A Powerful E-mail Marketing Campaign is the Ultimate Vintage Digital Marketing Tactic
Social media and influencer marketing get lots of love and attention. But you might be surprised to learn that e-mail marketing is a vastly more effective way to communicate. That’s right – despite being nearly as old as the Internet itself, e-mail remains the best way to reach people. This includes building your audience, connecting with current customers, driving conversions, and more.
In fact, that’s the genius of e-mail compared to other digital marketing tactics – the people on your e-mail list want to be there. They choose to be there. They made the conscious decision to bring you into their e-mail inboxes. And research from Content Marketing Institute shows that the people willing to make that commitment to your content are better customers, drive higher returns on your investment, and are more likely to share your content with other folks who will subscribe to your e-mail list.
Yet, for all of those proof points, too many businesses treat their e-mail marketing efforts as a “set it and forget it” enterprise. When people complain about low Open and Click-Through Rates on their e-mails, they have forgotten the reasons their audience subscribed to their content in the first place.
Integrate believes your business can derive long-term value from delivering worthwhile content to a carefully cultivated e-mail list. So, when we saw the numbers for one of our favorite clients dip in 2017, we knew it was time to refresh their e-mail marketing efforts. This is the story of the American Recovery Association.
From its humble origins in 1965 to its current status as the top organization of its kind, the American Recovery Association (ARA) helps lenders reclaim the collateral they are due. These are definitely not the “Repo Men” of pulp fiction. ARA is home to skilled and trained recovery professionals who work with high integrity and honesty to locate and recover vehicles from debtors.
As you might imagine, the people who subscribe to e-mails from the ARA are specifically in the repossession industry. But just because that subscriber list is filled with organization members doesn’t mean they’ll alway be there. Which means ARA shouldn’t sit on its laurels and deliver thin content without value.
More importantly, Integrate didn’t want them to sit still, as we knew ARA could do much better. We created a fresh strategy designed to highlight exactly what the organization does best – educate its subscribers.
Digging Into the Details
In mid-2017, we conducted a full audit of ARA’s email efforts. After reviewing the reports, we restructured the monthly newsletter sent to the membership base of 350 subscribers. We placed a specific focus on membership retention efforts like training, webinars, and promotions.
We even completed a wholesale redesign and reformatting of the newsletter to better reflect recent industry trends and point readers to a clearer Call-to-Action in each piece of communication. This included:
- Reducing the amount of copy to better highlight value for members
- Updating graphics and incorporating more headers to make the e-mail not so text-heavy
- Bringing the Call-to-Action (CTA) up before fold
- Adding photos and other multimedia into the email
We also created an entirely new campaign around the North American Reposessor’s Summit (NARS), an annual industry-wide event put on by the ARA. With a combination of e-mail and direct mail efforts, we sent out personalized “hard copy” invitations to the entire e-mail list. We then followed it up with a series of targeted e-mails to people who didn’t reply to the initial invitation and the follow-up e-mails.
Inside the Numbers
The results of these new efforts were staggering:
- A 13% year-over-year increase in Open Rate
- An Open Rate 25% higher than the industry average
- A 45% year-over-year increase in Clickthrough Rate
- A sizable increase in attendance at NARS 2018, even with a late-stage date change
And the best part? There is plenty of room to grow! As part of our preparation for NARS 2019, we’ve refreshed our A/B testing processes internally to deliver improved messaging, both in the subject line and the e-mail content itself. As always, the goal is to determine exactly what people want and then give it to them in a format they appreciate.
Improve Your E-mail in Three Thoughtful Ways
This enhanced and upgraded e-mail program has worked wonders for ARA in terms of communicating with its subscribers more effectively, including a reduction in the number of people who unsubscribe each month. How can you implement these same tactics with your e-mail marketing efforts? Follow these three tangible steps:
- Have a clear subject line – You must state exactly what will be in the e-mail, especially in an age where people live on their smartphone.
- Use direct language – Get straight to the point with the value you provide and what you want the reader to do with that e-mail. Flowery phrases are not your friend.
- Provide a single CTA – Multiple actions confuse the reader. Give them one thing to do and make that intended action very noticeable.
In practice, your e-mail features a specific subject line, crisp body copy that encourages the reader to continue down the page, and a CTA that delivers upon its promise. If any one of these components fails, then the whole enterprise fails. Your subscribers will quit opening, quit clicking, and/or unsubscribe completely.
Integrate believes that, no matter how many different social media platforms are launched or immersive technologies are developed, e-mail marketing will always be effective. It just has provide real value and treat your readers like real people.
And it works. Just ask the American Recovery Association!