54% of small businesses surveyed rated e-mail as the top online promotion to drive site visitors and customers to their web sites and storefronts. (Source: DMA Interactive). Where does your business fit into this picture? If you have a website and sell products or services, you have customers and those customers have email addresses. An email address paired with a name, a profile, past browsing and buying behavior is an incredibly powerful thing for any business owner to have.
Most businesses can benefit from a mixture of social media marketing and email marketing, but between the two, the benefits of email marketing are one of the top tactics for lead generation, sales and maintaining customer relationships.
It’s Targeted – Email Marketing is more personal and it can be tailored (segmented) to very specific audiences –
- If a customer is not ready to buy yet, you can share content that will help them during various stages of the buying cycle
- Email customers that live in specific cities, states, regions
- Had a successful year or event? Call out your top customers and thank them for their business
- Email customers before their birthdays and offer them discounts
- Email by gender, generation or cross different cultures
- Based on what you know about your customers’ behavior while they have been on your site, you can retarget by reminding them about the items they clicked on or left in their carts.
It’s Business-Minded – When it comes to running a business, making lasting connections is more “grown-up” via email marketing rather than with most social networks. Think of it as a one-to-one conversation that’s landed in your customer’s very private email box – your message is not so private on social networks. Instead of speaking to thousands of people, your message is directed at each person by first name, and can again be tailored to that specific relationship.
It’s Mobile – More and more people have smartphones and they are checking email messages constantly along with their social networks and apps. Hubspot reports that forty percent of all emails are now viewed on smartphones, which means your emails, need to look exceptional on mobile devices.
It’s Permission Based – Your customers have given you the go ahead to communicate with them. It’s not like Twitter where it’s more of a mating dance – listening and promoting others comes first before engagement (sharing, promoting, selling) and new followers (people who sign up for email have a higher likelihood to become real customers if they haven’t already).
It’s Selling – Customers are expecting deals or discounts when they sign up for email newsletters and you can take advantage of this by telling your customers what to expect and give them exclusive deals only if they sign up. It’s an intimate level of exclusivity not similar to social networks. Social networks are better for engagement, brand loyalty, brand awareness and contests.
And speaking of deals and discounts, according to eMarketer, 92.5 million people in the U.S. redeemed digital coupons in 2012. By 2014, U.S. digital coupon users will exceed 100 million. There are many people who access coupons via desktop computers, but coupon users with smartphones are aiding in overall growth. Think of valuable discounts you can give your customers with digital coupons in your next email blast.
Good luck on your email marketing campaign and while you’re at it, subscribe to our email newsletter to receive tips on digital marketing!