This year has been a difficult one for many industries, especially the ones that rely on face-to-face interactions. As companies have shifted to working remotely, the email marketing world has changed too.
Email marketing is a form of marketing that allows businesses to communicate with their customers via email.
The method is quite simple: A business can use email marketing to send a mass email to a list of people. Those recipients can then take action (such as signing up for a newsletter or downloading a whitepaper), which encourages a business to keep up the communication.
However, due to the current pandemic, email marketing has changed. Email platforms like MailChimp and HubSpot have observed a 400% increase in unsubscribe rates.
What Did We Learn From The Last Three Months?
Since the beginning of the year, we have all been through a series of transitions. From working remotely to social distancing to coming back online. Email marketing has changed with the times, adapting to new ways of communicating and connecting with customers.
Over the last three months, marketers have learned a lot about their audience and their customers. Here are some of the key takeaways:
1. Customer Segmentation Is More Important Than Ever
When a business sets up their email marketing campaign, they usually segment their email list into different groups. The groups are usually based on a combination of marketing email actions: downloads, signups, or sales.
The segmented list improves the email marketing ROI by helping the business personalize their emails. When a business sends an email to someone who has not interacted with the brand before, the email will seem quite generic and useless. But if the email is personalized, it will seem more relevant and interesting to the recipient.
Additionally, segmenting the list allows the business to target the right audience for their product or service. If the product or service is geared toward millennials, for example, they can choose to send the email to only those individuals on their list. Or, they can send the email to everybody on their list, but with some relevant messaging tailored toward that audience.
2. Personalization Is The Key To Effective Marketing
Another important factor that changed due to the pandemic is the role of the business email itself in the marketing process. Personalization used to be an afterthought. Businesses would create a blast email, add a few lines of personalized text, and then send it out. But with customers avoiding face-to-face interactions, the ability to personalize has become invaluable.
When a business does not know or care much about their customers, creating personal emails is quite easy. They simply choose a stock email template, and add a few lines of personalized text.
However, if a business takes the time to learn more about their customers and finds relevance in the messages, they can substantially improve their email marketing ROI. They can also send out highly personalized emails, tailoring the content to speak to each individual recipient.
3. Relevance Is The Key To Customer Happiness
Marketers used to think that the quantity of the emails they sent out was the most important factor in driving customer happiness. However, over the last three months, the ability of the email to personalize and the content therein have become more relevant and important to the customer experience. While quality is always preferable, a personalized email that is relevant and interesting can still carry a lot of value.
Even if the product or service is quite simple, like a reminder to have your car cleaned or a hotel welcome email, the individual receiving the email can feel like they are learning something new about the brand or the product. As a business, having a personal email means that the customer can feel like the business cares about them and their needs, rather than just a list of names.
4. The Shortened Content Time Means Shorter But More Engaging Emails
With customers who are busier than ever before, marketers have to find a way to keep their attention for as long as possible. One way is by using short, snappy, and easy-to-digest content.
The shorter the content, the more attention it will get. A study from HubSpot found that people tend to read shorter emails on average than longer emails. This trend is likely because people have so much content to read and watch in today’s world, and thus, have less time to focus on anything else. As a result, businesses that can keep the attention of their customers with short and snappy emails will outperform those who use long-winded messages.
5. Customers Love To Learn About New Products
As customers are learning to value quality over quantity, businesses who can provide value are thriving. New products and services that are valuable to the customer are the ones that survive and prosper, regardless of the economic climate.
The ability to communicate value through an interesting, high-quality email has increased the importance of content.
In a time where consumers are trying to limit the information they receive, marketers must find a way to provide value in order to stay relevant.
To provide value and stay relevant, email marketing teams should take the time to learn about their customers and prospective customers, and then tailor the content to be interesting and valuable to that audience.