The first-ever email was sent in 1971. Shouldn’t your business ditch this ancient technology for new channels like search marketing and social media marketing?
That guy Mark Zuckerberg is doing pretty well. That means all your advertising should be on Facebook, right?
If you’re crazy, then yes. Otherwise, read on. I’ll convince you why you needed to do email marketing a long time ago and that the strategy should still be a cornerstone of your digital sales outreach.
You definitely need a multi-channel marketing strategy. Where to invest your advertising dollars really depends on your business. But regardless, you need to take email seriously.
Social media marketing is great for increasing awareness of your business. Search marketing is great for directing qualified leads to your site.
Email marketing is your direct communication channel to customers who have opted in to have you sell them things.
That’s right. Customers on your mailing list want you to reach out and try to sell them your products or services. Otherwise, they won’t be on your mailing list for long.
Maybe that’s why 72% of people prefer to receive business communication by email. This is about 4x more people than those who prefer social media.
Or if you prefer to talk cash, consider that you can expect a return of $38 for every $1 you spend on email marketing.
With these stats in mind, let’s review some of the reasons you’re crazy if you aren’t email marketing.
Why You Need To Use Email Marketing
Your customers are literally asking for it
With email marketing, customers have given you explicit permission to send them marketing communications. This is not the case with most other forms of marketing, especially social media.
When customers opt-in to your marketing communications, that’s called permission-based marketing. And email is the preferred form of permission-based marketing for 77% of consumers (and only 4% of consumers preferred Facebook).
It’s great to promote brand awareness on Facebook and other forms of “wide-reach” marketing, but these strategies will require many more touch points before you ever make a sale.
Permission-based marketing is superior for conversions—in other words, you’re more likely to get customers to take whatever action you’re asking of them (for instance, buy this product, get a quote, schedule a consultation).
Keep this important point in mind when evaluating email’s overall role in your marketing strategy. Email could just be the “closer” you need!
Your customers won’t be distracted by pictures of puppies in their news feeds
Generally, people don’t head to Facebook to hear from companies. They open the site to creep on their friends or engage in endless (and pointless) debates about nothing.
Seriously though—when you get your rare moment in front of customers in their news feeds, they probably didn’t want to hear from you. It’s easy to scroll past you, ignore your content entirely, and proceed to pictures of cute puppies.
Unless you’re a dog groomer, your post probably didn’t have any puppies in it. And I’m not telling you the secret to success on Facebook is puppies on every post.
By the way, not wanting to hear from you even applies to “fun” companies like bars and restaurants. Customers may be far more likely to be interested in your specials than most other businesses on Facebook, but you’re still going to need amazing content to grab their attention during their news feed scrolling.
And if your product is “boring,” forget about it. Unless you run a highly targeted ad, you’re going to have to be some kind of wizard to get much value or engagement out of Facebook.
The secret to success on Facebook? Use it as just one component of your overall digital marketing strategy. What else should you use? Email!
Whether you’re a restaurant, accountant, dentist, event planner, or anything really, connecting with your customers via email is never a bad idea. Email shouldn’t be your sole digital marketing strategy, but it should be a really important part.
Your customers also won’t be distracted by your competitors as much as on Facebook or Google
Let’s say I’m looking to buy a new Mazda and I want to find dealerships near me. Here’s what comes up on Google in Cincinnati:
I could have posted a taller screenshot, but I didn’t want to annoy you. Spoiler: the whole page is covered in different dealerships.
Guess what dealership is going to be advertised in your email outreach? Yours, and yours alone! Unless you’re making the strange decision to help your competitors out, in which case, please reach out to me as I’d be really curious to learn what’s going on.
Sending consistent emails to your customers is a great way to build loyalty, remind them of your business, and maintain a direct line of communication to them without the constant noise on every other platform.
Email marketing has the highest conversion rate of any digital marketing method
Each email you send is more effective in terms of conversions than each ad impression on other platforms, as I mentioned before.
A survey of the marketing channels preferred for high-value lead generation indicates email marketing beats out the thirteen other options, with 57% of respondents preferring the method.
Can it be? Email marketing preferred over the holy grail of SEO? Social media? Even conferences and tradeshows? (If you’re in sales, don’t show this post to your boss who approves your travel expenses.)
It’s really not that surprising that customers who opted in to receive email marketing communications from you are the most likely to respond positively to the outreach.
Again, you still need to use other methods like social media to promote engagement and increase overall brand awareness.
But in terms of cold hard conversions—selling your product or putting yourself in a position to do so—email remains king. Don’t disregard this vital component of your sales strategy.
Drive customer retention with email marketing
There are all kinds of ways you can use email marketing to drive customer retention.
Put an email capture pop-up on your website so you can email future posts to visitors.
Collect customer email addresses at your point-of-sale (online or in person) and ask if you can add them to your mailing list.
Offer your mailing list valuable perks, like coupons, discounts, and other promotions.
I could keep going. Maybe I will someday in another post!
There are customers who may open every email you send but would never follow you on Facebook. Or they scroll right past your posts to get to the puppies.
Facebook’s ultra-intelligent algorithm knows they scroll past you and will eventually stop showing your posts to them altogether.
Email isn’t quite as judgmental. As long as the customer doesn’t unsubscribe and you don’t get flagged as spam, your emails will always get through. (Use a legitimate email marketing platform like MailChimp to avoid getting flagged as spam.)
Repeat business is the best business. So keep customers coming back by staying in touch with them via email marketing.
You can integrate email with your other marketing channels
Let’s talk about your sales funnel: your multi-channel sales strategy to hook customers, build trust, make sales, then make repeat sales.
Each channel should have a different role in your sales funnel. You might use Facebook advertisements to direct new customers to your website, which has an email capture popup to add them to your mailing list.
Or you might send emails about your blog posts, which include plugs about your services and buttons to schedule product demos.
There are unlimited ways you can combine methods into a cohesive sales strategy. But email deserves a spot—it could just be the glue that holds it all together. Remember, it’s your most reliable method of staying in touch with customers over time.
The best businesses use multiple channels and integrate them together. Email isn’t as powerful without a strong website and social media profiles. Your website and social media aren’t as powerful without email. Achieve marketing zen by tying it all together!
In a simplistic example, let’s say you spend three hours per week maintaining your Facebook and Instagram pages, and you don’t have any more time to spend. You could be better off spending one hour per week on Facebook and Instagram, 90 minutes per week on your website (writing an article), and 30 minutes per week on email marketing.
The same three hours of effort could lead to three times the results.
As a small business owner whose time is valuable and limited, efficiency is worth a ton to you. And I’m here to tell you email marketing is one of the most efficient marketing channels you can use.
Grow your email list automatically using your website
This is the coolest part about email marketing—you don’t ever need to manually add an email address if you don’t want to!
You should already be using an email marketing platform like MailChimp or Constant Contact. You can add plug-ins to your website to collect visitors’ email addresses and automatically add them to your mailing list.
You’ve seen it a million times. Here’s what pops up when I’m about to navigate away from a Hubspot article:
So if you use content marketing, you’re now doubling the impact of your effort—driving visitors to your site and also building your email list, which can be used to drive the visitors back to your site again and again.
This ties in with your social media posts too. You can run an advertisement with a link to a landing page on your website that collects email addresses. When these are automatically added to your email marketing account, you can keep track of where you got the email address so you can send segmented communications later.
Be a real pro and use segmentation
Since segmented emails are responsible for 58% of all email marketing revenue and 83% of companies use basic segmentation, you should take advantage of this sweet benefit.
Any reputable email marketing platform is going to have built-in segmentation features to make it easy to get started.
As I just mentioned, you can keep track of the source of each email address and use that information to target your messages to them. If a customer subscribed after buying one of your products, you should send different emails than to customers who have never bought anything.
Likewise, you can send different emails based on which landing page the customer used to sign up for your newsletter.
Segmentation can get pretty complicated, but even if you’re just using the simplest, most basic functionality, I can almost promise you’ll boost your bottom line.
Personalize your emails
Finally, you can personalize emails to each customer far more than you can with social media posts. You can use whatever information you have about the customer to tailor the communication just to them.
Amazon frequently sends product recommendations based on past purchase history. Or if I look at a particular item and never make a purchase, I’ll get an email the next day about similar items.
You might not have the budget to achieve this level of sophistication, but you can do something! Capturing customer names and using them in your emails is a great start. It’ll make the customers feel much more like you’re talking to them rather than just receiving a generic robot email.
If you’re just getting started, keep it simple and add to it over time! Again, you’ll still be miles ahead.
Ready To Use Email Marketing?
Hopefully I’ve sold you on the benefits of email marketing. If you’re ready to get started, check out MailChimp, Constant Contact, ConvertKit, and other top platforms and find out what works best for you.
Email marketing really is a must for a solid online presence, so don’t miss out on its sweet benefits. If you feel it’s too complicated or too much to keep up with, hire a company (hey there!) to do it for you. The money you pay your digital media agency for email marketing will come with a far higher ROI.
And as always, if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch. We’re always happy to help!