Email marketing is one of the most effective methods of communicating with your customers. Hands down it’s the easiest to use and by far the simplest to track conversions and return on investment.
Don’t believe the hype when people tell you email is dead – it’s just not true. How could something be dead when over 191.4 billion email messages were sent in 2014? Over 108 billion of these messages were sent from the business sector.
Open and click through rates for email marketing have remained steady performers over the years and in some industries have seen an increase in ROI.
It’s been shown over the last few years how email is 40 times more successful at acquiring new clients than either Facebook and Twitter. You’re also 6 times more likely to get a click-through from an email campaign than you are from a tweet.
Why? Email has the capability of being more personal and people are more selective in who they allow into their inboxes. So if you have the privilege of being invited in, you have a higher chance of remaining relevant and creating a more established buying relationship with your customers.
So why aren’t more small businesses using it? What is it about email marketing which leaves them so tongue tied or unwilling to take the leap into their customer’s inboxes?
How many times a week do I have to do it? That’s exhausting.
I was talking to a client about their email marketing efforts the other day when she said “I just don’t know if we have the time for it – I mean, how many times a week do you have to send them out?”
And I think we hit the main problem on the head there. Most people are used to getting email messages from large department store chains or big businesses – ones who can create a valid reason to email you every few days (or have a huge marketing department with the resources to create larger campaigns).
As a small business you think to yourself “I can’t possibly figure out what to email my customers about once a week, let alone every three days”. And that’s totally fine – you don’t need to send out your email newsletters at any set frequency of time.
Email when you have something to say.
Just like regular email – use it when you have something to say.
Just published a new piece of content? Having a sale coming up? Wishing them a happy birthday? These are all great reasons to send out email newsletters. Emailing just because you have to do it every Thursday is a fast way to burn yourself out and have people unsubscribe because they aren’t getting any value.
Keep this as a rule of thumb – email at least once a month but make sure you have a relevant reason to do so.
But what do you talk about?
After we discussed the frequency of her email campaigns we spoke a bit about what sorts of things she could send in her newsletters – “I can’t have a sale every month – I’d go broke/my company doesn’t work that way/my products are too expensive.”
I told her she doesn’t have to rely on only sales to drive her email newsletter’s content. Here are some questions we talked about to help you kick start some ideas for your next few newsletters.
- Do you get any questions frequently in your business you can address?
Do an FAQ or Ask Me type of newsletter.
- Have you written an article or blog post lately?
Let people know! A newsletter with a link to or the blog post in it’s entirety can be a great source of value to your customers.
- Have you read any great articles on the web lately?
Do you think your customers would benefit from reading it as well? Then send the a link. Article round up newsletters are a great way to show your customers you’re in the know in your industry.
- Work with any awesome clients lately?
If you’ve worked with a great client or done a cool project – why not showcase it? Write up a case study about how the project worked and your process or journey to the end result.
- Have any special events or industry related events coming up?
Let your customers know ways they can get even more active in the industry or interact with your company.
- Did you release any new products?
Of course you would let your customers know you have a new product they can buy right?
- Have any services that not many of your customers know about?
Do you offer X but also do a bit of Y on the side? Then highlight Y in your next newsletter.
And those are just a few ideas you can use to get your newsletter generating juices flowing. Notice how only the last two have anything to do with directly selling your products or services?
In the marketing industry we call this creating value – when you communicate with your customers with the intentions of giving them something for free.
Going above and beyond with value.
Providing value to your customers is the most important part of email marketing. If you aren’t providing value in their inboxes, it’s a sure bet they’ll be unsubscribing rather quickly.
From giving them information they otherwise wouldn’t be able to get on their own, to offering them free services or products – value is something tangible and the intention behind it can make the world of difference in your interactions with your customers.
Ask yourself – how would I feel getting this email in my inbox if it was from The Blue Widget Company? Would I be interested? Would I feel as though I was just being sold to or could I get value out of it?
I’m convinced! Sign me up!
Awesome! You’re excited to get your newsletter started and you have lots of ideas for how you can deliver value to your customers through your email marketing.
With any other marketing technique – it’s a good idea to get a few instances planned out beforehand. Why not sit down today and plan out 3-4 newsletters you can send to your customers? Include different kinds of info like we talked about above and vary the frequency to make sure you won’t burn yourself out trying to meet an unrealistic sending schedule.
The success we’ve seen from our customers who’ve used email marketing can’t be denied – it’s an effective form of marketing which still sees great returns on investment and when done right can really boost your bottom line.
You’d be smart to add it to your marketing toolbelt and we’d love to help you out with it!