With all the new media channels out there, email is often thought of as a marketing tool that died out years ago. Unfortunately, for many people, email marketing has become associated with the pesky junk mail plugging up your inbox.
Of course, that is not the kind of email marketing we are talking about. Email marketing, when used correctly, can be an excellent tool to connect with your current and prospective clients.
Reasons Why Email Marketing Still Works
People like email marketing because it is a communication tool where they aren’t bombarded with messages all at once. You can send an email at any time of the day, and people (generally) don’t expect an instant reply. Many people are glued to their emails throughout the day, especially in businesses; this is one of the reasons that email is still the number one business communication platform.
With the right kind of email marketing, you can connect with customers and prospects in one of their most personal spaces, their inbox. Having a conversation on social media is great, but it requires an almost instant reply. On the other hand, email is a great nurturing tool because not everyone is ready to buy from you today. By staying in touch with existing clients and prospects, you will be top of mind when they are ready to make a purchase.
Remember, conversations lead to conversion.
Another nice feature of building an email list is that you own it! In contrast, your following on social media is owned by the platform. So what happens if and when they change the rules (which they are regularly doing).
The Rules of the Inbox
It is important to follow the rules of email marketing to remain effective with your email marketing tactics. If they don’t find what you have to say as valuable or intrusive, they will most likely unsubscribe. Here are some important rules to follow when developing an email marketing campaign.
Rule #1: Provide valuable information and educational content
Nobody wants to be sold to, so it is important to focus your content on educating your customers and helping them solve their problems. The rule of thumb is to make a deposit (providing valuable tips and advice) 80% of the time and to make a withdrawal (a call to action or asking for a sale) 20% of the time. If you follow this rule, your audience will continue to subscribe to your list and, in some cases, even look forward to receiving your Emails.
Rule #2: Make sure you are a welcome guest - not a pest
One major mistake some businesses make is to sending unsolicited emails to people that they have never interacted with before (cold emails). In some instances, these email lists are purchased from a third party. Not only is this against the law, but it is also a recipe for a failed email marketing campaign.
You want people on your list that actually want to hear from you. So it is not the number of contacts you have on your email list that counts, but the quality.
To comply with Canada’s anti-spam legislation, always make sure that you have consent (either direct or implied) from your recipients. Also, make it easy for them to unsubscribe at any time -- as much as we wish they wouldn’t.
Rule #3: Use the correct Email marketing tools
Now let's talk about email marketing tools. Of course, there are lots of different tools available. Some of them, you may be familiar with like MailChimp, Constant Contact, and AWeber. At EDGE, we use a program called Active Campaign. This program combines an email marketing tool and a customer relationship management (CRM) system.
What are some of the advantages of using an email marketing tool? First of all, if you just use Outlook or Gmail to send out emails, you'll have a much harder time getting through some of the email and spam filters. Your email can even be blocked.
Using a proper email marketing tool will also make you look more professional. Your email template can be completely personalized to match your brand. You can customize the graphics, fonts and even add in videos.
Plus, you get a lot more feedback about your email, such as the bounce rate, how many people opened it, and it allows your recipients to unsubscribe instantly. You have a much better understanding of how successful your email marketing campaign was. You can take that information and apply it to your next campaign; learn what does and what doesn’t work according to your audience.
Now, most email programs offer a free version, and you only start paying if your list grows or if you want to unlock more advanced features.
So, what makes email marketing so great, even in 2023? Well, it allows you to directly reach your audience in one of the most personal pieces of online real estate, their inbox!
You can notify them of upcoming events, sales or new products and services you offer. Now keep in mind that you don’t want to come across as too sales-y. Instead, provide valuable information to your customers, and you can grow your relationship with them to the point that they are ready to make a purchase.
And there are also many email marketing tools that can help you reach your email list.
Finally, you own your list. After you put the hard work into adding people to your list, you are in complete control over the messaging and what you can do with that list. With social media, the platform owns your content and followers.
So, have you implemented email campaigns into your marketing strategy?
Posted: April 1, 2022