Why email needs to be part of your integrated marketing strategy
Companies can make the error of having a web strategy, social strategy and email errr… template? (There’s rarely a strategy involved). However, email marketing continues to be one of the most cost-effective marketing channels. We walk you through why email must be part of your integrated marketing strategy in 2021.
Web, social and email shouldn’t be treated as separate channels. In fact, they need to be well thought out, integrated, joined up, connected, tied up, merged, linked (all the adjectives you can think of), so every campaign and medium of communication to clients is working efficiently as one. More often than not, email can be completely left out of this thinking due to being old fashioned. In reality, your email campaigns can deliver incredible returns and engagement.
Why email matters
Aside from moving customers down the sales funnel, this integrated strategy can also aid brand awareness, another objective often cited in email marketing. But again, this needs to be executed right.
As the challenges and impacts of the pandemic continue to be felt, and in some areas, restrictions relax, it is more important than ever to adjust how you are reaching your key audiences. Analysis done by Mailchimp of their users in the early phase of the pandemic showed average engagement, including click and open rate were higher than during all of 2019 combined. They believe audience’s preference for transparent communication will continue, with campaigns sent weekly having by far the best engagement rates.
The pivot to home working also appears as if it’s here to stay. In a recent survey by Garner Inc., 87% of respondents said their company will retain home working at least some of the time, while almost half said they would allow remote working full time.
Hot-desking and movement between home and workspaces will, and should, affect your integrated strategies in how you reach your audiences. Are they on mobile or desktop? What channels are they checking and when? And are you and your brand there at the right time with the right messaging? With email, you can be.
Email marketing nurtures existing and new subscribers, pushing them further down the sales funnel with clicks to the website or social. Keep your users engaged with relevant content — for example, is a Veganuary campaign really suited to your whole subscriber base? But if they clicked on an article about plant-based diets or have some healthy product choices in their cart, it might be the perfect opportunity for increased engagement.
As we move further into 2021, the economic recovery is looking better but K-shaped according to the OECD, leading to uneven successes across different communities and markets. Therefore ensuring you’re using the right language to talk to your audiences across all channels is vital, especially if talking to businesses. Your email campaigns can give you an accurate read on your audience’s mood to make shifts to your marketing strategy across the board.
A recent study from Campaign Monitor asked small businesses where they felt their biggest opportunity to build brand awareness was, and the top two places were social media, followed by email marketing.
Social media can be crucial for acquiring new subscribers, and email can in turn nurture and grow your social reach. Don’t just add Facebook, Twitter and Instagram buttons to the bottom of a campaign and expect the followers to flood in. Connect your social accounts with your email marketing software, create sign-up forms, find your audience where they are with hashtags on social ads and get more eyes on your email campaigns by sharing them across Facebook and Instagram. Make your social media followers that sign up to your emails feel special by creating specific journeys for them with bespoke landing pages.
If they’ve decided to subscribe, they want to hear more from you and you should thank them for doing so. Creating social specific offers and personalised prompts for this audience can be a great way to drive engagement, click-throughs and eventually conversions.
Vice versa, promoting social to your email audience is just as important. Definitely do add social sharing icons but do so mindfully; think about their placement and if you are providing your audience with shareable visuals, articles or quotes. Positioning is key!
Using analytics for your website should show the trends of how your audience has visited and used your site over the last year and any changes that have occurred. Landing pages that are bespoke and optimised to be campaign specific should be different enough from other live webpages and use calls to action that direct exactly what you want your customer to do next.
For B2C sites, abandoned cart, shipment confirmation and update email journeys should be front and centre to double down on increases in online behaviour throughout 2020. Ensure your email marketing platform of choice is integrated with your Shopify store, Salesforce, Woo Commerce and more to input order and sales activity to your emails, to create personalised and targeted communications that will keep your audience engaged.
What to do next
Creating an integrated strategy from the very beginning across all your marketing channels will save you time and resources in the long run. Making changes now, and most importantly, testing what works best for you and your customers, will bring increased dividends for the year to come.
Do you want to ensure you are getting the best results out of your integrated strategy for the rest of 2021 and beyond? Click below and let’s make something great together.