Email Marketing Is Alive and Well and Driving More Business Than Ever
By Guy Steeves, Regional Development Director, Constant Contact
With all the talk about the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), and the unfounded rumors that email marketing is being usurped by mobile and social, it’s no wonder that some small business owners are a bit gun shy when it comes to hitting the send button on their email campaigns. Don’t be.
Before we dive into why email marketing is still the most effective way to engage customers and drive business, let’s first clear up the confusion. While some may have bristled when CASL went into effect last summer, it’s actually one of the best things to happen to email marketing. By requiring consent, it ensures that your emails are welcome – and may even be anticipated – by your customers. When you focus on engaging the customers that truly want to hear from you, you’ll find that email marketing campaign rates improve, business picks up and the referral engine gets revved.
With regard to the health of email, don’t believe for even one second that it’s on the decline. In fact, industry analysts at The Radicati Group estimate that there will be 5.2 billion email accounts by the end of 2018, up from 4.1 billion in 2014.
So where does social and mobile fit in when it comes to email marketing? It’s not an either/or choice. Rather, when you combine the power of each of these channels, you’ll see a remarkable payoff in your campaign results.
It works like this. With email as the foundation of your marketing campaign, you have a captive audience that has already opted-in to hear from you. Social amplifies your messages as subscribers share your content with their network. And since more than half of your subscribers are likely to be reading your email on a mobile device, it doesn’t mean you’re losing readers, it just means that you need to ensure your messages are mobile friendly.
Here are five actions you can take today to ensure your email is mobile friendly:
- Simplify the design
- Write short content and use easy-to-read fonts
- Make sure images can be quickly downloaded
- Insert respond buttons large enough to accommodate fingers and thumbs
- Test it before you hit send
Five More Reasons Why Small Businesses Should Embrace Email Marketing
Along with providing the most cost effective and efficient way to engage customers between visits, here are five more reasons why email is the most powerful marketing tool for small businesses.
- It gives you control over the content of your message. You decide how you want to convey your brand and position your products and services.
- You get instant feedback. You can see who received and opened your email and what they did with the content and offers. Based on this insight, you can continue to tweak your campaigns to do more of what works.
- You can segment your contacts and personalize your messages. The more you engage customers, the more you’re able to learn their likes and dislikes based on buying behavior and email responses. This enables you to create more targeted campaigns, which further engages customers and results in higher response rates.
- It allows you to demonstrate your expertise. The key to engaging customers through email marketing is to provide a balance of insightful content and offers. When you freely share your knowledge with customers, it instills more trust and confidence while keeping you top of mind the next time they’re in the market for what you offer.
- It can transform satisfied customers into your marketing ambassadors. When your email consistently delivers valuable content and great offers, your subscribers are more likely to pass along your helpful tips and share your offers with friends.
Of course, these efforts won’t pay off unless you’ve earned permission to add customers to your contact list. The best way to do this is to provide an outstanding customer experience that will inspire them to say “yes,” when you ask if they’d like to join your email list. And it certainly doesn’t hurt to highlight the benefits of subscribing such as insider deals, great content, and the promise that you won’t inundate them with too frequent or irrelevant messages.