Email marketing has been with us longer than our favourite social networks, yet not every business embraces it. This is particularly the case when it comes to small business, many of whom don’t consider it, even when they may have amassed a considerable database over a period of time?
Why exactly is this?
In recent years there has been a push to market your business online because it’s measurable and more affordable than traditional media. In doing so people think of Google, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest or another network or forum of their choice. Is that really where ALL of your customers are though?
Even if all of your target customers fit into the 25-34 year old age group, the largest sector of Facebook users in Ireland according to Socialbakers.com is this really the only way to communicate with them?
The answer is most definitely NO!
So, as a big fan of e-marketing here are ten reasons why your businesses should embrace email marketing;
1. It’s cheap! We all know that social networking is not really free – after all your hours have a value too, but email marketing is incredibly cheap and very often software is FREE if you have a database of less than 2,000. Where you need to spend, you can frequently choose between pay as you go credits or monthly plans to suit your business and budget.
2. You can personalise it – no matter how clever the social network, it’s almost impossible to reasonably personalise your message, not to mention the fact that there are many variables you cannot control such as facebook edgerank , whether they’re an active tweeter or whether your target is actually even online. With email you can craft a message to arrive directly into a person’s inbox which addresses them specifically.
3. Segmentation – you can deliver different messages to a variety of customers tailored to their individual needs. Your clients are not all alike and if your target market is quite broad you can segment to suit based on age, sex, location, spend – depending on how clever you’ve been in collecting information – complying with data protection regulations of course!
4. Shelf life is longer than a social media update – it remains in an inbox until the recipient either opens or deletes, although most people will tend to open within the first 48 hours.
5. You’re master of the design. All of the major programmes come with a variety of templates to get you started and if there isn’t one to suit, you can generally have one customised for very little. Some of the email platforms will pull through your website’s branding so if you decide to create your own template you’ll have a uniform look. And you don’t have to worry about the number of characters either!
6. Statistics – click rates, open rates, bounces, subscribers, unsubscribers, social integration, activity on-site – you can view all of this and more. While you can view some metrics in social media, with email marketing you can drill right down to an individual client and establish what they looked at – ideal for future marketing.
7. It’s highly portable – as we spend more time on tablets, smartphones and generally away from the desktop, you can offer your subscribers the option to view a text only version of the email so that their data usage doesn’t soar when they look at your latest news.
8. You can build relationships – you can send a welcome email to new subscribers, wish them a happy birthday or give them a sneak peek of a new product or sale before you announce it publicly on the web. It’s branding directly into an inbox as even if a recipient doesn’t open it there’s a very high possibility they’ll have seen your name and/or subject line at the very least.
9. Customer feedback – in a public forum people may be wary of sharing a comment publicly, particularly if the issue is personal or price sensitive. Encouraging your customers to share feedback through the use of surveys or polls is an effective means of finding out what your customer really thinks.
10. It’s social media friendly – the right content is ripe for social media sharing extending your reach beyond customers who may not be on your database, or who may not even be aware of your existence.
There are many other reasons to use email marketing, just as there are many points to consider in marketing your brand effectively through email.
And if you’d like to explore email marketing but aren’t quite sure where to start, at The Marketing Shop we can offer you training on email marketing or indeed take care of it for you – and we’ll ensure you’re compliant with relevant legislation too. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your phone number and we’ll call you back to discuss.
This post first appeared on TweakYourBiz.com in March 2012, written by Debbie McDonnell owner of The Marketing Shop.