It is pretty simple, if you’re starting a new business, or currently running one – the only way to effectively and globally connect with your customers and reach your target audience is via email marketing.
And there is a perfectly good reason why this is such a truism. According to a hard-hitting statistical analysis posted by the Radicati Group, it was revealed that approximately 34% of the global population have and use email. That is 2.5 billion people! And not only that, 89% of Americans check their email at least once per day, according to research by Eleventy Marketing Group. Think about that for a moment!
So yea, email remains astonishingly popular and we believe it is here to stay. What’s more, this figure is expected to increase to 2.8 billion total email users in the coming couple of years. Email remains a vital tool for any business that wants to communicate with their current customers or reach potential customers.
3 Reasons Why Email Marketing is the Best Way to Communicate Online
If you still have doubts whether incorporating an email marketing campaign is good for your business or not – here are some fundamental factors why you would be compelled to change your mind:
1. Email is far more effective at customer engagement than social media alone
That isn’t to say that social media isn’t effective, no, social media platforms remain as the undisputed champions of business marketing in the modern business environment. Look at Facebook’s stock price if you don’t believe me! However, it is important to understand that social media is fantastic for streamlined interaction with your target audience.
Social media platforms are awesome when it comes to bonding and strengthening your relationship with your customers. And this is essentially why you would not survive without platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. So, make sure you have a presence on major social media platforms if you don’t already!
However, when you talk about fast customer conversion – turning customers into customers or members or donors, the only thing that is going to help you is a robust, precision-based and highly relevant email marketing operation.
2. Email Marketing Can Be Budget-Friendly and Highly Economical in the Long-Run
There is no question email marketing campaigns can be highly effective and highly cost-effective. This optimal marketing tool can enable business owners to connect with a massive number of potential customers at a rate of next-to-nothing per email.
This boasts immense opportunities for particularly small business organization or startups that do not have access to a large marketing budget. They can harness the power of email marketing, integrate it with their social media efforts and not have to rely on TV, print media, direct mail, radio or other antiquated marketing practices.
You would be surprised to know that more than 85% of retail businesses absolutely prefer email marketing to be the king of marketing when it comes to customer acquisition and retention.
Direct mail campaigns are extremely costly compared to email marketing – there are just so many factor involved, posting, delivery, etc. Adequately maintaining your email list will allow you to increase your cost benefits, which is going to positively impact your return on investment thanks to the strong bond and relationship you share with all the recipients.
3. Email Marketing is Action Oriented
If you think about it from a business perspective – the nature of email is highly transactional. Whether you realize it or not, people using email know what to do with them – for example, replying to an email, forwarding the message, sign-up, click-through and using it to buy a product.
You can leverage this transactional nature and you can effectively utilize your email marketing campaigns to direct all that traffic to your website, enhancing your sales and website conversions. This is something that can come in incredibly handy for startup businesses to gain results straight away!
Choosing the Best Email Marketing Platform
Email marketing platforms offer a slew of fantastic tools for startups and small and medium-sized businesses to kick start their email list growth and email campaigns. Moreover, there is absolutely no learning curve involved and you can seamlessly integrate the tools with your business objectives. In light of this, mentioned below are some of the major platforms that we recommend you look at when selecting the right email marketing platform for your business.
Founded in 1995, Constant Contact has been at the forefront of email marketing since the emergence of the email industry. It has features and tools that aptly fit small business and startup criteria. Business owners can utilize a diverse variety of email templates to generate lists and can edit image and text on the platform without breaking a sweat. It is designed with a zero learning curve.
You can generate branded emails as well as streamlined newsletter campaigns for all your supporters or subscribers. And if you talk about advanced usage, you can opt for HTML coded newsletter. The platform has also made it easy for business owners to host events using their registration tool.
When it comes to pricing, ease of use, automated emails, integrations, reporting and templates, Mailchimp takes the cake. You will be given access to an impressive variety of visually attractive and easy-to-customize email templates you can send out to your subscribers. The best part? It’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers!
Plus, you will also be able to easily track subscriber activity in terms of who opened the mail, checked and clicked through it, especially when it comes to specific emails. Mailchimp also enables you to harness an overview of whether or not your open rates are growing.
Campaigner is a solid platform with a robust range of features and pricing options. They’ve designed email marketing plans to fit small to large subscriber bases. You can send emails to up to 1,000 supporters or subscribers for $19 per month. Registering for the service is rather straightforward and the platform has consistently added a slew of features and options over the past couple of years.
Some of their more prominent features include A/B split testing, auto responders, workflow automation, social sharing, geolocation, buyer behavior analytics, etc.
Getting Started with your Email Marketing
When it comes to email marketing, you have to understand whose house you are in – and that is the customers’. As we all know, people are bombarded with sales pitches, ads, interruptions, etc. all day long. Sure, you may think your sales pitch is the best, but the customer may totally ignore it and move you to their junk folder. And that is because your email may look just the same as everyone else’s.
You have to understand that you need to be invited into someone’s mailbox, you can’t invade it. It is like if somebody were to call you over for dinner at their home – and if they ask you to take your coat or shoes off – you have no choice but to humbly comply.
The key to a successful email campaign is being on your finest behavior no matter what – at all times! In light of this, here is brief guide to how you can set get started with email marketing the right way:
Step 1 – Asking for Permission
There is no way you can start an email campaign without first asking for permission. It is foremost thing you should focus on. This is also called having your subscribers “opt in”.
There are numerous ways you can do that – for example, some businesses start by giving something for free while other organization offer a subscription or give news and updates.
Although it is difficult to put a finger on the best way – it is essential to understand that you should have a purpose before you go ahead ask your potential customer for his email address. And this is exactly where you need to develop a powerful call-to-action. Some of factors that you will need to address are:
- Are there any free offers you are going to send me?
- Is this spam?
- How frequently will you email me?
- What do I get in return if I give you may email?
This is where good copywriting comes into play.
Make Sure You Are Whitelisted
Although email platforms try their best to ensure your emails aren’t blocked by Internet service providers, it is impossible to control whether your email lands in the Spam Folder or the Inbox. That is essentially why you need to ensure you’re whitelisted – this way the chances that your emails are adequately delivered increase.
It is the equivalent to being marked as someone familiar – and the only sure-shot way of doing that is the have yourself added in the customer email address book. You can do that by subscribing for reputable email marketing platforms such as Mailchimp, Campaigner or Constant Contact.
Step 2 – Follow-Up and Auto Responders
Generating a successful email list is primarily about managing your subscribers’ expectations. Moreover, everything is on you when it comes to setting those expectations. For example, with a good follow-up routine and a strong CTA established – there is no way your email campaign will fail – but the reverse is also true.
If you promise you are going to send weekly emails but end up spamming your customer on a daily basis, you are setting yourself up for failure. Similarly, if your client expects you to send them emails on a daily basis and you don’t, you’ve failed to deliver.
That is precisely why following up with the first email is so critical to your campaign. You need to generate an auto responder as a way to introduce your subscribers to who you are and what you represent. And here is an opportunity to write a meaningful introduction instead of something short and salesy.
Look, while it is not ideal to completely ignore your mailing list, but as busy business owners we may sometimes unintentionally neglect this aspect of our business. And this is all the more reason you should resort to auto responders – they are a life saver!
With auto responders you can easily schedule automatic responses to be sent to your mailing list on a consistent and frequent basis spread over a certain period of time – 2 to 3 or several months.
The primary benefit of this tool, which all email platforms should provide, is the fact that you don’t have to worry about being out of touch with your email list when you’re planning to launch or announce a new product.
Step 3 – Email Analytics
This sounds technical, but it is really simple. All major email platforms offer a comprehensive and simple-to-understand analytics software to track your emails and customer behavior from them.
Although each and every aspect of email analytics is vital to your success, there are three you must focus on no matter what – and they are: 1. the CTR (click through rate), 2. Open Rate and 3. Unsubscribes.
The open rate will give you an idea as to how well you have bonded with your potential customers and how effective your subject lines are. If open rate starts plummeting it means that your customers may have started to ignore your emails, which is not a good sign.
A low CTR level indicates that your email message doesn’t have a strong call-to-action. To correct this, you should work hard on enhancing the content quality of your emails and being intentional about asking your subscribers to take an action, such as clicking on a link.
If people are unsubscribing to your mailing list faster than your opt-ins, you have a ton of work to do to gain all those lost customers. If you’re in this predicament, the best way to bounce back is to take prompt action as soon as you see unsubscribe rates start to rise.
So, there you go, a short guide on why email marketing will remain relevant forever, and what you can do to get started as soon as possible! Don’t wait. Every interaction you have with a customer is an opportunity to ask for their email address. A successful email marketing operation begins with your first subscriber.
89% of Americans check their email at least once per day