Is email marketing dead? Your open, click, and response rates might tell you that email is a thing of the past. But ask any savvy marketer and their answer will be a resounding “hell no!”
In case you were wondering, I’m Clare, and I’m a conversion copywriter who happens to be one of those savvy marketers who believe that email marketing is alive and well. I’m also the copywriter on The Dental Marketer team.
And in this article, I’m about to make a case for email marketing so that you can make sure your emails are being read.
How to Make Sure Your Emails Are Being Read
Emails are one of the biggest headaches for an office manager. They sit in front of the computer all day, hoping for reactivations, sending emails that they won’t even open themselves (if they were the recipient).
They believe they’re not getting the appropriate responses because social media marketing is kicking email marketing to the curb. I’m here to tell you otherwise. Here are 3 reasons why social media will never replace email marketing.
- You Don’t Own Your Social Media Following
The race to thousands of followers is an exciting one. We celebrate milestones like hitting your first 5000 followers… even your first 10k. But as valid and powerful as social media marketing is, the painful truth is that you do not own your followers.
What I mean by that is social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook could disappear any day. Although it’s unlikely that this happens, it’s something that you need to consider. In a less dramatic and more realistic circumstance, outages and bugs can happen on these platforms at any given moment.
And if you happen to be in the middle of an important marketing campaign, relying only on social media, while this happens… you can only imagine what kind of results you’ll get (not good, I can tell you that much).
When you collect email addresses, you’ll own that data for life. That means while Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms you use might be down, you can continue your campaign and reach your intended audience at any time.
- It Takes a Lot More Trust to Get Someone’s Email
Handing over your email information is not like hitting the following button on social media. There needs to be a lot more trust built before someone feels comfortable enough to hand over their email.
This is a great point for me to remind you that you NEED to ask for permission before adding someone’s email to your email list. Your email marketing efforts will only be as powerful as the quality of your contacts. If you’re adding an email to your list just because you have access to it, you aren’t going to see good results because the quality of your lead isn’t great.
If your contact isn’t openly and willingly opting-in to your list, they’ll feel annoyed and frustrated when they see an email from someone they don’t remember or recognize.
On the other hand, when someone hands you their email, it’s an open invitation for you to be in their inbox. They’re saying, “Hey, yes! I’d love to hear from you, and I’d love to receive communication through email.”
Whereas on social media, they might just be hitting follow without thinking. Or even if they did intend to follow you and stay up-to-date with your practice, they won’t be shown every single post you share. This brings me to the 3rd reason…
- Email Doesn’t Rely on an Algorithm
Don’t get me wrong - social media marketing is important. It’s 2022, and having an Instagram profile has become just as important (if not more so) than having a website. It’s where many people turn to vet a business before choosing to work with them.
But you can have the best content strategy in the world, and I promise your post won’t be shown to every single follower you have. That’s because your content is at the whim of an algorithm. While I’m not going to get in-depth about the algorithm in this article, it’s important to know that the algorithm shows your content based on tiers of interest.
This means it shows your content to your warmest, most engaged followers (which is anywhere from 5%-10% of your total following). If (and only if) that 5%-10% respond well to your post, then the algorithm will show it to a larger pool of your audience, and so on and so forth.
With email marketing, your email will be seen by the recipient so long as you have consent to be in their inbox (if you have taken the right steps to avoid getting filtered into their spam).
Copy Tips to Make Sure Your Emails Are Being Read
When it comes to email marketing (or any marketing, for that matter), the most important factor that contributes to your conversion rate is your copy.
Think about it this way - if your copy isn’t eye-catching enough, it won’t be read. And if your prospects aren’t reading, they won’t convert. And this copy rule applies to all your marketing material, whether it’s email marketing, social media marketing, your website, a sales page, mailers, etc. Copy is king.
So before I wrap up this article, I’m going to share a few copy tips to make sure your emails are being read. Starting with:
- Ditch the Formality
This might go against what you know to be “email etiquette,” but nothing screams “I’m a business trying to make a sale” than a subject line with the first letter of each word capitalized.
Look, I’m in my inbox reading more emails than the average person. It’s what I do as a conversion copywriter. I read every email that hits my inbox, both good and bad, and I learn from them.
But nothing makes me hit “unsubscribe” and “delete” faster than emails that come off too formal.
- Write Emails You’d Like to Read
Be honest with yourself… what types of emails are you most likely to open? The ones that are way too formal, or an email from a friend?
Your email marketing should reflect the types of emails that people want to read. Write them as if you were a friend of your prospect. Now I know, you aren’t going to know the details of their lives, nor are you going to want to share details of yours. But this is where the personality of your practice comes into play.
Give them an update or a behind-the-scenes look into your practice. Tell them a funny story that happened with your team. No matter what, keep it casual and friendly. This is going to build that know, like, and trust factor that turns them into loyal patients.
When your prospect feels like they know you personally, it’s going to be much easier to get their cheeks into your seat.
- No More Boring Subject Lines
Nothing makes me fall asleep faster than a boring subject line. That’s why storytelling in your email marketing is key. Not only will they help you write intriguing subject lines, but they’ll also add to the casualness and friendliness of your emails.
So even though you’re telling them a story about why they should get their teeth whitened (and ultimately promoting that service as a conversion in your email), your subject line should not be “Discount on whitening.”
Instead, make it catchy and open-worthy. Something like “well that happened…” is an interesting subject line that’ll garner a lot of clicks.
To give you an example, an email I wrote for a client with the subject line “random thoughts + a link” gained a 49.74% open rate on an email list that has over 80,000 subscribers. (If you’re doing the math, that’s over 40,000 readers.)
- Do Not Ghost Your List
I cannot stress this enough. You don’t just ask a friend you haven’t spoken to in years for a favor. And if you did, you know their answer is likely going to be a hard “no.” Or worse, they’ll just ghost you.
In the digital age, nurturing your audience is 80% of the sale. The other 20% is left up to great sales skills and persuasive copy. Remember, it’s all about building that know, like, and trust factor. And if you aren’t talking to your email list weekly, how on earth will your audience know, like, and trust you?
Even if you don’t have an offer to promote, email your list. Maybe share a tip or two on how they can improve the quality of their oral hygiene.
In this day and age, content is currency. And the more you nurture your list by providing value first, the more you have to gain.
Long-Live Email Marketing
Despite what you might believe, email marketing is not dead. Far from it. In fact, surveys show that 61% of consumers enjoy receiving promotional emails weekly, and another 59% say that promotional emails influence their buying decisions.
The way I see it, email communication is here to stay. And as long as that channel is open, email marketing will be alive and well. Now what you need to do is master the art of email marketing by ensuring the health of your list, employing the best copy practices, and staying consistent.