If your business is not using email marketing to reach out to prospects and generate sales, it should. While many critics claim that email marketing is a thing of the past, the reality is that email campaigns are the most effective tool for marketing professionals and entrepreneurs. Before the Internet, businesses often had to resort to snail mail correspondence to advertise products and services to consumers. Companies sent out bulky catalogues with the latest inventory updates to entice customers. However, the Internet transformed the way marketers communicated with consumers by replacing the catalogue with email correspondence. Now instead of sending brochures, coupons, and catalogues through the postal service, businesses can email customers surveys, promotional materials, and newsletters at the click of a button. To understand why email marketing is still the most effective marketing tool, let’s take a look at the top eight reasons email marketing can benefit your business.
Reason # 1: Emailing is Cost-Efficient
Cost is the biggest reason that email marketing is still the most effective marketing tool available. Compared to any other marketing tool, email marketing is still one of the cheapest options. To launch a professional email marketing campaign, businesses might hire professionals to draft their correspondence and analyze and collect data. But email still remains an equalizer that allows businesses to put together a bare bones campaign without the bells and whistles. Whether you have the budget for the best consultants or prefer a do-it-yourself approach, there are resources that can help business professionals with limited experience put together high quality campaigns. Better yet, many of the tools and templates that are needed for email marketing are available for free or at a low cost online. Compared to other marketing strategies that require constant monitoring to get off the ground, email marketing is still the most cost-efficient method of marketing online.
Reason # 2: Your Target Audience is Limitless
In addition to having a low start-up cost, email marketing allows businesses to reach a wider audience than other types of marketing. For a modest fee, businesses can purchase lists that cover various demographic groups. So if you market a clothing line to young consumers who live in urban areas, the chances are, you can purchase thousands of email addresses of individuals who fit this exact profile. While this might seem like the same advantage you get from purchasing call lists for telemarketing, it is quite different. Telemarketing campaigns are limited by the location of the prospects. For example, if you routinely call individuals who live abroad or in out-of-service areas, the long-distance fees can quickly add up. Yet, with email marketing, businesses can literally contact prospects across the country and around the world at the same price. The ability to reach out to nearly any audience is one of the greatest advantages of email marketing.
Reason # 3: Yes, You Can Select Your Audience
At the same time that email marketing allows businesses to reach out to anyone, it also allows for selectivity. When businesses use radio advertising campaigns and print campaigns, they are often limited in their ability to choose their audience. Sure, marketers can determine the probability that their target audience will tune in to their commercial during a specific time slot. Print campaigns can also attempt to determine the demographic group that reads the publications in which they print their ads. Yet, even with careful targeting, these traditional forms of marketing leave a high probability that an advertisement will fall on deaf ears. With email marketing, professionals can select the exact group they wish to target and exclude everyone else. Targeting consumers who will be most receptive to the products and services a business sells ensures that the message will be most effective.
Reason # 4: Emails Can Be Forwarded and Shared
When businesses launch print, radio, or television marketing campaigns, the lifespan of their advertisements or promotional materials are short lived. Radio and television campaigns last for as long as the viewer hears or sees the message. Though consumers can share print advertisements easier than their favorite radio or television advertisements, it is difficult for businesses to determine whether their advertisement is being spread around or simply thrown away by consumers. Yet, the advantage of email marketing is that consumers can forward an effective advertisement or promotional message within seconds. With simple creativity or the assistance of marketing professionals, businesses can launch campaigns that spark the interest of consumers and inspire them to share the email correspondences with others. What makes email marketing better than print advertisement is that businesses can also assess how often their material is forwarded. This allows businesses to constantly refine their message until they generate emails that are share-worthy.
Reason # 5: It Provides Measurable Results
The number of forwards an email generates is not the only metric that can be measured in an email campaign. Once a business sends out a correspondence email, the response that customers have to the message can be thoroughly documented. Do you need to know how many prospects actually opened your email? Or do you wonder what the demographic profile of your readers is? With email marketing, obtaining this information is no problem. Software programs enable businesses to immediately obtain any requested data from the moment their campaign is launched and their emails are distributed to consumers. The most important metric in an email campaign is how many people actually click on the links that are contained in the email. Not only can businesses determine this, they can also find out which links received the most clicks and which demographic groups were most likely to respond to specific links in the email.
Reason # 6: Emails Help You Build Relationships
A major limitation of costly telemarketing and media campaigns is that businesses are limited in the frequency in which they reach out to consumers. Because of the prohibitive cost of phone calls and the difficulty of reaching consumers during business hours, it can be difficult to contact consumers regularly through telemarketing. Because media campaigns are among the most costly to launch, businesses must be highly selective in the times they choose to utilize traditional media to reach out to consumers. However, emails can be sent as often as a company wishes and enable consistent contact with consumers. Newsletters, promotional materials, and company press releases are among the communications that businesses can send to their clients through email. The added advantage is that businesses can keep in touch with consumers and keep their customers and clients invested in the company through relevant and frequent communication.
Reason # 7: Emails Are More Personal
Even though emails allow businesses to reach out to a countless number of prospects, they are still easy to tailor. If you wish to advertise one set of products to teens on your email list while advertising other products to married couples over 30, emailing allows you this flexibility. The traditional print and media campaigns require businesses to select a one-size-fits-all message that will accommodate the greatest number of consumers as possible. However, with email marketing it is possible to break your mailing lists down into specific segmentations and send custom messages for each market segment. Telemarketing might seem to come a close second for customization, but it doesn’t match the efficacy of email. Because call center employees often lack the adaptability to be able to deliver multiple targeted messages, it is custom for telemarketers to stick to a broad phone script. With email, businesses just need a skilled writer who can adapt their message to many different groups.
Reason # 8: Emails Provide Feedback
Internet communication is unique because it allows an unprecedented level of two-way communication between businesses and consumers. While telephone surveys can provide valuable information on consumer preferences, telemarketing holds the disadvantage of being costly and time consuming. Adding to the frustration, it can be hit or miss when attempting to get in touch with consumers by telephone. However, businesses can instantly survey the opinions of consumers through email correspondence. Businesses can also find different methods of encouraging consumers to provide feedback through email campaigns. For example, by providing rewards or other enticements, businesses can motivate customers to take a few minutes to respond to a survey or questionnaire.
So Why Should Businesses Use Email Marketing?
To put it simply, email marketing is still the most effective marketing tool because it is convenient and cost-effective. Unlike marketing campaigns that are designed for print, television, or the radio, email campaigns can be generated at little cost. Investing in the right software also allows any business to conduct an expert campaign that is highly targeted and efficient. By contacting consumers frequently with promotional materials and news, companies can build a relationship that would be impossible to maintain through other marketing campaigns. Thus, for the foreseeable future, email marketing will continue to provide businesses with the best return on investment.
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