Why a solid Email Marketing Strategy is crucial
Email Marketing is not a new tactic, and It's not a shiny tactic; it's not even really a sexy tactic. But the reality is this is a proven and effective strategy that's working just as well today as it ever has. Yes, of course, email open rates are down, and the statistics about the number of people clicking through are also down. But that doesn't negate the fact that more people today have access to email, and more people today are checking their email more than they ever have before.
This is the reason that year after year after year; email marketing continues to brag and boast about having one of the highest ROI or return on investments of all of the different marketing strategies you choose.
Some statistics claim that email marketing delivers a 3800% return on investment, others a 4500% return on investment. Regardless, these are crazy numbers. But the big question remains, should you be using email marketing in your business? I would say yes, and here's why.
Email Marketing Works if Done Right
First of all, statistically speaking, email marketing works. And when done right is always the caveat. It works well, with some statistics showing that it's 40 times more effective at acquiring customers than just using Facebook or Twitter. What makes this exciting is how effective using Facebook or using Twitter using Instagram, or using YouTube is in acquiring customers. Imagine taking the good or decent results you're getting from those platforms and multiplying its effectiveness by a factor of 40. And that's a pretty decent ROI.
So why is email marketing just so effective at acquiring customers? Well, it boils down to a couple of different things. The first and most important is the fact that it's accessible by pretty much every single one of your potential customers and of your clients. I mean, think about how you use email, how you use it on your phone, how you check it and stay in communication with your friends, family, doctor, lawyer, accountant, and with pretty much everybody, email is almost always at the core of that.
In recent months, SMS or texting has started to rise in popularity, but we're still nowhere near this, becoming sort of the norm. And in fact, more often than not, getting an unwanted text is seen as an irritating annoyance. Whereas getting an unwanted email is just a fact of life these days.
This is why for you as the marketer as the entrepreneur is the business owner, you need to make sure that when you're crafting your emails, well, you make sure that you're designing them, and you're writing them, and you're scripting them so that they are wanted, and so that your customers and your readers look forward to the content that you're creating. Rather than having it just ended up in the spam or in the trash folder.
More Content = More Engagement
There's another reason, though, that email marketing is so effective that it tends to provide more access to a longer form kind of content. Now, suppose you're familiar with my work at all. In that case, you know that I'm a big proponent for storytelling for providing educational content for teaching for entertaining as much as humanly possible. It creates long-form content, normally through videos, and a bit through podcasts, rarely through text, with one exception. And that exception, if you haven't guessed it already, is, of course, email.
You see, unlike a tweet, or Facebook post, or an Instagram caption, email lends itself to being able to provide a much longer and more complete story and provide much more value. Now, of course, anytime we're talking about written content, audio content, or video content, you don't want to drag on and on and fill it with fluff and filler and garbage. But by using email, and by using it strategically and following good copywriting and sound marketing principles, you can cram this thing full of a ton of value, which will allow you to build more trust and more rapport and nurture your readers to build that relationship.
Email is Everywhere, so embrace it
The next thing that makes email marketing such an incredibly effective strategy to use in your business is that email is everywhere, like I alluded to before. Everyone has an email. I believe this statistic is that 92% of adults use email. I've always wondered about that other 8% of people that don't use email; what are they doing?
Email has become and is very much a part of our everyday lives, which means that you're able to access your customers wherever and whenever they are. How, because most people are checking their phones and checking their emails, obsessively and compulsively.
Now, this is by no means a healthy habit or something that you want to do yourself. In fact, we could all use to limit our screen time just a little bit more, but I'm not here to advise you on kind of the rights versus the wrong way of living your life. You do you. The point is your customers are doing this whether you think it's right or not, which means you might as well reach them where they are with you on email on their phone, which is probably in their pocket.
My final point here is why email marketing is essential before we get to a few crucial caveats and essential notes. And that is that an email is five times more likely to be seen then a social media post again on say, Facebook or Twitter, I don't know about you, but I get a ton of emails every single day, which means I do have to sort through them pretty quickly. But this is by no means even close to the amount of noise and volume of content that I see just by rapidly scrolling through social media.
This is why if you're sending marketing emails to your prospects, to your customers, to your clients, it's far more likely to be seen, and the more that you can get in front of them, increased touchpoints, increased frequency with which you're showing up in front of your market. Well, the more they're going to know you and like you and trust you because we as humans have been conditioned to associate a frequency with trust. This means the more somebody sees you, the more they're going to trust you. So naturally, you want to try to show up as much as possible. Now, of course, I'm all for creating emails that get read; I'm all for creating emails that provide value. But the simple fact alone of sending an email that appears in your customer's inbox for them even to see your name, or see your brand name, well, even that is a completely free touchpoint.
A giant piece of your marketing strategy should be email marketing
Now that we've got that covered, a real quick and fundamental note on email marketing and where it fits into your overall marketing strategy. Because it's important to know that you can't build your business, you can't build your marketing on email alone. And the reason is that email is simply a communication channel; it's a way to nurture and engage and talk with your customers. But it would be best if you had something to get them on your email list in the first place. This is where so much of the advice around email marketing go so awry. After all, an email list is only as good as the amount and quality of the people on it.
Here is a good example, let's say you're selling steak or some meat product, well, the last thing you want is an email list full of vegetarians, they're never going to buy anything, they're probably not going to like you very much. On the other hand, if you can find some lead magnet or opt-in or bribe something that entices your stake loving subscribers to subscribe to your email list essentially, you're going to be on the right track.
For example, you could create a free training series on grilling the perfect steak or steak recipes or anything like that. You could offer that as a lead magnet or a bribe or an opt-in on your website or through a Facebook ad or through a social media post or whatever it is. And you could exchange this piece of content or free guide for their name and further email address. And that's how you build your email list. That will enable you to continue to engage with them and nurture them and send them emails over time.
Anyway, just like all things, it's essential to understand that no single marketing tool, or tactic or software, or even strategy that stands alone. It all has to be factored into the bigger picture, how this fits and how it applies to your unique business, your unique market, your unique industry, your unique offer, your goals, and everything you're trying to achieve. With all that said, email marketing is a phenomenally useful tool.
Email Marketing Tools
So here's how to get started. The very first thing you need to do is sign up for an email service provider or ESP. I prefer Active Campaign, but there are a lot out there. Using a service like that something that's going to be a dedicated email service provider rather than just sending them through your Gmail, or your Hotmail, which is a terrible idea. For a comprehensive list of ESP's I have tried in the past make sure to checkout my Email Marketing Service Provider Report Card post
A lot of these software are free to get started or are very inexpensive. So sign up for one that suits your needs. And then you're going to be off to the races. You're going to be able to collect names, collect email addresses, and in turn, send them broadcasts or send them campaigns, which are one-off emails or a series of different emails.
Next, you're probably going to need just a little bit of training around how to do email marketing properly. One of my biggest suggestions when writing an email is to write it as if youre talking to a friend. Too many times i would overthink the process, and the last thing you want to do is build a list and nor send out emails. The more you write emails, the better you will become. If you want to be an email marketer, well write emails, you will have to overcome that initial fear, that initial hesitation to get some words out on the screen and send them off to people.
The beauty is when you're first getting started with email marketing, the odds are good that you probably have a reasonably small email list to work with. So that means there is not a lot of room for failure. The point to the matter is as scary as it may feel the risk is worth it. Remember that 3800 or 4500% ROI.
This is why today, email marketing still forms a core of my marketing strategy and pretty much every client that I work with, and often helps them generate more sales every year. Email Marketing is too good to ignore, but you need to make sure that it's all built on a solid marketing foundation and strategy.
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