Email Marketing Secrets That Few Marketers Know and Most Internet Businesses Violate

News of the impending demise of email marketing has been greatly exaggerated. Email remains the true “killer app” of online relationship marketing. Contrary to the assertions of various overnight social media consultants clambering out of the woodwork, email marketing often gives marketers far more control over target selection and greater ability to monetize than social media marketing can.

Knowing this, businesses from local retail establishments to fortune 500 companies have continued to invest money and other resources in their email marketing efforts to tease out greater and greater returns on investment.

Despite their best efforts, many small business attempts at email marketing are severely compromised by some oft-overlooked challenges that very few online businesses ever stop to consider. Mostly because they either do not know that these factors are important, or presume that they cannot afford the solutions to overcoming them.

Problems of small business email marketing

There is no end of consultants, trainers and marketers waiting to tell you about the latest CAN-SPAM compliance techniques, email subject line copywriting tips, how to use spam checkers, the optimal lengths of the email message body, or the optimal frequency of auto-responder messages.

While all the tactics above are important to know and understand, they are being emphasized at the expense of some of the fundamental principles of direct marketing; principles which are far more important to the success of any strategic marketing campaign online. Here’s a list of some of the biggest mistakes of omission you might be making:

1. Poor Message To Market Match

If you utilize permission-based email marketing tactics such as the use of targeted landing pages and email capture forms geared to specific prospects, you may be surprised to hear me say that your subsequent messages or auto-responder sequences are mismatched to such a list.

Unfortunately, the reality is that most of the messages you send to the subscribers on your lists are likely to be unmatched to the verified needs and interests of these subscribers. For many campaigns, the only well-matched message is the first post-capture message when the subscribers receive exactly what they asked for.

This is due to the fact that marketers often do not create processes and systems to segment their lists according to preferences and buying patterns.

2. Poor synchronization with website analytics

Do you closely track your website usage analytics? Do you use tools that show the behavior of your customers and email list subscribers when they go to your website?

Research has shown that only a small percentage (less than 20 percent) of online relationship marketers use customer data from website analytics to trigger messages or sequences in their email marketing programs. The few businesses that can connect things like shopping cart abandonment or web page abandonment rates to their messages, experience greatly increased ROI.

3. Overlooking Lifecycle email marketing programs

These timing-based email direct marketing campaigns are generally overlooked because companies believe that they always require custom programming…and that’s not the case. Certain specialized email service providers have woken up to the need for delivering offerings that perform these functions for small businesses.

Your relationship-building should depend on the stage of relationship the subscriber is in – prospect, engaged customer, past customer in need of reactivation.

I recently received an email from a marketer which noted that I hadn’t clicked a link in over 4 months and just about required I click the link to their Facebook page or they would assume I wanted to be off their list. I got to their Facebook page just on time to see tons of messages from other subscribers asking not to be removed from the list.

I was compelled to click on the link (and re-engage with them) even though I was somewhat indifferent as to whether I remained subscribed to their list or not. That’s just an illustration of how powerful your messages can be when they are tied to tracked behavior. You can offer lead warming information to prospects, special deals to top customers and repeat visitors, and re-activation incentives to former clients who have not clicked through in a long while.

4. Ignoring multimedia, multichannel contact

Email is not the “be-all” and “end-all” of marketing… or of internet marketing for that matter. It is no panacea. The power of your email marketing program can be greatly amplified when it is sequenced and integrated with a multimedia and multichannel approach that includes direct mail, phone calls and other modes of communication.

While an email thank you message may not be noticed at all, a Thank-you by mail from an online marketer tends to stand out significantly from both emails and other direct mail pieces. I know this from personal experience.

If you own a small business and you have not tried combining a mix of email marketing and SMS marketing methods, you may not be getting the best ROI out of your marketing investment.