The marketing landscape has evolved dramatically in the last decade, spurred on by the emergence of the internet.
Before the world wide web changed how processes were undertaken, the main channels for marketers to use were newspapers, magazines and television. Often, a company’s audience was also limited by its geographical reach.
However, the internet has granted businesses a wide array of different opportunities, including a wider audience and improved customer engagement methods.
Now, bosses can converse with customers directly on social media to pick up ideas for new products and answer any queries or suggestions that customers may have, allowing stronger relationships to be developed between the two parties.
By introducing the correct type of branding, businesses can establish a vibrant and engaging presence online, helping them to not only retain existing customers, but gain new ones too.
If the right tone, colours and content is used, companies can benefit from a significant boost within their industry and generate more income than their competitors.
Something as small as a 30-second online advertisement could propel a business into the limelight if it goes viral on Twitter or YouTube, pushing them beyond rivals and providing them with a high number of new customers.
The strength of email marketing
However, while the power of social media is undeniable, businesses should not disregard emails when the time comes to formulate their marketing plans.
A study by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) has revealed that marketing email volumes reached an all-time high during the first half of last year, with more than three million of the messages being sent monthly on average.
The DMA National Email Benchmarking Report found that there was a 46 per cent surge in sent emails, whereas click-through rates surpassed half a billion.
According to the report, 87 per cent of social media marketers use email marketing, whereas 61 per cent are planning to increase their email efforts.
Furthermore, as volumes increased, there was a 57 per cent rise in campaigns, as the total number sent increased by 4,709 to 12,937 in comparison to the second half of 2011.
Contact frequencies dropped four per cent from 2012, as consumers received no more than two emails per month per brand on average, though conversion rates from email have risen above search by 60 per cent.
Furthermore, the report discovered that the proportion of email addresses managed by ESPs jumped by 35 per cent in comparison to the first half of 2011, whereas 71 per cent of ESPs noted that one in four of their clients collect addresses through social media.
Dela Quist, chief executive of Alchemy Worx, the sponsors of the report, said: “A self-confident email marketing industry is beginning to throw off a ‘fear and self-loathing’ in email. This report shows that UK brands regard email as an indispensable marketing channel, delivering close to three-quarters of a billion visits to websites in H1 2012 alone.
“What these figures don’t highlight is the effort and sophistication behind these volume increases – brands are working hard to deliver better content to their customers and this is reflected not only in our own clients’ email campaigns, but also in the satisfaction with marketing emails recorded in the DMA Consumer Tracking study.”
James Bunting, chair of the DMA Email Council’s benchmarking hub, discussed the findings.
“Marketers should be capitalising more on social activity to drive email content by using appropriate tools to monitor conversations around relevant topics. Doing so will help to understand their audiences’ priorities and interests, which can shape email content.
“Marketers need to focus on quality of content and using data to drive relevant content should be key for marketers.”
Posted by Jon Aspinell on 8th July 2013
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