“Unless you have the (wo)manpower, free time, and capital to individually build a personal relationship with each one of your prospects and customers, email should be your best marketing friend.” HubSpot
That email is not dead is a given, if you have looked at email marketing growth statistics from 2020 and 2021. In 2020, the world had around 4 billion email users. This number is expected to rise to 4.6 billion by 2025. Emails are an essential part of your overall marketing strategy, and how you execute email marketing strategy defines your brand to a significant extent.
Today, we’ll discuss the best method to execute your email marketing strategy out of manual methods and CRM. Whether yours is a small, medium, or large enterprise, there is only one answer to that debate. Let’s find out what, why, and how.
Email Marketing Methods
Marketers use email marketing tools to create, test, optimize, send, automate, and report on email campaigns. All of these processes could or could not be done by a single tool. While choosing each tool, it is important to check its utility vis-à-vis your business goals. While there are extremely specific tools such as a subject line generator and an inbox placement testing tool, there are CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems that do it all (even beyond email marketing).
Manual Email Marketing Methods
Manual emails are the ones that are crafted for lists or segments, scheduled, and sent manually. In this method, there are no trigger emails, i.e. emails automated by subscriber interest or behavior such as abandoned cart. These emails are sent one at a time, as there is no sophisticated tool involved. Of course, manual email campaigns are time-consuming to create. However, they have some key applications.
- One-off marketing emails: Most emails are well-thought and stem from a larger digital strategy. But sometimes, your email marketing team might strike gold with a topical idea, or something out of the box. You must send this email as it will only be good for your brand. You can create and shoot it manually in the beginning. If it works, you can automate it later.
Take this Rock Candy Media email, for example. It seems like an unprecedented stroke of creative genius. It isn’t part of an offer, a proposition, or related to a topical day. With its wacky design, it clearly stands out. Such emails can be saved the process by sending them manually and waiting for the magic to happen.
- Broadcast emails: Broadcast emails include audience surveys, regular newsletters, feedback requests, or brand updates. You can customize your broadcast email list if you make it manually. For example, a list of subscribers who have bought in the last 20 days from a specific store of yours.
The following KiwiCo email is specifically aimed at subscribers who already have a particular type of subscription and urges them to upgrade it by illustrating key benefits. These narrowed-down broadcasts are easy to send manually.
- Update emails: These include everything from Oops! emails to emails that alert your subscribers that you are going to start sending a weekly instead of a monthly newsletter now, or simply inform them of a new product feature.
There could be errors in both manual and automated emails, and fixing them takes an update email more often than not. At such times, you also have to be careful about the segment or group you are sending the update email. If you send an Oops! email to the wrong group, you have to send another Oops! email to cover it up. Congratulations, you are now in an Oops! email loop.
This sweet Oops! email from Pokémon Center hits it at the right spot with a no-frills, compact design. It gives out exactly the information that is needed and looks sincere at the same time.
CRM Email Marketing
CRM email marketing puts all the focus on the individual email subscriber/audience, whether it is an individual person (B2C) or company (B2B). It is not about the target group as a whole, but about your target group member as one.
This kind of specific targeting is made possible by CRM’s data storage capabilities, automation, and other functionalities. A CRM stores a prospect’s age, gender, purchase preferences, website history, and a lot of other details. These help email marketers in creating tailored, highly personalized emails. This greatly helps the brand to stay at the forefront of its target customer’s mind.
Advantages of CRM Email Marketing
Here is why we are sure that CRM email marketing is the way to go, no matter what size, level, or sector your company belongs to.
- Effective Segmentation: The best CRM campaigns start with detailed segmentation. With CRM, your email campaigns don’t need manual segmentation. In fact, hyper-segmentation is also possible with a CRM. This way, emails can become much more customized and personalized.
Check out how CRM solutions provider SuperOffice has illustrated the benefits of hyper-segmentation.
- Personalization: It’s the name of the game in marketing today. We are not just talking about adding your subscriber’s name in the subject and the opening line of an email. We’re talking about targeting their specific interests with the help of the intricate segmentation data that the CRM manages. We’re talking about sending a customized collection to a customer who seems to like polka dots.
- Customizable templates: With a CRM, creating video, GIF, and animation-based emails can also become a drag-and-drop activity. CRMs offer highly customizable templates wherein you don’t need coding skills, are given a bunch of elements, and can improvise as much as you like. There is huge scope to create interactive emails that convert, with a faster turnaround time.
Plus, CRM templates have responsive designs optimizable to all devices and their sizes.
- Lead nurturing: Email campaigns are a critical part of lead nurturing. With a CRM’s lead nurturing, data collection, and organization capabilities, you can find out the narrow pain points of your leads. All your efforts can then be concentrated upon communicating how your product addresses these pain points. Lead nurturing includes engagement, follow-up emails, and other targeted emails.
- Social media integration: If you think that social media and email are two different facets of digital marketing, check out this case study illustration by Neil Patel.
Here, popular brand Sony integrated Pinterest into an email campaign for their VAIO laptop series. They reaped rewards in the form of higher CTR, open rates, and email revenue as well.
Imagine the possibilities for integrating your email campaigns with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. You can have your subscribers tweet, share, and even watch embedded videos right within your emails.
- Automation: If you pre-write subject lines and email bodies for certain kinds of emails, you can save a lot of time. This will give you more freedom to step away from tedious tasks and focus on creative and strategic ones which automation can’t handle.
Automation also ensures that emails such as onboarding, follow-up, abandoned cart, etc. are sent on time. While about half the world is sending these emails within seconds, your brand can’t be left behind. A good follow-up email is about timing more than it is about content, most would say.
- Analytics: A CRM can help you with everything right from segmentation and lead nurturing to the analysis of emails post-sending them. CRMs often provide visual/graphic analytics in various forms. These can help your team grasp matters quickly and follow up with improvements in the upcoming campaigns.
Plus, CRMs have humongous data storage capabilities. No matter how many campaigns you run at once, they can store, maintain, and manage all your data in the proper fashion for you.
CRM email campaigns are always well-informed, predictable, well-targeted, and well-managed. Not to forget that third-party integrations are also possible with CRMs, which make campaigns richer.
A cohesive unit of data and marketing activities stemming from it are not only convenient but also very cost-effective in the long run. There are plenty of reasonably priced CRMs available in the market, which come with good features and benefits.
Hence, when it comes to your precious email campaigns, we’d say, CRMs are the way to go!