20 Aug The Killer App: Why Email Still Dominates Digital Marketing
American Marketing Association members and local business professionals meet early on the middle Wednesday of every month for the AMA’s Breakfast Brief series of talks at Pioneer Bank. This popular series features experts on relevant marketing topics and provides best practice and next practice for practicing managers to apply in their daily lives. Previous topics have covered search engine optimization (SEO), influencer marketing, Big Data, and many more.
On Wednesday, July 11, a fascinated audience heard from Robert Clancy, Managing Partner at Spiral Design Studio in Cohoes, and Neil Wright, the Creative Director. Their topic was, “The Killer App: Why Email Still Dominates Digital Marketing”. Between them, Robert and Neil have many years’ experience driving successful email marketing campaigns for many different clients and across a diverse range of industries. And their advanced digital marketing techniques have helped an impressive list of clients meet their objectives for over 25+ years. Such as: Citi, Sears, The Home Depot, CapitalCare Medical Group, Whiteman Osterman & Hanna, Albany Capital Center, and University at Albany, among many others.
They explained that when email first appeared it was called the 'killer app', because it revolutionized the way in which we communicated with each other and our customers. Fast forward more than a decade and email is still the 'killer app', with nothing much looking like it will displace it anytime soon! Why is it still the 'killer app'? It's still the digital technology that just about all of us access several times per day! Not only that, it's mobile friendly and we're constantly checking it on the go! But for marketers, however, one of the key benefits is that it is both affordable and has an eye-watering return on investment - for ROI, it is four times higher than the next best digital marketing strategy, social media!
Robert and Neil also discussed the pros and cons of email marketing and emphasized the fact that it remains a cost effective and measurable way to reach a captive audience and to drive web traffic and ecommerce. In mentioning some of the cons, however, they highlighted the issues around delivery and low open rates, but also the challenges from such a time-consuming activity and recent changes in anti-SPAM laws.
Their talk provided several key takeaways:
- Know your audience and design for user experience (UX) – build campaigns that have responsive designs (laptop and mobile) and are compatible for a range of email clients, plus designed for readability and ADA compliancy.
- Test it First! Assess hotspots and utilize testing services, such as Litmus or EmailReach. Test alternative messaging and vary subject lines and intro text.
- Provide Valuable Content
- Target the Audience Not Individuals
- Branding – know you brand voice and your audience’s expectations. Know when to break the rules, but also remain consistent and on-brand in both your text-only and designed emails.
- Know the law! Provide easy opt-outs and don’t buy lists, build them! Understand both domestic and international law, such as the recent GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).