The options and resources available to marketers today are many and powerful, including video marketing, social media, blogging, search engine optimization, pay-per-click, referral marketing, and mobile marketing and analytics.
But one marketing tactic continues to perform year after year as one of the best options out there: email marketing.
It’s a solid, proven strategy that delivers an impressive ROI: $44 for every $1 spent.
This isn’t to say you don’t need to use other marketing tactics; you absolutely do. Creating a well-rounded marketing strategy depends on the interplay between various online techniques. But email marketing is still a foundational part of that process.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing in its simplest form is the use of email to create and maintain permission-based relationships with prospects and customers.
Consumers give you permission to send them emails when they opt-in to receive information from you. They may request a report or coupon from your website, take a quiz and ask for the results, or purchase a product and expect follow up.
The key to successful permission- based marketing is to make sure you’re only sending your subscribers the information that they requested and expect.
It is relational because the days of faceless business are over. Consumers expect and demand the option of a personal touch with every business they deal with, and if they don’t get it, they will move on to one that provides it.
If you only send promotional emails to your contacts, pummeling them with sales messages, they will lose trust in you, become annoyed and unsubscribe or worse — mark your email as spam, damaging your email sender reputation (making it harder for the emails you send to make it to your recipients’ inboxes).
At its best, email marketing is a strategically balanced combination of
- Transactional emails (receipts, login information, etc.)
- Nurture/Relational emails (any email that delivers relevant information and educational content)
- Sales/Promotional emails (emails designed to elicit a sale)
Email Marketing Strategy
Obviously, the majority of your emails should be nurture/relational emails, but getting the balance right requires a marketing strategy. Rather than randomly sending emails and offers to your subscribers, you’ll want to design a plan that nurtures, engages, sells, and follows up with them.
A robust email service provider such as Infusionsoft makes it easy to segment your contacts as they opt in to your email list, so you can tailor your messaging to their specific interests.
Email Marketing Analytics
Finally, track and analyze your email campaigns. Using the tools provided by your email service platform (such as Infusionsoft), pay attention to how many of your emails are opened, which links are being clicked and how many unsubscribes or spam complaints you get. This will give you a well-rounded picture of how your list is responding to your campaigns, and you can tweak your strategy as needed.
As your list engagement grows, consider using their behavior to future customize their journey. For example, if a certain link is clicked in an email, consider that as an indicator of their interest and use that link click to start them on a different journey, always letting their behavior and engagement inform you of what they want and need.
As a marketer, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the ever-increasing number of channels you have available to you to interact with your prospects. And while it’s good to use a variety of marketing tactics, you don’t have to (nor can you) use them all. Email marketing is a time-tested, effective way to engage with your audience and increase sales.
And if you make it your goal that the contacts on your list look forward to your emails and you see a positive ROI, you’re a rock star email marketer 🙂