Statistics indicate that, in 2011, there were an estimated 3.1 billion email accounts worldwide. By the end of 2015, this figure is predicted to increase to over 4 billion. That is a lot of people using email – people who could easily be turned into customers (and ultimately sales) with the right marketing.
With more and more people turning to social media for communication, businesses are starting to look at the benefits of keeping in touch with customers this way. For that reason, it’s understandable that some may think email marketing is no longer a useful strategy. After all, why send out hundreds of emails to customers when you can just tweet a single message to everyone who follows you?
However, it’s worth bearing in mind that without an email address, no one would be able to sign up to Twitter, Facebook or any other social media site in the first place. As one writer said, “Email is the glue that binds everything together.” More importantly, email marketing converts into sales more effectively than search or social.
Social media and email can work together, though. With more ways to communicate with your customers, you can create a multi-channel system where you can encourage people to sign up to email list via your social media platform and vice versa.
A quick intro to email marketing
If you want to send a commercial message to current and potential customers, email is a quick and effective way of doing it. You also have a choice of what sort of email to send: an advert, newsletter, offer or survey.
All emails should have a call to action, which encourages the reader to go to your website or social media platform, where they will hopefully buy or learn about your service. And it works. We recently had a customer who got sales from sending out an email asking if people still wanted to be on the mailing list. The amazing thing is, they weren’t even trying to sell!
Not everyone will open the email, but its presence in your customer’s inbox may be enough to remind them of your business.
That’s not to say social media shouldn’t be used alongside email. By encouraging customers to follow you on Twitter or ‘like’ you on Facebook, it provides more avenues for you to communicate and interact with them.
Sending emails out
You can have emails sent to customers in a specific area, focus on those who have specific interests or communicate with people who click on a certain link. This means your commercial message is sent to those who are more likely to respond and will benefit from your business.
The key is to email people you know are interested in your business and have given their consent to being added to your list.
The easiest way to do this is to request the customer’s permission to add them to your mailing list. You can do this by asking them to fill out a form, either in person or on your website.
Some people may be wary about what will be done with their information. For this reason, you will need to outline how you will be using their data and what they can expect to receive in their inbox (and possibly how often).
An eye-catching email is more likely to attract the attention you want for your business. The best tactic is to hire a professional who can offer you the best service. Good design will get you so far; a good message that’s relevant, engaging and contains a call to action is equally important. Remember, your design and message both matter.
Why should my business use email marketing?
Aside from being one of the most convenient forms of communication in the world, email is free, easy to use and instantaneous. Everybody who uses the internet has access to a free account, and most people check their mail on a daily basis (if not more).
Millions of people are also accustomed to checking emails on their phone or smart device, which provides even more marketing potential. It will also mean you need to ensure your emails are compatible on multiple devices.
Emailing customers will give your business an advantage by providing an easy way for people to access your website and social media platform. And not just any people – these are past customers or people who have chosen to sign up to your newsletter. They are already interested in what you have to say.
Avoid spam content and excess emailing
Even if your customers are expecting to see messages from you, it’s best not to overdo it. Sending emails too frequently will put a lot of people off. Around 73% of customers say they unsubscribe from a list due to too many emails. A general rule of thumb suggests you should send something no less than once a month and no more than once a week.
People are easily dissuaded by obviously ‘spammy’ tactics and any attempts to be pushy in your email will only hurt your campaign. It all starts with your subject line, which is the most important part of your email. Misspellings, exclamation marks and all-caps may secure you a place in the recycle bin.
Even with the rise of social media, businesses should still take advantage of the speed and low cost of email marketing. Not only does it help gain new customers and clients, it also helps you keep in touch with your current ones.
Email marketing is just one important aspect of running a business, especially online. If you are interested in harnessing the power of email, get in touch with our experts