Even an email marketing agency will admit it’s true that it can be difficult to get a response to e-mails. But email marketing is still important – if done properly, it can work for your business, growing your contacts list and leading to firm responses. People who say e-mail marketing is dead are normally just doing it wrong, or using the wrong email marketing services – a few simple techniques will improve responses to the point where you realise how essential an email marketing plan is to your business.
Email marketing has many advantages over other digital marketing strategies. For instance, social networks need to engage people first before they can become customers, while if you can reach out directly via email, your contact is more immediate.
An email marketing strategy lets you opt for various types of communication, including
- Informational: intended to inform clients about events, products or services
- Locational: Used to inform people about the location of a physical store in their locality, so they can visit and become customers
- Commercial: The most traditional strategy, intended to encourage ‘impulse buying’ when a new product or promotion is announced
- Loyalty: A form of customer retention strategy aiming to promote the relationship with the brand or company and generate more sales over time
All these email marketing campaigns, when associated with relevant content, can achieve good results, because an email marketing campaign is starting with a base of subscribers you know are already interested in your subject.
According to a study by email marketing agency McKinsey, email marketing services can be up to 40 times more effective than social media, because in social media, content is filtered and does not reach all the participants you might like – unless you pay for it – while with email, you know that everyone on your subscriber list will receive your message. The skill in an email marketing campaign lies in making sure people on your lists open the emails you send them.
Why Use Email Marketing?
As any email marketing agency will tell you, not only is email more effective at reaching potential customers than social media, it also has a faster buying response – up to three times faster according to some estimates.
The key to guaranteeing ‘opens’ is to make sure you have relevant information about the people on your lists. According to surveys, 51 percent of digital marketers say that a lack of information can limit the success of email.
Another advantage of email marketing is that it allows you to schedule your campaigns according to your overall marketing strategy. A common mistake is to send too many emails – a Hubspot survey suggest that up to 78 percent of recipients have cancelled email subscriptions because they receive too many.
Properly scheduled as part of a wider strategy, with relevant content and effective calls-to-action, email marketing can only continue to grow as a cost-effective medium. According to recent surveys,
- 91 percent of people access their email at least once a day
- Most people prefer to receive business information via email
- 92 percent of internet users have at least one email account (compared to only 69 percent using social media)
- The number of email users is estimated to grow to 3 billion by 2020
- Three out of four companies say they obtain good results from email marketing
One of the major advantages of email marketing is that it offers the possibility of communicating in a more personalized way. It also facilitates the analysis of data, through techniques such as A/B tests of which email works best, making it easier to tailor a campaign to meet your company’s objectives.
Why Is Email Marketing Important For Small Business?
The main attraction of email marketing for a small business is that it is inexpensive – for instance a Mailchimp account will allow you to send up to 12,000 emails per month to a list of up to 2,000 contact for free. Unlimited subscribers and emails are available from £8 per month, while advanced tools for enterprise business are available from £154 per month – peanuts compared to the cost of social media marketing or conventional techniques.
Email marketing is also good for reaching out to the increasingly important mobile market. Since mobile search is now the most popular platform – Google quotes around 64 percent of searches as coming from a mobile device – it’s essential to capture this part of the market. Around 75 percent of emails are opened on mobile devices, giving an opening rate of 40 percent.
Obviously if your business is aiming to attract local customers, particularly those likely to be using mobile search for subject such as takeaway food, using geolocation as part of your email marketing strategy can pay dividends.
For a small business, email marketing offers the valuable ability to refine an email strategy using A/B tests to establish which email works best. In targeting your potential customers, increasing company awareness and building brand loyalty, email tools are invaluable.
Another important function of email marketing services for a small company is that they allow you to send reminders to potential customers who have abandoned your site’s shopping cart.
Cart abandonment, where a transaction is cancelled without completion, is a growing problem, estimated as high as 50 percent to 80 percent of transactions. There are many reasons for it – unexpected shipping fees, complicated account creation, slow websites – but a reminder email to the potential customer can often salvage the sale. It’s estimated that almost 30 percent of cart abandonment email clicks lead to a recovered purchase.
With all the applications of an email marketing plan and considering its relatively low costs, email marketing remains a good bet for the small business, and will only become more important with the growth of geolocation and mobile platforms.
How Can Email Marketing Improve Sales?
According to surveys, email marketing can account for approximately 23 percent of sales, making it one of the most effective marketing channels at the disposal of any company. Along with personalised ads and landing pages, personalised emails can help to build trust with potential and existing customers, building brand loyalty and hence sales.
Of course the first step in an email marketing campaign is to compile a list. If you operate an ecommerce site, you should already have a list of buyers; but there are other ways to encourage people to sign up for an email list, including putting a ‘pop-up’ such as a discount coupon on your website, to offer free content relating to your product, or to run a competition on your blog.
Of course there is the risk that these tactics may generate casual subscribers who will never buy from you, so it’s important to clean your email lists regularly.
An email marketing plan can also sell product directly through targeted ads. This can both clinch sales and build your email list, though of course it is more difficult to get results with high priced products, so best to start with low-priced ones and build the relationship first.
An email ‘lead magnet’ with an incentive offered to potential buyers in exchange for their email address can be followed with an autoresponder sequence fostering the relationship between customers and your business.
Once you have assembled your email marketing campaign list and built a relationship, a welcome email is a sound generator of sales. Surveys suggest that subscribers are 42 percent more likely to open a welcome email than a regular promotional email.
Email marketing services also work well for seasonal campaigns. Even if the event isn’t directly related to your business – be it Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day or International Cat Day – with a little creativity you can craft an email campaign around it.
There’s a good way to find out what different types of email marketing campaigns are out there – just create a throwaway email address and sign it up for as many marketing lists as you can find. Pick the ones you find compelling and relevant, and learn from them.
Which Email Marketing Software Is Best?
This is indeed the $64,000 question – it’s certainly not true that all email marketing services are the same, and you may need advice from an email marketing agency to find the right products for your business. A lot depends on the scale of your operation, but here are some of the strongest candidates in email marketing services:
Drip – advanced list segmenting, lead scoring and automation features, easy to use visual workflows, reasonably priced.
Convertkit – simple, competitive price, unlimited numbers, landing page functions, automated resend, but no A/B testing.
AWeber – competitive pricing, slight learning curve, pop-ups, data-driven campaign functions, mobile functions.
Infusionsoft – higher priced, tailored for corporate campaigns, campaign building functions, highly integrated.
ActiveCampaign – aimed at medium to large businesses, relatively high priced, initially complex, drag-and-drop workflows.
GetResponse – good all-rounder, easy to use, good preview features, includes stock image access.
MailChimp – simple, free for small numbers, flexible templates, list segmentation, social media integration.
Constant Contact – simple social media sharing tools, free trial, but limited functions.
Digital marketing expert Matthew Woodward recommends Aweber or ConvertKit for beginners, Drip for affiliate marketing and bloggers, and Infusionsoft for larger businesses.
When To Use Email Marketing
Whether you want to nurture leads, build brand awareness and customer loyalty, obtain prospects or generate sales, email marketing has a part to play – but using it at the right time is crucial.
Your first step should be to design your marketing campaign, and set a plan and budget; your next step is to build and test your website; then build your emailing list; and only then should your email marketing campaign be put into action.
Because email marketing results can be measured fairly quickly, it’s a great option for time-sensitive programs. It’s an easy and inexpensive process to test different aspects of your campaign on a segment of your list, so you can hone your creative elements and your product offering to generate the best possible results.
If you don’t have a list of your own you can often buy or rent one. Send a short, compelling message with a call to action first, and offer a white paper, demo or other incentive on your website. Capture basic information there, then use subsequent emails to keep in contact with prospects and customers.
TRON Media can help with all your email marketing requirements. TRON Media has a highly qualified team of trained specialists in email marketing, paid search marketing, PPC, Google Ads, organic SEO, content marketing, web design, digital strategy and social media, and can work with you to develop your ideas and build an email marketing strategy perfect for your business.
TRON Media is a leading email marketing agency in Brighton, offering the easiest and most cost-effective way to help you reach your audience. Get in touch today to find out about our latest email marketing services, pay per click services, SEO services, web design services, and what a email marketing agency can do for your business.
Read Our Previous Blog Post: How Is PPC Used In Digital Marketing?