Digital marketing is definitely “in”. However, while the industry is all abuzz about the next big thing in digital marketing -- RSS, mobile marketing, marketing blogs, user-generated content, and viral marketing -- the real focus of digital marketing -- email marketing in all its forms -- is now facing the threat of being overlooked. It’s easy to forget what with all the hype of digital marketing that email, along with search, is the strategic heart of web marketing right now. In fact, now more than ever, it’s vital to remember two essential, but basic facts:

  • The cost of buying impressions online is only going to move in one direction-- and it isn't down.
  • Real ROI in digital marketing comes from conversion rates, not “eyeballs”.

Bearing the above in mind, the value of integrating email marketing within overall marketing efforts, are extremely obvious. Email marketing should be the bridge a marketer uses to help move customers through a purchase and re-purchase cycle.

Don’t fall into the common marketing pitfall – neglecting to determine what the next step is, once a specific goal has been achieved in a digital marketing program. For example, you’ve successfully steered a customer to a landing page from a paid search ad or banner, but now what? Well, here’s where email comes in. Email is a fantastic solution as long as customers are given a good reason to receive your ongoing email communications.  You can even insert additional cross-sell offers into your confirmation email. Email marketing allows marketers to collect data such as preferences, purchase history, search terms users and so on, letting them understand more about their current as well as potential customers, allowing for better planning.

Here are 5 tips to ensure better digital marketing communication:

  • Objectives push strategies and strategies drive tactics
    It’s all important to remember that a website or online ads are merely tactics and not strategies. Having your objectives clearly in mind will help drive your marketing strategies and of course a good mix of digital tactics will help achieve this even faster.
  • Develop valuable and relevant content
    The above is important regardless of which stage of the buying process your customer is in. While meaningful content may be more costly to execute, poor content may cost you your business because you’ve lost the moment a customer perceives you are spamming them. Valuable and relevant content may not be easy to achieve, but trust me, it is worth it.
  • Remember that transactional emails are also a marketing channel
    More often than not, many companies send out confirmations without realizing that relevancy and frequency are great predictors of future purchase intent. Moreover, these emails are more often than not opened and read, but sadly, many marketers overlook this, rarely tracking their delivery, open, click and conversion rates. In addition, transactional emails can be used to cross-sell and up-sell marketing offers.
  • Integrate paid search with email
    Doing the above will help grow a marketer’s opt-in email list as well as mange their paid placement leads. Follow-up email communications are a logical communication step that leads to better conversion rates, thereby allowing email to become an integral part of a broader campaign.
  • Don’t get caught up in the hype of digital marketing
    Ensure you have completely explored your email program’s potential before you chase after the latest buzz in the marketplace. It’s important to realize that buzzwords are an ongoing challenge in the digital world.
    The key thing is to stay focused on your mission. Digital marketing is all about using innovative technologies to reach the customer in new ways, position or enhance the brand or product, or provide the new empowered consumer with the information they are seeking. No matter what you do, always keep the organization focused on the key marketing strategies that are being pursued.

There’s no two-ways about it – email marketing should be integrated into every e-marketer’s digital marketing efforts. Doing so ensures that marketer’s provide something of real value, thereby ensuring that their customer’s do not opt-out, that they continuously provide ongoing information and value through the purchase cycle and finally, that they can segment their audience and target their messaging.

By following the above advice, you can ensure you stay and above all, succeed in the digital game.
By Shanti Anne Morais