Email marketing has been around for a long time. Often it is overlooked in favor of social media, but email remains an effective tool in the marketing kit. Email remains one of the best ways to with prospects and clients in a personalized and targeted manner. Certainly, it can deliver revenue back into your business, and email marketing should always be a major portion of your marketing mix.
Let’s look at the numbers. Not only are there three times more email accounts than there are social media accounts, but studies have shown that most people prefer to communicate via email because it’s more immediate and private. Email allows you to deliver your message to the intended recipient’s inbox. This is potent—making your message more impactful than a promotion on social.
In fact, the average click-through rate of an email campaign is around 3%—whereas, from a social media post, it’s around 0.5%.
According to a survey by Monetate, 4.24% of web visitors from an email campaign convert online, compared to 2.49% from search engines and 0.59% from social media. An added bonus is that email marketing is a lot easier to measure. With today’s tools, marketers can enjoy insights into important details like open rates and click-through rates. Some tools even allow marketers to see the “hotspots” of an email—which calls to action got the most clicks and how many times and at what times of the day an email was read.
Email marketing is easy, inexpensive and effective. According to Forrester, 85% of US retailers consider email marketing one of the most effective customer acquisition tactics. Compared to traditional marketing efforts where printing and postage can be expensive, marketers can create the same layouts and imagery in an email. Marketers can also add links that take customers to important pages on the website.
If you’re not sure how to work email to your advantage, we have compiled a few basics so you can begin to deploy it sooner than later.
For companies that are new or don’t know how to get started with their email marketing efforts, here are a few tips:
1. Sign up with an email marketing provider
These days there are many email companies that allow you to send beautifully designed email campaigns and give you insights about how engaged people are with your messages. MailChimp and HubSpot are among the most popular, probably because they’re user-friendly and because offer beautiful templates that are easy to adapt. They both also offer free versions. In the free versions of these popular tools, your emails and forms will have their company logos; but if you’re just getting started with email marketing, you may be okay with this. Both tools allow you to set up forms that you can embed on your site to capture leads for your email campaigns.
2. Avoid buying email lists
Before you start emailing you might think you need to buy lists. A lot of companies buy them because they seem like an easy and quick solution, but they’re too often not as useful as you might think. They can be expensive on a per-contact basis, and the contacts in them are usually inaccurate or so dated as to be unusable. Another serious problem is that mail servers can detect you’re emailing “spammy contacts” and flag your domain as “spam”. Earning a “spam” label could impact the deliverability of future campaigns and is hard to fix. Also, even if there are real contacts on those lists, they’ll likely ignore you at best because they’ve never heard of you, or get annoyed at worst and maybe even flag your message as spam.
3. Add forms to capture leads
Add forms on your site. Every page without a form should have a “call to action”, or button that links the visitor to a page with a form. If you sell services and products, add a form to your services page and another one on your products page. This way, you know what the person is interested in before you contact them. Make the forms granular enough so you have information about what they’re interested in, but you may need to experiment with the right amount of granularity. Ask too many questions and you will tire out or annoy your customer. On the other hand, if you only ask for their contact info, you may not have enough information to really help them.
4. It’s who you know
You might think you don’t have a list to start with but in fact, you probably know a lot of people. Start with them. Upload a list of everyone you know to the email tool you’re using and email them about your business and services. It’ll drive traffic to your site and you’ll put word of mouth to work because they might recommend you to someone in their circle. Also, attend networking events and email the people you meet, letting them know you want to hear about their business in case there are partnership opportunities. Little by little, adding the names you get from forms on your site and people you meet, your lists will become substantial.
5. Create gated content
People love to learn and you likely know a lot about your industry. Create presentations and thought leadership material like webinars and white papers that people can access if they fill out a form (in the digital marketing world, we call this “gated content”). Create a landing page with the offer and make sure the image, copy, and format are all attractive and relevant to the offer. Share links to the landing page on your social media channels. You might even want to advertise (for instance, Google Adwords to drive even more traffic). This is a great way to get more leads.
6. How blogging helps
If you simply self-promote on social channels, chances are people will tune you out; and although it’s a good idea to curate interesting content for your followers, you can’t make sending traffic to other websites most of your social media effort. When you create interesting content on your own site, that will allow you to drive traffic to your landing pages where you can capture leads. In all of your content, add links and calls to action that link visitors to landing pages with gated content and forms.
7. Personalize as much as possible
Segment your lists according to interest and engagement so you can email each segment about new products or offers, but make sure your messages are personalized. Your email marketing software should allows you to address people individually by name, split certain topics only for certain members of your list; and eventually place your email in their personal inbox. According to research from Campaign Monitor, emails with subject lines that include the recipient’s name are 26% more likely to be opened.
As your business grows, you’ll learn more and more about your email contacts, which in turn will inform your marketing strategy as a whole. Email, unlike other marketing efforts, will allow you to see results straight away. Sending newsletters via email and setting up email automation based on triggers based on your customer’s interactions with your content, will help you engage with customers in meaningful, impactful ways that are likely to help grow your business. Get in touch to learn how we can help you get started.