In a time when business, particularly small business, has never had so many options for their marketing, a select few get all of the accolades and fanfare.
Social media is the darling of the marketing landscape, there wouldn’t be many people argue that. It’s been revolutionary in connecting us all and providing us the opportunity to engage with people of similar interests no matter where they reside.
On the other hand, perhaps one of the most underrated opportunities of this time is humble email marketing. I would suggest that it suffers from a perception of being ‘too old’ and ‘not as sexy’ as the others. FYI – The first email was sent from computer engineer Ray Tomlinson in 1971 (he sent it to himself).
The rapid emergence of mobile and particularly smartphones, has revived the email marketing opportunity to a point that we should all sit back and consider whether we’re making the most of it.
Think about it, we rave about the mobile opportunities including SMS, bluetooth, apps, gaming, mobile websites and more. The whole premise of the excitement is the accessability. Many of us sleep with the mobile on our bedside, we carry it in our pockets during the day and it is beside us when we’re working or watching TV. So what is the first thing business thinks about when they think mobile? Hopefully it’s redesigning a website to ensure a favourable mobile experience but often it’s spending a bucket load of cash on an application.
But think about your own mobile habits. What do you do with your phone when you first wake up? Do you check Facebook and/or do you check your emails? What do you do when you’re 10 minutes early to a meeting? On the train? At lunch? I check my emails and I’m sure I am not alone.
To get someone to opt-in to an email is more important than someone to Like your Facebook page..Who agrees?
— Quentin Aisbett (@OnQMarketing) June 28, 2012
I just couldn’t ignore this quote from outgoing New York Times Managing Editor Jim Schachter-
“If people will opt into letting it into their mailbox, you are so far down the path of making them loyal audience members. The things you can lead them to do once they’ve made that choice are just immense.”
That quote almost sounds evil but it does highlight the opportunity. So, you’re now keen to look at email and how you can use it for your business. I suggest looking at designing and sending an email newsletter. But before yoou get started, there are a lot of things to consider and these are just a few off the top of my head.
Do I send it to Subscribers only? Or do I pay for an email list?
Will I have the newsletter designed by a professional?
How often will I send the newsletter?
How will I structure the newsletter?
What will my conversation style be like?
What value will I provide people?
What is my call to action?
How do I leverage my social media profiles?
What is my strategy to gain new subscribers?
What day and what time will I send the newsletter?
What subject line will provide greater conversions?
Should I perform A/B testing?
Now I have managed to overload you with more questions than answers at this stage. But it is important to remember that with the great opportunity in front of us, email marketing has got it’s downfalls if it’s not executed properly. But done correctly it will improve your communication with your clients/consumers, increase engagement and help to strengthen your brand, i.e. That means DO NOT buy email lists.