Email marketing is one of our favorite ways to reach out to current and potential customers. By definition, any communication you do via email can be considered email marketing and can do wonders when it comes to building your brand reputation, gaining your clients’ trust and highlighting the benefits of your product or service. In this post, we will mainly focus on three major email marketing strategies: direct emails, retention emails, and placing ads in emails sent by other companies.
Direct emails are designed to involve the client by notifying them of special offers, coupons or current promotions. For example, Groupon or Amazon Local offers emails filled with tantalizing offers based on your current location, age group and expressed interests. This requires the client to act by reading, browsing and eventually purchasing your product.
Retention emails are intended to provide long-term impact to the recipients and maintain a meaningful relationship. This is done through newsletters, which contain more than just a sales pitch or advertisement (though newsletters may have ads and promotional messages). One newsletter I look forward to reading each day is the Daily Aha! which includes a fun and interesting fact or tip about health and beauty. Newsletters also contain valuable information and entertainment that benefits the reader, encourage client loyalty, and enhance the relationship with your clients.
Many newsletters sell advertising space to other companies. By placing an ad for your company in a popular newsletter or email, you can increase the amount of visibility your ad gets. In the Daily Ahas! I receive, there are usually some ads that went along with the content of the newsletters. The ads helped make for some great Christmas gifts to my friends and family.
But isn’t Email Marketing outdated?
Let me ask you this: how many newsletters do you subscribe to? I have Groupon, Amazon Local, and Starbucks just to name a few well-known email newsletters. Email marketing is not old-fashioned, not expensive and more reliable than practically any medium. In fact, email marketing should be part of your foundation for marketing.
Here are some reasons why marketing through emails can be one of the most effective marketing channels.
Emails are easy and cost-effective
There are lots of email applications that are free up to a few hundred subscribers and even after that you pay no more than a few hundred dollars a year to reach hundreds of thousands of people. Services such as MailChimp are great platforms for email marketing. MailChimp offers a free service to send up to 12,000 emails a month no contract. Cheap, efficient, and effective, and the best part is, you don’t have to pay for stamps.
Another perk of marketing through email is the ability to track your client’s behavior. You can measure how many of your emails actually get to their intended destination, how many of those are opened, how many people clicked or followed the link and how many people unsubscribe so you know exactly how effective your newsletters are. With these metrics you can make the required changes and improve on your success.
Emails engage conversation and interaction
You can be on your client’s mind just because you’re in their inbox. Just reading the sender line puts your company in the mind of your targeted client. Once you’re in, all the client has to do is click open and they’re invited into a conversation about you and your product.
Email has a longer lifespan than Social Media
You can keep track of an email but it’s hard to keep track of posts. How many tweets are seen a day? It’s hard enough to keep track of how many tweets I see in just ten minutes. Each post you make pushes another further and further down the list decreasing the chances someone will see it. But with email engines like Gmail and Hotmail, your clients can save, star and organize their mail by sorting them into folders.
Email gives your client exactly what they’re looking for, when they’re looking for it
How many times do you check your email each day? I check mine at least four times a day. Once when I first start working, once right after lunch and once more before I leave work. Then, usually I check my email account one more time before going to bed. If I were your potential client, this means that you have 4 chances each day to include me in a discussion of your product or service.
Another perk of email marketing is emails are non-invasive: it gives you a chance to speak to clients but on their own time. You’re not wasting your time or theirs by having a clear, well written, and personable email.
Email allows you to be personal in order to create lasting relationships with your clients
Email addresses are like phone numbers: you don’t just give it out to any person. In fact, some of us have personal emails and business emails to better organize our busy social lives. When you give someone your email address, you are inviting him or her to begin a relationship with you that is more than 140 characters long.
Emails are a much more personal and professional way to communicate. Emails show you took the time to think about your client and took the extra step in reaching out. It’s much more meaningful than a retweet or poke.
Email is mobile
Just like pretty much everything else, email is available on our mobile devices. It’s a really easy way to reach your mobile clients. I have the Gmail app on my phone so the second I receive an email, I know about it. I’m not alone, 52% of American cell phone users access their emails from their mobile devices according to the Pew Research Center.
In fact using email can actually be better for your mobile marketing than SMS. Emails are free so your clients don’t have to bear the cost of the carrier charge, which means more subscriptions. Emails also have a lot more space for content. Just make sure your email is easy to read on a mobile device.
Tips for effective Email Marketing
Brand your emails
– You’re selling your brand right? Why not use your amazing company logo and colors in all of your emails. Make sure your emails are consistent with your company’s content so readers will immediately recognize and feel comfortable as soon as they see your subject line.
Personalize your emails
– People like hearing and seeing their name. It’s always a nice touch to add a name or personalized recommendations into your email. Don’t automate your greeting. Use warm phrases like “Best wishes” and “Greetings from Utah!” Let your reader know you’re human and you care.
Be useful: Quality over Quantity
– Don’t waste your client’s time. Keep your emails and newsletters relevant, to the point and offer valuable advice. Chadwick Martin Bailey states that 56% of subscribers cited relevant information as the second most important reasons for subscribing to a newsletter. Don’t pack your emails with useless and unimportant information that does not benefit your readers.
Use Power Words
– Be specific and use action words that appeal to the reader’s senses and emotions. This makes for much more thrilling advertisements. Words like “immediately,” “sharp,” and “renewed” imply confidence, commitment and focus.
Subscriptions and Permissions
– Avoid a catastrophe by certifying you have permission from the client to send them commercial emails. This way you can avoid going into the spam box and potentially getting your website penalized. Also include unsubscribe links that are clear and obvious and remind your subscribers how they made it to your exclusive list.
– Beware of drowning your clients with too many emails. Chadwick Martin Bailey reports that 69% of unsubscribers cite clutter and over-communication can drive your clients away. I definitely have unsubscribed from many lists because of inbox cluttering.
Segment your subscriber list
– Keep track of what kind of clients you have by breaking down your list of subscribers. Two ways to find how to segment your list is by client attributes such as age-range, location and gender, and by client behavior which tracks what your clients are doing and what they like. After you know what sort of things your clients are looking for you can begin sending targeted emails to each type of subscribers.
– Ensure your emails reach the maximum amount of subscribers by devoting time to make your email readable on hand-held devices. I’ve deleted many emails without reading it because it wasn’t mobile friendly. Not only will your conversion skyrocket, your clients will be grateful for making their lives easier.
Keep a Publishing Calendar
– Making sure your newsletters, posts, and emails are sent consistently is a sure method to get better results. People like to have something to look forward to. Prove your dedication and forethought by providing your clients with them not only consistent quality content but consistently timed newsletters and emails.
Email marketing can be an extremely powerful way to build a relationship with either your current or potential customers. When you use this channel effectively, you can show how your company adds value to your clients’ lives. As you maintain frequent and consistent email updates, people will learn that they can count on you and that your marketing efforts are not just a passing phase.
If you would like help identifying ways that email marketing could be used in your specific circumstances, please feel free to reach out to us. We understand that implementing new tools can often times be overwhelming on a business owner, but with help, it is much less painful and much more effective than you could have ever imagined.