Many of the latest trends and buzzwords in the marketing world have centered around social media. And yes, social media is important – according to a recent Pew Research Study, 61% of all online adults are on social media.1
But according to the very same study, that 61% on social media are dwarfed by a staggering 94% of online adults who use email1. Email is still one of the most prevalent places Internet users occupy every day, and every marketing strategy needs to take advantage of it.
The ultimate purpose of an email marketing strategy is, like all marketing strategies, to achieve greater profit. But how does email accomplish that goal? Email can be used for CRM (customer relationship management), which is a fancy way of saying that it builds relationships with customers, both existing and potential. CRM helps you maximize the retention and value of your customers, thereby leading to greater profits. It’s cost effective, targeted, and has extremely measurable (and attractive) ROI.
So now that we see why email marketing is necessary – how do you successfully implement an email marketing strategy?
1. Starting Out
Building your list of email contacts is the first step – and there’s no one best way of doing this. You can collect contacts through multiple channels, such as in-person subscriptions, social media, or your website. Just be sure to only add contacts who have already given you permission to email them, and include an unsubscribe function in the email so readers know they can opt-out. Choose an email manager (such as MailChimp or Constant Contact) that will best suit the size and needs of your company.
2. The Email Itself
In composing the email, avoid writing about what you want the reader to do. What does the reader actually want to read about? Are your emails helpful? Inspirational? Make it worth their while to open your emails.
Be sure to make your email mobile-friendly, and add an attention-getting subject line. Stay away from words like “free” or “buy now,” which might cause your email to be marked as spam. Personalize emails by using the subscriber’s name instead of something like “Dear Valued Customer.” You can also target subscribers even more specifically by further dividing contact lists by gender, location, etc.
3. Measuring Results
No two email marketing strategies are or should be the same, and no generalized advice will be able to tell you how to best market your company. That’s why measuring results is so important – by tracking exactly how well your emails are performing, you can constantly hone and improve your strategy.
Most email managers have built-in tracking tools to help monitor the relative success of each email sent. You can also use Google Analytics to keep track of statistics such as click-throughs from email to webpage and beyond.
Statistics like these allow you to gauge how successful an email is based on the number of people who opened it, clicked on the links it contained, forwarded it to a friend, or unsubscribed after reading it. By comparing the success of different emails, you can get a better picture of what people enjoy reading about.
This is just a bird’s eye view of email marketing, and again, no two strategies will be exactly the same. But the worst thing you can do is ignore email as an integral part of your marketing strategy. The best thing you can do is start emailing, measure your results, and tailor these general tips to fit your company and achieve your goals.