In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies shut down their in-house email marketing. After all, people weren’t buying as much as they used to, so it wasn’t making much sense to continue spending on mailings when customers weren’t responding.
While many big companies were able to maintain their inbound marketing strategies, small businesses had to get creative. In many cases, they turned to the tools that they already had in place: email marketing software and lists of opt-in subscribers.
Many email marketing platforms let you create automated email content that you can schedule to go out at a later date. As a result, many companies were able to keep their email marketing campaigns going during the pandemic. In most cases, they just had to adjust their approach a bit and shift to digital marketing.
Here’s a look at when did direct email marketing association close and what does it mean.
When Did Direct Email Marketing Association Close?
In the past, people would eagerly wait for the mailman to drop off the latest issue of their favorite magazine, eagerly anticipating the novel experiences that the magazine would offer. Now, with digital distractions (such as mobile phones and social media) offering up content that’s accessible on-demand, people are researching and buying recommendations online before they make a purchase decision.
This behavior changes the rules of engagement for businesses that rely heavily on direct email marketing. Instead of getting a magazine in the mail, people get information online and make decisions based on that content – sometimes without even having to leave their home.
To reach this important audience, many businesses turned to social media. With many people working from home, companies were able to engage with consumers where they are – on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram.
These businesses created marketing campaigns with the hashtag #WeddingPlans and/or #BabyBoomers to draw potential customers into their networks. They also used social media to praise and thank customers for their previous business and to provide further motivation for them to buy products or services.
What Does It Mean When Direct Email Marketing Association Closed?
When a company’s direct email marketing association closes, it usually means that the company that owns the list has decided to no longer offer the list for purchase. When this happens, other companies that wish to market to this audience will have to get permission from the original list publisher.
Often, a business that wants to purchase a list of opt-in subscribers will have to agree to pay the subscription fee that the owner of the list is currently charging for access to the list’s members. In some cases, the fee that the owner charges can be very high – up to several hundred or even a thousand dollars per month. The subscription usually includes the mailing of a product or service that the member has expressed an interest in receiving.
It’s often hard for a business to justify spending several hundred or a thousand dollars a month on a list of opt-in subscribers – especially when they’re not sure if those members will still be interested in what the business has to offer once the direct email marketing association closes.
On the other hand, a business that previously paid for a list can continue to use that list whether the association is active or closed. In many cases, this type of business will have a much easier time establishing a consistent cash flow, so they can continue operating without worrying about their budgets. It also means that they don’t have to justify the cost of a costly mailing list to their shareholders – since it continues to operate without charge.
Why Did Direct Email Marketing Association Close In The First Place?
Many companies that rely on direct email marketing to grow their business experienced a significant drop in orders during the pandemic. This is simply because people weren’t buying as many magazines or subscribing to newsletters as they had before the pandemic.
These businesses adjusted their strategies and shifted their focus to online marketing – including paid and organic search, social media, and email marketing.
However, even before the pandemic, companies that relied heavily on direct email marketing saw a decrease in subscribers as people moved to more digital forms of marketing. According to HubSpot Blogs research, only 4% of people who initially signed up for a mailing list used them regularly a year later. That’s compared to 14% of those who had not previously signed up for a mailing list.
The Impact Of The Coronavirus On Email Marketing
The coronavirus pandemic had a significant impact on email marketing, as much as any other area of business. Many companies that had to close down their inbound marketing strategies – including direct email marketing – had to pivot quickly and make adjustments to continue operating. Here are just a few of the ways that the coronavirus pandemic impacted email marketing:
- Constant fear of the unknown
- Reduced ability to travel
- Changes to daily life
- Difficulty accessing information (especially online)
- Effects on the economy as a whole
The Impact On Direct Email Marketing
The coronavirus pandemic had a significant impact on direct email marketing, as much as any other area of business. Many big companies were able to maintain their inbound strategies during the pandemic, but most small businesses had to get creative.
To attract customers during the pandemic, many companies turned to social media. However, given the fear that surrounded the pandemic in general and the uncertainty of whether or not they would be able to maintain their business in the coming months, many small businesses started to see a decline in the number of people engaging with their content.
When many businesses shifted to online marketing and sales via digital platforms, they needed a way to reach potential customers. While search engines helped them find potential customers, they couldn’t reach out and engage with them. That’s where newsletters and email marketing come in. (And, for the record, many of my clients still use MailChimp to manage their email lists because it’s been around since 2004 and is still highly trusted by consumers. What more can you ask for?)
In most cases, marketers turned to their existing email lists, which they had previously built up from marketing campaigns and other tactics. In many cases, these email lists had already been validated through previous marketing efforts, so the businesses did not have to spend as much money to acquire new subscribers. In some instances, these lists were even proven to be more effective at converting subscribers into buyers during the pandemic than they had been in the past.
What Should Marketers And Businesses Do In The Future?
After the pandemic, marketers should take a deep breath and rest assured that inbound marketing will return as traditional lifestyle choices are made again.
However, given the changes that the pandemic has brought about, marketers should create content that’s relevant to the needs of their audience. Specifically, they should create content that addresses the following:
- Income generation
- Stress reduction
The Importance Of SEO
One of the most notable changes that came about as a result of the pandemic is the increased importance of SEO. Since people are looking for information on online marketing and sales platforms like Google, they rely heavily on search engines for their research. In most cases, this means that the content that shows up on the first page of a search engine results page (SERP) is the content that’s going to attract the most attention.
Marketers should take the time to learn how to optimize their content for SEO so that when potential customers search for the types of products or services that their business offers, they’ll see their website or blog listed at the top of the search engine results page.
In the coming months, marketers should continue to optimize their content for search engines so that they can continue to gain visibility and attract potential customers to their businesses.