Should email be part of your marketing strategy?
According to KISSmetrics, “email has nearly three times as many user accounts as Facebook and Twitter combined.” That’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 billion users and makes email by far the platform on which you can reach the most people.
“Smart marketers consider email not just essential to their business efforts, but foundational to their marketing and sales systems.”
Think about it. Certainly your Facebook posts and Tweets are an important part of your marketing strategy, particularly in terms of maintaining visibility, staying connected, and establishing relationships. But let’s face it: Most of the people who read your posts are not potential customers. A carefully targeted email connects with prospective clients in a much more personal way.
Don’t misunderstand me. Facebook is important. Blog posts are extremely important in terms of getting your business in front of Google users who want to buy what you’re selling. But Facebook is by no means a panacea.
For one thing, not everyone is on Facebook. For a variety of reasons, there are still lots of people out there who do not have Facebook accounts. I’m sure you know some of them. To someone like me, and maybe you, it seems a little odd. But then again, not everyone is on a computer all day (like I am) and a lot of people have bosses who frown on them Facebooking while they’re on the clock. For a freelancer like me, whose interaction with other mammals during the workday is limited to dealing with my six cats, Facebook is a lifeline.
But remember, you’re not necessarily marketing to people just like you. You need to deliver a message that’s relevant to your customers, and you need to deliver it in a way that they will see it.
There are few entrepreneurs or professionals who don’t use email in the normal course of business. It has effectively replaced the “memo” as the way to communicate with coworkers, colleagues, business partners, vendors, and customers.
With email, you don’t have to worry about targeting the right “window” of time for visibility on Facebook or Twitter. Your email goes to your customer’s inbox and sits there waiting until she has the opportunity to look at it. Create a snappy (not cheesy) subject line and there is a good chance she will at least open it.
People get emails all the time, so they are acclimated to seeing them, going through them, and getting sales offers by email. Even more important, though, is there are some emails people actually look forward to getting. If your email consistently contains valuable content, news they can use, and offers that are relevant to them, they will open your email, read it, and are more likely to respond than they would be to a random Facebook post.
Hubspot recommends creating “remarkable content.” A “sign up for our newsletter” call to action next to a blog post that delights a customer is likely to be a successful list-building strategy. That’s also true for the content of your email. Content valuable enough that someone forwards it to others often results in that someone clicking on the “subscribe” link. Encourage this with a “forward to a friend” link in the email. Use the “call to action” button available on Facebook. People who like what you post may sign up for your newsletter.
As Mark Twain famously said, “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” The same is true for email as part of a marketing strategy. It’s is alive and well and waiting to help you grow your business.