Driving customer engagement through email marketing

Driving customer engagement through email marketing

Optimizing marketing strategies to drive customer engagement is one of the greatest challenges facing businesses today. While decision-makers cannot deny the effectiveness of online marketing as a key tool in exposing customers to new products and keeping them updated on industry news, the digital age has also overwhelmed companies with options. Instead of being frozen in place by the sheer variety of methods used to engage buyers, business leaders need to look to the experts to find which techniques work best to keep customers happy and inspire them to continue remaining loyal to their preferred brands.

Why is email still so effective?
Many digital platforms are dedicated to social networking, personal messaging and other matters that individuals want to keep separate from their engagement with businesses. This trend was reflected in a recent ExactTarget report examining the direction of digital marketing for the coming year. Among the top priorities for businesses across the board were driving conversion rates, increasing and improving brand awareness and collecting user-based data to analyze and measure customer behavior with regard to marketing campaigns. These initiatives were then linked to the fact that 98 percent of marketers are planning to increase or maintain their level of spending in 2014.

Marketers know that they have limitless options when it comes to allocating their funds for marketing efforts, so where is all of this money going over the next 12 months? ExactTarget revealed that behind data, analytics and marketing automation, 58 percent of the companies they analyzed were set on increasing spending on email marketing. This area was prioritized over both social media and content management, which were each set to see more expenditure from 57 percent of surveyed marketers. Although these trends are becoming increasingly important in the arena of digital marketing, email will certainly not be going anywhere according to the data from this report.

Most people check their email several times a day, which is why it is not surprising that ExactTarget said 68 percent of marketers believe that email is core to their businesses as a whole. Social media on the other hand was revealed to be essential to only 46 percent of businesses. This reflects today's mindset that social media is a better supplementary method of engagement than email in the hierarchy of digital marketing initiatives. In fact, one of the main ways that companies utilize social media platforms is to pique the interest of consumers enough to get them to sign up for email newsletter subscriptions. Mastering this transition from social to email is going to be a defining marker of success in 2014 as companies try to best blend these two powerful tools.

Avoiding the dreaded spam box
After months of content creation, building email marketing lists and A/B testing over a variety of different segments, it can be crushing for email marketers to discover that most of the messages they sent out ended up scrapped by spam filters in consumer inboxes. According to Business 2 Community, billions of emails are sent out per year from companies hoping to reach their customer bases, but some industry analysts estimate only 20 percent of these messages make it to their intended destinations. The source recommended that simplicity on both desktop and mobile devices is key to ensuring that emails get to where they are supposed to be.

Besides making emails clear and easy to read, marketers need to also remember to make the content is relevant they want to make an impact on their subscriber base. This means that messages need calls-to-action, industry news that may affect customers and even a bit of humor to keep the mood light.  

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