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Why You Should Take the Time to Optimize Marketing Emails

Oct 6, 2017
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If you knew you could be in the top 17% of marketers by focusing on a few simple details would you take the time to learn more? Email optimization is becoming increasingly important in the digital world, and yet 83% of marketers report they do not optimize all emails. Optimization can significantly help your marketing content stand out in the noise of corporate emails.

Time and again marketing research proves that email marketing is an effective strategy for B2B companies. Many studies have reported on the return on investment (ROI) for email marketing. These two stats highlighted on Email Stat Center are ones that certainly catch your eye, but they don’t necessarily tell the whole story.

Users report an average of 222% ROI on their email services. - VentureBeat "Email Marketing, that Digital Workhorse, Primed to Grow in 2015" (2015)

For every $1 spent, $44.25 is the average return on email marketing investment. - EmailExpert "[Infographic] 10 Must Know Email Marketing Stats 2014" (2014)

Hubspot explains 81% of smartphone users report that checking email is the number one use of their device. Since 2016, 41% of email readers report wanting mobile-friendly emails. Optimizing emails involves more than adding an image or a few website links. Best practices for marketing emails include, but are not limited to, proper segmentation, personalization, and ethical list development.

Segmentation

One summary of segmentation is that this is the practice of figuring out how to send an email with relevant content to the right people, at the right time. The inbound methodology has four stages. Each of these stages focuses on the human on the receiving end of all sent emails. Since inbound is all about developing a relationship with your buyer, it’s important to consider if the information they are receiving has value to them.

Business sales occur when a buyer decides they need a product. Receiving information that they don’t believe they need, will not help them to move from the consideration stage to the decision stage of the buyer’s journey. Even with this common knowledge, 63% of people who unsubscribe from email state they do so because the content they receive does not have any relevant information or offers for them. (source: Hubspot Email Marketing Certification)

Irrelevant content can do more than just frustrate a buyer. It can give them the idea that the company doesn’t understand their needs. Even if someone likes a company and believes in their message, they are unlikely to maintain a relationship when they feel misunderstood.

Proper segmentation of an email list helps to avoid much of this email issue.  Ryan explains “In order to effectively communicate your message, segmentation is critical. The type of segmentation used will depend on the overall goal of the marketing strategy. For instance, if you are going to send coupons for your suntan lotion company, you are going to want to be sure that you send them to homes near locations that have beaches. So, a geographic segmentation is a great place to start.” (read the whole post here)

Personalization

Personalization can be as simple as addressing an email to someone by their first name. Another example is a follow-up email. If someone downloads an e-book offer from you, it can be followed up with a targeted email. “Hey (first name) have you enjoyed the e-book?” Asking a question is an invitation for further conversation, and that invitation is about relationship building. I love what Ryan says about the importance of personalization “No matter your generation, one thing speaks to the heart of people unlike anything else, being treated as an individual.”

Ethical List Development

An important part of email marketing includes asking the question “Have I been given permission to send this information?” Although it may have been common practice at one point to boost analytics with email lists, spam filters have gotten smarter and so have people.

Sales have evolved beyond cold calling. The millennial generation, which makes up about 1/4th of the marketplace, gravitates to companies they feel they know through a relationship. “Today, young shoppers’ attitudes and behavior are largely inspired by people they know in person or online or even strangers who share their interests on social networks.” (source) Sending emails to large groups of individuals who did not request to hear from you is the digital version of cold calls. No one likes telemarketers, and no one likes spam.

Email addresses purchased in bulk are not only intrusive; they will make the best practices already discussed impossible. There is no way to segment or add personalization to emails in this scenario.

The most important reason to stop sending group emails to a list of unknown recipients is that web browsers like Google track those actions and will penalize your email. If this practice goes on long, enough Google will flag your email address as spam, and even people who are trying to correspond with you will be unable to connect directly. Every email you send directly influences any future emails you will send.

Email marketing is an inexpensive way to set any company apart in a crowd. Engaging the right buyer at the right time of their buyer’s journey is an essential step which can set your business up for success long term. Feeling stressed about optimized emails? There are many ways to automate your process. A little mapping upfront can make all the difference. Let us know if we can help!

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Beth Walker

By Beth Walker

Beth Walker is a Content Strategist who is passionate about storytelling. She leads our In-House writing team and works closely with clients and Inbound Strategists to ensure all the content SMA creates meets SEO best practices and tells each client's unique story.

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