The Evolution of Email Marketing : How Email Marketing Strategy Can Stay Relevant In Changing Digital Times

email marketing strategy

Email marketing has come a very, very long way. Can you even remember the old days of buying a poorly targeted list from a data broker and simply blasting the IDs with an offer? No opt out policy, compatibility and formatting issues, and even, in some cases, starting a cascading chain of “Stop replying to all!” complaints.

Again, email marketing has come a very, very long way. Now we enjoy:

  • Tools and platforms designed to make emails marketing easier.
  • The ability to easily leverage technology for drip and triggered automated emails.
  • Opportunities for effective email marketing even if you don’t have a list.

Making Email Marketing Easier

In the earlier days of email marketing, messages were typically sent either manually or with slight automation via a Outlook mail merge. Proper platforms were expensive or required a reasonably tech-savvy user; placing them out of bounds except for enterprise level companies. Most SMBs and startups were sending mails manually at this time. Additionally, different email providers and clients would show in different formats, supporting varying features depending on the platform. This led to lots of broken links, misplaced creative, and generally ineffective marketing.

The advent of free email accounts by robust providers such as Google and Yahoo alongside easy to use platforms such as MailChimp, have changed this. Today, companies of all sizes can send effective email blasts, manage opt-outs, and even include rich media such as GIFs and video in their mailers. Typically a great, CAN-SPAM compliant email can be created by:

  • Pulling an accurate lead list from your company CRM (i.e. Zoho)
  • Signing up with an email platform (i.e. Mailchimp)
  • Uploading your lead list
  • Picking a template to use and inserting your creative
  • Creating an opt-out feature

And away you go! Using only tools which include free options you will be sending high quality mailers.

Enter Marketing Automation: Drip Emails and Triggered Responses

Most start-ups, whether on the funding hunt or looking to pick up new clients, generally have a communication flow in mind, even if it’s not spelled out. For example, “If I don’t hear back by Thursday, I’ll send her a reminder.” or “I need to send my buyers an email asking for a review on Amazon three days after they receive my product.” Did you know these emails can be automated?

Drip emails enable you to tell the full story of your company or product. When someone subscribes to your newsletter, they will only see new emails – which may be geared towards users more familiar with your product. Drip emails solve this completely — instead of beginning mid-stream like a newsletter, new subscribers will see a timed set of email messages that always start from the beginning. This will enable you to tell the full story.

Triggering, instead of time, uses defined actions in your emails or on your website to send emails. Examples include:

  • Sending a “Thank you for contacting us. Please see attached for our company brief” auto reply when someone fills out the contact form on your website. This will buy your salesperson time to reply by creating an automated first contact.
  • Emailing abandoned cart users with an offer code asking them to complete their purchase. This will help plug any leaks in your sales funnel.  
  • Sending specific creative based on a customer’s last purchase. For example, FoodPanda knows I love cheap Chinese food and my inbox shows that.

Effective drip and automated emails will help:

  • Save you time and effort communicating with clients
  • Reduce the time lag between communication
  • Optimize your digital sales funnel

I Don’t Even Have A List, Can I Email Market?

Yes! Google AdWords, with the advent of Gmail Sponsored Promotions, brought pay-per-click advertising to email. With GSP, advertisers define an audience based on a hybrid model of demographic data (age, location, in-market or affinity audience targeting) and keyword data (like search, but based on the contents of their in-box) to email. For marketers who do have lists, these can actually be uploaded to AdWords and used to target that audience directly, or create a lookalike audience of similar users.   

These emails appear in the “Promotions” tab of Gmail users’ inboxes. Paid Google Apps users do not see these messages.

Some of the benefits of Gmail Sponsored Promotions include:

  • No list needed! Use Google’s data to find your audience.
  • Richer emails, that include video or even a form that can be completed directly in the in-box are supported.
  • Flexible budgeting – start small, and then consider expending once performance is where it needs to be.

As marketers ourselves, it’s great to see our beloved old email still has a place in a rapidly developing landscape of digital options. For general marketing messages, a whole host of providers support easy list management, opt-in and opt-outs, and beautiful creative. Drip and triggered emails bring marketing automation to the space, enabling time savings while creating a more efficient sales funnel. Gmail Sponsored Promotions bring an effective pay-per-click into the inbox.

Also Read: 6 Bulk Email Marketing Mistakes That Everybody Makes !

(Disclaimer: This is a guest post submitted on Techstory by the mentioned authors.All the contents and images in the article have been provided to Techstory by the authors of the article. Techstory is not responsible or liable for any content in this article.)

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About The Author:

Rob Peck is Director of Client Services of O3M Directional Marketing, one of Chennai’s leading digital marketing agencyO3M focuses on leveraging its experience and expertise to bring performance, creativity, and ethics to digital marketing campaigns for clients around the globe.