Happy Fourth of July! Time to celebrate America’s independence.

Tomorrow marks the 18th anniversary for Hotmail – which has been fighting the good fight since 1996. Hotmail became the first free web-based email system which was later acquired by Microsoft and soon became the largest web-based email service with over 350 million users operating in 36 different languages. Wow.

Although it certainly wasn’t labelled a ‘cloud service’ at the time, Hotmail embodies important attributes that make cloud services so appealing today — hence, the iCloud. It is accessible from anywhere in the world, on any device, at any time of the day or night. It’s available to users on pay-as-you-go basis, with an option to scale up depending on your requirements. Lastly, it doesn’t clog up your desktop, but is instantly available through a web browser.

Anyone remember this format? This was just after Hotmail was acquired by Microsoft within its first year.

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So just how important is email today? Are you someone who constantly peruses through your account(s) checking business emails or searching for the latest news, deals or articles on a particular topic?

Business 2 Community notes “In order to take advantage of the continued expansion of email and mobile usage around the world, it’s time to make absolutely sure that your email communications are personal, relevant, and highly targeted.”

They believe there is an increase in the amount of email users and mobile is making up for much of that volume. Email is making a comeback — and it’s here to stay.

It engages conversation and interaction.

According to HubSpot, 76% of marketers today say they use email more now than they did three years ago. 95% are using email and 91% check their inbox at least once a day. That’s more users than Facebook.

If your company doesn’t already use email marketing or send out newsletters, you’re missing out on a crucial communication touchpoint.

Make sure to segment your lists so you’re able to send certain people exactly what they want to read. This is what will drive results.  Sending out irrelevant emails will only help your audience find that “unsubscribe” button a little faster.

Email has a longer lifespan than social media.

HubSpot also says that 77% of consumers prefer email for marketing communications. Think of how many posts you see within 10 minutes of being on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Hard to keep track, right?

Emails and email marketing campaigns have a much longer lifespan than a post on a social networking site. This grants you the opportunity to get more leads, check the conversion rates and see who’s shared your emails.

By increasing deliverability, engagement and reach, you’re going to hit the goals you specifically set. These will last much longer than a social media post.

For most businesses, the average time a post is predominantly placed in a follower’s’ newsfeed is a couple of hours.  Most engagement happens within the first few hours of posting content.  

Email gives your client exactly what they’re looking for.

An email can be as simple as a weekly check-in to make sure you and the client are still on the same page. Or, it can include important information with attached images or documents.

It’s important to go by a set of guidelines when creating and nurturing an email or email campaign, including:

  • Figure out who you’re writing to.
  • Segment your contact database.
  • Send the right content at the right time.
  • Nurture your lead into a customer.
  • In order to generate new leads, you have to enable sharing (see social sharing buttons at the bottom left of this page.)
  • Follow up. Have a kickback email to support your initial efforts.
  • Gather feedback. See what your audience liked and didn’t like. Create a short and simple survey that won’t take up too much of their time.
  • If you’re company is sales-oriented, facilitate a sales process by using CTAs (calls-to-action). These are the buttons on any given landing page that might look something like this:
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  • And finally, educate your clients or customers about new features. Give a brief overview without information overload.

Email allows you to be personal and create lasting relationships with your clients.

Have you ever gotten an email that wasn’t even addressed to you? By sending personal emails, the client will start to trust you. You’re establishing brand awareness and trust and boosting social interaction — which is a very critical component.

When I say personal, I don’t just mean addressing your emails to the actual person. It should also come from an actual person. Doing so will increase open rates by 3-5%. If you receive an email from an address like info@randomcompany.com, you’ll probably mark it as spam and move on.

Many times, it is useful for marketers to offer value in emails so we can build trusting relationships with the recipients. This is going to build your customer loyalty! And what’s better – perhaps they’ll forward your offer to their friends, which encourages referrals and social proof – and boom! You’ve got new leads.

When you send clients information relevant and helpful to them, you start to build trust – which is core to delighting your customers. Every single interaction with a client is important – so it’s crucial to keep everyone happy.

You can test emails to see what works.

Almost all email marketing subscription services offer simple A/B testing opportunities. By A/B testing an email with a small sampling of a segment, you can very quickly test the success of your emails before you send them to the entire segment, which allows you to optimize your efforts in real time.

There are a number of factors that can greatly impact the success of an email, so the opportunities are endless for testing. Try changing up and testing different subject lines, “from” addresses (makes it more personal), call-to-action buttons, shorter messages vs. longer messages and different layouts as well as different times of the day. See what your clients like best and what they’re more likely to respond to.

Emails engage customers at the right time.

So when should you send your email? Many people think midday is the perfect time to send emails, but Fast Company believes sending an email during the weekend actually proves to be more effective. They say an email sent on Tuesday has a 58% chance of being opened, whereas an email sent on Saturday has a 65% chance. This means that you might want to rethink when you are sending your emails. Try sending them out on the weekends and see if you find similar increases in your open rates.

HubSpot found that emails with the words “you,” “quick,” “meeting,” and “fw:” were less likely to be opened by a prospect. On the other hand, emails with the words “free” and “tomorrow” or emails with no subject whatsoever had higher open rates.

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