Email marketing is one of the most cost effective means of staying in touch with your customers and keeping them engaged with your business. It is no wonder then that Indian businesses of all sizes are actively experimenting with email marketing.
Sectors that are leading the charge in email marketing adoption are E-Commerce, Banking/Finance and Travel. At Firecart, we speak with Indian small and medium businesses (SMBs) everyday about their marketing challenges and there are many interesting insights we have gained through these conversations. Specifically, here are some challenges that businesses speak about when considering email marketing programs.
Quality of the email database – Most SMB’s have trouble consolidating their entire customer database into a single, concise, clean and marketable list. Traditionally, customer data has been stored in all kinds of varied formats like notebooks, Excel, proprietary software, POS systems, etc. This leads to a very high level of “bad emails” in your list causing high bounce rates and hence low ISP reputation scores.
Check out our previous blog on tips for maintaining a clean email marketing database
Unrealistic Expectations – Indian SMBs that have never used an email marketing service before tend to have unrealistically high expectations of the open rates, click through rates and email-sales conversation rates. Given the generally low average open rates (sub 20%) and low average CTRs (sub 5%) that their first campaign gets, most business owners get discouraged and decide to stop sending emails after a few weeks.
Unwillingness to study statistics – The best email marketing services provide detailed statistics about open rates, click through rates, bounce/spam/unsubscribes and more. However, most Indian SMBs we have spoken with tend to give only a cursory look to the statistics at best. There is a wealth of information one can get from these statistics but it is being lost due to the lack of awareness and willingness among business owners to spend time studying the data.
Low hanging fruit – Email marketing is starting to take roots in the Indian business community. In many sectors there are vast open green spaces available for the savvy internet marketer to exploit. A business can get started by consolidating their customer data and email lists first. Some preliminary segmentation of the customer list can help the business target specific email newsletters to specific audiences. Just getting started with some simple email content can go a long way in helping a business engage its audience better.
Cost effective local email marketing services – Gone are the days when one had to look west to find a great email marketing service. Why should you have to pay $$ rates when you can find affordable service providers in India easily. Today, there are a handful of good email marketing services based in India who will help you build your email program. These providers understand your unique challenges and can help you overcome some of the unique challenges that you face doing business in India. Try Email Marketing Automation Software free for 30 Days
Differentiate your business – Among the plethora of spammy emails a customer gets, Indian businesses can find creative ways to stand out and differentiate themselves versus their competitors who are stuck with traditional marketing formats. Email your customers less frequently, but make sure you provide high quality and engaging content in each and every newsletter.
Closing thoughts – Indian SMBs need to take concrete steps to address the challenges we spoke of earlier. Businesses that are successful at overcoming these challenges will see immediate ROI on their email marketing campaigns.