I think it was about a decade ago that I first read an article boldly proclaiming that email marketing was dead! I laughed at the time as I could plainly see from our internal metrics that email marketing was still highly effective. Year after year new technologies try to make the elimination of email marketing their claim to fame. Yet, year after year email marketing continues to produce a better ROI than just about any other marketing strategy.
Why is email marketing so effective?
It is still the best way to put your message in front of your target audience. You don’t have to wait for them to Google the types of products or services that you offer and you don’t have to hope that they will notice your Facebook campaign. Email marketing delivers the content directly to them.
It’s a great way to build awareness and nurture prospects. It can be leveraged to educate them about industry trends, solutions to problems, and how your products and services can help them meet their needs and wants.
Why does email marketing have such a good ROI?
It’s relatively low cost. We actually utilize the free version provided by MailChimp for a number of our clients. Their only costs are content development and building out email lists.
What are the key elements of a successful email marketing campaign?
There are two critical components to an effective email marketing campaign: Provide high quality content and build a great list.
Creating high quality content.
One of the best newsletters that I subscribe to is produced by a business consulting firm. Each week I receive 2-3 emails from them and I learn something useful in each email that I read. That’s the key. I learn something that I can apply to the growth of my business; therefore the content is very valuable to me. After receiving six months of valuable information from them, I decided to utilize their services. By giving away valuable information, the consulting firm was able to establish themselves as industry experts and convert me into a client.
Building a list.
There are ton of different ways to build an email list. Here are a few examples:
- Good old fashion networking. If you exchange business cards with another professional you have their email address. I recommend sending them a personalized email before you add them to any email marketing campaign.
- Gated content. Create an eBook or whitepaper, setup a landing page, and give it away in exchange for an email address.
- Mine your LinkedIn contacts. Most people make their email addresses available to their 1st degree connections. I still recommend a personalized email beforehand.
- Experiment with lightboxes. We use SumoMe on a couple of the websites that we support. This provides an easy way for readers to add their email to the subscriber list.
- Add a signup CTA to your website. You probably have prospects and clients that value your expertise. Adding a call-to-action (CTA) is another way to make it easy for them to subscribe.
Tips for Email Campaigns
Present your email using the same tactics as you use for blogs or social media. Open with interesting, engaging content, and funnel readers through to your company’s landing pages. Some helpful content tips to keep in mind are:
- Think Mobile – Most of your customers are perusing email on their phones today, so design your emails to be mobile friendly.
- Present Small Bites – Separate content using headlines, subheads, and bullet points. Give your readers information that can be quickly scanned and absorbed.
- Make it Personal – Email is a personal form of media, so cater your campaigns to be as personalized as possible.
- Avoid Spam – Set up a regular contact routine, but don’t flood your contacts with advertisements and products. You want your readers to look forward to hearing from you, so be consistent and courteous.
- Unsubscribe link – Make it easy to unsubscribe. Small or hidden unsubscribe links are very annoying.
So, does email marketing still work?
Absolutely! Email marketing is considered an important part of any robust online marketing campaign. Your company should still consider other well-established marketing strategies, such as blogs and branded websites; however, email is an affordable way to reach more people with minimal expense. For the best results, turn your online marketing campaign over to a company experienced in the field, able to assist you with keyword strategies and reaching target audiences.