For those of you who were around the early days of email and AOL, one of the fondest memories was hearing that default phrase, “You’ve Got Mail”. It made us feel important to know that people would care enough to respond or get in touch with us. Businesses would carry out email marketing campaigns frequently because it was an efficient way to connect directly with the market. But then as with all good things, unscrupulous people decided to take advantage and abuse the opportunities presented by email marketing. Inboxes became inundated with scam offers and spam messages. Email marketing fell from grace. Instead of offering value, it became a nuisance for consumers. Eventually, regulation had to happen which was a good thing for marketers who still believed in email marketing. Despite the plethora of marketing tools available, there is one category of tool that marketers continues to use over time: email marketing. The answer is really simple. For 10 years straight, email marketing has been generating the highest ROI – For every dollar spent, it generates $38 in returns. It is also the platform to broadly reach all the channels available. So what exactly is email marketing? In the broadest sense, email marketing is when a company sends out a commercial message to a group of people using an electronic email. These emails usually consists of advertisements, sales follow-up, business requests etc. Basically any email communication that is used to interact with customer or promote your brand/ company, is considered as email marketing.
Here are five good (5) reasons why email marketing works:
1. High probability of contact. People read their emails every day. For some, it is the first thing they do in the morning. Then there are those who check on their email at least five times a day. Through email marketing, you are sure your content will be read by the recipient.
Think of the inbox as the virtual residence or office of your prospect. Your email brings you his or her home or office. The challenge is how to get invited without being thrown off as “spam”
The best approach is to get whitelisted. Whitelisting refers to email address and IP addresses that are spam-free. Your email can be whitelisted by joining services such as AWeber, Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor.
You can also be whitelisted by simply by providing instructions at the top of your email or the first follow up email.
2. Easy way to access mobile customers.
We’ve seen the statistics on mobile technology. It is now the preferred medium to access the Internet by businesses and consumers. Your campaign must always consider the mobile market.
Email marketing is the easiest way to reach mobile customers and you don’t even have to invest new technology. Why? Because as stated earlier, people by nature are compelled to check their inboxes regularly and the smartphone is an indispensable accessory.
A 2014 study by Forrester Research revealed that 42% of retailers’ emails were opened via smartphones and 17% through their tablets. Considering that there will be more smart phones operating in the next few years, this will make mobile marketing more important. Email is the most effective and most affordable way to reach customers on their smart phones.
3. Email marketing is a great way to stay connected.
Email marketing is not just about hawking products and services to sell. The best marketers know that email marketing is the most effective way to connect on a deeper level with your market.
An email is sent to the private inbox of the recipient. Therefore it is more personalized than a social media post where everyone in the community can read the content.
Second, you have to send content that has value to your subscriber. These could be advice, tips, advanced information, industry updates and other forms of content that would interest your subscriber.
With email marketing you can build strong relationships with your market if you can provide them consistently valuable content.
4. Email marketing is a flexible marketing strategy. The worst email marketing campaigns are the ones which use default formats or templates. By resorting to such tactics, you are effectively shutting down email marketing’s strong points: flexibility and versatility.
There are many ways you can craft an email to your audience. Creativity would depend on the capability of the marketer. But the general rule is to personalize it. You have to make each and every email different and distinct to every recipient.
It will require more time because some research may be involved. But the effort will be worth it because recipients appreciate the fact you took some time to learn more about what they do. For sure, the probability is greater that they will similarly take the time to read your content.
5. Email marketing is efficient. This advantage sums up all the great things about email marketing. Where else can you find a tactic that allows you to access a large market, get inside their inbox at the least possible cost to your marketing budget?
Businesses that are on a tight budget no longer need to raise funding for press releases, print ads or direct mail which are all expensive but ineffective. Email marketing provides you the best option to reach your audience without breaking the bank.
So don’t abandon this old school tactic. Email marketing will work for your business simply because people still rely on emails to communicate. The key is to embrace email marketing as you would in other forms of online marketing. It should not be intrusive and present content that offers great value to the recipient.