E-mail Marketing: 3 Reasons to Do It

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email-marketingE-mail marketing is the most cost-effective, proven and personal way to appeal to your clients, but somehow is overlooked by many businesses. Consider the following reasons to get over the hurdle of deploying an e-mail system for your business.

E-mail is popular

Many businesses forgo the thought of including an e-mail campaign in their marketing mix in favor of more popular sounding methods such as the almighty blog. However, 67% of consumers believe that e-mail is “a great way for companies to stay in touch” and 92% of adults have e-mail addresses. In fact, a recent study by Forrester Research indicates that e-mail still has more than three times the reach of social networking, with 165.4 million users in the US.

The bottom line is that even when people view blogs or participate in blogging, e-mail is more popular and widespread.

E-mail is personal

When you send an e-mail, it is being sent from you to a specific individual, versus a blog post that is more of a “broadcast” method, and much less personal. Additionally, e-mail content can (and should) be easily customized to the individual. So you can have a 1:1 conversation with a whole group of people—all at the same time.

“The cost of acquiring a new customer can be as much as five times the cost of keeping an old one.” – Peppers and Rogers

Consistent communication with your contacts is critical in developing relationships. Your past, present and future clients may know who you are, but if you have not been in touch with them for months, it is not likely that you are at the top of their minds.

In order to be personal you need to first understand your audience and make sure that your message is something they want to hear and find useful. Targeted, interesting content not only gets the attention of your audience, but can encourage customers to become your advocates. After all, there is no better way to acquire new customers than by having current customers spread the word on your behalf.

This is all about building and nurturing relationships, which is the cornerstone to any successful marketing campaign.

E-mail performs

The cost of engaging with your current and potential clients is perhaps the greatest reason to invest in an e-mail campaign system. When using an ESP (E-mail Service Provider, such as Mail Chimp or Vertical Response), monthly accounts start around $10 per month, and increase based on the size of your contact list. On average, businesses receive $48.56 returned per dollar invested.

On the softer side of results, e-mail marketing performs a critical function in engaging with your current clients and potential clients. It presents you as an authority on the subject so that your name is the first thing your clients think of when your topic comes up in conversation.

(photo: Tim Morgan)

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  • All of what you say may be true, but I hate e-mail marketers with the burning fire of a million suns. I would like to boil them all in oil.

    The only exceptions are those who have a non-sneaky opt-in campaign. In other words, the recipients knowingly and actively sign up to be on the mailing list.

  • Sam,

    I’m pretty sure Karin is not advocating email spam as an effective marketing technique.

    Good email marketing and bad email marketing are very different things, and only one of them is going to improve your business in the long-run.

    Seth Godin’s “Permission Marketing” is a great resource for understanding the difference.

  • The best approach to email is to allow the recipient to control the number of emails they receive. Consumer’s want to know what the latest news is, or the latest promotion, but not every single day. The only choice left is to unsubscribe. I’ve appreciated those companies that allow you to decide the acceptable frequency of the communication.

  • Diana D’Itri

    I’m with you on this one. Email is great. NO matter how much you hate spam (and we all do) there is nothing better than using email to communicate with your warm contacts. Unlike facebook and the others, email is private. Unlike print, it saves trees. Unlike calling, it’s more convenient for both parties. Email “blasts” give companies who practice this type of marketing, a bad name. Not to mention that they are ineffective, much like a “shotgun” approach. Best practices for email marketing include:
    1. Clear objectives (what am I trying to accomplish?)
    2. Knowing your audience and their tolerance level (how often should I send?)
    3. Simple and concise messaging (Is my message relevant to my recipient?)

  • Email that is valuable to the recipient and comes from a trusted source is opened. Spam isn’t. You’d open an email from your best friend but not from someone in Nigeria offering $1,000,000 for sending your bank account details.

    Email is no different to a letter. You don’t open junk mail. You don’t open junk emails.

    The key is therefore making it valuable, sending it to the right people, getting it opened, getting it read, getting the recipient to tell you what they think/want, getting them to anticipate the next one through priming, and so on.

    I’d also really like to offer you one huge tip as my contribution for the year.

    When you send out an email make sure that you get all the email recipient addresses that don’t open your email. And then re-send the same email, with a different subject line. This has had a massive 17% increase in the numbers of opened emails for my firms.

    There are a few other things like this on my website over here in London.