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Guest Blog - Why Email Marketing Works and How to Optimize It

Today, marketers have more channels available to them than ever before. Where once upon a time advertising was done via radios and newspapers, now leads are exposed to ads upon visiting their favorite website or scrolling through their Instagram feeds, among many other channels. This can leave marketers wondering: is there still a place for email marketing today? Is the return on investment there when it comes to email marketing vs. other forms of marketing?


The answer: Yes. Absolutely, positively yes. Consider the following stats, according to a 2015 report:


  • Email marketing returns, on average, $38 for every $1 invested

  • One in five companies report an ROI of 70:1 on email marketing

  • 9 out of 10 clients view email marketing as important when it comes to achieving their goals


To help drive home the point further, we asked Roy Wollen, the President of Hansa Marketing and an expert on email marketing, to weigh in. Hansa Marketing helps companies make their email more data-driven so they can create better customer experiences and keep customers buying. Roy has led some of the top marketers in industries such as travel, financial services, B2B, and multi-channel retail. Roy is a consultant at heart and solves client problems using marketing technology and analytics. Roy is also an adjunct lecturer at Northwestern University, where he teaches Digital Analytics.


The below is adopted from his blog post titled Email is Relevant Now, More Than Ever, written in April:


You may be asking yourself: should I write to my customers about Covid-19? What about sending promotional emails? Is email still a good way to communicate? The answer: Email marketing was there to help in 2008 and it is indispensable now.


Email marketing could be the workhorse right now, but it’s important to keep some things in mind.


  • Email is ideal for communicating right now but remember, not everyone has opted in, so this is not the time to spam customers

  • That said, take the opportunity to ask people if and how they want to hear from you

  • Mainly, have something to say; be genuine, add value

  • Tell customers you're open for business (and explain any new ways to work with your brand)

  • Help customers cope. Make it easy to work with you (e.g., communicate payment plans, policies, waive annual commitments)

  • Think of ways to engage beyond selling, like providing new content



Banking leader Synovus has a “Comfort of Home” campaign focused on encouraging customers to use mobile banking and ATMs. It uses email working together with other digital media.


Put all types of email to work


Promotional email isn't the only type of email. Put triggered emails to work such as customer service call follow-ups, website searches, social media actions. Research shows that triggered email provides twice the open and click rates. Consider adding messages to transactional emails to reinforce your message. And, put employees to work - but make sure to put rules in place to govern what they say and how they say it. An email template is the easiest way to script them and adhere to brand standards.


Get help from your super fans


People are at home with time on their hands. Ask your brand ambassadors for help and link to their User Generated Content (UGC). This adds credibility and scale to your message. You don’t have to be perfect; the bar for high quality video and polished content is low right now. News anchors are broadcasting from their living rooms. The playing fields is level for all of us to include content.


What not to do


Now is not the time to exploit your customer base. Be genuine in your communication. 

Don't do this alone. This is the ideal time to work with other people in your organization, especially Sales and Customer Service. They are talking to customers and can provide input into Marketing Communications, then amplify the message. 


The most important thing is to not isolate your brand: now is the time to reach out – internally, and to customers and partners who need to hear from you.


Oak Moon is a consulting agency based out of Columbus, OH that helps companies market their brands, define value propositions and uncover customer insights, among other services. If you are interested in hearing more or have questions or comments about this blog, feel free to reach out at mcrimmins@oakmoonco.com.



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