By Alyse Speyer – Web Success Team Contributor
It’s true; email isn’t as sassy and sweet as social media. But what’s also true is that email is still a growing market. One that modern online marketers should not forget. In 2010, 107 trillion emails were sent, and there are currently 2.9 billion email accounts worldwide. Better still, email marketing campaigns can be seamlessly integrated into existing our new social media campaigns.
What Came First the Mistake or the Email?
One of the best things any marketer can do is learn from their mistakes. Now that January’s half over and the scrambling of marketing initiatives underway, consider benchmarking your 2011 email marketing strategy against industry standards to see where your 2010 emails stand.
The two most common average benchmarks are open rate (15%-20%) and click-through rates (3%-4%). Do these percentages match up with last year’s email program? Here are some other questions you might want to ask:
- Were your unsubscribe rates proportionate to your list?
- Did your list base grow?
- Were your emails organized and thought-out or hurried?
- Was it easy for subscribers to share the content through social media?
Put a Little Social Love in It
Jazz up your emails with social media. This doesn’t mean that you can tack on social icons to your links and hope that people will share. You need to develop a clear and structured social media strategy that is both in tune with your overall marketing message and each individual campaign.
Some of your subscribers may wish to follow you on your social networking channels and others may not. Still you need to provide clear messaging to each of your marketing channels and avoid being repetitive. If your emails are just repeating what you said on Twitter last week, then you will see a significant drop in customer engagement.
The best way to avoid repetition and to integrate email with your social campaigns is to create a content calendar for each week, month, quarter and year. Calendars will help keep your marketing team focused toward the completing the goals of each campaign through each channel with minimal confusion.
Roughly 50 percent of all US mobile users will be on smartphones by the end of 2011. Give users the option to view a mobile version your emails, which can be as simple as creating an HTML landing page of your text. This way you can ensure that your calls-to-action are clear and that mobile customers are readily engaged while on the go.
If you haven’t already, brainstorm ideas of what you would like to accomplish with your email and social media programs this year. Start here! What are the challenges you currently face and what goals do you have for Web Success?
Alyse Speyer is an Content Strategist, Social Media Marketing Consultant, and a published poet. She has written on the topics of Online Marketing, Social Media, and Lead Generation for ClickZ, Visibility Magazine, and Women in Business Online Magazine. Alyse currently lives in San Francisco, CA.