To provide you with great ways to market your business in the most effective way possible, over the next few weeks, I will be delving into various digital strategies and highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of each.
I'll kick off this weeks discussion with one of my personal favourite forms of marketing - email marketing.
Email marketing is a commercial channel used to deliver advertisements, offers, education and other marketing material into an interested users inbox.
It is difficult to find a better, more cost-effective method of ways to send specific and targeted messages to your audience than the humble email. Email marketing delivers a significant return on investment for businesses, given its cost is almost zero.
Advantages of Email Marketing
Excellent return on investment - With a virtually cost-free form of marketing, any sale or lead arising from an email campaign should be considered a substantial gain.
Highly measurable - "what can be measured can be improved" (Drucker), and a good email service provider (ESP) can provide accurate data on who opened the email, how many times they opened it and if they clicked on the call to action.
Constant and easy form of contact - As (almost) everyone has access to email, it is the easiest way to regularly update clients on new offers, launch new products or services or provide them with other useful information.
Can be done from anywhere at any time - you can schedule to send an email campaign at a particular time - all you need is internet access. Why not launch your next promotion while you sit on a beach in the Bahamas.
Disadvantages of Email Marketing
Can seem pushy or spammy - if your content is educational and relevant and you genuinely believe the recipient would benefit from what you are telling them, with their permission, you are free to share your knowledge with them. Spam filters will detect malicious content and poor quality emails, so your goal is to provide quality and provide your readers with an "unsubscribe" option which you are bound to comply with.
Can be hard to break through the noise of other emails - we are all inundated daily with information, but again, with carefully crafted, well-written quality content, you can send, test and adjust email campaigns to improve on the metrics each time (see advantages of Email Marketing).
Difficult to produce regular useful content - this can seem daunting and overwhelming to business owners, and some people are simply not comfortable writing or are too busy to set aside the time each week to create new and exciting articles - that's where it helps to partner up with someone who can provide content creation can assist.
Types of email marketing
There are many ways that email can be used to contact your prospects or existing clients. Here are a few examples;
The Welcome email - when a new customer enquires about your product or service or has made their first purchase, you could send them an email welcoming them or a thank you letter for choosing your business.
A recurring Newsletter - this is a great way to remind your customers you exist and positions you as an expert in your field, so long as the content is useful and informative. Click here for more information on newsletters.
Seasonal Promotional Offers - as the seasons change, so do your clients needs and not just the apparent Summer, Winter Autumn and Spring seasons. Think Christmas, Easter, Holidays, Cup and Show week or any upcoming events you may be a part of to reach out and connect with your clients.
Social Media notices - this is an excellent way to create a community within your customer group and cross-promote other online activities. For example, a Landscaper might showcase their work on Instagram and notify their clients to take a look via a link sent in an email. Multiple touchpoints with clients over numerous platforms builds trust and credibility.
These are just a few examples of how you can stay relevant and in touch with your clients. See how creative you can be, but the most important thing is to keep it regular and be consistent with your contact.
So there you have it. I believe all of the disadvantages can be overcome, and the positives far outweigh the negatives of low-cost, high reward email marketing. That is why it is my favourite form of lead generation for small business.
Look out for the next feature marketing strategy, due to land in the next few weeks and keep an eye out for our new email newsletter writing service being launched soon.
In the meantime, please feel free to comment, ask questions or drop me a line - firstname.lastname@example.org.