate your subscribers (Let’s face it) .
There are many tools or software available out there to help them to filter unwanted emails.
I got a email so many times which said: “Are you ready to buy? Hi, are you ready to buy? Just for you buy today!” This guy was irritating me so much, i marked as spam!
Don’t be that guy.
#2. There are so many marketing channels available for consumer to find more relevant and personalized content such as: email, mobile, social, display advertising.
So through out the old email marketing strategy & tools (which is only designed for email), it’s must for you to do customer-focused marketing (customers should be center of all your marketing, because customer is KING).
So be smart marketer & integrate email with other marketing channels. All you need to do is engaging email marketing.
Let’s consider: you have got 10 email in a day, 5 from your friends, family or colleagues & 5 from some businesses.
You most probably pay the most attention (& quickly respond) to the messages from people with whom you have a genuine & trusted relationships.
Perhaps now you’re thinking, relationship between a business & a customer is never same as relationship between friends/family, It’s TRUE!
But as a marketers we can narrow the gap (but you can’t send something like – Hey John, what’s up dude!) Build a natural & trusted relationship with your customers.
If you want to connect with them, you have to work hard to engage them (there are no short cuts). In order to be truly effective, email marketing must become more trusted, more relevant, more conversational, and more strategic.
It’s not so simple, but it’s not a rocket-science as well. You have to work hard to connect & engage with them.
Be More relevant, conversational (non-marketing pitch), and strategic.
Remember that the best campaigns aren’t about you or what you want subscribers to do. They’re about your subscribers and what they want.”
- Matt Blumberg, Chairman & CEO of Return Path
In Next Article, we’ll Discuss Some Important Key Attribute of Engaging Email.
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