Data privacy is a hot topic for many business owners, especially when it comes to their email marketing strategies. While consumers want more control over the information they release, businesses are finding it difficult to achieve their email marketing goals. Here’s how these privacy changes are affecting email marketing and what you can do to adapt your own marketing plans.
Privacy Changes for Email Marketing Strategies
Tech giants Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Apple have recently set new parameters in place to protect the privacy of their users. Business owners now have limited access to user behavior, which is a key component in creating effective campaigns. The most impacted areas include tracking, automation, and target audiences.
When analyzing email marketing strategies, most business owners review open rates. The users who open company emails are generally the most active or interested in your business. As a result, these would be the ideal people to continue marketing to. However, new privacy changes from Apple give users an option to enable private open rate tracking. This will cause an influx in your open rates, but may not actually correlate with individual users opening your emails. As a result, your metrics could be inflated and you will not have accurate information on your active audience members.
Marketing automation sequences such as drip campaigns have also been severely impacted by these privacy changes. These workflows send emails in the predetermined series based on last open dates. Unfortunately, these changes will cause difficulty in defining unengaged users from those with hidden behavior. This will make it hard for your business to know who to re-engage in your email marketing campaigns. You run the risk of sending re-engagement emails (“We’ve missed you!”) to users who are actually actively supporting your business.
Many email marketing strategies rely on location-based targeting for their audience members. These audiences were previously created based on IP address information gathered from open emails. Now, your business will have to rely on geographic information provided by the users, such as mailing addresses. Although it won’t be impossible to target people based on their location, you may just need to gather more information up front in contact forms.
Improve Your Campaigns
Despite all those changes, your email marketing strategies still have a chance to succeed. In order to overcome these new challenges, you need to adapt your current plan. This includes understanding your email goal and making everything you do support that specific goal.
Define Your Goal
The best chance you have at finding success in your email marketing campaigns is clearly defining your goal. Examples of this include clicking on a link to a specific page on your website, downloading an ebook, making a purchase, or filling out a form. Your email goal can no longer solely be based on open rates. Instead, define what the most important customer action is for your campaign.
Track Metrics that Support Your Goal
Once you’ve defined your goal, choose the metrics that support that goal. Examples of this could be conversion rates, the number of purchases on a product included in your email, how many people fill out your form, or how many ebook downloads occurred. Other metrics you may want to consider are click rate inside the email and other engagement metrics, such as video views. All of these types of metrics are not severely impacted by the privacy changes.
Optimize Campaigns for Your Goal
After you’ve defined your goal and know what metrics you need to track, you can then shift your focus to optimizing your campaigns. This means looking at ways to improve those metrics over time and increase your chances of meeting your goal. Examples of this could be improving the copy or call to actions you include in your email, adding more interactive content, or even changing the design of your emails altogether. If you track the correct metrics, optimizing your emails to meet your main goals is simple.
Email marketing strategies are a powerful part of any digital marketing plan. Recent privacy changes may have added some new challenges, but emails are still a great way to connect and develop relationships with your ideal customers. It’s important for your business to evaluate what you’ve been doing and adapt your strategy to these changes.
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