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The results are in and an old favorite that was largely written off by small business owners is the clear winner. If you want to reach your customers, put a lot of time and effort into e-mail marketing.
According to a recent study by McKinsey, reaching people through e-mail is 40 times more effective than Twitter and Facebook combined!
You read that right—40 times!
If you follow digital marketing trends you know that social media has mightily replaced e-mail as the most talked about means of reaching customers. Proponents tout the fact that you can target ads to certain demographics with unprecedented accuracy. Do you want to reach mothers with an upper middle class income that have a child who recently started driving? You can do that through social media advertising.
But what the proponents fail to mention is that you can’t get much more targeted than e-mail because everybody on your list (if it’s a list obtained legitimately), are people who gave you permission to market to them. They’re interested in what you have to say or they wouldn’t have signed up for your e-mail list.
There’s also the fact that checking e-mail is the first thing most of us do every day when we wake up. According to statistics, 91 percent of customers check their e-mail at least once per day. Considering there are more than 3.6 billion existing e-mail accounts, that’s a lot of people.
The stats get even better. More than 74 percent of customers prefer to receive marketing messages through e-mail and nearly half of e-mails are read on mobile devices. Finally, the average order value of an e-mail is 17 percent higher than social media.
Convinced yet? If you aren’t using e-mail as a marketing tool, you’re failing to tap in to the single best online vehicle your business could have for producing revenue.
The Glaring Problem
Of course, there’s a problem. You have to build your e-mail list. When digital marketing was in its infancy, business owners purchased e-mail lists much like they did a physical mailing list.
Although you could still do it today, you can’t do it legally. Anti-spam laws require that everybody on your e-mail list opt-in meaning that before they receive an e-mail from your company, they have to accept your invitation.
Even if you could buy a list legally, you won’t see good results. Popular e-mail marketing platform Survey Monkey compiled historical data from the days when purchased e-mail lists were popular. It found that open rates were terrible. In fact, it was so bad that people wouldn’t even open the e-mail to unsubscribe.
How to Build a List the Right Way
If you can’t purchase a list of leads, what can you do? You can double back to the often-talked-about advertising platform of the cool kids, Facebook.
Facebook has an ad type that helps you to drive traffic to your website. Would you pay a shiny dime (or less) for somebody to join your e-mail list? Statistics show that for every dollar spent on e-mail marketing, business owners will see a $41 return. A dime is pennies compared to the potential return you’ll see from your e-mail list.
This is where good targeting on Facebook comes into play. If your business caters to moms, it’s probably not worth your time or money to market to males. If you’re in the sporting goods business, target people who are interested in sports. Sound pretty simple? It is because Facebook makes it easy. Twitter has an advertising platform too. If you’re more comfortable with Twitter, give it a try.
But before you send them to your website, you need something to give them—for free. A report, an e-book, a coupon, or something else that people would find valuable in exchange for allowing you the privilege of sending them e-mail.
The Contents of the E-mail
Now that you have them on your list, the e-mail you send needs to be top-notch. Here are a few pointers.
1.) Make the Subject Epic- They won’t read your e-mail unless they’re hooked by your subject. Make it fantastic and try various headlines to see which one converts the best.
2.) Make it Personal- E-mail software allows you to use the person’s name in the e-mail. Using their name makes it personal—like the e-mail was sent directly to them. Conversions are higher when the e-mail is personal.
3.) Make it Social- Link back to your social media accounts. Just as you’re using social media to advertise your e-mail list, use your e-mail list to advertise your social media.
4.) Make it Mobile- If your customer can’t read your e-mail on their mobile device, expect your open rates to be lower than you wanted. More than half of your customers read their e-mail on a mobile device, remember?
5.) Make it Concise- Tell them why they will benefit from responding to your e-mail, support your claim, and ask for the sale. Don’t make it wordy.
Nobody is saying to abandon social media. Use e-mail and social media to support each other but don’t forget about e-mail.
It’s seen as the dinosaur of the digital marketing world but it’s in no danger of dying off. E-mail is here to stay and rightfully so. Your best results will come from your e-mail list. The studies prove it.
Create and manage email marketing, social campaigns, even events and surveys all from one easy-to-use account with Constant Contact. Try it free now.
Note: Business Know-How is a solution provider for Constant Contact and makes a commission on signups for Constant Contact through our link. We can also help you get set up if needed. Call us at 631-467-8883 for help with email marketing.
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