Everyone is familiar with the concept of email marketing. Of course, the definition of email marketing is using email to promote, sell, teach, or otherwise engage your clients and prospects. Over the past several years, using email as a marketing tool has become increasingly popular. This is because it is a relatively inexpensive way to keep your product or service uppermost in the mind of your prospects, increase repetition of visits from your existing customers, and interact with many people at one time.
However, the increased popularity of email marketing has created a double edge sword. Along with the growth in email marketing came a massive increase in email spam. Inboxes have become flooded with the digital equivalent of junk mail. And some of this junk mail isn’t innocuous, but contains viruses and Trojans. This enormous increase in spamming has resulted in the passing of antispam legislation in North America; Canspam in the US, and CASL in Canada.
Antispam legislation has impacted how email marketing is operated. A couple of examples of this are; marketing emails must clearly delineate that they are for marketing purposes, they must go to a targeted audience, and recipients of marketing emails must have opted in to become part of your email list.
But these changes have not eliminated the potential of using email marketing. There are still several valid ways to integrate email marketing into your overall marketing plan.
Of course, for any type of online purchase or e-commerce transaction, email is vital. For the purposes of online purchases, email serves as a confirmation of purchase and provides the purchaser with a receipt.
In many cases, businesses will offer e-books or white papers to encourage people to join their email list. This is sometimes referred to as an “ethical bribe”, and is very commonly used as a way to increase a company’s list of prospects while giving something of value in return to the person for providing their name and email information.
Informational emails are also very common. They often take the form of an eNewsletter, and are generally sent on a regular basis such as weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. The purpose of these newsletters is to continue to keep your clients and prospects engaged and informed of happenings within your business. They can provide reviews of what the company has been doing as well as updates of what to expect in the future. If you are providing a newsletter to your clients and prospects, it is important to be sure to provide opportunities within the email for them to share the information via social media channels or by email. This can help to grow your list of prospects.
There are several email service providers, such as MailChimp, Aweber, Get Response, etc., and it is very beneficial to utilize one of these services for your email marketing requirements. They allow you to segregate your clients and prospects into various lists, permitting you to target your offerings. They also allow you to run campaigns and will provide you with statistics, as well as A/B testing to see what is working best in your email marketing. Templates are available within these applications as well, which enables you to design an email that is consistent with your brand.
Getting people to join your email list is becoming more and more difficult. Visitors to your website are digitally inundated with offers of e-books, white papers and various other ethical bribes, and are becoming weary of that approach. But by providing something of value for joining your list, and continuing to provide quality information on your website, you can continue to attract subscribers.
Be respectful of your subscribers and be sure to protect their privacy, and you will build a loyal following.
Until next time…
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