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Electronic mail has come a long way from 1965, when academics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology created a system to share information from remote terminals. After a couple decades and multiple improvements, including the familiar ‘@‘ sign and the ‘To’ and ‘From’ fields, email as we know it took form. 

Since then, it has grown and spread internationally. Today, more than half of the global population uses email to some degree (and that number is constantly growing). Businesses didn’t take long to notice, and even less time to realize how beneficial email could be as a marketing strategy. 

Fast forward to 2021. 

We have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok — a list of social media and communication apps that goes on and on. Businesses quickly adapted to these platforms as well, working to stay connected to their subscribers, customers, clients, and supplies 

Is Email Marketing Even Still relevant in 2021? 

Well, the very short answer is yes, it most certainly is. 

But, as with all good things, it will take a little time, and at least a little effort to be truly effective for marketing purposes. Bu even better, there are a host of platforms and services, such aseSputnik,that can essentially automate all of your marketing campaigns and responses once set up. 

Still, you are going to have to give a little to get back. For starters, you should spend some time creating segments of your audience in the interest of relevance. I know I have had to unsubscribe to my fair share of marketing campaigns simply because they were no longer relevant to me. So, how do you keep things relevant? 

Well, let’s say you own an inclusive clothing boutique and you’ve got a list of 100 emails. Those 100 emails are your audience. However, as should be expected, each of those people associated with an email has different needs and is looking for different things.]

You don’t want to send Tom, a 45-year-old man looking for fedoras and slacks, the same emails and offers you would send to Andrea, a 22-year-old transgender woman looking for high heels and chic blouses.

You don’t want to send Tom, a 45-year-old man looking for fedoras and slacks, the same emails and offers you would send to Andrea, a 22-year-old transgender woman looking for high heels and chic blouses. They would each fall into a different segment, each receiving emails tailored to what they might be looking for.

Alternatively, you could own an all-natural, 100% organic and sustainable toothpaste company. Once a customer purchases a unit, they likely won’t need more for about a month or so, let’s say. While you don’t want that client to ever forget you and your brand, you also don’t want to bombard this customer with emails telling them to buy more right now when they’ve already got a supply. More offers might simply irritate them. 

Or, maybe Celeste has spent hours perusing various vases and other decorative, handmade glassware. However, she has abandoned her conspicuously full cart and has not returned. In both of those real-world cases, your marketing software should be able to react according to each event.

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Celeste’s cart abandonment would trigger a real-world workflow, and your marketing software would send a gentle reminder to come on back and review her cart again (‘Did you forget something?’). Your toothpaste customer would trigger a totally different, perhaps more complex workflow.

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Mr. Toothpaste likely would not want to receive many emails initially after buying the toothpaste, requested reviews and basic follow-up aside. However, towards the end of that month, as the toothpaste begins to run out, you would want to send a reminder (or two, or three) to purchase more before their supply ran out. This could even be followed up by another email after the one month mark (if they haven’t ordered more yet) asking if they ran out and are ready to purchase more.

The possibilities are truly endless with customized workflows and automated marketing. However, you have to be willing to put the time into it to set up all of your automations. But, once complete, you will have a system that notifies and contacts your email lists with relevant, contextual information that will compel potential returning customers to open and click. 

Presentation: Another Critical Factor

How your email campaigns are presented will always play a huge role in the success of your email marketing, even if you are unable to create the segments discussed earlier. If a customer opens an email and finds a gumbo pot of an email, not only will they not be happy in receiving the confused mess, but you also run the risk of them unsubscribing and forgetting about you entirely. 

A definite no-go.

Being able to easily edit your email design within an HTML email editor is vital to a successful campaign. You’re going to want to clean lines, clear and beautiful images of your products, and short descriptions and calls to action to attract the eye and entice them to click through to your website. 

The segments we talked about earlier could even come into play here, helping to populate each email with appropriate products and images based on which segment it is being sent to. Automation at its finest! 

And the HTML editor isn’t just for creating basic email campaigns that are essentially ads for your product. You can also use the editor to create brand emails, focused solely on showing the values of you and your company

A topic often overlooked in businesses both big and small, brand management is actually a really important component of the overall success of email campaigns. 

Your customers don’t want to only be courted with ways to give you their money. They want to know who you are as a brand. What does it mean that you own an inclusive clothing store? Why did you open it? 

Is your toothpaste vegan and animal cruelty free? Why is that important to you? 

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These are questions that each of our hypothetical businesses can answer for their clients in a beautifully presented way with a customized email design. While sales are important to any business, being able to connect with and understand other people on a more personal level should be the real goal of any interaction, digital, business-related or otherwise.

Email Marketing, and the incredible software available today, can help personalize and humanize your business and allow you to create a space for your audience that shows you do care about them and their unique needs. This creates and builds trust that will ultimately mean more clicks, more business and more profit — automatically if you do it right. 

Tiqua Jackson