Cut Through the Clutter: Using Email to Market Your Business

Using Email to Market Your Business

Using Email to Market Your Business. If you’re not using email as a way to promote your business, you’re missing out on an enormous opportunity to engage your current customers and attract new prospects. Email marketing is fast and easy, and it should be considered a regular, and very important, component of any business’s marketing arsenal.

The return on investment you can gain through email marketing is huge. For every $1 you spend on your email marketing program, you can realize a return of about $44. In 2017, the median ROI for email marketing was 122%, which is four times higher than other common marketing channels such as social media and pay-per-click advertising.

How Do I Get Started?

If you’re just getting off the ground with email marketing, your mailing list might be fairly small, or even non-existent. Don’t be dismayed! Everybody has to begin somewhere. It’s important to build a good email list, but how do you get started? Really, it’s as easy as simply asking for email addresses. You can ask at point of sale, you can provide an opt-in on your website, or you can ask as part of your contact information collection process.

You can also buy targeted email lists if you are sending business-to-business emails. Just make sure you are complying with all applicable CAN-SPAM laws.  Exact Data is a reputable source for business email leads. Once you buy a list, it’s also a good idea to “scrub” the list using a tool like Email scrubbing allows you to eliminate the email addresses that are no longer valid, or worse are “spam traps“.  Spam traps are a type of fraud management tool, used by major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Outlook, Yahoo, and Gmail to identify spammers so they can block emails from them.

Once you start collecting email addresses, you need to give your clients and prospects content to thank them for giving you their contact information. This “thank you” can be in the form of special offers, email subscriber exclusive content (white papers, infographics, etc.), or newsletters.

More than content, however, the real key to an effective email marketing program is consistency. Don’t just send an email welcoming people and never send anything again. A regular stream of emails from your business will keep your company top-of-mind with your customers and prospects.  Emails containing how-to’s, tips and product help are popular types of content.

What’s in it for ME?

You can collect invaluable data points from your email campaigns. For example:

  • Which link did the viewer click on — for example, a link to your website or blog post or a product image? Did they click on more than one link within the email?
  • If they clicked on a text link, what was the anchor text?
  • If they clicked on a product image, which items were being promoted and which one did the customer click on?
  • What did they do when they got to your landing page or website? Did they make an immediate purchase, view additional product pages, or leave your site?
  • If they made a purchase, did they buy one of the items promoted in the email, or did they buy something else?
  • If they browsed through your site, which items or product categories did they click on?
  • Did they forward your email to a friend or colleague? Did they share your email on one of their social media accounts?

Using Email Automation

If you’re fearful that email marketing will be too time consuming, don’t be. With email automation, you can easily set up and send campaigns that are triggered to hit your prospects’ or customers’ inboxes at just the right moment. Companies such as MailChimp or Hatchbuck (HQ in St. Louis!) make sending automated campaigns quick and easy.

These service providers also help maintain the integrity of your email database by automatically flagging and removing bounced emails (aka, bad email addresses).

What if I Need More Help?

There are thousands of marketing agencies out there who can help. Just do your homework and check their references and case studies. Here in St. Louis, the largest marketing services agency is Ansira. They serve Fortune 500 clients around the world. For smaller companies without an in-house marketing department like mine, we like Cole-Dalton Marketing Services.

Once you’re comfortable with the basics of email marketing, you can start digging into analytics and segmentation of your list, which we’ll get into in a future post. Meanwhile, go ahead and get started with your first email. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.