I can only imagine that near enough every online business today is using email marketing as part of their online marketing strategy, if you’re reading this and it is not then make it one of your New Year’s resolutions sharply. The power of the email is grower stronger and stronger due to a number of reasons, including its power, flexibility and cost-effectiveness. dancesmoney Despite the continuing growth in the use of social media platforms in marketing, the good old trusted email has remained a favoured form of communication and marketing between customers and businesses alike. Looking at recent trends from 2013 and predictions for the upcoming year, it would seem that email marketing is only set to become even more valuable to us as businesses and marketers.
The problem with email marketing is that although we know it has many an advantage to offer, sometimes reaping those benefits and increasing our ROI is difficult. As the world and face of global communication is changing, we are repeatedly finding ourselves hitting walls. There are so many factors to take into consideration when embarking on our email marketing campaigns such as the type of list we will use, we should all know by now that an opt-in list is much more preferable than a list we have bought. There is no point communicating with users who do not know us, or maybe don’t even want to know us. Then we have to find our email service provider, which can also be a tricky process if we do not know how. We want to be sure throughout that our emails will be opened not spammed. This is one of the biggest issues we will have as an email marketer; not getting spammed and of course being opened. Now, getting our emails into the inbox then means we have to pass the next hurdle of getting our mail opened. Our open rates often depend on our subject line, so of course we have to test, cross-check and do all sorts of preparation before we send our emails out to our audience. So, we’ve been opened, now we want our customers to click-through and hopefully buy from us. But if we are not careful here, if we don’t use the right coding, images or text, we may go full circle and actually get spammed.
… Are Outweighed By the Benefits
The whole process of email marketing can be a little bit of a headache, with every step we take having to be carefully planned out and tested, it can even sometimes feel like it’s not worth the effort. The thing is, when you feel like that there is probably something you’ve missed on the way. As I mentioned earlier, with so many steps and processes to follow, there is probably something you just didn’t realise would pose a problem. Nowadays with a huge rise in users accessing the internet (and increasingly their emails!) via their mobile phone it is becoming more and more difficult for us email marketers to find the right designs, templates and coding to fit all our user’s needs. But, when you get it right (and you will!) email marketing is much easier than other forms of online marketing. Now that might sound like a contradiction so let’s think of an example, maybe a complicated recipe, in the beginning not even the dog will eat your first attempt but after a few tries you will get it right and the more you do it, the easier it gets. Social media can be just as complicated and actually requires a lot more input, a lot more regularly. Let’s take a look at why, on the whole, email marketing is in essence the most effective form of online marketing:
· No time restrictions – You can send email anytime, any day from anywhere. It doesn’t matter when you send it; you are not restricted by the time margins like social media of when commuters are on the train on the way to work or on their lunch break.
· Most effective way to increase ROI – Email marketing greatly reduces advertising costs and at the same time can work to truly increase ROI. As emails are very cheap to send and are often the most preferred form of communication method with businesses by most users, chances are you could really increase sales at very little cost.
· Monitoring – Monitoring the results of an email campaign is much easier and in depth than monitoring the effectiveness of a social media campaign. You can even see who, where and when your mail was opened, unlike social media where you will just get a total sum. Monitoring your emails allows you to find out your strengths and weaknesses and where you need to improve or focus on more. Where this may take time, it will lead to better results in the future allowing you to even use these results in other parts of your online marketing strategy leading to all round growth.
· All it takes is one click – Unlike other forms of online marketing where you may put out an advert and have to wait for it to catch on and hopefully go viral, through email you can literally pin point specific users. Email affords you the ability to communicate directly with those who (on most occasions) actually want to hear from you, just send and wait.
So there you have it, email marketing allows you to be more specific, on target and personal. We all know that the future of our online business is meeting our customers’ demands and needs, without offering them something and connecting with them, we will simply get lost in the crowd. Although email marketing can be a long process, the end result will be the ability to monitor what your customers truly respond to; therefore you will start to be able to segment them through understanding their different wants and needs and even use this data to target your other online marketing strategies. Email marketing can boost your business and ROI in ways you have never dreamt of, it just takes determination and patience.