Email marketing is perhaps one of the most popular forms of digital promotion and audience communication. It’s estimated to be up to 20 times more cost effective than other marketing methods – yet many bloggers and small businesses are still yet to add it to their audience engagement arsenal.
So, why use email marketing?
Adds value for your readers/ customers
First things first (and your readers should always come first): email marketing can add genuine value for your readers and subscribers, and is an effective means of building your relationship.
Keeping your audience in the loop and reminding them regularly about your blog, products or services is a great way to foster loyalty and encourage them to come back to your site. There’s a fine line between reminding and spamming though, so keep your emails relevant and timely. Aim to send communication once a week or a month, depending on what suits the needs of your subscribers. Don’t abuse their contact details by sending trivial or repetitive updates more frequently than they’ve signed up for.
Handy hint! You can always offer readers the option of how frequently they’d like to receive your updates. Simply create different subscriber lists for monthly and weekly emails, and write your content accordingly for each.
Relatively quick and easy
If you’re web-savvy enough to be maintaining a blog or website, sending the occasional email campaign will be a piece of cake. The most difficult and time-consuming part of the process can be coming up with the right content, but once you have your copy ready and a list of subscribers, actually sending your email to your readers/ customers is as easy as the push of a button. Literally.
Cheap, or free
There are tons of great, user-friendly email marketing services available at little or no cost, including the likes of MailChimp, AWeber, Benchmark, EmailBrain and iContact. Do your research and decide which platform is best going to meet your needs. Some free services have restrictions on the number of emails you can send each month, or the number of subscribers you can send to. More often than not, these services do offer the option to upgrade your account to a paid subscription – and are likely still a great deal cheaper than the cost of printing and posting printed newsletters.
Enhances web traffic
Looking to drive return visits to your website? Perhaps you’re goal is to increase overall visits during your business’ quiet periods? Whatever your reason, sending an email marketing campaign is far more effective in driving traffic than traditional print communication and collateral. If you have a number of helpful links back to your website included in your content, your readers and subscribers are far more likely to click-through than they would be to type in a web address if they read it on a flyer.
While it can be hard to measure results from traditional print promotion, email marketing, like other digital marketing initiatives, is easily measurable and offers solid proof of its effectiveness. Not only can you track how many of your subscribers opened your email, followed links and made purchases (even from your mobile using one of the latest apps), you can measure past campaigns against each other to design and optimise future emails for success.
If you can find the right balance between targeting your audience regularly and offering real value, email marketing can be one of the most effective forms of promotion available. According to this nifty infographic from iContact, 92 percent of adult internet users maintain at least one email account, and 72 percent of users check their inboxes six or more times every day. They estimate consumers who receive email marketing place orders 28 percent more often, and spend 83 percent more when shopping.