This appeared in print as part of the story “Best Laid Plans” In 2007, the City of Columbia’s visioning document suggested that council...
Email generates the highest return on investment for marketers — For every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI, according to marketing company Campaign Watch. But some businesses are still reluctant to take the leap.
Evaluate a few factors to determine whether email marketing would be a good fit: blogging, promotions, slipping sales numbers, and desired expansion.
Blogging feeds the website with new content, which is great for generating organic traffic and boosting organic search rankings. But once you’ve got people there, then what? What if they really love what you have to say? What if they want to hear more? That’s where email marketing steps in. People won’t be stopping by your website on a daily basis and holding their breath while you churn out more goodness. You have to remind them to come back.
Eighty-six percent of consumers would like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with at least monthly, and 15 percent would like to get them daily, according to Statista, a market research firm. Subscribers just need a little nudge, a link and a reminder saying, “I know we’re friends but, well, we haven’t spoken in a while, so why don’t you come over?” Without the email, posting your blog is like when you’re thinking about inviting your friend over for coffee, but you don’t. And then your friend thinks you don’t like them and gets sad. Don’t make people sad. Email them about your blog posts.
There was a time long ago when it was 25 cents to mail a letter. Remember that? And we’d mail the heck out of stuff. It’s still fun getting mail, but now it’s electronic. MarketingSherpa reports 72 percent of people prefer to receive promotional content through email, compared to 17 percent who prefer social media.
Let’s do some quick math. Say your email marketing software costs $25 a month to reach your list of 2,000 people. Even if you only send one email to your 2,000 subscribers per month, each email costs you about a penny. Back in the late ’80s, the height of snail-mail marketing, your $25 would only reach 100 people. It would cost even more now (and you’d actually have to print the mail, which we didn’t factor into this math problem). Sending out specials and coupons on a regular basis is an expensive pain in the neck. Plus, it hurts less when people throw away my 1-cent email.
Two words for you: segmenting and personalization. Segmenting is when you break your list into groups of subscribers with like interests, values, or buying history; personalization is when you call people by name and make them feel special.
Here’s two more words for you: drip campaign. Those two actually go together, and when you use automated drip campaigns, which send your emails automatically on a predetermined schedule, and pair them with segmentation and personalization, you’re crafting a bunch of personalized messages. You can nurture your leads via email, then pick up the phone when the time is right to close the deal. Over 75 percent of email revenue is generated by triggered campaigns (automated emails that send in response to a specific behavior) rather than one-size-fits-all campaigns. And automated email campaigns account for 21 percent of email marketing revenue, according to the Data and Marketing Association. Even without hitting send, you can educate your prospects and start developing a relationship.
I know, I’ve heard it. You don’t want to send emails to get new business because you think you’re going to annoy people. Here’s what’s crazy: We all know people are emailing us to ask us to buy things, and we just keep opening the emails anyway. For 89 percent of marketers, email serves as the primary channel for lead generation, and email is 40 times more likely to acquire new customers than Facebook or Twitter. And prospects can’t hang up on your email. They can trash your email, yes, but you can email again. And you can see all the data: if they opened the email, if they clicked on anything. Armed with that information, you can make an educated decision about whether that prospect is interested in your services or not.
When you sign up for something online, what’s one of the first things you have to fill out in the form? When you sign up for social media, including Facebook and Twitter, what do you absolutely have to have? An email address! Email is the currency of the web, so even if you’re not doing email marketing right now, gather addresses from your clients and prospects — each one can be an asset to tap into for a quick, cost-effective contact.
Monica Pitts is the chief creative director of MayeCreate Design.