Generate Great Returns!
There are a loadsa great reasons to use email and these include;
- Reach – once you have permission, you can have easy and direct access to your target market
- Brand Awareness – getting your brand name into someone’s email box is powerful
- Measure Success – tracking who opened what and when beats generic web stats
- Cost-Effective – email is a very low-cost activity, especially if managed inhouse.
Email – The Ryanair of Marketing
I’m going to kick-off with the cost because nothing compares to it! To get a reasonable ROI on an email marketing campaign is easy as the cost of design, build and delivery is minimal compared to print, postage, above-the-line media etc. A very low response rate can still give a significant ROI which makes it a no-brainer in terms of including email as a core element of the marketing mix.
At this stage it’s worth putting two over-riders on this article – just because it’s easy and cheap doesn’t mean you should use email to abuse people’s trust.First-up permission is key; for consumers not only is this best marketing practice but it is also a legal requirement, see www.dataprivacy.ie. Secondly frequency is a major influencing factor on response rates; permission emails being sent too frequently soon become spam; the level of activity should be directly related to the frequency of purchase e.g. if you are selling new cars, an email once a quarter to prospects is probably loads – if you are selling discounted meals at local restaurants someone might be quite happy to get a daily email – specifically because it is personalised to the recipient and the offers change daily.
So make the most of email as a low-cost activity but be cautious – over-use it and you’ll lose it.
See Me, Remember Me
Email marketing strongly reinforces brand recognition. Continued exposure to the company’s name, logo and your particular visual identity in graphical emails works on the most pervasive of levels. “Out of sight, out of mind” is a fundamental fact of marketing reality and email helps to ping your biz right back into focus for your target customers.
You can’t always know when’s a good time to touch base with a prospect but by zapping out an occasional email, you can keep you name “out there” til the time is right and then the customer has your contact details to hand straight away, in their inbox. Even if that prospect has an existing competing supplier – everyone changes suppliers from time to time – email allows you to put yourself in the mix without the interruption of a phone call which could come at a bad time.
Having worked with email for years, I’m always amazed at the re-action some customers have when they see what they consider to be “poor” opening rates. I remember well one financial services company getting on to us to ask what could they do about their “bad” response rates – when I checked the stats. over 50% (yes more than half of all recipients) were opening their emails. Sometimes it’s time to take a deep breathe……..
Opening rates can vary from 0.5% up to 60% or more depending on what the proposition is however we find they often range between 5% and 20% for regular ezine-type messages. But here’s the point – how are you measuring how many people opened a letter in the post or responded to a trade advertising campaign? Be honest – you’re not really are you? So while email is very cheap and it’s giving you brand visibility, tracking, response rates – it’s being criticised as a media purely because the feedback is there looking at you in the face; good or bad. Don’t blame the messenger; get the message – people want to get on with their work and their lives; every so often the right email lands at the right time and then all’s well with the world; the more targeted your marketing, the stronger the proposition, the more familiar your brand is – the better your response rates will be. But at least you know exactly what they are and as in life – being active and effective is the key to success.
Facebook or Email?
Lot’s of older people don’t use Facebook or other social media and to be honest if I wasn’t in the business I’m not sure I would myself. While it works for large consumer brands and for those who want to build a public profile, social media sits a little uncomfortably with B2B marketing – expect for LinkedIn of course which is a business network anyway. But let’s face it – you don’t really want to be “friends” with all your business contacts, do you? I should point out at this stage of course that Google is forcing us all to embrace social media as this activity helps improve your sites performance in Google so it is becoming more important for that purpose.
However while some people are very active and productive on social sites, not everyone is lovin’ it. On the other hand, every single person in commercial life is active on email. So for me it makes more sense to build your email activity as a priority and then add social media activity as part of the mix (of course they do go hand-in-hand anyway).
Email is a ‘grown-up’ medium of communication. And promoting your business is a serious enterprise. So if you haven’t got regular email activity up-and-running yet or you need a new platform, take the free trial here and kick-start your marketing today – all on a shoestring too; Michael O’Leary would be proud of you!