Like everyone from business owners to content creators to consumers, you are probably grateful to be nearing the end of 2020. You may also be wondering what to do with your digital marketing strategy.
Email, in particular, may have you wondering what kind of investment is appropriate going forward. Throughout 2020, email marketing has revealed some interesting trends. Zephyr Digital Design can explain how to analyze some of these more confusing trends, and how to properly invest in relevant email marketing moving into the post-Covid era.
Open Rates Were Higher, But So Were the Number of Emails Sent
If you noticed a spike in email opens at the beginning of the pandemic, but very little engagement, you’re not alone. Did you open an email from a company you have a relationship with that had an important message regarding the pandemic? A lot of emails stating a company’s response to the pandemic were sent throughout 2020, especially at the beginning of the pandemic. (Coincidentally, those emails were more likely to be opened at the beginning of the pandemic, as well.) These emails leaned towards informational instead of promotional, so engagement rates were always destined to be low.
What these emails accomplished was the important maintenance of relationships with customers. As pandemic precautions became automatic, customers became less inclined to open these types of emails.
Your Company’s Industry Made a Huge Difference This Year
Some industries were (and still are) struggling with engagement. Transportation and automotive are an obvious example of this: During the lockdowns this past spring, people weren’t driving or traveling as much, so those industries took a noticeable hit. In this case, no matter how appealing your offers, you may not have seen the engagement you were hoping for.
If your industry is one affected positively by the pandemic (think educational resources or health care) then you probably experienced more engagement than other industries this year.
Small Businesses Have a Clear Advantage
If you’re a small business, we have good news! Mailchimp compiled data on email marketing trends which showed that businesses with fewer than 2000 contacts had a higher click rate on emails than larger companies. This is likely due to people’s awareness of how important it is to support small businesses this year as well as a desire to support their own community more during the pandemic. You can take advantage of this by reminding customers to support local businesses and emphasizing how your company invests in and supports the community.
Is Email Marketing a Sound Investment Next Year?
Yes! Even if you have struggled with engagement this year, email should still be a mainstay in your digital marketing strategy. From strictly a monetary standpoint, email still has one of the strongest return on investment rates when you compare it to things like pay per click ads and paid ads across social media platforms.
With automated emails for subscribers, targeted email remarketing campaigns, and the capabilities to segment your email marketing lists, you have a lot of campaign strategies available to you without spending additional money from your advertising budget.
Looking Ahead, Email Will Be a Key Component of Omnichannel Marketing
If you’re in a B2B industry, you probably know better than anyone that email marketing is often used for lead nurturing. The sales cycle for B2B companies is longer than for B2C companies. Next year you can anticipate these lead nurturing programs encompassing more—your sales leads will read your emails, but they will also make decisions based on touchpoints with their organic search results, social media platforms, YouTube content, reviews, and even podcasts. You’ll need to incorporate email marketing into your larger marketing efforts to see the biggest impact.
Email is a solid marketing tool and one that we continue to recommend for any industry. If you’re unsure about the types of campaigns you should be running, Zephyr Digital Design is here to help. We can assess your current email marketing needs and help you ensure that 2021 will see an increase in open rates and engagement by making sure you’re sending the right message.