5 Reasons Why You Can’t Ignore Email Marketing

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Social media may be all the rage in the marketing world these days, but there’s one marketing tool that’s more effective and cost-efficient. What is it? You guessed it - good, old-fashioned email.

Email has been around for more than 20 years, which makes it a dinosaur in the technology world. No matter how many new innovations come out, though, it’s still one of the most effective marketing tools out there. In fact, it’s actually become more effective in recent years. That’s because new tools allow you to automate your email process, personalize mass emails, and even measure the email campaign’s effectiveness.

Many businesses, though, still haven’t made email part of their marketing strategy. They may feel that it’s an imposition and that they’ll be “spamming” their customers. Some businesses think that it’s time consuming and that they don’t have the resources to do it effectively. Still, others may not even have a list to email.

5 Reasons Why You Cannot Ignore Email Marketing

All of those challenges can be overcome easily. When done right, email marketing can increase engagement with your audience and drive sales. Quite simply, it’s too easy and effective to ignore.

Still not convinced? Here are five reasons why you need to make email a part of your strategy:

It drives sales.

Short of calling people directly on the phone, email is the only way you can instantly get a message out to your audience immediately. Have a big sales event coming up? Send out an email blast. Have way too many of the last year’s products still sitting on your shelf? You can get them out the door with a coordinated email campaign.

Social media also allows you to communicate immediately. However, with social media, it’s likely that only a small percentage of your audience will ever see the message. With email, it will definitely show up in their email inbox.

Email is a proven automatic sales machine that leads customers and prospects to your door. In fact, the Direct Marketing Association found in a 2011 study that email returns $40 for every $1 of investment. You’d be hard-pressed to find any marketing tool that delivers sales in bigger numbers.

The audience is huge.

According to Radicati, there are 3.9 billion email accounts worldwide. That number is expected to grow to 4.9 billion by 2017. According to Hubspot, 91 percent of those users check their inbox every day.

Granted, you’re not going to reach every one of those accounts, or even a sizable fraction of them. However, you can hit the email accounts of people who are interested in your product or service. And based on simple math, there’s likely to be a much higher number of those people available via email than on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or some other social network.

Facebook has 1.23 billion active monthly users. A large number, for sure, but still less than a third of email. Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest are even smaller. There’s no way around it - email represents your largest possible online audience.

It’s targeted and personal.

Think about all of the marketing methods available to you and how well they target your buyers. There are mass marketing tools like print ads, direct mail, and radio and TV commercials. Those methods are highly impersonal. You buy the ads and hope they reach the biggest audience possible.

Then there are online ads and social media posts. You can target those to specific groups fairly well, but you can’t personalize them. You’re still appealing to a mass audience.

With email, you can target and personalize. Tools like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and Aweber allow you to segment your audience into groups, so your emails can be targeted specifically to each group’s interests. Then, you can quickly personalize the emails so each recipient feels like you’re reaching out specifically to them. With that kind of personal outreach, it’s much more likely that you’ll get engagement and a response.

Emails can last forever.

Think about the last time you saw an interesting post in your Facebook feed. Maybe you noticed it, thought about clicking on the link, and decided to come back to it later. When you finally do get back to it, it’s gone.

That’s not uncommon. On Facebook, a post reaches more than 50 percent of its total reach within 30 minutes. It reaches 75 percent of its total audience within two hours. After five hours, it’s essentially gone.

On social media, you have to hit your audience at the right time or you’ll never hit them at all. That’s not the case at all with email. Your emails will stay in your audience’s inboxes until they proactively delete them. They can refer back to them as many times as necessary.

In fact, some of the tools we mentioned above let you track when your emails are opened. Try them out. You’ll be surprised how often your recipients open your emails long after you sent them.

It’s affordable.

There are few things you can do to market your business that are more cost-effective than email. Simply having an email account is obviously free. However, even tools that help you design elaborate and automated email campaigns are relatively inexpensive. Some of the tools mentioned, like Aweber and Mailchimp, have packages that start at as little as $10 per month.

After that, you just need to write the emails and set up the campaign. You can even hire someone to write the emails and manage the process for you and it would still likely cost less than nearly any traditional form of advertising or marketing.

If you want to get started in email marketing, the best thing you can do is start building your list. Have something on your website that you give away for free in exchange for an email address. Offer a small discount or free product in exchange for an email address. You’ll have a large list in no time and you can begin leveraging that list with targeted campaigns.

Email is one of the most cost-effective and powerful tools at your disposal. It can drive sales, build your customer base, and, ultimately, improve your cash flow. Don’t make the mistake of leaving email out of your marketing arsenal.

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