What is Email Marketing and Why Should You Start Using It?
Sorry, Zuckerberg, the numbers don’t lie. Email marketing still outperforms social media, and this is just one of the many areas where email reigns king. No matter how many tech developments we’ve seen, it appears you can’t keep a good dog down.
So why, with so many options available, do marketers repeatedly turn to email campaigns to get their message out? Read on to learn the powerful benefits behind this underrated marketing tool.
What is email marketing
In a world of SEO keywords, social media, and guerilla marketing, many businesses operate under the false belief that email marketing is a thing of the past. However, studies show us that email continues to be one of the most effective marketing strategies that can be used within your marketing mix.
In it’s most basic form, email marketing is outreach to your audience in the form of an email campaign with the intention of increasing traffic, sales, or brand exposure.
Who should use email marketing
The beauty of email marketing is that it can be effectively used by any type of business. The factor that will play the largest role in your success is knowing the goal behind your email campaign. Are you trying to boost your product sales? Want to see a higher rate of repeat customers? Maybe, you simply want to enhance your brand exposure?
As you will see, email marketing can be used to accomplish any one of these tasks, but it’s best to focus on one goal at a time for the best results.
The benefits of email marketing
There are a number of benefits associated with email marketing that can give your business an added boost. One of these benefits is the fact that email marketing can be used in unison with existing marketing efforts.
You can easily create a hybrid email and social media campaign, or even use email marketing as an important element in your own online course. The options are endless.
Enhance brand awareness
Your audience is looking for more than a product, they are looking for a story. A strong email campaign allows you to provide a voice to your brand and to enforce that voice on a regular basis.
Through your email campaign, you can express the key values of your brand, and show your audience that you are concerned about the same things they are. This will make you appear more as an ally than a salesman.
Introduce new products
If you’ve been selling a set list of items for some time, it may require extra effort to get your audience adjusted to a new product or service. Email campaigns are a great way to build excitement over new offerings. They also allow you to offer special offers to a select group, which encourages brand loyalty.
If you have a more intricate set of lists that offer more insight on what your customers are looking for, you’ll also be able to better target specific sub-audiences.
Broaden your audience
With email marketing, you can reach audiences on a global scale, allowing you to increase your brand exposure and grow the number of leads going to your website. In addition to the larger outreach, you’ll also have a better idea of which audiences responds best to your marketing efforts.
Word of mouth advertising is a powerful tool, and email marketing offers very similar benefits. Email campaigns are incredibly easy to share among friends and colleagues, especially if it involves anecdotal or thought-provoking content.
There is also an air of exclusivity that comes from receiving and sharing this information. Where social media posts can be viewed and shared by anyone, your audience knows they are the only ones receiving this special content or promotional deal, which increases the likelihood that they will share it.
There are few things as rapid-fire as email. They are one click and done (even faster if you have an automated campaign). In some cases, you can even create an email funnel that will automatically take a subscriber from one email to another based on their response.
This makes a more engaging and eye-catching interaction that allows you to create more personal emails, which then leads to more sales!
Finally, our favourite benefit of email marketing is the amount of data and feedback you receive! Know who is opening which emails and when. While it may seem like simply analytics, when used correctly, this information can greatly enhance your sales efforts and marketing strategy.
What to know before starting an email marketing campaign
While email marketing is a tool that can benefit anyone, there are some important factors to keep in mind prior to starting your campaign. The clearer you are on your email evaluations, the better results you’ll have.
For those who are new to email marketing, it’s wise to remember that there can be a sharp learning curve. So use your analytics to the best of your abilities, and embrace a “trial and error” mentality. Each campaign is different.
What’s your demographic
There’s an old marketing adage that says “if you’re talking to everyone, you’re talking to no one”, this applies to emails as well. While there’s plenty of hype around “list building” and “growing your own list”, try to favour quality over quantity. Not everyone on your list will open your emails all the time, and worse, some may choose to unsubscribe.
Which is why it’s important to grow a full list of the right people. The last thing you want is to end up in the spam folder because too many people flagged your emails.
DIY vs. professional email marketing
While it’s possible to build your own email campaign, most businesses choose to go with a professional marketing service for several reasons:
- Marketing agencies tend to have better insight into trends and demographics. They also have the research to back these trends up
- Marketing agencies know how to build more complex “funnel” email campaigns that greatly increase sales
- Marketing agencies have experience with a wide range of email marketing platforms and know which are the best options
What your marketing campaigns have been missing
If you aren’t utilizing the power of email marketing in your business’s marketing plans, you’re missing a massive opportunity. Email marketing is one of the few tools that can stand as its own marketing tool or can be used in unison with other tools.
If you’re looking for more powerful practices that can enhance your marketing efforts, we suggest checking out our blog post on 10 Creative Marketing Tips.