Email marketing continues to be a strong performer in terms of driving revenue and return, but that doesn’t mean that marketers can rely on the same old approach and expect the same results.
Like everything in marketing, effective email strategies need to evolve to meet the changing expectations of consumers. Gone are the days of batch and blast: sending the same email to everyone just doesn’t work anymore.
And here is a case study in why. Recently, I signed up (or in marketing terms I became a lead) to receive a free sample of a new vitamin supplement. I’m a sucker for the latest and greatest in preventive health, and the sample provided little risk.
Upon signing up, I was immediately offered an upsell opportunity, the marketer in me appreciated the effort. However, the upsell offer itself, which included a cheesy, gigantic timer countdown, because, you know, I had to act fast before the offer disappeared, left me wondering if the company was reputable.
What I didn’t expect was the inundation of emails that my free sample unleashed. Within minutes of completing the opt-in form, my inbox started humming with emails. In addition to the anticipated thank you email, I received approximately 6 additional promotional emails in one day, and the deluge didn’t stop. Every day, I was greeted with more and more and more emails.
What was the end result of the email downpour? I opted-out of the subscription prior to even receiving my sample. The company’s apparent disregard for my already overflowing inbox, and disinterest in the reality that over-emailing increases unsubscribe rates, left me little choice.
Moreover, the email content wasn’t targeted or personalized based on my behavior. In fact, they didn’t even bother to personalize with my first name. Instead, all emails started with “Hey.” It was content for content’s sake without any thought given to my interests, wants or needs. This is a considerable error because according to Experian, personalized emails deliver 6X higher transaction rates.
The company’s eagerness to instantly sell me caused the loss of an eventual customer. More than that, I’m none too keen to receive my free sample. My trust in the delicate, early-stage relationship between a potential customer and the company had been shaken.
So how should your company avoid a similar fate? Remember the marketing fundamentals. In the scenario above, I was in the evaluation stage of the buyer’s journey. I was interested enough to provide my email address (something that I’m generally reluctant to give because of the aforementioned overflowing inbox) and other contact information to receive the free sample. I just wasn’t ready to convert. According to a Marketo study, approximately 96% of visitors that come to a website are not ready to buy.
At this stage in the funnel, the content sent should be highly relevant to my needs. This approach would have shown that they segmented the content based on knowing my initial interest, which in turn would have fueled my propensity to buy. In fact, DMA states that segmented emails generate 58% of all revenue.
Beyond this, timing their email sends, say once a week, would have expressed a willingness to earn my business over the longer term. Something that too many companies forget in their rush to make an instant sale. Why opt for a one-time sale when you could have a customer for life?
Email marketing can be a powerful tool when you keep the customer experience top of mind. The simple truth is that the individual who has an excellent experience from start to finish will gladly become a customer.
Still wondering how to move a lead to a sale? Check out our free resource guide on the right content to provide at the right stage.