Have you been taught to avoid spam words? Probably. Do you only send emails on a specific day and at a particular time, as industry lore suggests? Likely. While these email marketing "best practices" may have been useful once, I question whether they are still valid today. There are many myths in the industry that are often the cause of ineffective campaigns and negligible results, stemming from lack of understanding and knowledge. As a result, I put together this quiz based on five common email marketing myths: Test your knowledge and see if you can sort fact from fiction.
True or False? Email Marketing Is Done
We continue to hear that "email marketing is dead." This notion has led many marketers astray, implementing mindless campaigns using the ineffective "spray-and-pray" method. It's proven that email marketing is a valuable tool and provides an ROI of 4300 percent! More evidence that email marketing is far from dead? It's predicted that the global market for email marketing will reach $15.7 billion by 2017. Clever marketers understand that email is a powerful revenue-driver with key performance indicators that quantify the effect on the bottom line.
True or False? Let Industry Standards Determine Email Delivery Timing
I bet you've heard that the most likely times for customers to open emails are 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and 3 p.m. on Thursdays. Aggregate data confirms it: This method will yield results, albeit marginally. However, marketers can achieve optimal outcomes by utilizing tools and data from email service providers (ESPs) to understand specific customer behavior and communicate with target audiences on days and times that work best for them.
Answer: Trick question! True for minimal results; false for optimal results.
True or False? One Email Frequency Works for all Customers
How much email is too much (or too little)? Pinning down effective timing is imperative to maximize revenue and minimize unsubscribe rates. Marketers need to utilize automation, segmentation and A/B split testing to better predict what resonates best with different audiences. Let customers determine frequency of communication by analyzing their actions. The desire for more frequent correspondence will result from well-targeted and tested messages.
Answer: Another trick question! True for minimal results; false for optimal results.
True or False? Say No to "Spam" Words
Email delivery today is far different than it was ten years ago. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will deliver emails with subject lines including "dollar," "free," or "$$$" if they are coming from trusted and reputable ESPs; thus, delivery is dependent upon the interaction rate, not the verbiage. ISPs will allow you to communicate with customers as long as they continue to show interest. Take some risks and make sure you test, test and re-test to determine what works best.
True or False? Customer Loyalty is King
This concept is often debated amongst marketers, leaving many to make the mistake of treating customers and lists like numbers rather than people, ultimately crushing the value of repeat clientele. The evidence proving the real value of loyalty speaks loudly, as repeat customers spend an average of 67 percent more than first time buyers. Marketers can identify loyal customers with data analytics, which provide insight into their preferences, allowing for more targeted messages to increase sales and drive effective loyalty programs.
How did you do? Here is a key to identify your rank of marketing expertise:
Guessed 1-2 correctly? You're Missing the Mark
Are you on email marketing autopilot? Fly independently -- take back the wheel of your email marketing program; analyze what's true and false to improve ROI and increase your success.
Guessed 3 correctly? You're a Middle of the Road Marketer
You are probably getting results, but not blowing away your goals. Spice up your marketing strategy with a few changes and utilize data analytics to see stronger results.
Guessed 4-5 correctly? You're a Marketing Master!
You are clearly implementing ideal email marketing campaigns, personalizing content and delivery, and testing to determine the best campaigns per specific customers. Go forth, you savvy marketer, and let your data guide you to your own truths.
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