Email marketing remains one of the most effective business marketing strategies. Email offers the highest return on investment of all forms of online marketing. It takes roughly 9 times as much time and/or money to get a new customer then it takes to retain an existing customer and have them purchase again. Additionally repeat customers spend 65% more per purchase than new customers. Another benefit to email marketing is it is the single most effective way to get your past and existing customers to act as your sales force for you. Providing great content in an email newsletter and an easy way for your clients to share that information with friends is unparalleled as an effective sales technique. A potential client is not only learning about your company but they are doing so from a friend who is giving a clear endorsement of you to sharing the information.
Even with all the new social media sites, search engine marketing and other “trendy” online marketing strategies, email marketing is still the king. Everyone loves Facebook but have you tried to send a message to a specific client through your Facebook page before? If they have not already messaged your business, you can’t do it. You are stuck trying to use your personal Facebook page to message them which creates all sorts of problems. For example, what if you don’t want to share your personal profile with business contacts? What if they don’t know your personal name so it just looks like a random message from a stranger? Also Facebook’s Edgerank determines how many of your “fans” even see what you are posting to your page in the first place. The same problems abound on the other major social media networks. Don’t misunderstand us, effective social media marketing is a critical component of an successful online business presence but it is not the end all be all. Don’t get sucked in by all the hype and neglect tried and true practices.
Email is quick, cheap, effective and extremely measureable. It almost always lands in the inbox of the person you sent it to and a good email program will allow you to see how many people opened your email, how many clicked on a link in your email and even who those people are. Basically it will give you all the piece you need to figure who is really interested in your products or services and focus extra attention and effort on them.
Don’t know where to start in email marketing? Here are a few tips to get you started.
First and foremost, know who you are sending your emails to. Don’t buy lists. Don’t add any old email you come across to your newsletter subscriber list. Your recipients should come only from one of two places. Your past clients and people who have specifically requested to receive it either through your website or by telling you directly. Failure to follow this simple guideline can not only hurt your company’s reputation if people view you as a spammer. It can also run you afoul of the law by violating the CAN-SPAM Act.
Second, make the content of your emails interesting. Don’t just send people an advertisement for your business or even a “GREAT ONE TIME ONLY SPECIAL!!!” Send them information that they will find interesting on a regular basis. In our industry, for example, we would send to our clients online marketing tips or news about the latest changes to Search Engine Optimization techniques or the latest social media phenomenon. Please note, we’re not saying you can’t include specials or advertisements, but leave them off to the side where people can choose to read them or not. If someone is interested in buying something from you, trust us, they will read your sidebar. If they are not interested in buying anything from you at this time, you will just irritate them by forcing them to wade through a bunch of ads to get to the content they want to read. An irritated subscriber is likely to unsubscribe or worse, report you as a spammer.
Third, keep your emails brief. Provide people with a short synopsis of what your article is about and then direct them to your blog if that want more detail. This will not only increase readership of your emails by keeping things brief and allowing people to quickly scan the email and read that which is of greatest interest to them. It will also serve to increase traffic to your website which will help you with your search engine rank.
Interested in taking advantage of this untapped resource? We can build you custom email templates, train you in the best techniques and give you the tools to create and send your own beautiful HTML emails. Don’t have the time to manage a campaign yourself? We can even write the content and send the emails as well.
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