Orig. Post November 21, 2014 by Helen Nesterenko, biznology | Re-Post December 3, 2014
Email marketing may have the highest ROI of any form of marketing. However, that doesn’t mean it’s an automatic win for your organization.
All too often, I see organizations fail at email. Their open rates are low, and their conversion rates are abysmal. They may even earn more unsubscribes than new leads from each attempt at email marketing! I think there’s one key thing many marketers miss. They’re not treating their emails like blog content.
I’ve compiled four big ways your emails should be more like blog content than you realize. Here they are:
Image s and Visuals
Every email you send needs at least one image. These should ideally be custom-created or highly relevant visual content. It’s even better to use a video. You’d never publish a blog without an image, so apply the same principle to your email marketing.
Be extremely cautious about the images you use. Images are processed 60,000 times faster than text in the human brain. The wrong picture can disgust your readers before they even begin to read your content. Avoid anything tacky, obviously from a stock photo website, awkward, or otherwise irrelevant to your brand.
Did you know that four out of five emails sent today are spam messages? It’s safe to say that your customers are sick and tired of receiving spam in their inboxes.
However, what’s perceived as spam isn’t just emails from “Nigerian Princes” trying to draw consumers into a wire fraud scheme. To most people, spam is an irrelevant email that doesn’t provide value. If you send something low-value, you run the chance of being labeled a spammer by your contacts.
To combat this, I recommend providing super valuable content in each email you send. Don’t engage in hard-sell tactics or provide a link to low-value content on your website. Create something that’s unique, useful, and tailored to the needs of your contacts.
You’d never publish thin sales-driven content on your blog. Never use your email list as a platform for pushing out anything substandard.
When you publish a blog, does every single person who reads your content become a customer? Unlikely. Research indicates that average lead conversion rates on blog content range between 4-8%. Even if your organization excels at lead nurturing and sales, it’s unlikely that more than 1% of your blog readers will ever become customers.
The same concept applies when it comes to email marketing. Many click-throughs from your emails won’t result in sales. Your contacts may click out of sheer curiosity, and fail to convert into leads.
What can you do? Well, for starters, understand that your email marketing will probably never have a 100% conversion rate. However, optimizing your emails with high-quality CTA’s that lead to exceptional content offers can be a huge benefit. Every click counts, so it’s crucial that you make the most of it.
As your blog audience grows, you’ll probably find yourself working a little harder at content marketing. You may spend more time engaging your audience, or testing new forms of content like custom videos and infographics. You’ll employ marketing experiments and different tactics to keep your new audience engaged, and you’ll continue growing.
As your blog traffic increases, there’s a strong chance you’ll gain email subscribers along the way. It’s up to you to keep this audience engaged. Test new forms of content, new topics, and new calls-to-action. Treat your email like landing pages on your website. Most importantly, don’t hesitate to invest in an email platform like MailChimp that can handle A/B testing.
Jim is a 30 year veteran of Fortune 500 sales and marketing with companies such as Oracle, Dell, and EMC, as well as Hilton and Omni hotels. His passion lies in helping emerging growth companies raise funds by leveraging the marketing tools and strategies that large corporations typically use. His focus is simple. “Help Businesses Raise Capital!”