Boring. Old-fashioned. Ineffective. Blah.
Poor email marketing, it’s so misunderstood. Burdened with negative labels, marked as SPAM, routinely ignored for the fun Social Media or the beautiful Advertisement. No wonder marketers are quick to dismiss it.
In truth, email marketing is a small business marketer’s or business owner’s sole mate. Why? It’s a proven way to build one-on-one relationships with the best prospects in your target audience – relationships that turn prospects into loyal fans and buyers.
“Email marketing is directly marketing a commercial message to a group of people using email. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing.”
“[Email] moves the conversation about your business to a more personal environment — the in-box. Email provides you the most direct line of communication for conversion to sales … which is why the most savvy online marketers have no intention of giving it up any time soon.
It’s also amazingly cost-effective. With an ROI of around 4,300% (according to the Direct Marketing Association), email practically pays for itself … and saves a tree or two. It’s what you use when you want to move from ‘conversation to commerce.'”
Email marketing is a form of permission marketing, meaning that when someone opts in to your email list, they are giving you permission to market to them. (How awesome is that?) And according to a study by ExactTarget, 77% of consumers prefer to receive permission-based marketing communications through email. (source: Salesforce)
Some more awesome statistics (via Salesforce):
If you’re still not feeling the email marketing love, here are 7 more reasons to give email marketing another chance:
As we mentioned, when someone subscribes to your email list or in another way gives you their email address, they are giving you permission to market to them. And why would someone do this? Because they recognize value in the content you’re producing.
This is what makes your email list so important. The individuals on it have already overcome the skepticism that shields most consumers from marketing or advertising messaging. They WANT to be part of your audience, by choice.
Because you own your list, you can deliver content directly to this audience. No playing around on Facebook with organic reach, or hoping to show up in a Twitter feed. You market direct.
And because you know this audience, you are (hopefully) developing awesome email subject lines and content that appeals to their unique needs, which increases the probability of your message being opened and read. (Which, of course, you can track. But we will get to that.)
Email marketing platforms are fun and fancy. Many allow you to segment your audience to deliver ultra-specific content to people who you already know would benefit from it.
You can target one type of prospect, try to meet one specific goal, or push one important offer, without wasting resources by marketing to everyone. Email systems like MailChimp or marketing platforms like Hubspot or Salesforce Pardot give you this flexibility (for various costs).
Trying to decide which email subject is best for your latest campaign? With email marketing, you can segment your list for testing purposes as well.
For example, MailChimp’s A/B Testing allows you to test which day of the week gets you better open rates, which time of day get you the most opens, which subject line is strongest, etc. It tests a portion of your audience, and sends the winning campaign to the rest of your list. No more guessing.
Want to feel like Big Brother? You will with email marketing.
You can check who opened your emails, plus all the actions they took, from the content they clicked and shared, to their purchase history and more. And based on these actions, you can autoschedule follow-up content or have your sales team take action.
Because you know a lot about the people on your email list, you have the opportunity to create campaigns that provide increasing value over time and gently move them along in their decision-making process.
Often called “drip campaigns” or “autoresponder campaigns”, these series of emails can be set to automatically send based on a timeframe or the actions taken by the prospect. For example, if someone signs up for a demo of your product, you can create a drip campaign that answers the most common questions people have after your demo, and have those emails delivered automatically as a followup. It takes work away from your sales team while adding touchpoints with your brand.
If you’re developing a new product or service, or even need new ideas for blog content, you can turn to your trusty email list and ask them about it. That’s right: start a conversation.
These are people who have given you permission to contact them because you have proven you are worthy of their time. Show them how much their opinion matters. Ask them what they want to know more about, what they think about your latest idea, or what they’re struggling with. Their input will be invaluable.
These 7 reasons to fall in love with email marketing are only the beginning. Because one you recognize email’s potential, you’ll be open to a new world of strategies and tactics.
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