When the Internet was first introduced, everyone loved emails. We were all proud to have an email address and would go to the Internet cafe to check our inbox even when we knew it would be empty. I remember refreshing my mail every minute with the hopes of seeing an email yet not knowing where it would be coming from.
Then people started falling victims to scam schemes and lotto scams via their emails. This led to a lot of people losing faith in emails hence treating all as scams. Despite the view that emails are old-fashioned, they are still an effective way of connecting with target customers. Marketers have been using the medium of email marketing for ages despite its challenges and misconceptions.
Email marketing is a form of direct marketing that uses electronic mail as a means of communicating commercial messages to a particular audience. Every email communication is considered email marketing if it seeks to build customer loyalty or trust in a product or brand.
There are many ways one can interact with customers. This could be via social media, face to face, phone calls or other channels. But then, ignoring email marketing won’t be the best decision for a company. This is because if your business isn’t building a database of customer emails, you may be setting your business up for digital failure in the near future.
Email marketing misconceptions
Over the years, many people have had different misconceptions about email marketing. I am very happy to tell you that they are misconceptions, not the real truth about email marketing. These misconceptions have been clarified by great email marketers hence making the scheme more credible. Examples of such misconceptions include:
- People believe that email marketing means Spam
This is because some marketers send endless emails though the customers do not want to hear from them. As a result, some customers also treated such emails as spam.
- They believe that email marketing is archaic or old school
Emails have been around for a long time; hence people still wonder if they are valuable in these modern times. They, therefore, treat emails as a thing of the past or old school
- The bigger your email list, the better
It is better off sending emails to a small number of recipients with high engagement. Rather than sending to a tall list of recipients who want nothing to do with your brand. It is recommended that you clean your list often and rid it of any invalid email addresses.
- Adding more images to an email is more enticing.
Always remember that it’s an email, not a photo album you are sending. Getting the message across should be the priority before thinking of looking cool. A few crisp, well-placed images can do wonders to promote an email from good to great, but you have to deliver on the purpose of your email first. Marketers are often tempted to go big on visuals, but forget that; they increase the risk of emails being classified as spam.
- Getting into the inbox of the customer is the end of the email marketing game
Yes, it’s true that getting into the inbox is important. But what’s the essence if your email isn’t opened. With the number of potential problems with delivery problems, clicks, unsubscribes and spam reports, there are some factors that determine the strength of your email in one’s inbox. Good email deliverability comes from knowing how to send the right message to the right person, at the right time, with the right frequency.
Importance of email marketing
Still thinking email marketing is not good for your company? Let us give you concrete reasons why you should not be ignoring the email marketing channel of your business.
- Email marketing is economic and cost-effective
Did I say cheap? Well maybe it’s not cheap but surely it is a very low-cost Internet marketing channel to implement in your business. This is a better choice for small businesses than traditional marketing platforms such as Television or radio. Traditional marketing can take up a lot of costs. With emails, you get to create the same imagery with the added benefit of having follow-up information available with one click to your website.
- Email marketing is measurable.
When it comes to email marketing, there is nothing like guessing. Email marketing software helps you keep track of customers who opened your email. It also tells you which links they clicked, and how many people unsubscribed etc.
You have a clear idea of how your email marketing is going. And then make adjustments and improve upon it. These metrics are important to help you track and measure your digital marketing as a whole.
- Email marketing is personal and targeted
With email marketing, you can put your audience into lists. Each list has a tailored email that is of relevance to them and can provide them with something of value. When you write a post on your social media platform, you address all your audience as a whole. It helps you address people by name and send them particular messages right into their inbox.
- Email marketing helps improve customer relations
Email marketing helps build loyalty and trust in your brand. It is important in building relationships with prospects, leads, current and even past customers. This is because it gives you the chance to interact directly with them in their inbox and at their own convenience.
- Email marketing is action oriented
Whether they realize it or not, email recipients have been trained well to do something with an email – reply, forward, click-through, sign-up, or buy. Think about it! Email has become transactional in nature and you can use it to direct traffic to your website and drive sales. As you develop your small business digital marketing strategy as a whole, using email will allow you to see results.
- Helps you stay relevant to your target audience
Emails give your target customers the information they want because more often than not, they subscribed to it. This helps you to stay relevant, as your target audience is receiving the information they are actually interested in.
- Increases chances of audience loyalty
Imagine you had an audience that actually looked forward to receiving your emails. This boosts their chances of reading your emails and in turn, you get more referrals. What does this mean for your business?
Sometimes it’s not all about the numbers. It’s equally important to have a group of loyal customers for whom you can improve the quality of your service to and communication with them. Email marketing makes this possible.
Here are a few ways by which you can improve your email marketing:
- Learn from your competitors
To stay relevant and get fresh ideas, you need to be aware of what your competitors are doing. How catchy are their headlines? What inspiration can you get from them?
- Test the waters
A catchy headline will give your customer the push they need to go ahead and open that mail. How would you know what your customers are looking out for? You could play around with samples to see which ones generate more clicks.
Your audience may prefer one headline to the other, and that will help you tailor your emails to their preference. This will help generate more leads and also help you know what exactly catches your audience’s attention.
- Create email lists, to help you attend to them on a more personal tone
To have a successful email marketing campaign, you need to build an email list. Segmenting your lists will help you to identify “who is what”, and will help you respond to them. For example, identifying those who often respond to your emails by making a purchase will help you tailor more specific emails for them that will make them feel even more valued. Or you could even identify those who hardly open your emails and find interesting ways to get their attention.
- Improve your content
Newsflash…your emails are not the only ones your target audience is receiving. So what makes you stand out? As a business owner, you need to keep your emails fresh and straight-to-the-point. This sustains interest and encourages your audience to click on the relevant links.
No matter your industry and the type of email you send out, what counts is the value! Here are types of emails your business should send on a regular basis:
- Transactional email
- Welcome email
- Promotional email
- Milestone email
- Newsletter email
- Product advice email
- Educational email
- Testimonial email
- Survey email
In conclusion, the use of emails to build a close relationship with potential customers isn’t dead. It’s still an effective marketing strategy to grow your business. What do you think of email marketing, and have you had any experiences? We’ll be glad to hear from you! Check out our ebook on email marketing for more information on how e-mail marketing could be the magic wand you need!
>>>SideKick Social Media is a full service digital marketing agency that help brands build close relationships with their customers in real time. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
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