Email = Spam.
If that is the equation in your minds eye, I do not blame you. Many people associate email with spam, unsolicited junk and even harmful viruses. At some point, most of us have had to abandon an email address due to the sheer amount of spam it received. This is because of how easy it is to get access to massive databases of email addresses.
In spite of the bad rap that email marketing gets, it still consistently offers a healthier ROI than many other forms of marketing.
Compared to the new kids on the block like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, it would be considered a dinosaur. In a recent industry census, seven out of ten marketers say email delivered ‘Excellent ROI’ for their business. That isn’t surprising when you learn that 91% of consumers check their email every day.
So, how does email marketing still deliver results in 2014?
Using email for marketing involves sending messages to your customers and prospects. These include marketing messages, discounts, links to your blog posts etc. Compared to spam, these are messages that these readers signed up (opted in) for and you have their permission to mail them.
That may be one of the reasons why it is so powerful. The people you are contacting have asked to be added to your list. Unlike social media where you ‘Like’ or ‘retweet’ in a bid to get noticed, with email marketing, you only contact people who opt-in to your list. This means they are interested in you and your offering from the get-go. Email marketing can be used to inform, educate and ‘lead’ prospects to take the actions you desire.
This initial ‘hello’ can be nurtured into a long (and mutually beneficial) relationship, especially if you maintain regular communication. One way to do this, is by sending out newsletters regularly. Keep the content informative and relevant, avoid just trying to sell stuff to them. A quick way to lose subscribers is to send out sales pitches to your list, every day.
Once they are signed up to your list, the golden trifecta of effectively using email marketing is:
- Delivering Content – What kind of content will resonate with your audience? Newsletters? Offers and discounts? Industry news? To remain relevant, you have to connect with them. With the sheer amount of noise online, your message has to resonate with them. Consistently.
- Design – What will your emails look like? Is your company logo splashed across the top? Or a more minimalist look?
- Email Frequency – These people signed up to hear form you, but that doesn’t give you the right to flood their inbox with marketing messages. That is SPAMMING. Figure out an ideal outreach frequency. You can even poll your list and find out what they would prefer.
In 2014, there are many apps and tools for getting your marketing done easier. There are even tools that combine different marketing methods into one and deliver a more powerful toolset. One method of combining different platforms is to integrate email and social media. You can easily add an optin form to Facebook’s tabbed view and easily show your followers where they can sign up to receive more information from you.
Another nifty tool is a social CRM tool, called Nimble. This allows you sync all your social channels and email into one inbox. This merging allows you see how different relationships are connected.
Cost and ROI.
In the wake of Facebook and Twitter campaigns, email marketing is often derided as dead or dying. People seem to forget just how cheap it is to run an email marketing campaign. While it isn’t free, it is definitely low cost and with the returns it can generate, it can be a high ROI tool.
It is rated as the third most effective channel for qualified lead generation. It created 13% of all leads for marketers in 2013. This is probably the reason that 68% of marketers still swear by email as the core of their business.
Email marketing can be used as a stand-alone marketing channel, but it can be made many times more powerful, by using it with other channels. From social media to blogging, the following are some of the ways that email can be combined to yield profitable results:
- Use ‘winning’ email subject lines to optimise on social media posts.
- Re-purpose popular email content into status updates and even posts.
- Announce upcoming posts and emails via Facebook status updates and vice versa.
Email marketing has been around for a while and isn’t going anywhere soon. It has been shadowed by the more ‘instant’ nature of social media, but the fact remains that the people you engage with via email are much more interested in your offering. The ideal situation is to find a balance between social media, email marketing and content marketing.
Phenomenal results can be obtained with the right balance of all three. If you think we are full of it, give Search and More a call and let us create a campaign with you. You will be blown away by the results.