Author: Mary Anne Eades
Email marketing has recently been overshadowed by the fresh relevance of social media, and is often not appreciated as a separate entity that offers its own unique benefits.
While social media develops relationships and builds brand loyalty to establish business longevity, email marketing gets the job done by incentivizing consumers to make purchases that same day.
What are the benefits of email marketing?
Email is still the most popular online activity with 92 percent of users reading and responding to email each day. Creating and maintaining email marketing is relatively easy and inexpensive, and many consumers receive email instantly from their mobile phones. The consumer has given consent to be on the mailing list, so the information sent is considered relevant. One of the greatest benefits of email marketing is the ability to target specific segments of your audience. The results of email marketing are also easy to track and adjust to accordingly.
Choose an appropriate email-marketing provider
Several email-marketing providers offer individualization and ease-of-use for nominal fees. Constant Contact and MailChimp are two of the more popular services, both offering a wide-range of options with pricing ranging from free to $150/month.
Change your opinion of email marketing
Email marketing is often considered an afterthought with a “batch it and blast it” approach. These types of emails are considered spam and will not be well received by your publics. Instead of generating a sale, you could be losing a customer. Consider email marketing a strategy worthy of time and resources.
Developing a successful email-marketing campaign
1. Capture: An email campaign can only be as effective as the amount of people it reaches. Look for opportunities – on your website, at events or in your office – to capture new email addresses.
2. Target: When first gaining email contacts, segment them based on demographics and recent activity with your brand. Then send emails based on what is important and relevant to them.
3. Strategize: Decide ahead of time which targeted contacts will receive which types of messages and when. Develop an email plan, or sequence of connected emails, to send based on how interactive the user is with your brand.
4. Design: Both Constant Contact and MailChimp offer appealing templates. Take time to formulate the content and design of the emails, as well as message test the string of emails on a focus group for maximum results.
5. Track: Don’t only monitor the click-through to sales rates, but also the unsubscribe rate. Some users unsubscribing from commercial emails is normal, but don’t let your email-marketing backfire by scaring them off.
Tips to Boost Open Rates
Use words in the email subject line that have positive implications such as announcement or invitation, or, when appropriate, use words that imply time sensitivity such as urgent or important. Whenever possible, personalize the email by including the recipient’s name in both the subject line and the body of the email.
Email marketing should not be forgotten for the glamour and fun of social media, or the straightforward approach of online advertising. Rather, develop an overall marketing strategy that utilizes all three components to position your brand as a top choice in your industry.