Saturday, July 26, 2014

Email Marketing Best Practices: Is It Worth It?

Once in a while you’ll hear that email marketing is dead, but that’s simply untrue.
In reality, it’s one of the most cost-efficient marketing platforms out there, and it gets results.
“Email has an ability many channels don’t: creating valuable, personal touches – at scale.” -David Newman

Many marketing tactics force us to appeal to the greatest number of people. We create a huge advertising net to reel in everyone and anyone.

For instance, when you take out an ad in your local newspaper, you’re targeting anyone who is reading that paper including: men, women, teens, and grandparents.

It’s an expensive approach that doesn’t even bring you a strong return on your investment.
And as a small business owner on a shoestring budget, you can’t fool around with your marketing budget.

However, with email marketing, you know exactly who you are targeting.
Rather than engaging in broad and generic marketing, you need to zero in on your best prospects and give them exactly what they want.

So, what is email marketing?

Email marketing starts with an email list – a list of prospects and customers who have signed up to receive messages from your small business.

Once they have voluntarily agreed to receive emails, you can send them educational, engaging, and entertainingemails.

And, voila! That’s email marketing.

Does email marketing really work?

The answer is a resounding YES!

Email marketing has an incredibly high return rate. In fact, research suggests that for every dollar you invest in email marketing, you’ll see about a $44.25 return.

In addition, approximately 82% of consumers open emails from the companies that they signed up to receive emails from.

And, 7 in 10 consumers have used a coupon they received through email in the past week.
Obviously, for email working to work for your small business, you need to understand some basic email best practices.

How can you grow your list?

Here are a few points to consider when growing your email list:

1. Offer an incentive
Prospects need a compelling reason to sign up for you email list. There needs to be a huge benefit for them if they’re agreeing to receive more emails to their overcrowded inbox.
Consider offering the following:
  • Free offer
  • Discount/coupon
  • Ebook
  • Podcast
  • Webinar
  • Video

2. Send original and stellar content.
Don’t send out the company “stock” email newsletter to your list. Your emails need to be unique, interesting, and educational if you want them to stand out from your competition.
Share links to your best blog posts, informational articles, videos, and graphics.
This is how your emails will get opened time and time again.

3. Make it easy to share your emails.
When you’re sending valuable and informational email content, your prospects and customers will naturally share your content with their friends, family, and colleagues.

Make sure that all your emails include:
  • Social media share buttons.
  • An “Email a Friend” button.

What should you avoid?

There are a few things you need to be careful about when growing an email list:
  • Do not sign up prospects for your list without their permission.
  • Do not use paid search to grow your email list. It’s too expensive for the shoestring marketer.
  • Do not rely solely on offline events to find prospects for your email list.

 

How can you get your emails opened?

The best time to send your emails is in mid-afternoon and on Saturdays and Sundays.
You only have a few seconds to grab your readers’ attention so use short, personalized subject lines.
Finally, you also need to make sure that you are sending content that is valuable to your list. It should be:
  • Educational
  • Funny or entertaining
  • Engaging
  • Newsworthy
This ensures that your list continues to open your emails in the future.

 

Do you need a little extra email marketing help?

MailChimp is a great email-marketing tool for small business owners on a shoestring budget.
You can sign up for a FREE MailChimp account. And it remains free for up to 2,000 subscribers.
It can be accessed from your computer or your mobile, so you can work at the office or on the go.
MailChimp even has templates to develop professional newsletters to send out to your list.
Learn more about MailChimp services HERE.

So, don’t wait another day.

Each time you email your prospects, the more comfortable they will feel with you, and the closer you will be to making a sale.

What are some thoughts you have about email marketing?

Email Marketing Best Practices: Is It Worth It?



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