It seems like every other month, we’re told that The Next Big Thing is the next big thing. This is especially true of the online / content marketing / social media world of today.

But what is really working for brands and what do customers really prefer?

Well, I’m here to say (yet again) it’s email. And there’s even more evidence for this than before.

Take, for example, this nifty report on Customer Acquisition by those clever people at the Direct Marketing Association. They found that time and again, marketers rate email as the most effective channel.

And guess what – email is the most trusted marketing channel by customers.

It’s a no-brainer, I know.

But nobody is talking about email…

Shocking isn’t it.

I think it’s because it’s not glamorous like Pinterest or <insert latest buzzword here>. Email is forgotten at worst, and overlooked more often, while social media and ‘virtual showrooms’ get mega-coverage.

Those stories are missing the real deal. If your brand is thinking about a direct mail campaign, mobile or social campaign, then it needs to tThink again. These three are the least trusted channels, according to the DMA report.

Here are some more findings:

  • In the UK, over 75% of internet users would rather be contacted via email from a brand
  • If you consider the holy grail segment of 18-24 year old, this figure rises to 83% of respondents

So what’s a marketer to do?

Well, for a start you can take a look at your current use of email for acquisition and retention. Are you really getting the most from this channel? If you think (like these people) that your email campaigns are ‘average’ or even ‘poor’, why aren’t you doing more to maximise your advantage?

How can I improve my email marketing?

Sadly, a lot of email marketing is a wasteful series of same-same pitches that are neither valuable, nor relevant.

That’s pretty much spam, isn’t it?

What people really want is to understand the value you offer (and I don’t mean just bargain-prices). I mean the valuable information that you have to share. That is, your expertise.

This helps to deepen relationships with your customer (prospect), while also ensuring that you position your business and brand as a trusted source. A steady ‘drip drip’ of relevant, engaging and highly informative content.

It’s communication.

In other words, I’m talking about something we happen to do a lot of: email copywriting.

 

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