Social Media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest are excellent ways to keep in touch and engage with your customers. However, because of their success many people claim that email marketing is dead and no longer relevant.
Don’t listen to them, as nothing could be further away from the truth. Email marketing is alive and well and is still one of the most powerful and effective methods of online marketing and for keeping in touch with your customers.
What is email marketing?
First let’s establish what email marketing is and then show you why it is so effective in business.
Email marketing is when a visitor comes to your website and subscribes to your mailing list, which allows you to keep in touch with them via email. Having a mailing list such as this is essential if you are selling a product or service. Email marketing allows you to establish customer loyalty, trust and brand awareness, and encourages your subscribers to buy from you more often.
As you can see, it has many benefits. It is a powerful marketing tool but unfortunately, email marketing seems to have a bad reputation with some businesses, who don’t fully understand it.
Some companies think if people see an email that isn’t from someone they know, they will immediately consider it spam and delete it, and then think badly about their business.
While this may be true in some cases, (mainly because companies haven’t take the time to nurture their list), with responsible marketing you can make email marketing campaign work extremely well for your business.
Email marketing versus social media marketing
As we mentioned earlier, social media sites like Twitter and Facebook are excellent ways to engage with both potential and existing clients. They are perfect platforms for word of mouth advertising, strengthening the relationship with your existing audience and putting you in front of a brand new audience.
Both of these things are essential to your business. However, you don’t have much control over who sees your updates or even when they see them.
Not only that, but you are not fully in control of these connections, as Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter are constantly making changes without warning that could impact the way you connect with your followers.
Social media is important but it doesn’t give you the ability to contact people one-on-one the way you can with emails. With email marketing you are able to fine tune your promotional campaigns and build a list of people who are actually interested in what you have to offer.
With Twitter for example, your message is competing with hundreds or even thousands of other Tweets from companies promoting similar products or services to yours. The same is true on Facebook.
Even if you have thousands of fans, they probably follow lots of other pages as well, which dilutes your message. Yes, the same can be said about emails but if you send a personalised email and they open and read the email you will have their undivided attention even if it is just for a few minutes. There are too many distractions on social networks with chat options, latest status updates, new photos to see and so on.
That is why it is so important to try and convert your followers to your email marketing list as early as you can. Once you do it puts you in full control because they are now YOUR contacts. The only way you will lose them is if they decide to unsubscribe from your list.
How do you get your social network followers to join your list?
It is not hard to do. You simply have to give them a reason. For example you can offer them something in exchange for their email address.
It could be a special report, a how-to guide, an answer that addresses a particular problem or issue that your audience cares about, exclusive VIP information or some kind of special discount or voucher especially for your email subscribers.
You need to choose something that has immediate value to your subscribers, as well as something relevant to your target audience.
It doesn’t end there though. In fact that is just the beginning because if you want to keep your list active and not lose these valuable contacts, you need to think about how you can consistently deliver information that continues to keep them engaged and makes them want to open the email from you.
Treat your email subscribers like royalty
Customers who visit your offline business or who speak to you on the telephone expect to be treated special and rightly so. No doubt you are well known for excellent customer service and provide a great buying experience when you see your customers face-to-face. You need to apply this same experience to your email marketing list.
When somebody takes the step to subscribe and trust you with his or her email address they are in effect saying “I like what you offer and would like to get to know you better”.
They have invited you into their email in-box. You would never want to abuse that trust and relationship by bombarding them with sales pitches that constantly promote your products and services. You need to nurture your list. Be informative and helpful, as well as sending offers or news that you think they will want to know about.
Try not to view your mailing list as a mass of faceless names. Imagine your ideal kind of customer and talk to them one to one, as if they were in front of you.
It will help make your emails more personal and informative which will strengthen the relationship you have with them.
Create a newsletter
A newsletter is an ideal way to keep in touch with your mailing list. It provides the perfect mix of news, updates, special offers and information about your business to create engagement with subscribers and allows them to get to know you better. It is also an excellent way to encourage calls to action, perhaps with time limited offers for example.
The key is to provide relevant information that your ideal customers would like to read. Be sure not to bore them to death. It needs to be interesting and passionate.
Build a strong connection with your subscribers
Over time the connection between you and your subscribers will grow. This increases the loyalty they have to your business and will result not only in increased sales and profits but will also give you many other benefits. It will provide your company with new opportunities, referrals and mutually beneficial collaborations as well as gaining brand new and repeat customers.
An email list provides your business with repeat business
In the offline world you might decide to place an advert in your local press or invest in flyers or other advertising media.
The chances are, if enough people see your advert you will get some new customers.
With an email list, you have the opportunity to nurture and bond with your subscribers, so long term you end up with, loyal customers who will buy from you time after time.
Email marketing is one of the most powerful strategies for building a large core of new customers online in addition to your regular local customers in your bricks and mortar business.
Once you realise the power of sending out emails that result in creating extra sales and leads, you will soon be able to build a marketing campaign that becomes more profitable than the one before.
It is one of the cheapest most effective forms of advertising
Email marketing is still one of the most cost effective ways to promote any business. Over time you will be able to build up a mailing list with thousands of potential customers who are interested enough in what you have to offer to trust you with their email address.
You can communicate with these subscribers absolutely free and every time you send an email out it will result in many more sales. All for free.
Don’t underestimate the power of email marketing
As you can see email marketing is far from dead or obsolete.
Email marketing allows you more control over the message, including when it goes out and who sees it. Not only that but subscribers have made the active decision to give you permission to contact them which means that they are very interested in what you have to offer.
This gives you the opportunity to build a strong relationship with them. It is this relationship that gives you the power because people do business with people.
If you have looked after your list well they will have grown to like and trust you. In the end you will stand a much better chance of getting the sale than your competitors.
Now that you can see the power of a successful email marketing campaign we hope it encourages you to create campaigns of your own and continue to build a stronger relationship with your online customers.
Creating a successful email marketing campaign and building a relationship with customers who have entrusted you with their email address is a huge but very rewarding responsibility.
Done properly, you will see your profits soar. Done badly and not only will you see your sales decrease, but you could also damage your brand.
If you have any doubt whatsoever or simply want some advice on the best strategies for email marketing please contact us. You will be pleased you sought our advice and we will be able guide your business to a very profitable future. We look forward to hearing from you.
6 Strategies to boost your email marketing campaigns
Make it interesting
Be sure to include lots of useful information in your messages. You must make it interesting. Don’t just send out sales pitches or make it just about you. Include information that is genuinely useful and interesting to your target audience or unique special offers that are not available to elsewhere on your site. If your subscribers feel you are only sending emails because you want sales from them, they won’t feel valued or special and they will hit the delete button, unsubscribe from your list or not bother reading your emails any more.
Have a visible link where the person can unsubscribe if they want to
This might sound negative but it is actually a positive thing. It puts your readers at ease because they feel they have control and are not being forced into anything. By law you must have an unsubscribe link in your email. If you try to hide it all you will do is frustrate and anger your subscribers, which is completely the opposite effect of what you are trying to achieve.
Receiving feedback from your readers is essential to strengthen the relationship you have with them, and for enhancing your email marketing projects. You can actively ask for feedback, opinions or suggestions from your readers. You can also get passive feedback by using email marketing programs, which track information like how many people open up your emails, or clicked on the links contained in them. All of this feedback is useful to help constantly improve and engage with your readers more.
Target the right people
This is good old common sense. If you bug the wrong customers with your emails all you will achieve is annoyance on their part. It is a waste of time for both you and them. You are better off fine-tuning your campaigns to an audience who actually want to hear from you.
Make the messages mobile friendly
More and more of your customers now access their emails on their mobiles or tablets so it is important your emails are correctly formatted to be sure they can be easily read.
Create exclusive offers just for subscribers of your mailing list
Nothing tells subscribers you appreciate them more for allowing you to contact them than by sending an exclusive special offer that can’t be found anywhere else on your website. These can be discounts, free delivery or any other deal you think would encourage more customers to buy.
All of these suggestions will help you to have a smoother and more successful email marketing campaign.