Lockdowns show value of email marketing
Tdemise of email marketing has been foretold many times over recent years, but nothing could be further from the truth when you look at the results that email marketing continues to generate for businesses up and down the country.
Email marketing continually comes out on top when research looks at what form of marketing achieves the best return on investment (ROI).
For example, last year email metrics company Litmus found that for every dollar marketers spend on email marketing, they receive $42 in return, or an ROI of 42:1.
That’s up from an average ROI of 38:1 in 2018 and reflects a trend that has crept upwards for over a decade.
Nothing demonstrated the strategic advantage of a direct email communication channel to your customer base better than the Covid-19 lockdown earlier in the year. While new business leads across over 1000 small to medium business websites on the Web Genius platform were down 25 per cent during this period, marketing emails and e-newsletterswere up 77 per cent.
But you can’t wait for a crisis to start building your email
To reap the benefits of increased brand recognition, referrals and repeat business you need to establish a regular contact schedule.
One Kiwi company that has been in regular email contact with its customer base for nearly two decades is national sports footwear and apparel retailer Shoe Clinic.
Shoe Clinic was an early adopter of email marketing in the early 2000s and has used the tactic successfully ever since. Email communication is a crucial element of the company’s customer loyalty programme, allowing an ongoing communication channel to be opened up with the vast majority of in-store purchasers.
Shoe Clinic director Hamish French says that as well as keeping the brand in front of customers, email marketing is especially effective when the company’s 19 stores around the country run promotions.
‘‘Wheneverwe send a marketing email out to our database, the increase in store traffic and sales is very, very apparent right across the country,’’ says French.
‘‘And because we have a direct channel to our existing customers we are able to communicate our key messages whenever we need to.’’
French says thiswas especially beneficial over lockdown, once Shoe Clinicwas approved as an essential business.
‘‘Over lockdown many Kiwis were getting out there running and walking, so being able to remind them by email they could purchase shoes online was very valuable – both for us and for our customers.’’
While there is no question about the benefits of email marketing, the amount of work involved can present a barrier for time-strapped small to medium businesses.
It takes time and focus to create the useful content required, as well as manage the database and make sure everything complies with antispam laws.
The way around this potential obstacle is automation. Using modern emailmarketing software you can create a series of email newsletters based around the main product and service themes of your business and set these up to go out automatically at regular intervals.
These newsletter editions should mainly provide valuable, useful, original content for your customers but can also include calls-to-action, such as product offers, links towebsite content and incentives to refer friends.