I will not tell you how many emails are in my Inbox that are unread, all I will say it that you need to match more than 3 balls with the bonus ball to be close to winning that amount!  Telling you that may make you think that sending emails as a form or marketing can be a lottery.  Yes, there is an element of ‘will they open it’, ‘won’t they open it’ but if you are familiar with the fundamentals of email marketing then you can use your knowledge to compile an email that will have far more recipients in the ‘yes’ camp.

In this blog I am going to look at the ‘why’ and ‘what’ of email marketing.  Why should you use it and what it can be used for, what it can do and what it should be. Here goes…

Email marketing can be a very cost effective and productive marketing tool, but all too often people forget the fundamentals of email marketing and sometimes why they do it.  Emails are checked daily, right?  So surely if you send an email it will be opened?  Maybe, but before we look at what makes people open an email (I will perhaps keep that for another blog) we are going to look at why you should be using it as a form of communication.

I have mentioned already that email marketing is cost effective, the ROI is something like £26+ for every £1 spent, and I have also said that emails are checked daily but besides that email marketing is measurable for lead generation and can also help you increase your social media reach.

Email marketing for lead generation

You can count an ‘open’ as a lead but more specifically if your email causes the recipient to take action then you have reason to believe they are a solid lead.  Obviously if you ask the recipient to do something completely obscure then they will not take action so start with something simple like ‘Hey, sign up for my newsletter, it will tell you x,y and z, or download my free e-book and join my mailing list. If they do this then you can spend a little time ‘nurturing them’ before you go in with a ‘buy now’ offer.

Email marketing for increased Facebook reach

You will all be familiar with the speed that Facebook change their algorithms and how these changes make it more difficult for your fans to see your content and posts, well, fear not, email marketing can help with this too.  For example (using Mailchimp) you could send an email and ask your recipients to like your page, you can then integrate Mailchimp with Facebook and put a sign up form for your mailing list onto your Facebook page, and post your newsletter to your page, expanding your audience in both directions.

I’m going to move onto the ‘what’ part now; firstly, what can email marketing do?

  • Create and keep awareness

  • Establish you as an authority voice in your field, especially when combined with a blog

  • Nurture prospects by explaining what you can do for the customer

  • Increase loyalty – KLT (that’s Know, Like, Trust by the way)

  • Generate income through affiliate recommendations

Okay, so now we will look at what types of email marketing there are

  • Direct marketing i.e. direct communication to your list

  • Email newsletters where you keep people informed of what’s happening with your business that is of relevance to them

  • Digest email – this is basically a summary of the newsletter with a call to action, i.e. visit the website for more information

  • Stand alone email – this is where you send an email with a call to action to a list but make it look personalised like it was specifically for the sole recipient that is reading it

  • Lead nurturing – educate the customer as to what you can do to benefit them

  • Third party emails – this is where you pay to be in someone else’s email

  • Transactional emails – these are the kind of ones you receive when you buy something “thank you for your purchase, please rate our service” sort of thing

  • Add on emails – you’ve all had them!  Because you bought this, you might be interested in this… Ring a bell?  I thought so.

So the final point for tonight, and I will tell you know that this is going to be a two part installment, is what should an email be.

  • A series of meaningful communications

  • Valuable to the recipient

  • Anticipated – i.e. they should have signed up for it knowingly

  • Targeted and segmented

  • Personalised

As well as content being relevant, it is important to continuously communicate with your customers. You want your email subscribers to think of your business when they need the product or service you offer, so remind them of your presence with email. Mailing frequency varies by business type or product type, and you will be able to gauge this for yourself.  Not all of us like being emailed regularly or we define regularly in different ways. Therefore allow customers a stress free and simple process to opt-out of emails.  It may sound negative, but in fact it is not. We all receive so many emails that we sometimes want a rest. Make sure that you give customers an easy way to opt out of email. You will be surprised how many unsubscribers will re-subscribe at a later date.

So, no surprises here, next week we will be back on the topic of emails but this time it will be content related.

What is email marketing and why use it

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