Mail Merge Programs: What You Need to Know
With the rise of social media marketing, thousands of companies around the world are ditching other publicity and advertising means in order to invest in Facebook ads and other common forms of social media promotional material. In fact, during the last quarter of 2018, Facebook reported advertising revenue at $16.6 billion, which has only continued to rise in recent years. While social media marketing, including the rising industry of influencer advertising, certainly has its advantages, it also comes with many drawbacks.
For companies looking to establish long-term customers through more serious and disciplined promotional campaigns, email marketing continues to be an important element for brand growth and awareness. Unless you have a dedicated team of secretaries willing to write out individual emails to thousands of potential clients and customers, mail merge programs (especially from gmail) are an important piece of software that increase the efficiency and value of any company´s email marketing scheme. Below, we offer a complete rundown on the advantages of email marketing in today´s market, how to use mail merge programs, and what to look for in the best mail merge programs available today.
Why Email Marketing?
According to some analysis, over 269 billion emails are sent and received each and every day. While many of those emails are personal in nature, billions of emails are also sent each day by businesses and brands looking to expand their sales volume, attract new customers, and build a loyal customer base. Unfortunately, many of those emails are automatically sent to the infamous spam folders which are subsequently deleted without having been read. Some studies suggest that spam emails add up to about 14.5 billion messages globally per day. Other studies suggest that upwards of 73 percent of all emails might be spam.
Despite the fact that billions of email marketing content is deleted without ever having been read by the intended recipient, email marketing campaigns have been found to be one of the best investments for companies. According to one analysis, the expected return on investment (ROI) for email marketing campaigns amounts to about $42 for every $1 spent by the brand. Whereas it is relatively easy for intended recipients to scroll past a Facebook ad that appears in their feed, well-designed email marketing content generally has a much higher open rate. For this reason, around 81 percent of all small businesses rely on email marketing as their primary client acquisition channel. Furthermore, for business to business (B2B) companies, about 59 percent of marketers believe that email is the most effective marketing channel for improving and sustaining revenue generation.
The Time Factor and the Hitch with Generic Emails
Two of the major drawbacks of email marketing content are the time factor and the lack of appeal that comes with mass sending a generic email. When an email starts with the line: “Dear valued customer,” or something along those lines, many potential customers and clients will automatically close and delete the email. After years of being bombarded by unsolicited phone marketing calls and having our spam folders loaded with badly designed email content, many people have learned to instinctively tune out generic marketing content. On the other side of the coin, crafting personalized emails for hundreds or thousands of potential customers requires an enormous investment in time and resources.
Mail merge programs help to address these two common problems that affect email marketing campaigns. The automatic addition of names and addresses from a database to letters and envelopes, can drastically improve the efficiency of sending advertising, marketing, or publicity content to large emails lists. Many of the best mail merge programs will allow the sender to automatically add a personalized greeting that includes the name of the potential client. When an email starts as “Dear Mr. Smith,” the open rate and engagement rate will be much higher.
What to Look for in the Best Mail Merge Programs
The best mail merge programs need to allow the sender to personalize the emails you want to send to a specific content list through using a single data file alongside a single email template. To use this feature, then, you will first need to create a simple file or spreadsheet that gathers the name, address, email address, and other pertinent information of your client list. The mail merge program will subsequently gather the data from this file and can be programmed to automatically insert parts of that data at specific places within the template of the email letter you are sending out.
Obviously, the mail merge program can be programmed to add the name of your potential client at the beginning of the email. However, more detailed mail merge programs might also be able to strategically insert the geographical location or city of the client to personalize the email marketing content even more. Also, good mail merge programs can also be programmed and utilized for automatic follow up email which can increase the efficacy of all email marketing campaigns.
Using mail merge programs can be difficult if you are working with several different platforms. The company GMASS gets around this common problem be allowing its customers to send email campaigns directly from a business or personal Gmail account. By downloading the GMASS extension to Google Chrome, businesses can connect to Google Sheets for their data files, create large email lists based on search results, and even track the opens and clicks for the emails sent out. Even more impressively, the GMASS mail merge program allows companies to create a calendar for automatic follow-up emails until you get some sort of reply from the intended recipient. With over 1.5 billion users, Gmail servers are also considered to be the world´s best in terms of deliverability ensuring that your email marketing content will be delivered to your potential clients.
Email marketing continues to be a major player in business advertising. To cut down on time costs while simultaneously increasing open rates, a quality mail merge program can help most businesses turn an email campaign into a growing customer base.