Email is dead. Long live email!Mar 01, 2022
Every few months or so I read an article or blog about how email is dead. Passe. Long gone. Old fashioned. No longer relevant.
The list goes on.
The fact is: email isn’t dead. Far from it.
And if you’re a business owner to who wants to build marketing assets that you can leverage again and again, build better relationships with your customers, and improve your profitability, then email marketing should be a cornerstone of your marketing efforts.
What is email marketing?
Put simply, email marketing is a marketing process using emails as a vehicle to communicate effectively with your potential and existing customers.
It can be as simple as a triggered order confirmation email from your ecommerce website, or as complicated as an automated welcome campaign for new customers.
What is good email marketing?
The key to good email marketing is ensuring that your message is:
• Personalised, and
• On brand
Don’t send emails just because you can. Think about what is useful to your customers and provide these emails – and only send these emails. Think about what is useful to potential customers and decide if email is best vehicle for this information (assuming you have permission to email them!).
The benefits of email marketing
ROI is one of the best
There are many schools of thought on the ROI from email marketing, but most consider the ROI from email marketing to be one of the best in the marketing mix.
The best indicator for your business will be to try it and see what results you get.
Build better relationships
You can build better relationships with your potential and existing customers with good email marketing.
If a potential customer is interested in a template or working tool you’ve created, you can email it to them, then follow up a bit later with an offer that might be of interest to them or another useful piece of content. This will help establish you as an expert who wants to help them. It builds trust and keeps you front of mind when they’re ready to buy.
If a new customer buys from you, you can use email marketing to provide them with information about you and your business that they may not be aware of, but that may be useful to them. With a welcome campaign you can thank them for their business, show them that you’re not a one-hit-wonder and that you want to help them as much as they need. Again, you’re building trust and staying front of mind for future purchases.
It will require some thought and planning, but once your email marketing programs are all set up, aside from some regular checks and tweaks, they’ll keep working for your business - even while you get some well-earned sleep!
You own your email marketing assets
(and no one can take them away from you!)
Remember when Facebook got cranky and shut down the pages of various businesses and organisations? Well, they can’t do that to your email marketing assets.
Any pages or accounts on social media platforms are owned by the provider, not by you, so you are subject to their whims, and they can block you, remove you, or mute you at will. Whilst this is unlikely to happen in most cases, it’s still a risk you need to consider.
Conversely, if you build up your own subscriber list and create your own email templates and campaigns, no one can take these away from you. They’re yours to do with as you please (within the scope of the law and common decency please!) and they are a reusable and potentially profitable asset for your business.
Key email marketing dos and don’ts
DO make sure that every email you send, looks like it comes from your brand, with the right tone of voice, and includes all of the basics such as contact details, unsubscribe capability, key brand messages, etc.
DO make sure that every email you send is relevant and useful to the reader.
DO personalise your emails. Use the reader’s name. Make the content relevant to them. Personalise your sign-off.
DON’T SPAM! DON’T send emails (other than transactional emails such as order confirmations, shipping notifications, etc) to people who have not opted in to receive them.
Not only is it incredibly rude, it’s also illegal in most of parts of the world! Plus, getting a reputation as a spammer will affect your ability to get emails to their intended recipients (even if they have opted in) when your domain reputation tanks.
DON’T succumb to overkill! You’re passionate about what you do and you want to share everything you’ve got, all at once. Don’t.
Consider how you respond to people who dump a whole heap of stuff on you. If you’re anything like me, if I didn’t subscribe, I’ll mark you as junk / spam. If you send me an email a day for week because I happened to buy shoes from you, I’ll unsubscribe at the very least.
DO be considerate of people’s time and interest level. What’s that old adage? Treat others as you would like to be treated. This is a great rule of thumb for email marketing.
DO set email send limits on your email systems. For instance, say you only want to contact someone a maximum of twice per week. That way, even if they subscribe to your email and are going through a welcome campaign, and have abandoned their cart, you limit the number of communications they get from you so they won’t have a chance to get tired of you and they’ll be less likely to unsubscribe.
Automation is your friend – particularly if you want to scale easily
Marketing automation allows you to set up particular customer journeys for every individual customer when they do something, such as subscribe to your newsletter, at scale.
Once you’ve built your automation, the process will be followed every time someone takes that particular action, allowing you to communicate at scale rather than having to send an individual email each time.
An example automation could look like this:
- A customer subscribes to your newsletter
- You send an email requesting they confirm their address
- They click on the confirmation button in the email
- You send an email welcoming them and offering them a discount code for their first purchase
- Then they get added to your newsletter database for your regular newsletter sends.
- Automations are a great way of saving time on manual workflows, and help you ensure that every customer gets the right information and the right time. That’s a huge win when you’re a busy business owner or you want to make sure your messaging is consistent and not subject to human error.
Track your results and tweak as needed
As with any marketing activity, you need to be tracking the results you get from the activity, assessing the results and then tweaking as needed.
With email marketing, you’re looking at things like delivery rates, open rates, click through rates, revenue generated and unsubscribe rates.
Most email platforms have good reporting dashboards, so these a simple way to start.
So email really is far from dead and buried
All business owners should be utilising email marketing and automations in their business.
Once it’s set up, it’s easy to maintain, it usually delivers fabulous ROI, and when you really get hooked on it, may I suggest a lot of A/B testing to take it even further than ever before! 😉
Help is available if you need it
If you’d like some help with setting up your email marketing or automation systems, you can hire email marketing and automation specialists to help. There are freelancers available on all sorts of platforms including Rachel’s List, Freelancer, Upwork – the list goes on and on and on!
We even have email marketing and automation services available at SMB Marketing Solutions. So let's have a chat about your email marketing needs.
If you have any questions about any aspect of this blog post, or would like more information on this topic, please contact us and let us know. Thanks!
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