Why Email marketing can be your best marketing tool

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Published: 22nd November 2016
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If you are like me you've unknowingly signed up for a multitude of mailing lists. On a regular basis I find myself removing my inbox full of email ads promoting discounts and bargains. I hardly ever have a look at them and even when I do I rarely act. So why utilize email marketing?

Mainly because it works. Yes, it might seem like no one pays attention however the average click through rate for email campaigns is 3-5%. For every $1 invested in e-mail promoting the average return is $44.25. That's a 4,300% return on investment.

It's also inexpensive. There's no postage needed. Just develop a campaign and hit send. E-mail has another objective too. Product recognition. Many times people buy a particular brand not simply because they believe that it is superior but merely because they can recall the name. Keep in mind, the goal of marketing and advertising isn't necessarily about generating a sale right that instant. It's about burning your brand into a buyers memory so you are the first person they think of when they're in a position to buy something . Even if your e-mail goes straight to the trash you still reminded them of your existence. And sometimes you'll send along a promotion at just the ideal moment when they needed your products or services.

Building your email list

Choosing to implement an email marketing strategy is excellent but how do you grow an email list? Your website is an excellent place to get started. Make sure you have sign-up forms conveniently positioned on your site. Consumers visiting your website can sign up for notifications or be informed of promotions. As you obtain new customers be sure you collect their information when they make a purchase. If you incorporate ecommerce on your site make certain to include email registrations at checkout. A good number of businesses have a contact form for inquiries about a product or service. Once again it's a great opportunity to collect email addresses. Do you offer a downloadable report or white paper to customers? Require an email address in order to access it. You can also promote a contest or host live webinars which would require an e-mail signup. Trade exhibits and expos can also be excellent opportunities to accumulate customer info.

Newsletters

E-mail marketing isn't only about pushing an offer. It's also about staying engaged with your clients. All that amazing content you're developing is wonderful content for a newsletter. Provide useful information to your list and bring them to your site to view new content. Update people about what is happening with your organization. Are you taking part in charity work? Have you hired a new employee? Are you throwing a major function you want people to attend? Email is an excellent way to announce all of the exciting things you're doing.

Information powered email marketing

We live in a data driven world and data is a thousand times easier to collect than it was in the past. We now have insight into our customers along with their behaviors. You can collect information about age, gender, previous purchase behavior, geographical location, etc. All of this information allows you to segment your email lists and cater messages to a specific audience.

Just consider how Amazon uses data to suggest music, books, or products according to what the customer has purchased in the past. Yes, it may be a bit creepy how much they know about you but it also makes things easier for me as a shopper.

Take a professional photographer for example. Let's say they specialize in newborn and family photography. One of their objectives is to produce repeat business so they make an effort to collect relevant information from their mommy clientele with newborns. They pay attention to birthdays, how many kids are in the household, and even wedding anniversaries.

This information allows the photographer to generate promotions aimed towards specific clients. They may mail out deals for 3 month, 6 month and 1st birthday photo sessions. Even years later they may be able to solicit for senior pictures when graduation rolls around. As the photographer understands more about the spending patterns of their consumers they might send special deals to preferred clients.

If you collect birthdays you could send birthday greetings that let your clients know you are thinking of them. Data is one of the most useful tools organizations have available however it's only as valuable as the knowledge you derive from it and the actions you take with it.

Analyzing performance

It may be simple to send an email but it is considerably more challenging to optimize your time and efforts. If you're a novice to email marketing it will take some time to test and evaluate the effectiveness of certain strategies. Some things to consider are:

What time of day do you send emails?
What day of the week do you deliver emails?
How often do you send out promotions?
Which campaign messages perform better?
What subject lines perform better?
Where is the placement of pictures and text?
What fonts do you use?

Some of these things could seem insignificant but all of it matters. A number of studies have been done about eye tracking and in what way it relates to marketing and advertising. Imagine you design an email campaign with an image of somebody looking or pointing off to the right. When someone views that email their view may be naturally drawn in the direction of the individual in the photo. Are their eyes being drawn to the specific content you want them to see?

It's advisable to test variations of a promotion to find out which versions are more effective. Split your list up into thirds to see if various templates perform differently. If you have customers in several timezones send an offer out in waves so it coordinates with their schedule.

Mailchimp

Like everything else there are many different email marketing tools to choose from. I have a preference for Mailchimp. Right now it's the top application available and is effortlessly integrated into a good number of website builders.

It's free up to 2,000 emails and features a wide range of tools. Straightforward drag and drop templates, autoresponders, connectivity to social media, and in depth reports on performance make this the most effective tool in my opinion.

And finally, if you are interested in learning more about Online Marketing, please check out Experiment 2 at www.experiment2.com/educate-yourself.

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