The Dynamic Duo.
Sure, we’re all on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. They are popular ways to communicate, so having a presence on them is useful. Social media is immediate, no waiting for a response. But can you guess what outshines those platforms in conversion rates? E-mail marketing. It outperforms social media results by far. E-mail marketing plus social media can support and feed off each other. Your car can’t run on one cylinder, and your marketing can’t grow on one channel. Cross-promotion is effective, so make sure your website has links to your social media accounts, and that your social media accounts link to your website.
Meet Them Where They Are: Their In-Box!
Millions of people check their emails at the beginning of the day, and then several times throughout the day. It’s through e-mail that colleagues communicate with each other. Companies inform you of your purchases by email. Important documents arrive via email. Don’t forget that people on your e-mail list have opted in, so they have already indicated an interest in your business or product, and are therefore likely to open and read it.
People buy from companies they trust, so consistently sending out e-mails over an extended period indicates stability. It says, “I’m still here.” Facebook and Twitter algorithms frequently change, with a preference toward paid ads, and only a small percentage of your followers will see posts in your newsfeed. They are run by third parties, which give you less control over your accounts. Your biggest asset is the subscriber list you own where you can deliver your message via e-mail, a channel with a long history that is not likely to go away.
Offer Something of Value.
The way to capture and nurture is by providing high-quality, well-designed content that keeps your business tops on recipients’ minds. Offer information, a discount, a contest.
Ask For Feedback.
Your customers are experts in what they need or want. Send out a survey, conduct a focus group, or call up a few subscribers for an informal chat to take out the guesswork. Consider asking your unsubscribers why they left as their input can be insightful. All feedback can help you refine your emails and increase the opening rate.
Segmenting. Scheduling. Analyzing.
As your e-mail list grows, you will have newbies, returnees, people with different interests, people of different ages, people in different locations. It can be nearly impossible for a small business to manage, especially when staffing up is not an option. An email service provider can take on such tasks for you and increase your bottom line. They can track the open rate, the click-through rate, whether a coupon was used, and so on.
The Future Is Bright
Social media platforms may come and go, or they may change their algorithms. E-mail is becoming the preferred channel as it continues to offer more flexibility by developing kinetic (or interactive) experiences, by designing emails with purchase options that work across mobile devices, and with more automated email features.