First of all, let’s get some assumptions out of the way: Email is not expensive, not too technical, not dead and old fashioned (some of you are thinking: “What? Old-fashioned? Email is a tool I am just getting use to!” While others are thinking: “What was it like in the stone age before email?”)
Whatever you think about email marketing, the truth is that it can lead to higher lead conversions, increased sales and brand awareness for your small business. Because of this, I encourage you to focus on why email marketing is important to your internet marketing strategy and focus on what email is rather than what it is not.
What Email Marketing is:
Dare I say cheap? Well, maybe it isn’t “cheap” but is sure is a very low cost internet marketing channel to implement and it has a great return for your business. According to Direct Marketing Association’s response report, it remains the leader in return on investment. One comparison shows direct mail with a 7% ROI versus email marketing at 28.5%. That’s a huge difference whether you are a small business with a limited amount of resources or a large corporation with many internet marketing options to choose from. No wonder businesses should be using email strategically!
2. Simple and Quick
Think about how many emails you write in a day. How easy is it to do?! Most everyone can quickly write an email and hit ‘send.’ It doesn’t take a lot of your business’ resources or time to put together an email and send it off. You may already be doing more email marketing than you think.
3. Personal and Customizable
With email marketing, you can easily choose who receives it and who doesn’t - allowing you to target the population you want to be in front of - you know, the people who want to hear from you and want what you have to offer. You can also easily customize your emails to a segment of the population, to a buyer persona, or even for the current season of the year. You are not locked into one thing!
4. Relationship Focused
Email does not have to be SPAM - and it should never be! It can be used thoughtfully to build loyalty and trust in your brand. Email marketing is important for building relationships with prospects, leads, current customers, and even past customers because it gives you a chance to speak directly to them, in their inbox, at a time that is convenient for them. Be friendly and personable. You are not invading their space if you have chosen your message and your recipient wisely.
5. 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 ultimately drives sales. As you develop your small business internet marketing strategy as a whole, using email will allow you to see results and that is a great reason why email marketing is important.
When you choose to use an email service, one of the benefits is the tracking ability you gain. There are many measurable actions you can track such as bounce rates, delivery rates, open rates, click through rates, and unsubscribe rates. You can easily get a picture of how your email campaigns are performing, make adjustments and improve your effectiveness. Email marketing metrics are important to remember as you monitor and measure your internet marketing strategy as a whole.
7. More popular than Social Media
Some people think that with the growing popularity of social media platforms, email may be pushed to the side, but if you think about it almost every social media account requires an email to be set-up. Hmmm…that’s a lot of emails! Last year The Huffington Post reported that worldwide 85% of people online send and receive emails and 62% communicate through social media. So if you are not using email as part of your internet marketing strategy, you are missing out on a channel that a majority of the world uses!
8. Mobile and Global
Just as email is at the core of social media, email has also gone mobile. According to IDC’s study just released last month, email is the most popular activity on smart phones and mobile devices with 78% of 18-44 year olds using their devices for email, 73% for web browsing and 70% for Facebook. We are taking our email with us everywhere we go! And with the internet accessible all over the world, email marketing can have a global reach.
To get these benefits—get started!
If I can do it, you can! Start with a few simple steps and find out why email marketing is important in your small business internet marketing strategy. Get out your list of people who want to hear from you (keep in mind that you don’t want to be a spammer!),use an email service that works, write a crafty email message that is friendly and helpful, and hit SEND!