Do you use email marketing as one of the main ways to connect with your customers? Then don’t ignore this trend!
You’ve probably noticed a decline in your email open rates and click-throughs over the last few years. But you may still be persevering as you still get some results.
If you don’t make some changes in the coming year though, get prepared for a nasty shock.
Why? Because customer habits have changed, and your potential customers are already responding to other media far more than emails.
Even the best marketers with lists of 100,000+ prospects and customers are only achieving 20% to 30% open rates and 4% to 8% click through rates (which means 20% to 30% of those opening, clicking) at the very most. Which means over 90% of even their lists aren’t responding.
Compare that to 1.18 billion of Facebook’s 1.79 billion users logging in every day. That’s 67% responding daily without Facebook needing to send them any emails.
If our preference for social media over emails wasn’t enough, this year instant messages sent from platforms like Whatsapp, FB Messenger, WeChat, QQ, Viber, Line, Skype, Snapchat and Slack have overtaken email as the top form of online one-to-one and group communication – with over 150 million instant messages per minute.
So what can you use that already works better than email marketing?
Here are three strategies which are already more effective than emails:
1) Remarketing and Remessaging – Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and Google all give you free tools to add pixels to every person who visits a site, clicks on a link, watches a video, or takes any other action you want to track. Then you can retarget them with new messages, posts or ads.
Want to ensure your audience sees your latest message? They’re much more likely to see it as a post or ad on their Facebook wall than in an email most of them don’t even see or read.
The volumes are also entirely different. As an example, we have around 5,000 new subscribers to our emails each week and 20,000 new followers to our social media sites. But we have over 25,000 new pixel audiences each week that have interacted with us and that we can connect back with – in the medium they prefer.
2) Mobile Messaging – Remember that time a site or social network asked you for your phone number for “added security”? The main reason for wanting your phone number is that it’s now more precious than your email address. With a phone number you have the ability for your prospects and customers to opt in to messaging and instant messaging.
This year, over 60% of people accessed the Internet via mobile phones, This October, according to web analytics firm StatCounter, the percent of total global internet usage via mobile also exceeded all desktops for the first time.
Your customers are already responding to instant messages and social media notifications before they look at emails. So collect their phone numbers, set up your Whatsapp or WeChat groups, and invite your community to opt in and engage.
3) App Notifications – If you’re ready to get fully committed to building a responsive community, the very best way is with a dedicated app that provides high value, engagement and notifications.
Marketplaces like Amazon and Alibaba, games like Pokemon Go and Candy Crush, platforms like Facebook and Instagram, connect directly with their customers via in-app notifications. This trend will continue to grow as we spend more time interacting with AI assistants, voice commands, virtual reality and mixed reality on mobile devices far more than visiting websites or email inboxes.
Does this mean quitting email? No. It just means depending on it less as your primary form of communication.
How? By creating omnichannel customer journeys.
All the top CRM systems, from Salesforce to NetSuite now allow you to design customer journeys across multiple media and multiple devices, from remarketing messages to mobile messaging to emails to face-to-face conversations.
When you’re focused at what you want to say, where you want to say it, customer engagement falls.
When you focus at what the customer wants to read, where they want to read it, engagement grows.
So test, measure and be open to change in 2017.
“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” ~ Alvin Toffler