Emails have 66% higher conversion rate than that of social, direct mail and other forms of communications and are by far the most personal form of communications between brands and their customers. Commercial brands have been reaping benefits by including Email Marketing as the most important asset in their marketing and communications arsenal for various purposes- driving sales, maintaining relationships with customers and above all to spur engagement. Various hacks and tricks have been applied and worked for brands in every situation. But does this apply to social enterprises?
Marketing and promotion in social enterprises is a whole different ball game. The purpose is to not just entice your customers to buy your products but to convince them about your cause so that they get aligned with your brand’s movement. Email Marketing, we know has time and again proven to be fruitful. But, how does it work in case of social good brands?
We have with us, full stack marketer and social influencer, Ron Sela who will educate us in this Q&A session about the subtle science of email marketing and how it can be pruned and perfected for desired results in promoting social good brands.
Nidhi: Thank you, Ron for joining me on this piece.
How important is Email Marketing for Social Enterprises and for what purposes can it be used by them as a marketing tool?
Ron: Digital marketing has become more and more important in recent times because the ever-increasing convenience of mobile devices have made it easier for people to research products and services using the Internet than ever before.
As a result, all digital marketing tools have become more and more important, including email marketing. Although it is not always as prominent as social media marketing, email marketing still has an important role in selling interested individuals on social enterprises and their activities.
For example, it tends to be easier to convince someone to do something that demands less commitment in time, effort, and other resources from them. As a result, it is easier to convince someone to sign up for an emailing list than to sell that same person on a new fundraising campaign.
This is important because the social enterprise can now market to said individual over time, which should increase its chances of securing a successful commitment.
However, it should also be noted that successful email marketing can also build up a feeling of trust, thus increasing the chances of a successful conversion on each separate occasion.
Furthermore, it should be noted that email marketing is also useful for turning one-time customers into repeat customers, which is important because repeat customers are more profitable.
This is because people who have already been sold on a social enterprise’s cause, product or service are already positively disposed towards them so long as the experience did not turn out poorly, meaning that they need less marketing costs than those who have never taken that step.
Nidhi: As social enterprises, both for-profit and non-profit, weigh positive impact over profits, how should they craft their emails to entice their recipients?
Ron: The content used in email marketing should see significant differences based on its different roles in the social enterprises’ different digital marketing approaches.
For example, a social enterprise that uses email marketing to create sales leads on its own should be using longer emails that contain more information. In contrast, a social enterprise that uses email marketing as a way of launching a new initiative should keep its emails brief and to the point.
Generally speaking, an email used in email marketing should be short so that it will cost its recipient as little time and effort to read it as possible since that will increase the chances of them actually taking action.
It should not go into too much detail but instead have links that can send the recipient to other marketing materials containing those details, if they are needed to explain the cause, product or service that is being marketed towards them.
The more complicated the product or service, the more in-depth the email should be because it will need that additional length to explain not just why people should support the cause but also what are the preferred avenues to do so.
The positive contribution of a social enterprise can be of great help in this since it makes them stand out from more generic advertising emails.
Nidhi: What should be the ideal frequency of sending email campaigns to the target audience of social enterprises? Does it differ according to their purpose (Eg: Fundraisers, Launch of a new initiative) and model (for-profit/non-profit)?
Ron: The frequency with which emails are sent is extremely important in email marketing. Too frequent, and email marketing will backfire because the intended recipients will become irritated by being inundated with advertising emails.
In contrast, too infrequent, and email marketing will fail to leave an impression, thus preventing the social enterprise from building up the positive impression that is so essential to the success of future fundraising efforts.
In most cases, the frequency with which emails are sent should be influenced a great deal by what the intended recipients signed up for in the first place.
For example, if they signed up for an email list under the impression that they were going to receive regular updates from the social enterprise in the form of newsletters, said social enterprise should stick to that promised schedule. It’s a way of building trust by showing them that it can be trusted to live up to its promises.
In contrast, if someone signed up for an email list in order to get updates on the latest news from the social enterprise that might interest them, that would provide the social enterprise with a much freer hand.
Generally speaking, a plurality of email marketers send advertising emails 2 to 3 times a month, but social enterprises must pay attention to what their audiences want from being on their email lists. If necessary, they should not hesitate to ask for that information by just sending out surveys about how often the intended recipients want to receive their emails.
Nidhi: Any other tips that you would like share with social entrepreneurs pertaining to effective Email Marketing Practices?
Ron: Social enterprises must make sure to maintain their email lists, which means removing emails that are no longer in use, whether because their owners are no longer using them or because their owners are no longer reading the emails.
This is important because high bounce rates mean that the email marketer is not just wasting time and effort by sending emails to people who do not want them but also running the risk of being labeled a spammer, which will be a serious hindrance for their future efforts.
On a related note, social enterprises should always make sure to monitor important statistics such as the click rate, the lead generation rate, and the conversion rate from their emails. By knowing how people respond to their emails, they can get more information about what will appeal to them and what will not appeal to them, thus enabling them to improve their future marketing materials. Continuous improvement in this manner is absolutely essential for anyone who wants do more than just keep pace with their ecosystem.
About Ron Sela
Ron Sela is a Full Stack Marketer. He’s a profit-driven marketer and a blogger at RonSela.com, where he discusses influencer marketing and B2B content marketing topics. Ron’s rich background includes an MBA, a Law degree (LL.B.) and a degree in Economics. Before becoming a full-stack marketer he served as Head of Treasury in leading technology companies. This earned him a deep understanding of the business world and what it takes to grow companies. He was recently named one of Top 100 Influencers in Social Media Marketing by Onalytica.