There are a lot of misconceptions about email marketing these days. Many business owners don’t think there is much of a return on the investment. Others think that because of the flood of spam emails, that people don’t read newsletters or email marketing messages. But that’s simply not the case.
Email marketing is still one of the top online marketing tactics available. In fact, according to a Direct Marketing Association study in late 2011, email marketing gives a higher return dollar for dollar than any other marketing channel. That’s why so many companies do it. Because it works.
But for some reason, many small businesses don’t use email marketing at all. Most likely, this is because they see it as an optional form of marketing and don’t have the time to focus on it. If that’s the case for you and your business, it’s time to re-evaluate your marketing priorities.
The DMA estimates that average ROI in 2011 for email was around $40.56 for every $1 invested. Seems like a no-brainer then doesn’t it? So get started then!
How? First you will need to build your email list. Start with your existing customers. If you don’t have their email addresses, call them and tell them you’re starting an email newsletter and would like their email address. What’s the worst thing that could happen? They say no. This could even generate a sale or referral.
Next you will have to sign up for an email service. Mail Chimp is a nice service to start with as it’s free for under 500 subscribers. Other good services are Constant Contact, iContact, and Aweber. These services will allow you to mass email, track your subscribers, open rates, click through rates, and much more. They have free templates that you can use to create a nice looking email and you can also create signup forms to embed on your website to help you grow your list.
Lastly, develop and execute a content strategy. Depending on your business, you may only want to let your subscribers know about current specials or featured products/services. In other cases, you may want to write content that helps your subscribers, such as how-to articles, and mix in a little marketing along with it. Plan your emails out at least a month in advance so that you’re never scrambling to get your message out.
Again, email is still a very effective marketing strategy that keeps your business in front of your audience and if you aren’t using it, then it’s time to give it a try. If you need help or just want someone to handle it for you, we offer email marketing services. Just give us a call.