This may be the nerdiest thing that I do but I love signing up for things on websites and giving companies my email address. I get a little shot of dopamine anticipating which type of email follow up and nurture streams I get put in. If I give you my email address and nothing happens, I am very disappointed and it happens all the time. Companies that don’t leverage email marketing are missing out big time.
Benefits of Email Marketing
Email is still the king of digital marketing channels in terms of ROI. In fact, people are twice as likely to sign up for your email list as they are to interact with you on Facebook. There are a plethora of reasons you should be investing in email marketing.
You Own Your Contacts
One thing we have learned over the year is that you should be in control of your own audience. Too many marketers have invested time and resources heavily into social, only to see organic reach decline year after year. As marketers, we can’t rely on the algorithms of social media sites to reach our audience.
When you use email marketing, you control what messages your contacts see and how often. You can also segment and customize each message for each recipient – trying doing that on social media. Segmenting your list can improve click through rates by 100% compared to non segmented emails
You also have the ability to learn what your audience is most interested in. Is it content? Is it product? How do open rates and click through rates change based on content? What is the best time to reach your audience? Maybe they’re interested in something else than what they are currently buying. You can learn so much about your customers through email sends.
You Own the Space
Unlike social where your content appears in the middle of stories about what their friends are doing, you own the space in email. When they open your email, you control what they see and all focus is on your brand.
Tools of the Trade
You can get started for free with sites like Mailchimp which allows you to have up to 2,000 subscribers and send 12,000 emails per month. I use Mailchimp for my emails and it’s drag and drop editing makes it easy to use. This gives you a great way to start building your lists.
As you grow you can always use a paid version of Mailchimp or if you really want to take your marketing to the next level, a marketing automation solution. Marketing automation platforms like Marketo allow you to send emails based on someone’s online activity to help reach them at the right time.
Things to Keep in Mind
It is the temptation of many marketing departments to buy a list of email addresses. Don’t do it. It’s illegal, ineffective, and it gives email marketers a bad name. There are plenty of legitimate ways to grow your email lists.
Make Unsubscribing Easy
Related to the item above, make unsubscribing easy. Every marketing email requires that you have an unsubscribe link. Don’t try to hide it. Unsubscribes provide valuable feedback on how your emails are being received or if you are emailing too much.
Email marketing allows you to test messages, subject lines, send times and more. Use this opportunity to learn which messages resonate the best with your contacts and use across your marketing initiatives.
Clean Your Data
By now you know how important segmenting and personalization is but this also requires clean and updated data. This can be a big task but is worth the time and energy. First name, last name, company, and title are the most important but can also vary depending on how your database fields are structured.
Building a Movement
If you are trying to build a movement of any kind, you should be using email marketing. That goes for b2c, b2b, nonprofit, government, schools, and people with personal brands. If you want to share the cool ways you can help your customers, donors, jobseekers, volunteers, prospects, and students, you should be using email marketing. It’s time to take control of your messaging and your contacts.