The use of email marketing requires the design and development of a clearly structured strategy. This includes the definition of concrete objectives that have to be reached with individual measures, such as newsletter, standalone campaigns or transactional messages. Since email marketing is not an autonomous portion of the marketing mix, it simply must always serve to meet the overall objectives.
In order to determine the achievement of these goals and optimize measures accordingly, the objectives must be operationalized. Here, email marketing can show one of its greatest strengths: the extensive measurability based on a variety of ratios.
Even goals that can’t be technically measured can be operationalized, such as customer satisfaction or branding that can be determined, for instance, via surveys. Of course, all objectives are not independent, but influence each other. Increase in awareness e.g. has an effect on attracting new customers and all these dependencies must be taken into account in the target definition.
The following objectives can be achieved with email marketing - among other things:
Increase in sales
Probably the most pursued objective in email marketing is to generate sales. Especially in retail, it is usually the only goal and the purpose of the email is to lead the recipient either to an online shop, where he can buy the clicked offer immediately, or to the point-of-sale (PoS), where he can find the advertised deal. For more complex products - for example in B2B - a direct purchase stimulus through email marketing is rather rare. Email marketing, however, can help to prepare a potential purchase by explaining the product (so-called pre-sales). In this case, the email should not refer to a shop, but to a landing page with product information.
New customer acquisition
When it comes to attracting new customers, it is about making offers to customers that are still no clients of the company. But since email marketing is about permission marketing you can only reach users who have already registered for your newsletter.
Besides, your newsletter register primarily consists of users who have interest in your products and therefore most probably are already your customers. Thus, acquisition of new customers in email marketing is always associated with the acquisition of new newsletter recipients. Their interest you can win, for instance, with incentives, such as vouchers, contests or attractive special offers. Besides that, especially in B2B, content marketing is very suitable. Therefore, dangle potential newsletter recipients with interesting emails that initially get out without direct reference to a product.
A particular challenge is to make users to customers who have so far been customers of a competitor. Here it is important to analyze carefully the weaknesses of competitive offerings and highlight the benefits of your own offers. Another way to reach users, who are not yet newsletter subscribers, is the integration of ‘Share With Your Network’ (SWYN) links in your newsletter, that allow recipients to distribute newsletter content to their social media contacts with just a click.
Of course, it is also about quality when acquiring new customers. A single long-term customer, with a high willingness to buy, is usually more valuable than one hundred customers who register only for a specific promotion and are then again out of sight or buy rarely small amounts. This fact should be considered as well when acquiring new customers. But most importantly, don’t expect too much too early, as only few new customers will spend a lot the first time in your shop. Acquiring new customers is only the first step to further customer development and the generation of regular sales.
Building brand awareness
The awareness of a company or brand indicates how many users in a target group know the company or the brand. Awareness can be defined as supported (brand recognition) or unsupported (brand recall).
Brand recognition means that the user is reminiscent of a trademark after it was explicitly mentioned or shown. Obtaining strong brand recognition is mainly important for FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) or low-involvement products, since customers in this case are ready for impulse purchases, if they discover the brand at the PoS and can remember it.
Brand recall means that the user remembers a trademark immediately just when the product category is mentioned. Especially for high-involvement products, a high brand recall is needed.
Brand recognition can be increased primarily through frequent contact with the brand. The objective can therefore be achieved particularly well if your newsletter has anyway a high delivery rate. However, if this is not the case, you shouldn’t increase excessively the distribution frequency, otherwise you risk that the newsletter recipients feel harassed and opt-out.
To increase the brand recall, however, a high frequency of contact isn’t enough. You must make sure the receiver gains more in-depth knowledge of the product - e.g. through informative or entertaining content marketing.
Strengthen customer loyalty
Strengthening customer loyalty means achieving long-term commitment from your customer, seducing the person to regular purchases, and most importantly guaranteeing not to lose the customer to competitors. Because keeping an existing customer is usually more cost effective than to win a new one. It may sound like a matter of course, but customer loyalty can mainly be achieved by offering relevant offers that meet the customers’ current needs throughout the entire customer lifecycle.
Providing better service
The distinction between service and marketing is partially blurred: Newsletters can not only be used for advertising, but for service purposes as well. You could offer, for instance, product training, manuals, best practices, or webinars with the newsletter. Service activities are also ideal to strengthen customer loyalty, such as transaction messages that contain service information about the users’ transactions, like e.g. a delivery confirmation after a purchase in an online store.
While email marketing objectives vary from company to company, they are essential to planning well-targeted online campaigns. Thus, utilize the most popular digital marketing tactics professionally.
By Daniela La Marca