If you’re like us, your email box is flooded with email from people who aren’t your friends. Just today, I received email from the President of my daughter’s university, several political candidates, two non-profit advocacy groups, the DIA, several clothing stores, Einstein’s Bagels, and businesses associated with apps that I use like Map My Walk.
Here’s what’s interesting about that list: I can rattle off who sent me an email and for many, if not all, what some of the content was (a coupon, an upcoming exhibit, a petition to sign, new security measures at the university, etc.) The upshot: the email was delivered, I received it, it had a pretty good chance of being read by me and I may have even taken action (I did use the Einstein’s coupon over the weekend).
The lesson is that email, in many circumstances, is still a valid and useful tool for contacting your clients and customers.
What are the best uses of email marketing?
- Specials, sales or timely information. It is far cheaper to design and deliver an email coupon or flyer than using traditional mail. Constant Contact and Mail Chimp are popular email marketing platforms and there are many more.
- A tool to bring people to your website. We have a client who writes a regular blog, but was feeling that not enough of her colleagues and clients were reading the blog. A short newsletter with some upcoming speaking dates and the first few paragraphs of the latest blogs (with a “click here to read the entire article” hotlink) hit the spot. Now that the newsletter is designed and she likes the template, it’s easy to replicate in the future.
- A holiday greeting with absolutely no marketing gimmick whatsoever.
- A message for a certain sector of your population. You can divide up your email list into all sorts of segments. So a dentist that treats adults and children may want to send out dental information about new sealant procedures in a different form to the parents of kids as opposed to the adult patients. Attorneys can divide up their client contacts by industry or the type of legal work they receive.
Why email marketing? It’s cost effective, in full color, you get immediate response regarding the viability of your email list, and you can be sure it’s delivered, unlike Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Linkedin posts.
When should you email? Whenever you feel best. If you’re marketing an event, consider how much lead time people will need, send out a first email, then a second reminder. Email marketing platforms allow you to schedule the date and the time. Don’t send out the email before 7:00 a.m. or after 9:30 p.m. as people will just resent it.
Try to amass data about your email marketing. How much of your email is opened? What time and date did you send it out? Do you notice a correlation between time and open rate? Is there a connection between content and the open rate?
If you really want to be proactive, contact the clients, customers or patients whose email addresses bounced back. Tell them that you had information for them about whatever (a special, the new insurance policy, your latest blog) and the email bounced. Tell them they are important to you and you want to make sure they stay informed. Just calling to follow up on a missed email is a great activity to connect with customers whose loyalty to you could be tenuous if untended.
Email marketing is one of many ways to reach your customers. Sometimes it feels old school compared to other social media platforms, but it is actually more dependable and equally as cost-effective.