Along with a compelling website and social media presence, email marketing represents an important part of your marketing mix. And no, email marketing is not dead, as some claim.
In fact, considering that 74% of consumers prefer to receive commercial communications via email, 66% of consumers have made a purchase online as a result of an email marketing message, and email marketing ROI can reach a whopping 4300%, it can be a very effective way of reaching your target prospects, as well as keeping your current customers updated on what’s happening in your organization.
Why Email Marketing Is Unique
Unlike other marketing platforms, email marketing is based on receiving “permission” from the potential recipient. This means they are inviting you to send them marketing communication, and they are interested in the information you are communicating.
If you are unsure of what to do or a bit overwhelmed by the prospects of launching an email marketing campaign, you are not alone. A lot of small business owners can be intimidated by launching an email campaign, but here are some tips to help you launch an effective campaign to further your relationships with prospects and customers:
1. Have patience: Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was your email list. Building a strong list takes time. Allow for things to evolve.
2. Make signing up as simple as possible: Give people who visit your website a place to sign up for your email. Make it easy to subscribe, but you also have to provide users with the option to unsubscribe.
3. Avoid spamming and comply with email regulations: Plain and simple - don’t send spam. No one wants to read it. Make sure your email list has opted in, and you understand the spam laws in your local area. In Canada, this is CASL legislation, and it is very stringent on how you can market using email.
4. Create killer subject lines: More than one-third of emails are opened based on the subject line alone. If you don’t intrigue people by your subject line, they are not going to open your email.
5. Focus on getting the click, not the sale: Emails will not get a sale directly, but they will get you closer to a sale. Provide solutions and offer value in the form of great content, news, advice, and tips. Always end your email with a strong call to action to get that all important click.
6. Establish a good cadence: Send email at a reasonable frequency. This will vary based on your campaign objectives. Remember, people don’t want you to inundate their inboxes with “junk.” However, you also need to remain fresh in their minds.
7. Optimize for mobile: Almost half of emails are opened on mobile devices – a number that is only going to increase. Make sure your email works for mobile and tablets – 69% of mobile users delete emails that aren’t optimized for mobile - and make it shareable so people can quickly send it to their friends.
8. Invest in email marketing tools: Use simple email tools that can help you with great email templates, setting up campaigns, and managing lists. There are several great tools out there such as Benchmark, MailChimp, Constant Contact, iContact, and GetResponse. Choose the platform that makes the most sense for your marketing goals.
When used the right way, email marketing campaigns are flexible, adaptive, and can turn leads into paying customers.
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