How to Cope in a Mail Dominated World

Excuse the pun, this post is most definitely about communication. More specifically, the best medium for sending mail to engage customers, elicit a response and increase conversions. 


There are numerous channels you can use to reach out to your customers such as emails, texts, carrier pigeons and so on and so forth. We will go through some of the most popular forms of communication, covering both indirect and direct messages (according to this study), to figure out what works best for both sender and receiver.

The List:

 

Pros

Cons

Email



Reach easily measured

Preferred across generations, from baby-boomers to Generation Z

Immediate and relevant information

Cost savings (no ad placement)

Can direct repeat traffic

Customisable and personalised

Accessible to any size business

Can be viewed from multiple devices

Spam filters

Go unopened

Need updating regularly

Can be unsubscribed from easily

Takes time
and energy
to create for limited presence!

Post

Reach can be measured with order forms



Largely unread

Takes time to deliver, reducing relevancy

Low response rates

Print Media

Inexpensive in newspapers

Easy to switch out

Targeted audience


Expensive in magazines

Reach cannot be  measured

Readership decline

Little or no control over ad placement

Texts


Reach measured

Immediate and relevant information

Very likely to be read

Cost savings (no ad placement)


Limited formatting

Contact list smaller than emails as phone numbers are harder to get email addresses

Can be unsubscribed from easily

Links require phone to have internet access

Social Media

Reach easily measured

Immediate and relevant information

Accessible to any size business

Cost savings (no ad placement)

Can be viewed on multiple devices



Requires constant management 

and filtering of reviews (false, robots)

Can be unsubscribed from easily

Need a large following to ensure content is delivered

Social media users may not appreciate content posting in personal timelines

Limited by age demographics

 

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It’s pretty obvious that Email is the forerunner in this race. Recipients to the above study actually chose it as their most preferred form of communication, by an overwhelming 20% more than the next most preferred option. Its ability to be up-to-date, relevant and automated makes it a better form for marketers too.

So let’s address the cons.

Spam Filters

Emails are often flagged as spam when the ratio between written content and links is heavily in favour of links. By including substance to your emails, you are more likely to reach your readers’ Inbox.

Time and Energy

The simple fact is that whenever you create content, it takes a lot of time and energy to create and a few minutes for recipients to digest/discard/ignore (source: content creator!). It’s also true that, if the content is ignored when it is sent, it doesn’t mean that it will be ignored forever. That’s where automation comes into its element.

Unopened mail and Updating go hand in hand

If you have a very topical campaign to promote and the recipient of the content waits even a day to open it, the promoted items may already be sold out. Automated content with a recommendation engine enables you to be relevant at the exact moment the email is opened up, reducing these missed opportunities.

Unsubscriptions

Ultimately there is no cure for this problem. BUT you can help to prevent it by having timely, personalised and relevant content. Showing value in your content will make subscribers less likely to opt-out of email communication.

Take home

Content creation can require you to lose your ego at times, shaking it off when you spend hours or even days, creating something that inevitably goes unseen. With automated and live recommendations in emails, this time investment is greatly reduced. This allows marketers to focus on template design, brand management, social media and the plethora of other jobs we have to manage, instead of solely focusing on fleeting campaigns.

 

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