To make consistent sales, all businesses need to communicate with customers and potential customers. Email marketing is a cost-effective way to do this.
It could include sending promotional messages to attract new customers or engage existing customers, responding to customers’ requests and queries, educating customers about your product range, or promoting special events.
Email marketing is popular because it is relatively cheap, easy to manage and can reach a huge number of people.
To be successful your email communication must be persuasive and interesting. Email marketing can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand you have access to a large number of people, but on the other hand your message is competing with many other types of messages – work communications, personal communications and other marketing emails. To win the attention of your reader your email must stand out.
Stand Out by Using Market Research to Create Compelling Content
To stand out you need to know what your existing and potential customers will be attracted to. What will make them stop and read your message in the middle of their busy day?
What type of message in the subject line will grab their attention?
What about the body of the message – should you use images, links to video content or plain text?
The answers to these questions lie in market research. Any email marketing campaign should be based on solid market research. If you have a number of customer groups you should tailor the content and regularity of marketing emails to the needs of the different types of receiver.
Be careful not to send a badly-worded email or one featuring useless content. If a person is not compelled by your email or is put off by the quality of content, they will either unsubscribe or stop opening your emails.
Email marketing is an opportunity to cheaply acquire new customers and new sales – make the most of it by responding to your customers’ real needs with well-crafted and relevant content.
Building your Mailing List
Of course, before you can start email marketing you will first need to have the email addresses of some people in your target audience. Therefore you need to implement one or more means by which you can collect email addresses effectively. There are a number of ways to do this, including:
- Point of Sale
If you have a bricks and mortar store consider collecting emails at the point of sale – ask people to sign up for your email newsletter for deals, news and special offers.
- Online signup
Similarly if you have an online presence make sure that the option to sign up for your email newsletter is displayed prominently throughout your website including at point of sale.
The amount of time you invest into email marketing depends upon the size of the emailing list and the frequency and quality of emails. This may be carried out just by one employee or, in case of larger companies, there may be a whole team working on email marketing.
Financially, email is an effective marketing technique. The entry level tools you will need to get started are very low-cost.
You may need to invest $25 or less per month to get these starter tools. Check out MailChimp which will automate your email campaigns and is an excellent option for those just starting out. If you decide to intensify your email marketing campaigns there are numerous other options for whatever level your business is at.
Email marketing is a cost-effective means to reach a large number of people. It should be carried out as part of a coordinated marketing and business strategy.
The keys to making it work for your business are market research, excellent and relevant content, and consistency. Once you have a growing email list and some good ideas for content, take the next step by A/B testing your email marketing to improve your results.