Everyone has been talking about social media marketing in recent years. It’s true that getting involved with the major social networks is a good way to expand your reach, find out what your audience wants and drum up business. At least if you do it right.
This doesn’t mean that social media marketing is the best type of marketing, however, for all businesses. The key is to have an integrated marketing campaign.
Email marketing is a powerful promotional tool for your business
Although many people claim that email marketing is old and not that useful, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. If you want to use one of the most powerful promotional methods to drum up leads and sales, email marketing really is the way to go. After all, there is a reason why all top internet marketing gurus utilize email as their preferred choice of all the tools in their marketing arsenal.
Moreover, if you read my article on social media then you know that I did an experiment that proved exactly how much more you can get from email marketing than social media. The truth is that even “social media marketing experts” use email to create sales – much more than Facebook, Twitter, etc.
You can reach people right away too as they receive emails on their phone. This is a faster, better way to promote your business rather than sending text messages!
Email needs to target the correct audience with the right message
However, the effectiveness of any emails you send for promotional purposes depends on the appropriateness they have for your target audiences. In other words, the emails you send have to be of interest to those that will receive them. If this is the case, and if you follow a few basic rules you will be a success.
So I want to provide you here a quick, easy introduction to the subject to get you taking advantage of email marketing right away.
Our own experiment
This brings to mind another experiment we did with exceptional results.
For a nonprofit client, we acquired an email list of several thousand identities we wanted to target. They came from a government source and the quality of the list was unknown. However, our client was under the gun and had to move fast so we set up the list and started sending emails to it, often several per week.
Under most circumstances doing something like this, i.e. sending unsolicited emails, would result in people unsubscribing from your list in droves. Yet in this case we had very few unsubscribe or mark the emails as spam. And I mean very few out of a list of over 2,200 names.
Why? Because the emails we sent to them were appropriate for them and contained information of high interest (meaning they were very beneficial).
So let’s get started.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing obviously refers to any type of promotion done via email.
All types of industries use email marketing, and it’s been a popular form of advertising since the early days of the Internet.
The basic premise is to build up a list of subscribers who are interested in your company or your niche and who have opted-in to your list usually via a submission form on your website. Once you have some identities, you can send out newsletters or other promotional notices to your list on a regular basis. Some companies send out daily or weekly newsletters, some send out emails only when something special is going on and many fall somewhere in-between.
Regardless of how you choose to build up your list of subscribers, using email to let people know about what is going on with your company is essential if you want to bring in as much business as possible.
Why Implement Email Marketing for Your Business?
There are so many reasons.
First of all, let’s take a look at the statistics. As of 2013, there were more than 2.5 billion email accounts. More importantly, 91% of consumers who have email accounts check them daily. Data even suggests that workers spend an average of 13 hours out of each workweek reading and sending emails.
There are so many good reasons to get started with an email advertising campaign:
1. Affordability: Although some email list programs can get costly, getting started doesn’t cost much. And when you compare the overall cost of one of these campaigns versus other types of advertising, you will see that it allows you to get the most bang for your buck.
2. Ease and Convenience: This form of marketing can be very easy with a bit of preplanning. Although you might have to work hard to build up subscribers at first, it should handle itself over time. A big plus is that you can write some of your newsletters in advance and set them up on an automated schedule to be sent out. So while you’re busy at other work or asleep, you’ll still be targeting your audience and drumming up leads and prospective sales.
3. It Works: It really works. Did you know that 66% of consumers have actually purchased something online as a result of an email advertising message that they have received? That proves the effectiveness of this form of marketing and why people have been using email advertising since the 1990s.
The Facts About Email vs. Social Media Marketing
You might have heard talk from so-called experts that email advertising is dead and that it has now been completely replaced by social media marketing. Even though social media can certainly be beneficial for your branding and other reasons, it isn’t the end-all and be-all of advertising. That’s for sure.
Social media reaches substantially less people than email. Currently, Twitter has 271 million users, Facebook 1.2 billion, LinkedIn 300 million and Pinterest 70 million. So there are at least half a billion more people that can be reached through email than social media.
And, by 2017, according to a study by The Radicati Group, there will be roughly 5 billion email users around the world.
As customers actually prefer email marketing and that preference has risen by 5% since 2008, it is the handsdown winner.
Here are more facts:
1. It’s Just More Effective: Plain and simple, email marketing is more effective than social media. Surprisingly, it’s 40 times more effective, and the ROI for email advertising is actually an astonishing 4,300%. Those are impressive numbers.
2. People Prefer It: Although some people enjoy reading about and interacting with their favorite companies through their social network channels, many prefer to keep their social networking profiles exclusive to communicating with friends and family. But a whopping 74% of consumers actually prefer to receive commercial related communications in their email boxes. If you give the people what they want, you’ll be more likely to achieve the results you want. In this case, this means putting more focus on email advertising than social media.
3. It’s Less Work: Yes, running an email advertising campaign does take hard work and dedication. You have to work on building up your subscriber list, managing your subscribers, writing your newsletters and handling other aspects of the marketing.
However, a good email marketing platform can make all of this a whole lot easier. Once you set up your list, maintaining and managing it should be a breeze. Plus, you can make things much easier by writing your newsletters up in advance. When you have solid ideas about interesting articles, you can write them all at one time. Then, you can upload them to your email software and set up a schedule for sending them out. Once done, you can pretty much forget about them. Yet your customer base will still receive your communications in a timely manner. Although there are tools out there that you can use for social media marketing, you have to spend time daily communicating with your fan base. With email marketing, things are a lot easier.
4. It Has Stood the Test of Time: Social media marketing is relatively new but people have been using email marketing since the 1990s.
5. You Can Measure Your Results: With social media marketing, it isn’t as easy for you to track your progress. In fact, 53% of marketers don’t keep track of their success when it comes to their social media campaigns while only 17% don’t track their progress and results with their email campaigns. Knowing how well your campaign is working and keeping an eye on the ROI of your efforts is essential if you want to get the most bang for your buck and target your audience in the most effective manner. Email marketing makes this much easier.
Start to Grow Your Business with Email Marketing
As you can see, email is a highly effective way of promoting your business and the products or services that you have to offer. If you have been focusing all of your marketing efforts on social media, you don’t have to shut down your profiles and stop interacting with your audience. But you do need to start putting some of your attention on building a strong email list.
Here is how you get started.
1. Choose your email list software: When choosing, look for a platform that is powerful enough for your needs, that offers plenty of services and that fits within your price range. Many email platforms allow you to start for free and even set up autoresponders so that every time someone emails you or subscribes to your email list or requests information, they will automatically receive a greeting or other email of your choice. This can greatly improve your customer service, especially if you are a sole operator or have few personnel.
2. Start building up a list of subscribers: The first action is to get a form on your website that will allow people to sign up for your email blasts. This will connect with your email list software which will automatically update when a new subscriber joins or someone unsubscribes. The second is to create an offer of some kind that will encourage people to sign up. For example, you can offer a free download of a company report or a downloadable tip sheet about your product to those who sign up. If you use social media, you can use these as a means of promoting your email subscription and your offer.
3. Write the best possible copy for your list: Take your time and create content that is unique, engaging and interesting, plus that your readers will find to be entertaining, useful or both. Sprinkle in promotions for your products and links to your site without going overboard. It is usually best to write in the first person, as I am here, keeping in mind that the single most important element in getting your emails opened and read is the headline.
4. Manage your list: As you move on, your list will naturally grow to more and more subscribers. Make sure to maintain your list properly and to keep your readers engaged well into the future!
Although there is more you can learn on this subject, much more, you can start with what is covered here and effectively promote your products and/or services.
Give it a try!