No, you’re not imagining things…yes, you read that correctly. According to the Direct Marketing Association Statistical Fact Book, email marketing has a HUGE return on investment (a whopping 4300%) and is considered the most effective of digital marketing tactics according to Ascend 2 and Research Partners.
So the burning question is, is email marketing part of your overall marketing strategy? Did
you do it ‘before’ and stop? Whatever your situation, if you’re not taking advantage of email marketing, you need to start…NOW! Email marketing doesn’t have to be super long and detailed, it just needs to showcase your latest news, offers, etc. – a snapshot of what’s been happening in your business recently. And, the great thing is that you can share the content you’re already creating for your social media sites (and vice versa) to maximize reach and conversion, all the while maintaining the same look and feel, promoting brand recognition.
One of the most common questions is…how often should I send out newsletters? You can do weekly, monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly…they’re the most common options. It’s really up to you and depends on how much you have going on with your business so that each time you send something out it’s fresh, relevant information. Remember, the most important factor here is continuity. If you send it monthly, do it once, every month.
Building Your Email List
One of the most important factors for email marketing is having an email database. If you’re just starting out, create your list from existing clients, colleagues, family and friends and ask them to share your newsletters with their circles. You can also run promotions on your social media platforms and provide engaging content on your website, requiring email sign-up, to capture names to continue building your list. An example of this is to sign up for this page’s email newsletter by clicking here.
What Content To Use
Simply put, content is key. As previously mentioned, you need to make sure it’s fresh and relevant. What news has come up about your business? Do you have a new product or offering coming soon? Are there some great pictures of customers/employees that you can share? What about answering some popular questions about your business or products that clients have asked? There are a ton of ideas that can fill a newsletter pretty quickly…you just need to take some time and creativity (and sometimes think outside the box) to do it! And don’t forget, people love pictures and graphics…and of all things, cats and dogs. Find out some way to incorporate those every once in a while and your opening/click-through rates will soar!
Your best bet is to sign up with an online email marketing company. They are relatively inexpensive and offer a whole host of services, including pretty comprehensive reporting features, to make the minimal monthly payment well worth it. In addition they are very user friendly, even for first-timers. Check out the latest reviews here and here to see which one is the best fit for you and your business.
Don’t Have Time?
It’s all well and good to put the plan together and set it in motion, but what if you don’t have the time it takes to curate content, write the articles, etc.? What if it’s easy for you to hit that creative block every time you need to create a new promotion, newsletter, etc.? Or, you’re simply to busy with business? Be smart and hire someone who’s good at doing it! You’re best bet, depending on your budget, is to hire a consultant or freelancer, that way you’re not beholden to paying someone for more hours than actual work needed. Plus, now you’ve got an expert on your team; someone who is on your side and in the right mind-set to create and maintain continuity and brand recognition for you. Someone who is passionate with a purpose and willing to go that extra mile just for you. And, rather than finding online companies that tend to charge quite a bit of money for these marketing services, a consultant/ freelancer is usually more reasonable when it comes to their fee structures and they take the time to get to know you, your business and what your specific needs are. It’s well worth the effort to find someone who does this as their business…not only are you supporting another small business like yourself, you’re saving time, money and hassle in the process.
Email marketing is a personal way to create and maintain relationships with your customers, new and old. It doesn’t matter who you are or what your business is; everyone should be optimizing their email marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy…it’s inexpensive, easy and has a monumental ROI. And don’t forget, there are always good folks out there to help when you don’t have the inclination or time to do it yourself!