In this episode Chelsea, James and Richard discuss email marketing and how you can use it in your digital strategy. You can find out more about us at www.somarketing.com
Podcast Email Marketing
In this episode, we’re going to be talking about email marketing.
And move rich today and we’re going to be talking about email marketing. So Rich. Well, this has been around for years, hasn’t it? Is it still relevant?
It’s been around a long time. Spam has been a thing for a very long time. Email marketing, it’s, it’s evolved, it’s changed quite a lot. Back in the day, I remember most of our clients used to buy data and then bombard that data and warm it up on the data up until certain people clicked on subscribe, and other people who didn’t click on subscribe, pretty much got a phone call, especially in the IT sales side of things. That’s how it used to work, people who clicked the email got a phone call, and then hopefully off the back of that conversation on a sale, it’s somewhat different since the volumes increased. Everybody shifted to email marketing rather than sending campaigns through the door through the post, for example, we used to, in fact, so marketing, that’s how we started 90% of the work we did was email marketing, and web for it businesses all them years ago. And we used to do a lot of it. The majority of it is still the same when it comes to the actual email itself. So sell relatively simple HTML email campaigns that we create. The creative behind, it’s a little bit more clever, there’s more, there’s more thought put into some of the email campaigns now to get noticed amongst all the ambient noise out there. And the design of it as well. We put a lot of effort into the design of these but they’re not really easy shots like we used to do. There’s a lot they’re a lot more granular. And a lot more targeted, normally targeted from ecommerce customers split down into different segments or intelligent email marketing. So in the form of remarketing abandoned carts, for example, sending out e shops, when people abandon your shopping carts. There’s there’s there’s all sorts of variables involved. Now, email marketing, the technology is pretty much the same, we can do a little bit more nowadays, before you couldn’t put backgrounds in there, you can do all sorts of stuff, especially animations. And we’ve put, we’ve put quite a bit into our shots lately. And we do get some absolutely fantastic results, especially from ecommerce point of view. I think email marketing should be done in a newsletter form from almost all businesses just to keep your your existing clients informed, not necessarily new data, new data, we have varying success with that bought from an existing ecommerce customer, for example, especially or just having a an existing customer database for you to communicate to them and newsletter form every month great just to keep them informed. And then from a sales point of view, people who bought X, for example, are you interested in why that’s the kind of setup that we do for a lot of email customers,
I think the the big change for email marketing came in about 2018 When the new GDPR rules came in. So we found that an awful lot of customers where they bought data previously, let’s say didn’t entirely know the source of that data. And because the new GDPR rules sort of stated that people needed to have opt in, or implied consent status, for getting emails or any communication from that business, they kind of took the opportunity to delete the database and start again, which was actually quite a good thing really, because it meant that they all the bad data was just gone. And then they sort of look at an approach where they build up a good opt in database of people who genuinely wanted to receive data from them. I think in the olden days, you know, let’s say late 90s, early 2000s, mid 2000s, it was just a numbers game, try and get as much data as you can throw as much of our as possible and hope some of it sticks. I think now it’s much more of a targeted thing where you have a database of 500 people that genuinely want to hear from you is much better than a database of 5 million people that with only, you know, 100 of them that might even be good prospects. So it’s all about quality without an hour rather than quantity. And so like Rich was saying as well, there’s quite a lot of new things you can do with email marketing that aren’t just your traditional e shops. So for example, we’re working with the clients at the moment where we’re doing a product retargeting email, which looks at what they’ve been looking at on the e commerce website and then sends them targeted product emails based on what they were looking at and didn’t buy. So we can be a lot clever in our about the kind of things we use the email marketing technology for, that isn’t just a straightforward sales message. You send out any shot hope somebody thinks though you clicked on a link which then generates a lead which can be found by a sales team, that that colour model is really gone now and it will become slightly more targeted and more and clever. I think
a lot of that comes down to obviously back in the day when you guys had just started so up. There were limited ways really to reach out to people and you kind of have to use email as one of those like books builders and a really big way to like get out in front of people. Whereas now there’s so many ways that you can get in front of people, you’ve got online forums, you’ve got social media, you’ve got email marketing, as well. And I think with all of this, you need to be a lot more clever about your digital strategy and what place actually has. So using that email marketing as, for example, like a prompt to help people check out or if you’re a b2b business, or lead generation, predominantly, keeping those relationships going and giving people and relevant updates or engaging content in there as well. I’d say that’s probably a big thing. But one thing that I really don’t like is when I get email, market marketing kind of material from companies, and I’m just like, Well, what was the point of that?
Yeah, I mean, I’m sorry, I think we we get we I’ve also got a lot of that. And, you know, everyone gets emails, you wonder, why are you on their mailing list? Why did they even send it some of it even doesn’t even make any sense? Yeah. Why did they go to the trouble of even doing it? I’m not entirely sure some of the companies really know they went to the trouble of doing it, there’s probably some element of automation, or someone just came up with a random idea that was new to the business that just send us email everyone we ever spoken to before. But yeah, these companies typically put themselves at risk of Big Data fines. So we’ve had to be really, really conscious of this kind of thing with our own clients, where we’re always trying to say to them, please consider the legalities of what you’re doing, you know, do these people want to hear from you? Have, you actually got a right to email them? Because yeah, even if have got the right email them, too, they still want to hear from you, you just send in the mail for no valid reason. And I think it’s got to fit into the strategy in terms of a customer engagement piece in terms of it’s got some real sort of logistical reason why it’s happening, rather than just for the sake of it.
I think some of them, so just going through some of my favourite ones, because I love online shopping. So I get quite a few Neom organics, they always, they always send the best, I think they always have like a clear reason for selling it, even though so for example, they sell, they sell like natural organic oils help you with like different things. So like better night’s sleep, more energy, that sort of thing. And they create an almost story behind their emails, and they have like engaging content to go with it, they showcase the products and the kind of natural setting that it will be in. And just creating this, this piece that actually kind of like speaks to you and shows you what the product can do. I think those ones are the best where it actually kind of like seeks to solve problem that it is that you’re facing.
I personally think that it depends on the subject, it depends on the product you like, I’m the opposite to you, really, the storytelling emails don’t really jump out. I like online shopping too. But I’m a bit of a cheeky one. So I’ll use the remarketing side of things to my advantage, add something to the cart made sure I’m logged in, or I have an account, wait for the next email to come through with a coupon code or there’s always a reason to get me back to the website. And now 90% of the big ecommerce players out there will offer at some point a discount code. So I look at things in a different way I use email marketing for my for a financial advantage really more so that I left and rather than the storytelling behind it, obviously I like I like products. And if I’m interested in particular thing like mountain biking, for example, I get a shots from all the different mountain bike suppliers, all the different brands. And I do tend to look at the different things on that he shot from the data side of things. But again, it’s primarily does a product, it looks good. I will click through to read more about that product. Rather than the storytelling side of the newsletter. I think of things a little bit different. Everybody’s different, how they digest the email. What about you, James?
I, to be honest, I’ve been trying to unsubscribe from as many emails as I can in the last couple years. Because obviously, if anyone knows me knows how many emails I get and deal with a day, and having more email marketing in the middle of that is really not helpful. But yeah, a bit like you really I tend to use it in a transactional way. Where there’s a time offer that’s got relevance at that moment. I tend not to read ones that go into lengthy detail about why they’re sending it or like, say the storytelling aspect of it. But again, everyone’s different. Yeah, you probably find some people do things differently. Yeah, I write a couple email newsletters from various organisations with a combination of years of event info and any sort of news, whether it gets read or not, you don’t know. But yeah, certain things. You can’t be transactional with a sentence and you can get it’s just everyone’s just very different. But I think the key really is to look at the engagement that people are getting, you know, are you are you getting a decent open rate, which suggests that if you are getting good open rate, your data’s pretty clean, and the people are opening are genuinely interested. And then how many people are unsubscribing because if you’re getting very low numbers of unsubscribes on a decent sized database, and Still mailing it quite regularly, then you can be pretty confident those people want to stay on the list. So they are valuing what you’re sending out. If you’re getting high amounts of unsubscribes, then it’s not going to look good, really, because it suggests that people just don’t want to hear from you. But in another way, that’s also good, because you actually don’t want to be mailing people that don’t want to hear from you. So yeah, in some ways, big numbers of unsubscribes on an email campaign can can be a really good thing because it helps you cleanse your data down. And we’ve got a few clients where over the last 10 years, they’ve really worked hard to build a very clean database, in their own industry, where they’ve got 10s of 1000s now of contacts who have been cleansed and cleanse and cleansed, and it’s now probably one of the best databases of their industry, if people are interested in what they see and what they offer. But he’s taken a lot of work and a lot of accepting that, you know, you can you can afford to lose the people that don’t want to hear from you on these campaigns. But yeah, it’s really key to get good data in these sort of things. So make sure that you know, what you’re sending to that data is relevant to them.
So one question I’ve got, then is, how to avoid the junk folder?
Well, if you knew that, then we yeah, we wouldn’t be here to be honest, there’s no way to avoid the junk folder, to be honest. And yet, the best way is to essentially not be reported as a spammer. And yeah, most email marketing now runs through probably one of about five different companies, people on MailChimp, who everyone would have heard of, and they you can report mails to them as spam, they report them further up the chain, the more if you send things out, that gets reported as spam, it’ll get around, and then it’ll just sort of harm your email reputation going forwards, there’s a few domain level things you can do to set it up, which sort of alleviate some of the problems. But fundamentally, if you get to go into spam, you’re gonna go into spam. Whoever says they can promise you promise, the send email campaign, it won’t go to spam is lying, I’m afraid. Otherwise, you know, all these genuine spammers out there that try and scam people would never go into that junk folder, if they if it was a surefire way to stop happening, because yeah, they’re clever enough to work out how to do it themselves.
And I think I’m kind of glad that you mentioned MailChimp as well, because I think that is probably one of the most popular ones that you can use. And the amount of data that you can get from that as well is really good. So you can really drill down into like the links that people click on how many people clicked on it, and just been able to use that then to go back to your Google Analytics and see kind of the success of your mail, your mail campaigns and the products that you’re able to then sell from that, I think it’s a really good way of kind of looking at the looking at the kind of integrity of your data as well and making sure that that’s, that’s standing out.
Yeah, I mean, MailChimp is a good tool. To be fair, I said, there are other ones as well, they all do broadly the same thing. MailChimp particularly good because it has good integration with a lot of the websites that we build, so you can actually hook in the E commerce element to it and send the E commerce transactional emails through the MailChimp service itself, which could then improve your domain reputation to try and improve the deliverability of mails. So there’s lots of integration work you can do with email marketing platforms nowadays, which make it more complicated than it used to be. But also Yeah, the dating it out like you said, it’s great. Yeah, you can look at a contact and you can see which emails of yours they read which ones they clicked on. Yeah, and you can get a really good feel them for what they’re doing with the with the campaign that you’ve sent them.
Definitely So yeah, that’s, that’s a really interesting one. Actually, I’ve enjoyed this one and I’ve learnt a lot as well myself. So thanks for that. And if you have any questions about email marketing, please get in touch with us at Hello at so marketing.com