Four content experts weigh in on the importance of email marketing in 2023. Thank you to Ann Handley, Joe Pulizzi and Michael Barber for joining Ahava Leibtag and sharing your valuable insights.
The importance of email marketing
Email marketing is going to grow increasingly more important in the next few years. Social media channels have morphed into pay-to-play algorithms. They’re using For You suggested content pages to pull people into the platform and keep them there.
This means that you need to own two important media properties:
- Website – especially for evergreen content
- Email – it’s going to be the most valuable thing that you have, as social media channels increasingly move away from sharing your content with your audiences
3 things to focus on for successful emails
- Click-through rate. Open rates don’t really matter anymore because of changes to privacy settings with email. You want to make sure that people are clicking through and interacting with your content.
- Segmenting your lists. If you’re not there yet it’s okay. For a lot of us, marketing automation is new. But there are opportunities in healthcare for us to think about different messages for different audiences:
- New people in your audience (welcome messages)
- People who are looking for news from our organizations (monthly updates)
- People who are looking to build a relationship (health and wellness content)
- Subject lines need to be specific. People are inundated with email. But they use it to talk to the brands they’re interested in, to learn new information and to find out what they need to know. So if you’re specific about what’s in the email newsletter you have a better chance of them opening it.
The importance of owned channels
Number one: email is hugely important. You know that this is an era where the algorithm is going to fight you and your messaging on social media. You need to own your email list. You need to be able to communicate directly with the people who matter the most to your business.
Number two: the email newsletter. It is your one opportunity to truly embrace your brand voice and communicate directly with people over time. So use that opportunity to not just make a sale but to build relationships with the people who matter to your business.
Think about making friends, building trust, and building affinity. That is what is going to get to the sale.
Email marketing is one channel you can control
The most important thing [in marketing] for the next 12 months is email. I’m focusing on how I can create better relationships with my customers by delivering an email newsletter of value consistently. Readers come to know, like and trust us more. And we have that first-party data that we own and can control.
When we control distribution and the data, we don’t have to give all that power back to social networks. So I’m focusing on email.
Engagement and driving action in your email efforts
Think about engagement. And keep in mind that engagement these days has nothing to do with the open rate. It’s about click-through rate, read time, replies and the actions that your subscribers take after they click.
I recommend making sure you’ve got the appropriate visual hierarchy for where you want people to click. Think about those inverted pyramids and driving the eyes to calls to action. Make those calls to action as explicit and contextually relevant for your subscribers as possible. Don’t be generic. Tell them exactly what they’re going to get after they click.
And push for replies. Ask questions. Ask your subscribers what they want from you. Is there something that they’re missing in an experience? Or is something missing from a white paper? Or a product? Asking questions can help drive those reply rates as well.
Ready to up your email game?
Drop us a line. We’d love to develop a winning strategy and aha-mazing content for your organization.