If I say ‘online marketing’ – images of Facebook, Instagram plus all the blogs you’re trying to keep up with probably come flooding to your mind. Social media is so shiny and exciting and blogs can be addictive, informative, hilarious or all three. But an early trailblazer in online marketing is still kicking goals: email marketing. While maybe not as sexy as social, it’s a very important ingredient in your online marketing mix right now.
This seems like a no-brainer, surely your email and your social media accounts are under your control, right? Well, yes and no.
Yes, you are the one deciding what content gets posted/sent.
No, you don’t have full control.
For example, as the social media landscape has evolved visibility of Facebook business pages has changed. In order to make their paid advertising more attractive, Facebook has reduced the visibility of the free business pages. Your posts may show up less in the news feeds of people who like your page. Ultimately, this is just an example of doing marketing in a realm which is owned solely by another business which will always hold its commercial interests above your own. This doesn’t mean businesses should abandon Facebook and other social media in droves, on the contrary. We all need to make sure we’re investing our marketing time and money across a range of avenues and not put all our eggs in one basket.
There will be two types of people on your email list:
This is great! This means these people have said ‘yes, I want to hear more from you’. This is an perfectly targeted marketing opportunity for you to take up. In the good-old-days, a newspaper ad for your business would be largely untargeted, casting around for your target market amongst the sea of newspaper readers. But everyone on your email list actually wants to hear from you.
Tip: An easy email newsletter opt-in form on your website is so important. Have you got one? Is it easy to use? Is it highly visible?
Anti-Spam Tip: If you have people on your list which don’t fit into the two categories above, you may be in breach of Australia’s anti-spam laws.
The internet can be pretty impersonal and for businesses sometimes the most engagement you can hope for is a quick scroll past your content in the feed. There can be so much other content which is vying for the user’s attention. Then there’s email, a one-on-one interaction. It arrives direct to the inbox, knows their name and has the content they are interested in. You have contacted your targeted client directly and that’s pretty hard to ignore.
This is where email really comes into its own. Blogs and social media do get conversions but nowhere near the levels that email marketing does. This is because of all the reasons we’ve mentioned above, it’s targeted, it’s personal and it’s separated from the noise of other advertising channels.
Tracking statistics for email can generate some fascinating data. Many email marketing platforms will allow users to view, not only number of opens and number of links clicked but also the hotspots on the email for clicks, which links were of more interest to clients, and with some extra customisation clicks can be followed right through to ecommerce sales figures. Once you have this kind of information you can tweak and target your content even more. You’ll be unstoppable when you experiment and fine tune the fonts, colours and calls to action which resonate best with your customers based on hard evidence.
So if you think email marketing is over, think again. If you are looking for great conversion rates maybe it’s time to revisit your marketing plan and make sure email holds its rightful place in your digital marketing mix.
Using your personal email address (for covert purposes), subscribe to a competitor’s list and evaluate what they are doing. How often do they send something? Why kind of ‘voice’ do they write with? Is it just promo offers or is there other interesting content there to? Is it well branded, etc?
Subscribe to some other businesses outside your industry whom you think have good digital marketing in general. Evaluate them and see what you can learn.