According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA): “Email delivers the highest ROI (return on investment) by an eye-popping margin: a whopping $57.25 for every dollar spent on it”. (2005)
I know what you’re thinking: “Email marketing has been around forever – I get 23 marketing emails every day.” Our overflowing in-boxes are proof that email is used (overused) by many companies.
Why should you still consider this for your business?
First of all, you aren’t going to spam your clients and prospects. Aside from the fact that it’s illegal, an even more important point is that spam makes your clients hate you. It’s true. Overuse of email marketing, or the misuse of it, will backfire. Instead of clients feeling pleased, or even excited, towards you and your offering they will begin to despise the day that they gave you their email address and will in a not-so-slow fashion rush to unsubscribe from your annoying barrage of emails. No, this is not effective advertising.
In contrast, permission based email systems ensure that, first, people on your list actually want to be there and second, they can remove themselves at anytime without hassles or bad feelings. When a system like this is in use, people are more likely to offer you their email address in the first place.
Email marketing remains one of the most effective means (both in terms of reach and cost) of staying in front of your clients and prospects. Effective use doesn’t mean being focused on making a sale, but having a focus first on staying in touch and giving real information to people who requested it and second informing clients about important information regarding your company – sometimes this includes product sales. By giving your clients information that matters to them and that they can use, they come to view you as an expert, not as someone always trying to make a sale. They begin to trust you, and are more likely to refer you – knowing that you will be able to help their friends and colleagues.
There are a number of turnkey email marketing services available today. Now with a tool like this in your belt, you won’t have to cc: (carbon copy) everyone in your address book whenever you have something to say. These email services maintain your database of names and email addresses, sending an individual, personally addressed email to each person on your list. It is professional, clean and trackable.
Not to be overlooked is the automation feature of these services. With the use of auto responders and scheduling, you can plan your marketing for the next 6-12 months in one sitting, and allow the service to execute it for you. When you have a new signup to your newsletter, for example, you can set your program to send a welcome email, a follow-up email 5 days later then drop them into your regular list of clients receiving bi-weekly messages. This is done automatically. Prospects receive personalized attention, but you didn’t have to take the time to deliver it.
Points to consider, when evaluating email marketing providers:
- Deliverability (low spam ratings mean more people receive your message)
- Tracking (who opened what when, what links are popular)
- Ease of email creation
- Features like auto responders and sign-up forms
Some of the popular providers are: Constant Contact, aWeber and Campaigner. They all serve a slightly different niche, depending on flexibility, list size and segmentation required. The majority of these have great tutorials online to walk you through how to use their service. If you feel this might take too much technical ability or just too much time, consider hiring a freelancer to do this for you. The rewards will be more than worth it.