Evidence suggests that email marketing should retain its central role in brands´ marketing strategies in 2013 because it offers one of the highest returns on investment, compared to other marketing channels. According to estimates from the Direct Marketing Association, each pound invested in email marketing generates £40 in revenue.
According to Matt McNeill, chief executive of email and mobile marketing platform Sign-Up.to, brands should not be looking at emails as a direct way of attracting new customers but rather as a means of turning occasional customers into loyal followers that would voluntarily recommend them to friends and acquaintances.
In order to achieve this, there are a few steps that brands need to take. First of all, the company needs to build a database of people who are willing to be contacted. The easiest way to do this is by adding a subscription option to the company website, where users can submit their email address.
Once people have subscribed to a brand it is essential they are contacted as soon as possible, even if it is just a “thank you” email. Brands should take the time to build a relationship with customers and this is unlikely to happen if they send one or two emails per year. McNeill suggests the minimum should be one email per month.
It is important that communication is kept as personal as possible. Newsletters should be written as if addressed to a friend, rather than as an ad. Timing is also critical. Research suggests that people are more likely to read their emails mid-week and the time of the email delivery could be scheduled according to the business. For example, a restaurant might send emails during the late morning hours, when people are thinking of having lunch.