Today’s marketing is dominated by social media, search engine optimisation, and other advertising channels.
Yet email marketing continues to be a consistent, profitable and useful way to communicate directly with leads and customers.
Whether you’re a large corporate or a one-person business, email marketing can deliver significant benefits and help unlock growth opportunities, at a fraction of the cost of other marketing channels.
Want to know how? Keep reading.
Don’t ignore social media
While I’m a huge fan of email marketing, it shouldn’t be used to the exclusion of other marketing channels. It’s another tool. SEO, social media, and email marketing each have an important role to play in taking a lead along their buyer’s journey and closer to buying from you.
Use them together to boost your marketing.
Reasons why you should be using email marketing
Email marketing offers several benefits for micro-business owners.
You own your email list
You decide who can be part of it and who should be kicked off. You decide when an email is sent. You decide who sees a special promotion.
Other platforms own their audiences. Their computer algorithms decide who will see your posts and whose posts you’ll see. The reality is that some followers may never see your posts.
Until someone unsubscribes from your email list, you have their permission to email them directly.
Make sure all subscribers have permitted you to send them marketing emails. This can take the form of a checkbox in the opt-in form or a confirmation email sent to them after they’re added to the list.
Email marketing has a high return on investment
Return on investment, or ROI represents the revenue generated for every dollar spent.
When assessing advertising costs for marketing channels, such as social media, radio, and print, channels that offer the highest return on investment are where the advertising dollar will be spent.
Most estimates put email marketing ROI at around 3,600%. That means that for every $1 spent, $36 in revenue was returned.
If you’re wondering how that compares to social media, the average order value for email marketing is 3 times greater than the average order value for social media.
Calculate what it costs to send an email. Include the cost of the email marketing service, your time, and any other resources used.
Your audience is interested
When someone opts into your email list, they’re very clearly saying, “Yes, I’m interested.” Yet another reason why email marketing is so effective. You can use the lead magnet they chose, the page they were reading when they subscribed, or a post-subscription survey to learn more about what they’re interested in.
You can put new subscribers into email campaigns for specific products and services, based on their interests. Customizing the messages they receive makes it easier to persuade them to buy.
Plus, you can send the information they’ll need to make their buying decision based on where they are in their buyer’s journey. People who are ready to buy need different messaging than people who are just starting to investigate a new product or service.
Create two groups. One for subscribers who haven’t purchased from you. Call this group Leads. The other will be for subscribers who have purchased from you. Call that group Customers. Put subscribers into the relevant group.
Increased reach and engagement
With email marketing, micro-business owners can reach a wide audience instantly. By building an email list of interested subscribers, you can consistently deliver valuable content, offers, and updates directly to their inbox. This direct communication channel enables you to engage with your audience, foster customer loyalty, and drive conversions.
You can send targeted and personalised messages
Imagine you’re a young, fashion-conscious adult male. One day, your social media feed shows a promotion for the latest summer frocks. Would you be interested?
With email marketing and a little research, you can put subscribers into groups. You might have a group for young, fashion-conscious adult males. Another for young, fashion-conscious adult females.
Each group can be sent personalized, targeted email campaigns that are relevant to the recipient. Because they’re relevant, the recipients are more likely to open the email which will result in higher conversion rates.
Including the recipient’s first name in the email can have a profound effect on how they relate to a business.
Look for opportunities to send personalised emails. It could be including their first name in an email. It could be sending campaigns designed for subscribers who are in a specific group.
Looking at your next special offer email, will it be sent to a group of subscribers? If not, will this special offer be relevant to all subscribers?
Email marketing is timely
One of the benefits of email marketing is that an email can be sent to arrive when the recipient is most likely to see it.
When you open your inbox, which emails are you most likely to open? The ones at the top.
Get the timing right, and your email will be at the top of the list.
It’s not just about the time of day. Have you ever received an email from a company wishing you a happy birthday?
Sending customers a special offer on their birthday, or letting them know their favourite dish is half off is much more effective than simply sending them a menu.
Then there are seasonal and holiday offers.
Think about the next special offer you plan on sending. When will this special offer be sent? One week before? One month before?
If you don’t have one, create a marketing calendar that includes email marketing campaigns.
Email marketing is cost-effective
Compared to other marketing channels, email marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing channels. A small business with a limited budget can benefit from email marketing.
Many email marketing services offer a free plan. As your business grows, you can move to paid plans with advanced features and the accompanying benefits.
Include the time taken to manage email marketing campaigns, and the costs remain relatively low.
Even hiring someone to help get started quickly can make the investment worthwhile.
But, it’s not a set-and-forget marketing channel. Just like any other form of marketing, time is needed to make it work effectively. It takes time to write, and schedule emails. Then there’s the evaluation of performance. This doesn’t change from one marketing channel to another.
Email marketing can help with search rankings
For many businesses, marketing activities revolve around their website. And for good reason.
Many marketing campaigns are designed to drive traffic to a website.
Search engines notice when people visit a website. Including links to your website in emails can help boost visitor numbers. This can help where your site appears in search results.
Blog posts are a popular destination to send readers. You could also send them to conversion-focused landing pages.
Look for opportunities to include links back to your website in email campaigns.
Relationship building and customer retention
Business is about relationships.
Leads customers won’t purchase until they know, like, and trust you. Building a relationship to teach them more about your business and how you and help solve their problems is a must.
Customers should not be left out either. Email marketing can continue the relationship after the purchase. This will lead to repeat business and referrals.
Create emails specifically for leads that will tell them something about your business (know), provide valuable information (like), and include testimonials (trust).
It boosts brand recognition
People are more likely to buy from brands they recognise. Email marketing is great for building brand recognition.
People are more likely to open emails sent by people they recognise.
When they first join your list, email them at least once a week. Include your name and business in the ‘From’ field. Add your logo to the first three to five emails they’re sent. It’s okay to include it in every email.
This teaches them to identify your emails.
Audit your emails. How many times does your business name appear in an email? For the first ten emails a subscriber receives, how many times will they see your logo?
If your business name was mentioned to a subscriber at an event, how likely is it that they’ll remember you? Don’t guess. Ask.
People still regularly open emails
The number of email users continues to increase. A Hubspot survey states that 91% of consumers use email.
What’s more, when people check their email, they open the emails from the businesses they’re interested in. “66% of consumers have made a purchase online as a direct result of an email marketing message,” according to the Direct Marketing Association.
People are more likely to open emails from brands they recognise. That’s engagement and email services notice engagement reducing the likelihood your emails will be identified as spam.
If they like your message, they’ll click a link, visit a website, or call.
If they know someone who might like your offer, they’ll send it to them. Remember brand awareness?
A constant stream of new and repeat customers
Have you heard people complaining that they’re getting a lot of website traffic but hardly anyone is buying?
On average, only 3% of all website visitors are ready to buy now. But not necessarily from you. What about the other 97%? They may be thinking about buying, just not right now.
Email marketing is the perfect platform for keeping you in their thoughts. When they are ready to buy, they’ll ask themselves “Why wouldn’t I buy from them?”
But you need to know who they are and the best way to do that is by offering something free and making a positive change to their life.
But don’t forget about existing customers. They may not be ready to buy again, but when they are, you’ll be the one they’ll remember.
Create an email to be sent to someone after they purchase. Ask the recipient for a review or testimonial.
Use email to get feedback
Your customers are the best source of information on how you can improve.
People love to be asked for their opinion. It means that you value them.
Send them a link to a survey where they can give you their feedback.
Remember, people will criticise you and you don’t have to implement every suggestion.
Develop a plan to collect feedback from your subscribers. Include three questions you might ask them. You aren’t expected to ask them three questions. Just think of three questions that would provide you with valuable information.
Email marketing is easy to measure
You don’t need a huge marketing team or expensive reporting software to understand subscriber behaviour.
Modern email marketing is more about understanding the behaviour of your subscribers as a group. Is the group opening your emails? Is the group clicking calls to action?
They’re known as metrics and they’re pieces of data that highlight specific aspects of email marketing. For instance, open rate is a metric that measures the percentage of recipients who opened an email.
Tracking the results of different metrics helps measure the success or failure of specific email campaigns. You can also use these metrics to measure the impact of any changes to emails such as changing the colour of a call to action button or the working of the text used in that button.
The most common metrics for email marketing are:
From your last email campaign, locate the results for these metrics.
Automating to save time
It’s not only saving time but also boosting ROI. The less time you spend creating emails, sending emails, and measuring performance, the lower the cost and the greater the ROI.
Using automation means that email marketing is working for you 24 hours a day. You can send evergreen emails such as welcome sequences. You can plan, create, and schedule promotional emails weeks in advance.
If someone starts the checkout process but doesn’t complete it, sending an abandoned cart sequence can recover potentially lost sales.
And remember those emails that a recipient sees at the top of their inbox?
Investigate the automation options in your email marketing service. For instance, can you send a confirmation email as soon as someone subscribes to your list? Can you send three emails over the following three days (called a welcome sequence)?
Email marketing isn’t just for large companies and major retailers. The solo business owner can get the same ROI and brand recognition.
And you’ll have a list full of people who are interested in hearing from you.