Email marketing has been an essential component of any good marketing strategy for some time now as it allows businesses to engage with their customers easily, quickly and efficiently for a fracture of cost of any other marketing tool.
If you are already using email marketing in your business, you know the benefits already. So, the only thing you need to take from this article is that, with its ROI (return on investment) for 2011 at $40.56 for every $1 invested and with Direct Marketing Association predicting that email will account for $67.8 billion in sales in 2012, email marketing is still relevant and ahead of other online tools.
If email marketing is not part of your marketing strategy yet, you need to consider this:
- A 2012 survey of consumer channel habits and preferences found 77% preferred to receive permission-based promotions via email: 6% preferred such messages via social media (reference).
- The ForeSee Results 2010 report on the effectiveness of social media found that promotional emails were the second biggest influence on retail website visits. The biggest influence was familiarity with the brand (reference).
- A survey of online marketing managers at the end of 2011 found 89.2% said email is the same or more important to their overall marketing strategy when compared to two years ago (reference).
- In April 2011, 79% of search marketers said email had grown in importance as a source of leads (reference).
- A 2012 social media survey found 87% of social media marketers also use email marketing: 93% plan to maintain or increase their use of email (reference).
- Email was the channel most likely to get more investment in 2012, according to a survey of business leaders: 60% planned to increase their email marketing budget. Social media was the next most popular at 55% (reference).
Why does email marketing work?
There is a variety of reasons why email marketing works.
The most obvious one is that if a person opts-in to receive information from you, they consider you have something of value to them. They might not be ready to buy from you just yet, however by expressing their interest they opened their doors for you to turn them into customers. At this point you captured them as a lead, now it’s up to you to turn them into a customer with targeted marketing.
Email marketing helps you:
- build relationship, trust and loyalty with your subscribers,
- target your potential customers more precisely,
- drive direct sales ,
- collect data on how your subscribers behave, which helps you to refine your approach and messages,
- customize and personalise your marketing campaigns, and
- supports sales through other channels.
Does this sound like something you can benefit from in your marketing strategy?
So how do you go about it?
The biggest mistake I see with email marketing is that businesses try to manage their subscriptions manually and send emails through their desktop email system, such as Outlook. This causes various problems with finding the right email address of the subscriber, their full name, limitations on outgoing messages from ISP and hosting providers to name just few. But the biggest is that once your emailing list reaches a certain size the limitations of manual emailing becomes a huge road block for managing and delivery of your messages.
If you are serious about capturing online leads and using email marketing as part of your marketing strategy, you need to sign up with one of the email service providers such as AWeber or Mail Chimp.
If this sounds all too technical for you, don’t worry, I help people just like you starting with email marketing. Imagine someone sets up all the boring necessary technical bits and makes things look pretty so that you can start collecting leads. And all you need to do is watch your list grow and have fun with your subscribers. Oh, and start making plans for next holidays as your bank balance is growing and you have more time for yourself. Isn’t that great or what?