Like hamsters stuck on our wheels, we’re all obsessed with finding more ways to connect with consumers, more ways to elevate our brand, more ways to convert, more channels to distribute content — more more more.
Here’s the thing: More is not always better. Sometimes it’s just more. Sometimes it’s the anchor weighing you down and preventing you from making any significant movement forward at all.
Time and time again, our research has shown the power of email monetization. Email is a great way to get started and an important strategy to have and every organization should have one. However, it can be easy to overdo it. More and more often we're seeing marketers spread themselves too thin by putting ads in too many places.
In order for publishers to be in touch with their audience, it's important to get back to the basics and monetize to a group of people who already have raised their hands.
Before we dive into our “less is more” take on email monetization, let’s address the internet-based elephant in the room. Why are we using email ads at all? Isn’t it antiquated? Aren’t there better channels out there? Won’t your messages get deleted, never to be read or appreciated?
Everyone has a smartphone, and those smartphones have email inboxes that follow the user morning, noon and night, from home to school to the office to the bathroom and back again. That’s unprecedented access to your audience anywhere and everywhere they go. There will be an estimated 3 billion email users worldwide by 2020, and segmented and targeted emails are responsible for 58 percent of all revenue.
Email works, but it works even better if you keep it simple.
One Great Egg, One Sturdy Basket
It’s lovely to have tons of resources at your disposal, but perceived excess of time and money frequently leads to over-diversification. While it’s true you never want to funnel all your efforts into a single channel, going in the complete opposite direction — nibbling away at multiple pieces of the monetization pie — is a recipe for an insanely complex, horribly fragmented system that’s difficult to manage and frustrating in terms of ROI. You can’t make a masterpiece out of a mess.
Email doesn’t have to be your only ad distribution route, but it should be the crown jewel with only a few other gems acting as support. Monetize smarter, not harder.
A Savvier Way to Segment
Conventional targeting is like walking into Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory — there are goodies as far as the eye can see, and you can’t gobble it up quickly enough. The problem lies in the gluttony. While web-based cookies and device targets drum up a veritable deluge of information, not all of those details are usable or even accurate.
Take cookies as an example. These embedded tracking devices follow users as they surf the web, read various publications, use search engines and make purchases. By analyzing those actions, we can figure out everything from gender to location to marital status to brand allegiance . . . or can we? Shared devices muddy the waters to the point where you can’t be sure if you’re building a portrait of a single person or a composite profile made up of pieces culled from an entire family.
Compared to traditional targeting techniques, email subscriber data is about quality over quantity: You’ll collect less information but be rewarded with far more context. Having access to content views, email opens, click-throughs and behavioral patterns facilitates tighter, more focused campaigns. You’re jettisoning the nebulous haze of information you would’ve gotten with cookies and saving the expensive, unproductive monetization campaigns to follow. Instead, you’re forging relevant strategies centered on facts rather than supposition.
Make Each Email Matter
Beating your subscribers over the head with emails won’t win you any new fans. Quite the opposite, actually.
Inbox fatigue is real. Some 75 percent of Americans say they find the number of emails they receive to be overwhelming. A mere 15 percent of consumers thought the emails they got from marketers were in any way useful. One survey found that 69 percent of users unsubscribed because they got too many emails. Those are abysmal numbers, and odds are you’re not the exception.
Before you experience a flurry of unsubscribes, try reimagining your current approach with these tips:
- Think about when you’re sending out messages. Studies show Tuesdays have the highest open rates, followed by Thursdays. As for the time of day, 10 a.m. is the winner, but 8 p.m., when most 9-to-5 workers are winding down their day, comes in second.
- Tailor your content. Forget about writing what you want and write what your audience wants. Deliver value every step of the way and challenge your team to use words to craft experiences. Make each email count.
Ultimately, the best way to figure out your brand’s most advantageous email schedule is to test, test and test again. See what kind of frequency generates clicks and at what point your readership drops off. Start off conservatively; you can always ramp up your efforts once you have your audience on the hook.
To learn more about email monetization and a brighter future through PowerInbox, schedule your demo today.