Choosing the best digital marketing method(s) for your business can be tricky. From posting on social media to running ads on Google, you might feel like you’re bending over backward to get a message to your audience. However, one method trumps all others when it comes to reaching your audience directly every time you send them a message—email marketing.
Think about how many people have an email address. In fact, do you know anyone who doesn’t have one? Though email has been around for several decades, it’s still a huge part of our daily lives. We check our email while we wait in line at the grocery store, during our commutes, and sometimes even in bed at night.
If you’re running your own business, email is still my favorite way to reach audiences, hands down.
What Is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is exactly what it sounds like—marketing to your audience via email. Digging past the surface, though, email marketing allows you to build relationships with potential, current, and past customers by reaching them directly in their inbox where they can engage with your content as soon as it’s convenient for them.
You can share a variety of information with your audience this way- from new products to blog posts to social media content and more. And the best part is the emails you send never have to come across as spam; you use them to build personal relationships with your customers and grow trust in your business.
How Does Email Marketing Compare With Social Media Marketing?
Social media is also a big part of our daily lives, and because of that, many business owners think social media marketing should be prioritized over email marketing. While social media is an important part of your digital marketing strategy, it has its limitations that email marketing can make up for.
Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and more are great places to converse with your audience and cultivate strong relationships with them, moving you closer to your goal of conversion. However, when it comes to completing that conversion and making customers out of your audience, email marketing is your best friend.
Your followers on social media might be highly engaged and loyal, but at the end of the day, Facebook or Instagram or whichever platform you’re using owns that list of followers. Long gone are the days of the chronological feed; these platforms have algorithms in place that show your posts to your audience based on a long list of criteria, which means that your content might not always get in front of 100% of your audience 100% of the time.
With email marketing, you own your list, period. You have full control over who does and doesn’t receive emails so that you can optimize your reach and send your content to your audience in a place that is convenient for them to access at any time. Plus, it’s virtually free to send marketing emails, while posting on social media can quickly become a “pay to play” method of digital marketing if you want to maximize your content reach by advertising.
And if that wasn’t enough to convince you, according to WebFX, “users engage more with email than they do with other forms of digital marketing” meaning your email can get up to six times more clicks than that tweet you just sent and be seen up to five more times than your most recent Facebook post.
This isn’t to say that you should ditch your social media marketing strategy, but consider supplementing it with email marketing.
What Are The Benefits of Email Marketing?
First, email marketing is extremely cost-effective, so if you’re a small business owner on a budget, email is a great way to reach people without breaking the bank. In fact, a recent study by the DMA found that when a business owner spent $1 on an email, they averaged a $38 ROI. When your customers are ready to buy a new product, they’ll most likely be looking for emails from you.
Second, you can personalize email marketing so much more than any other method of digital marketing. You can create tailored emails for customers’ interests in addition to adding in form fields for their name, customized gifs, images, and more.
How Do I Start Marketing Via Email?
Before you start email marketing, you’ll need a list of people to send your emails to, so start by building your list. You can do this in a number of ways from creating a signup form on your website to using a printed sign-up sheet at your physical store if you have one or at any events you might attend. If you have a form on your website, link to the form on your social media accounts to encourage people to sign up.
After you’ve built a decent list, choose an email marketing service—there are plenty to choose from that will fit your budget and specific business needs—develop some email marketing goals, decide when and how often you’ll send emails, and then start to email your amazing customers! Be sure to make your emails aesthetically pleasing, friendly, and personable.
Most email marketing services will allow you to track the success of your emails, i.e. who and how many people opened your email, which links they clicked, and how many of your customers unsubscribed. Checking those analytics regularly will help you to adjust your email marketing strategy to optimize growth and boost sales.
And last, but not least, when it comes to email marketing, it’s always good to know what kind of emails your competitors are sending.
Understanding your competitors is key to understanding your brand’s position in the mind of your customers. My Competitor Cheat Sheet gives you all the tools you need to identify the messaging and positioning of your peers, in order to truly set your business and messaging up for success.