Email marketing is a highly effective digital marketing strategy that focuses on sending several emails to leads or potential customers for a particular marketing campaign. Since it allows reaching a large global audience at little to no cost compared to other marketing channels, email marketing is pretty popular. However, you’ll need an effective email marketing strategy to work like all marketing plans.
Also, there must be a way to measure the plan’s success. And digital marketers quantify the success of their email campaigns by the information they obtain from email service providers (ESPs), such as the following:
- Was the email opened?
- When was it opened?
- Was it read?
- What device was the person using?
- The estimated location of their IP address
- Information related to forwards
They then connect this information with other online activities to see which of the people in their email list are engaging with their content. This helps them decide to send more or less of these emails to specific individuals based on their interest levels. So, they use the data they collect to improve email personalization and, thus, generate more targeted emails.
….or at least that’s what they used to do.
A Shift in Email Privacy & Subscriber Privacy
In a recent software update, Apple wants to introduce email privacy protection for its users. The update aims to restrict data collection by third parties, which means that marketers will not be able to use invisible pixels or tracking pixels to get any information, such as IP address, opening rate, or location data. Moreover, another feature, ‘Hide My Email,’ adds another layer of email privacy by allowing users to mask their personal email addresses and redirect promotional emails to another mailbox.
Apple Reinforces Email Privacy Protection
Apple wants to protect its users by giving them more control of their data so that they can share their data with these businesses on their terms. This new shift can probably be attributed to the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR. As per the European GDPR law, individuals have the right to know how their data is processed, and they can even choose to be removed or forgotten.
However, many have speculated that Apple doesn’t want to hand over control to other platforms, such as Facebook- or at least not for free. Nevertheless, at this point, it’s hard to decipher the exact motives behind this new email privacy protection policy.
How Do Brands Like Mailchimp Help Marketers?
Brands like Mailchimp are primarily used to compose and send emails in bulk. Marketers can use such software to automate email marketing campaigns and track their subsequent progress. These marketers rely on these benchmarks:
- Open rate
- The time when the email was opened
- Geo-tracking via IP address
- Personalization through pixel-derived data
So, by finding more information about the people in their email lists, marketers can tailor these emails to appeal to these people’s needs and interests precisely. Unfortunately, the new Apple update does not allow marketers to gather this data, so they will need to completely reshape the concept of email marketing ideas for small businesses they had sworn to.
Opt-In Forms for Your Email Marketing Strategy
With the user gaining more control of their data, the primary form of data that marketers now need to hold onto is first-party data, a.k.a; data provided by users themselves. So, this makes your opt-in forms all the more critical. But that’s not necessarily bad because it means more targeted email campaigns that are likely to generate more click-throughs, website traffic, and higher revenues. If you are marketing a product or service, your ultimate goal is to drive people to your website and generate revenue. This part of the marketing equation remains unaffected, so you should focus on your opt-in forms.
What we mean by focus is that you should consider using them to draw in more subscribers. Offer them a free resource, a discount voucher, and an add-on service- anything to excite them about your business. Remember that you want to provide ‘value’ to your audience for them to exchange their contact information for that perceived value.
Role of Email Marketing Data Moving Forward
In light of the recent changes, email marketers need to change the metrics they previously used to optimize their campaigns. They need a whole new set of email marketing ideas for their small business. They also need to shift their focus to first-party data to stay on top of their game. This means putting the focus on privacy protection and user rights.
Open Rates Were Never a Viable KPI
Although they have been the most widely used KPI to measure performance, open rates were never reliable in the first place. If you work with multiple platforms, you must have noticed the differences in the reports of these open rates, which is a huge indicator of the lack of accuracy of this metric. Similarly, the accounts of ‘time the email was opened’ are also unreliable. Thus, the fact that you won’t be able to monitor open rates anymore isn’t bad at all, nope! Because it allows you to focus your attention on what matters- click-throughs.
Click-Through Rates Are More Important Than Ever
Click-throughs indicate how many people actually read your email and visited the designated landing page. This is super important because these are the people that you should actually focus on. Despite this, marketers would usually track open rates since there was just a lot more to follow there. But this is the important part, and now more than ever. You can analyze click-through rates using Google Analytics and then shortlist your email list based on the people interested in your business. Therefore, invest in the right email marketing tools for your small business to stay on top of your email marketing strategy.
Value-Added Content Is Still King
Sure, your b2b email marketing strategy is important. But your content is the most important part of your business. Because if your content is worth it, people will be more than willing to get in touch with your business. No matter how many emails you send or people you approach, you will return empty-handed if you don’t have something valuable to offer. Hence, your content should be your number 1 priority. You will only generate click-throughs and higher conversion rates if your content is tailored to your audience’s interests. Remember that your content should be ‘valuable’ from your customers’ perspectives. They should need or desire to contact you after they’ve read your email pitch. Thus, always make sure that all of your emails are king content-wise so that you don’t miss out on potential customers. With the right email marketing ideas for your small business and the right b2b email marketing strategy, you won’t have to worry about getting customers because remember that customers need you almost as much as you need them- you need to be able to convey the value you are providing.
Email Marketing is Not Dead; It’s Revived
You might be overwhelmed by the recent changes and given how complex privacy protection may be it comes as no surprise. However, it’s nothing to worry about because email marketing is far from dead. It’s revived, and it’s going to be much better than before. As we said, you can focus on what matters to your customers and, thus, target them more specifically and efficiently. You need to change your b2b email marketing strategy a bit- and it’s only for the better if you ask us. Now you won’t have to waste your time on unqualified leads. Not to mention, open rates and those other metrics weren’t helpful anyway. Thus, get the right email marketing tools for your small business, and you can still benefit loads, if not more, from your email marketing strategy.
Increase Email Personalization
Contrary to what you might think, email personalization is not just easier but much more efficient now. Because, for a significant part, only the people interested in your business will subscribe to your emails. Also, you can still track how many emails were delivered and the click-through rates, which are possibly the most significant indicator of interest from a customer. Thus, you can still increase or decrease the frequency of emails you send to potential customers because you can determine their interest in your brand by their click-through rates. This also means that you won’t have to waste your time on people who open your emails but don’t bother to respond to your call to action because they are not interested in your products or services. So, get the right email marketing tools for your small business to enhance email personalization and yield better results.
Increase Email Segmentation
Since you will be collecting data directly from users, you still have the opportunity to segment your email list per location and other forms of data. To further optimize your email marketing strategy, you can sort your email list according to pain points to ensure that you provide value to your potential customers. By targeting their pain points and solving a problem for them, you can earn their trust, which is what you need to do as a small business. In addition, you can also segment your audience based on their click-through rates so that you can send them more or fewer emails accordingly.
Optimize Email Opt-In Data Collection
Now, since your primary source of data collection will be first-party data, you need to make sure that you ask all the right questions in your email opt-in forms. Take the time to think of all the information you need from your customers to enhance their overall experience with your brand and get this information from the get-go. Email privacy protection only prevents you from getting data through invisible pixels or trackers, and you can still get data directly from customers. But like we said before, why would someone give you their personal information? What’s in it for them? Take the time to understand the needs of your audience and give them what they want, and we assure you that they will be more than willing to give their contact details to avail of your offer- but only if you are providing some perceived value.
In short, optimize your opt-in forms to extract all the information you will need along the line and ensure that the attached offer is tempting enough for people to give you that information. So long as your opt-in form is adequately optimized, you should have no trouble with email personalization or segmentation. You can be sure of the data accuracy, which was not the case for tracking data.
Email marketing has always been a widely used tactic for small businesses to reach the right audience. However, to efficiently run email marketing campaigns, you must provide value to potential customers. You also need to be able to tell qualified and unqualified leads apart so that you can focus your time and attention solely on the people likely to purchase a product or service from you somewhere down the line. Wasting your time on people who are not your audience will get you nowhere. And you can pick out your audience by sending bulk emails to loads of people and then analyzing how they respond to those emails.
If they are interested, they will probably read through the entire email and click on the associated landing page- maybe not the first time, but possibly after you’ve sent them a few emails already. Apple has decided to introduce a new software update that prevents marketers from attaching any invisible pixels or trackers in their emails so they can’t track the individuals to see if they opened the email or when. In addition, they can no longer access other online activities of these individuals, which would have helped them target them more precisely. However, open rates are not a very reliable KPI, and this change might not necessarily be bad.
Like all other industries, there were bound to be some changes in the b2b email marketing for small businesses as well. You need to alter your approach to be more effective. People have more control of their data, meaning you need to extract the information you need directly from potential customers. Hence, you need to pay more attention to optimizing your opt-in forms and providing audience-centered value through your content. Change is inevitable, and if you don’t change with the changing environment, your business might die out before it even has a chance to flourish. So, modify your email marketing strategy to cater to the demands of the changing market.