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.
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’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 personalized 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 realize 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.
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.
Every morning my alarm goes off at 6:00am.
I would love to say that I jump out of bed full of the joys of spring but that would be a lie.
After thumping my alarm clock the very next thing I do, before I even get out of bed, is reach over for my iPhone and check my email.
I don’t just do it once. I check it again during breakfast and then again on the way to work. In fact I have probably checked my mail 5 or 6 times before I have even turned my computer on at the office.
Am I alone? I don’t think so. I am sure that most other people with Smartphone follow a very similar routine.
Almost every mobile user has a Smartphone these days and the number of people reading their email on a mobile device is increasing all of the time.
What this means is that you need to be creating emails that are mobile friendly. That is an email that displays perfectly no matter if a person is reading it on a desktop computer, a tablet or a mobile device.
If that sounds complicated or daunting don’t worry. It isn’t. However, it is vitally important that you take action make sure that your company emails are mobile-friendly.
To keep you right, here are some simple steps that you can make to ensure that your emails can be read by all of your customers no matter what device they are using to read the email.
All of your emails should be simple and concise but it is even more important when designing them to be read on mobiles. You only have a small screen at your disposal so you need to keep your email design very clean and simple.
Simple layouts work best on mobiles because of the limited space allowed on the screens. Using a single column clean template will work better and be much more flexible on all screen sizes than having a harder to navigate and view 2 or 3 template. Your readers don’t want to have to scroll or zoom their way round the screen to read your email. Not only will they not bother reading it but they will not see the call to action either. It will be a waste of time sending emails out as they won’t be read.
To get the best success from your email marketing campaigns you must tell your readers what you want them to do. For example are you telling them about a special offer and want them to visit the web page? If so, tell them. Do you want them to click the buy button? Again, tell them.
It is vital to put the call to action in a prominent place where it can be seen. Make sure your link or buy button is easily seen. Whatever call to action you want them to make, it must be loud and clear.
Don’t be tempted to confuse things by having multiple calls to action. It will complicate things and look messy. Remember that your goal is to be simple and concise. On a mobile, your customer’s finger is the new mouse so you need to make sure that your links or buy buttons are easy to click.
There is no point sending out an email if it can’t be read. We recommend that the minimum size font that you want to use is 11pt for body text and 22pt for headlines.
Another point to bear in mind is that a lot of people turn the brightness down on their mobiles to conserve battery life so always try to use dark font colours on a light (preferably white) background to make the email easily read.
It is best only to use images that are essential to your email. The reason being is that some Smartphone’s turn images off by default. If your email has a lot of images all your customers might see is a lot of white space or indicators showing where the images should be.
So use images by all means but we always recommend that you include image descriptions (alt text) to let your readers see what the image is even if it is not displayed.
Before you send an email out to your subscribers it might be a good idea to see a preview first by sending it to yourself. If you are happy with and it looks great, send it out.
As you can see, it is not too complicated but by investing a little thought and work into your email design it will make it much easier for your subscribers to read your email no matter where they are or what device they are using.
You might feel confident to make these changes yourself but if you are not or simply don’t have the time to adapt your email design please contact us. That is what we are here for and will be glad to help.
We are passionate about helping every local business in our area to succeed online. Internet marketing isn’t the future. It is happening now and it really makes us sad to see local companies either ignoring the changes going on, or worse, being so daunted that they are scared to do anything.
Every local business that we help to thrive online is amazed adapting their business online is not as complicated or expensive as they thought. They love the fact that it has given their business a new lease of life. Not only do they have a presence on the high street but they are gaining brand new customers all round the world who would normally not have heard of them.
That is what makes the internet so exciting and you can be part of that. Email and mobile marketing are just a couple of areas of our expertise.We have many more marketing strategies that will excite you.
We look forward to hearing from you and sharing them with you.