Email Marketing Overview

It is likely that your competitors are using email marketing to build their relationship with existing customers and gain new customers. If you think you’re missing out because you’re not using email effectively as a tool to grow your business, and have no idea where to start, read on to learn some concepts to help determine how email can fit into your marketing plans.

Goals of an Email Marketing Program

As a for-profit business, you’d like to increase your company’s sales & profits. Keeping it simple, which I always like to do, to increase revenue we can either:

  1. Get more customers; or
  2. Sell more to existing customers

To see how email marketing helps achieve these goals, let’s first look at the various types of emails.

Types of Marketing Emails

Here’s how various types of marketing emails are typically used to help you increase your sales and profits.

  • Promotional emails attempt to drive immediate behavior. There is typically an incentive to act now on a limited time offer. Promotional emails don’t need to be sent with the same consistency as newsletters, but you don’t want to go too long between emails.
  • Relationship Emails establish communications with a customer or prospect. An newsletter is the typical relationship email.
  • Drip Campaigns Drip campaigns are an automated series of emails that are sent out, or dripped, over time on a predetermined schedule. Drip campaigns are frequently on all the time and are initiated by a prospect signing up for more info, the emails are designed to move a new prospect down your marketing funnel.
  • Transactional emails are frequently an automated process driven by a business transaction. Order confirmation and shipping status are transactional emails that you’re probably familiar with.

Content

Creating good content doesn’t need to be difficult but it does take some time. Here’s a few content tips:

Be Useful

Focus on what is useful information for your customers, not about what you do. Keep asking yourself “what is in this for my customer?”

Be Consistent

The key to relationship marketing is being consistent with your communications. Generally a good place to start is monthly emails.

Identity Responsibility

Identify someone on your marketing team that is responsible for ensuring that good content gets created and posted on a regular basis.

It is easy to get excited about this new marketing initiative, but creating useful content takes time. To create useful content on a regular basis something has to give if everyone on your team is already busy.

The List

How you create and grow the list of email addresses for your marketing programs is very important to be successful and not look like a spammer. Ways to effectively grow your list include:

  • Sign up forms.  Email service providers typically provide technology that makes it easy to add an email sign up form on your web site or Facebook page.
  • Direct mail campaign.  Don’t be tempted to purchase a list of email addresses from a data company. Most prospects won’t respond to emails they consider spam and they get a negative attitude towards the sender. Sending direct mail to existing contacts and purchasing targeted prospects lists that has a compelling reason for people to come to your web site and give you their email address can be a very effective way to grow your list.
  • Existing customers.  Starting a new email initiative changes your relationship with your customers. Since your customers may probably like the relationship they have with you, it is much better to tell your customers about your new initiative and make it easy for them to sign up for your newsletter or hear about promotions, rather than adding them to your list.

To be effective email marketing should not be considered a standalone marketing initiatives. The various types of emails you use should work together with all of your other marketing efforts.

We’ll be writing more about email marketing and how it can be integrated into your other marketing initiatives in future posts. In the mean time please contact us if you have any questions.

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