Game of Thrones has returned and to celebrate, I’m going to use this blog to review if email is still ruling the iron throne of ROI! The latest Email Marketing Industry Census 2015 from Econsultancy surveyed over 1,000 in-house and digital agency marketers to understand what battle tactics were being employed and yielding great victories. The Census reports that email marketing continues to deliver consistently top tier ROI in advance of other digital marketing channels, but just as in Game of Thrones, the war is far from won and there is a lot of ground still to take.
Key battle tactics that must be employed to enhance your email army;
Campaigns (by Both Armies and Marketers) Don’t Fund Themselves…
Surprisingly, even though it is the best channel for generating ROI, there has been a reduction in the budget allocated to email marketing. This is an area that needs investment to ensure that we move the channel forward. Email often suffers from its perceived simplicity, but don’t be fooled by the lure of emailing your entire customer base with a vanilla offer on a weekly basis! Your customers demand, and deserve, engaging content and personalisation.
Is your Email Team Destined for Victory?
Lack of resources, whether you are taking on the Lannister’s or a marketer trying to optimise email campaigns, can often be a major barrier to victory. A dedicated team achieves 3 times the ROI of a team who supports many digital functions within a business. If you are struggling or new to this area bring in expertise from your ESP/Marketing Automation Provider, the good ones are structured around this sort of support so you are not just abandoned with the software and no-one to turn to for expert, practical advice.
Segment. Now Segment More!
A remarkably large number of emailers are still doing little to no segmentation. RedEye’s client base has aggressively bucked this trend by their intelligent and detailed use of behavioural and transactional data. The future of all digital is personalisation - not just because tools are available now but because customers want it; don’t let your people down, start now.
Optimise for Mobile
At least 50% of your customers will be reading their emails on the go! Not optimising emails for mobile devices is no longer an option. With only 17% of the Email Census respondents showing they have started a mobile strategy there is a long way to go here.
Form Tactical Alliances across your Channels
Email is the driving force that multi-channel strategies should be built around due to the ability it gives you to segment and measure. Use email to personalise a journey and bring customers back to the point that makes most sense to them and is most profitable for you. Email addresses are our digital passports and from a data perspective, are the perfect tool to link up all online and offline data.
Get Some Dragons (or Automate, your choice)…
The Census reports that companies continue to increase their use of automation but 54% stated that marketing automation is as an area in which they need to do more. This ties to the fact that 29% of respondents voted this the area they would most like to focus on in 2015. So, unless your ESP is also known as Daenerys Targaryen they’re unlikely to be able to help you with any dragon issues. However, they should be able to help you automate a significant amount leaving you more time to focus on content, creatives and style – the things that will make your emails stand out.
So to finish with another parallel to the popular HBO series, the structure of your team, your chosen ESP partner, basically your army and allies is the biggest thing you must get right if you are to rule the Iron Throne of ROI! But as we frequently find with our favourite GoT characters, complacency is death! Ignore the associated areas and weapons development at your peril!