It could be argued by many that email marketing is a key factor to the success of any online business or indeed something that is just as important as search engine marketing, because both elements are specifically aimed at the online space.
The online businesses that endure and enjoy success will share this commonality. They will all probably utilise good search engine marketing techniques and they will use email marketing as a part of their online marketing strategy. For those that utilise it correctly, they will know that it can be a highly effective way to promote a business and give further opportunities to share your content across the web.
So what can email marketing do for you and your business?
Well, in a nutshell email marketing can do the following:
- Save you money
- Drive web traffic where you need it to go
- Build a loyal customer base/Retain customers
- Increase brand awareness
- Create & drive sales/Help to acquire new customers
- Generate leads
- Increase profit
- Give you more information to share across the web (particularly with social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook)
What about the specific benefits?
Think about it this way – email is rated as the most common form of business communication ahead of telephone and postal mail. A whopping statistic indicates that over 90% of users’ primary reason for being online is to check their email and that there are roughly 1.9 billion email users worldwide.
So what does that tell you?
Benefits are all around this popular marketing strategy:
- The cost of printing/postage/charges are gone
- Speed of delivery is instantaneous
- Email campaigns get 5%-15% response rates
- Response can be immediate (hours not weeks)
- Email campaigns are fully trackable with measurable results
- Accuracy in who you target and their preferences
You have to ask yourself questions about your business and its objectives before you can construct a campaign though, so beware the heavy ‘sales’ led campaign and start thinking about what people want when they read an email.
Think about whether or not you have the time and the resources. Can you adequately and accurately design, track and manage an email marketing campaign? What is the goal of your campaign? Do you want to increase sales, raise brand awareness, or attain customer feedback? If the answer is yes, then that’s all good news, but if you might struggle, consider getting some assistance in this area.
Things to remember about your online customers
You can’t think of email marketing in normal marketing terms. If you treat electronic mail in the same manner as you would marketing by post or over the telephone then you will fail… big.
Online customers want full control over their online experiences with no compromises and no equivocations. So give the control to your customers and prospects, they’ll be more likely to stick with you in future.
This is why the “Opt-in” button is so important to any campaign (it is also part of email law these days) so recipients can chose to receive messages, updates or offers from you. You give them the control.
But avoid the following mistakes:
- Don’t forget to add a greeting or salutation
- Don’t send large attachments
- Always spell check the content before sending
- Avoid using capitals for entire words or sentences
- Never mark the email as urgent
- Don’t forget to use http:// in url links
- Give some information away for free
- Don’t send a heavy ‘sales’ led offer – this is a massive turn off and will simply result in your email being treated as spam.
How do I create and manage the content?
Every business takes different design routes when it comes to the creative side of things. You can use templates or take inspiration from designs you have seen that you liked and that worked. It’s down to how you want to brand the email marketing campaign.
Do you need to employ a design team; freelance developers or designers who can create your campaign from the ground up? Consider who will write the content too. Will you outsource the writing work or use syndicate content? Will you write it yourself to keep costs down?
Remember that this email marketing campaign reflects on your business in the most direct way possible. You want positive reaction, not negative. It’s worth investing in getting in the right people in to manage this particular area of the online business.
- Stimulate interest in your readers by offering quality content.
- Make your subscriptions appealing to them.
- Establish credibility and gain trust by building rapport and community.
- Present your sales message without pushing it in anyone’s face.
- Keep your message concise and consistent but find a way for it to grab the attention.
- Include links and a call to action.
- Remember to keep the offer clear and use only one promotion per email.
- Track response rates for each email campaign. Through this you can get an accurate picture of which aspects of the campaign generated the best response.
Email marketing can be crucial to the success of an online business venture. The power of this form of marketing is truly undisputed in an online space where contact between prospector and prospect can be made within seconds.