Email? That's Right, Still One of the Best Ways to Connect.

Email marketing is far from dead. The Direct Marketing Association estimates the ROI for email in 2012 at $39.40 earned for every $1 spent.*

With so many business people jumping on the social media bandwagon these days you could be forgiven for thinking that email marketing is on the way out. After all, that's what everyone keeps saying. But you shouldn't believe everything you hear. Email is still alive and strong. What's more, it still delivers positive results when used effectively.

In an online survey from earlier this year 66% of respondents revealed that they had made a purchase as a direct result of email marketing. As always, it's important to consider your target audience when using any form of marketing. The same survey showed that adults aged 45 and up were less likely to be influenced by social media ads than those under 45. It should come as no surprise then, that 87% of social media marketers also reported using email to reach their customers as well.

Keep it Personal

With a good email marketing system you can personalize how you're connecting with your clients. You can segment your mailing lists based on client criteria such as gender, age, geography, interests, previous purchases, etc. If you sell a mixed line of products you could announce new arrivals of flashy bling to your jewellery clients and send your 20% off all summer sandals clearance sale teaser to your footwear customers. You could reward your best-spending clients with offers of exclusive discounts or invitations to intimate VIP events as an added incentive to signing up for your email list. Want to offer clients a discount with a Birthday Greeting? Try doing that with Facebook. With segmented mailing lists the possibilities are endless once you get started.

Track Your Effectiveness

If you're using a good email marketing system which utilizes white-listed servers and offers tracking and reporting statistics, you'll learn far more about the effectiveness of your campaigns than if you send out through your own email address. The statistics available can tell you how many clients on your list you're reaching, how many times they're opening your email, how many of them are clicking on links, and how many are sharing your email with others. Plus, you'll minimize the risk of being flagged as a spammer and avoid problems with your email provider.

Promote Seasonal Events and Other Opportunities

woman gives a gift
You can develop customer attention and awareness by promoting your business through email during important sales cycles such as seasonal holidays and events.*

Of course, email marketing only works when you send to your permission-based subscriber list regularly. Be honest; you're likely not using email as often or as well as you could. That's not to say you should bombard people with mailings, just that there are opportunities to use email that you may not be taking advantage of. If you use print or radio advertising you should also send out an email that complements those campaigns. If there are holidays or seasonal events that factor in your business, don't assume your clients are thinking of you automatically. Create an email campaign to drive awareness and remind your customers about your special offers and seasonal events.

Remember though, sales and special events aren't the only content you can share via email. You can also use it to demonstrate expertise by going into greater detail about products or services. People take more time to read a well-written email than they would a lengthy post on Facebook. What's more, when your email marketing messages are planned strategically to share your blog posts or links to your website you'll increas traffic to your web site. This helps to improve your rankings in search engine results which helps others find your business when they go looking on Google.

Connect Email to Social Platforms

You should understand as well that marketing through email doesn't mean ignoring social channels either. Effective email marketing systems include options for adding social sharing links. This means that, in addition to being able to forward your email on to their friends, your recipients can also share your email to their social networks too. The value of social sharing is that your message can reach far beyond the limits of your subscriber list.

So don't delete that old email subscriber list you've been nurturing all these years. You worked hard to win the trust of your clients and, in turn, they've given you their email addresses with permission to send them occasional mailings. The tools available are robust and effective. As with any form of marketing, the stumbling block usually lies in whether or not you use tools like email marketing (or social media) with consistency and regular frequency. So what are you waiting for? A little time spent with email can generate positive results.

If you'd like help developing your own email marketing campaigns, then please get in touch, we're just a phone call or email away.

*Photo Credit: Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos