It’s All So Quiet: Using Silence to Speak to Your Audience

It's All So Quiet: Using Silence to Speak to Your Audience

Email marketing has the highest return on investment (ROI) of any channel and format, yet over half of consumers have considered deleting email accounts due to overzealous and irrelevant e-marketing campaigns. Marketers are all too aware of their role in the problem – with a study revealing less than one in ten believe all their messages are relevant to the people receiving them.

Clearly, there’s a disconnect and a lost opportunity to engage these consumers. But the answer lies in an unexpected place: an empty inbox. By speaking less and listening more brands can capitalize on the ‘silence is golden’ moment – cutting through the noise and engaging consumers in a time and cost-effective manner.

Quality over Quantity

With the relatively low cost of email marketing, it’s not surprising many marketers tend to overuse this tactic. But clogging up customer inboxes by bombarding them with multiple messages in a short space of time can create negative associations with a brand, particularly if these messages are repetitive or irrelevant. Even where emails are well targeted, contacting customers too often may irritate them and dilute the impact of the message.

Marketers must take the bold step to create less noise – being more selective and only emailing when they actually have something valuable to say, and thereby, ensure that every message makes an impression.

Time to Reflect

Consumers need thinking space when making a purchase. There are many factors involved in the decision-making process, including consultation across various sources – for example, 88% of online shoppers incorporate the reviews of others before making their final choice. Once marketers are confident a user has been exposed to a campaign, they must understand and respect the consumer’s need for space to reflect and undertake further investigation.

If a product does appeal to them, it’s likely they will return for a second look – so, marketers, seek to be brave and give your audience the time they need to absorb the content and feel confident in their choice, rather than wasting precious budgets on excessive, mass market, generalized campaigns.

Make It Personal

Insights derived from data can be used to ensure emails are relevant and personalized, but they can also help determine the type of content that is likely to be most effective at driving consumer action. A recent study found consumers often say they want tangible rewards such as discounts, free gifts, and loyalty points, but in practice, they often respond better to emails containing exclusive content or advance notice of product launches. Data analysis can help marketers discover which types of email content to use to meet their specific campaign goals.

Joining the Dots

While email is a very effective channel, marketers should resist the temptation to view it in isolation and must use it as part of an integrated strategy. Channels such as the web, social media, digital advertising, in-store displays, and Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) must all work in combination with email marketing, providing a seamless experience rather than a disjointed set of incoherent encounters.

When determining the frequency, content, and messaging of emails, marketers should view them in the context of the overall strategy, to ensure their brand stays top-of-mind without customers feeling overwhelmed or deafened.

The Importance of First-Party Data

None of this would be possible without valuable data insights. Listening to the customer and understanding their needs requires marketers to stitch together data from multiple sources – both online and offline as well as first party and third party. This can be complex when data is fragmented across silos but can be overcome by implementing a central data hub, which builds bridges between these silos and aggregates data across the entire organization.

Once marketers connect these silos together, they’re able to build a holistic picture of the customer. And once they understand the individual, marketers can tailor their emails and the frequency of their messaging, for maximum impact.

Email marketing is not a case of ‘he who shouts the loudest’ – there are times when silence speaks much louder than words. Marketers should use data insights to ensure content is relevant, timely, necessary, and take the brave step towards quieter campaigns.

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