“Nobody reads their email anymore.”
“Social media is the best way to reach potential clients.”
“There’s way too much email spam; it’s better to call people directly instead.”
While some of these statements may be true for some people, some of the time, I’ll tell you the truth about email marketing right up front.
The truth is, email marketing is still one of the most effective tools in your marketing toolkit. Email marketing is very much alive and well, because it works.
Here are four reasons why, if you haven’t already, you should really consider adding email marketing to your marketing toolbox:
Reason #1: Email marketing is inexpensive, and it has a high ROI (return on investment).
I’m getting into the numbers now, but here are the facts. On average, across all industries, every $1 dollar spent on email marketing brings in $40 in revenue. Email marketing allows companies to send out to hundreds or thousands of consumers for mere pennies per message. Wow.
Now most of the people I work with are probably not interested in sending out thousands of emails. Maybe you would have a list of a few dozen, a few hundred or a thousand.
Yet it’s easier, faster, cheaper, and more ecologically conscious to send out an email newsletter vs. a paper newsletter… and you don’t have to worry about running out of Avery 5160 mailing labels… or dealing with the printer ink, the label alignment, stamps, and all those headaches.
If that wasn’t enough, besides the low cost, there are other reasons email marketing is an important tool…
Reason #2: In comparison to other online platforms, you own your email list and are less affected by the changes and the whims of the big companies.
Social media is great. It’s awesome. But the powers that be— okay, I’m mainly talking about Facebook—keep tinkering with their “feed algorithms” so that what used to work, doesn’t work now. And what works now may not work in the future.
By “work” I mean: who gets to see your message.A few years ago, businesses with thousands of Facebook page fans saw that their posts stopped reaching most of their fans, literally overnight. Facebook changed how posts show up in the timeline feed. Now, in order to reliably reach your audience, you have to “pay to play” with Facebook ads. Facebook ads can be a great strategy for businesses, but it was a sudden, drastic change that left a lot of businesses scrambling.
Similarly, many small businesses have relied on being found through Google search. Again, a few years ago, Google made changes in the way search works, and these businesses got burned when their businesses stopped showing up in search overnight, and their source of new customers dried up.
When you have an email list, since you own your list, you are less vulnerable to these types of changes. You can continue to market to a targeted group of people who have expressed a level of interest in your product or service.
Reason #3: Customers and clients prefer email as a method of being reached over other methods.
When asked in a large-scale survey how they prefer to be contacted, email was chosen over other methods (postal mail, text, phone calls, social media) by 72% of respondents.
The second preferred way was postal mail, coming in at a little under 50%. And even though texting has risen as a method, even millienials prefer to be contacted through email.
Reason #4: If done correctly, email marketing is an effective way to create a sense of connection and relationship.
- If you provide value – such as useful tips and information, coupons, or specials, your contacts and clients will welcome your emails and not consider them spam. (I enjoy getting emails from Redbox – they’re always sending me coupons. My last movie was $0.27!)
- You can send out emails on a regular basis, such as a bi-monthly newsletter where you can stay top of mind.
- You can personalize and customize messages based on a customer or client’s interest or purchasing history.
Pretty compelling! But now what?
So how do you go about setting up email marketing? There are several programs out there, such as MailChimp, AWeber, Constant Contact, ConvertKit, Mad Mimi, and more. Currently, I use MailChimp as my email marketing provider. MailChimp is a solid, easy-to-use email marketing system for small businesses, and it’s free to get started, but depending on your needs you may want to use a different email system.
I will write more about how to go about setting up an email list in future posts. In the meantime, feel free to contact me if need some help getting your email marketing off the ground.