Email Marketing 101: 6 Ways it Can Boost Your Business
This blog post is the first installment of our new series, The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing. Over the next eight weeks, we’ll feature a new article a week that covers a specific area of focus in email marketing! Want a sneak peek into the content? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing. Out of all the marketing predictions for this year, there’s one we’re excited about most: Email marketing is going to be bigger and more important than ever to the growth of your business. But taking on email marketing for the first time is easier said than done. With so many different ways to promote your business nowadays, it can be difficult to identify which ones work and are worth putting time and money into. But the benefits of email marketing can’t be tossed aside:
- Almost ⅓ of customers prefer to receive communication from brands via email over any other channel (including social media and print ads)
- Sixty-six percent of consumers have made a purchase as a result of viewing a brand email
- Email marketing delivers a return of 4,300 percent, which means that for every dollar you spend on email, you can earn $43!
And the benefits don’t stop there. In the rest of this article, we’ll cover other ways you can use email marketing to grow your business and reach more people. Prefer listening to reading? Check out the podcast version of this post or watch the video on YouTube:
Discover how email can help your business
There are a number of ways in which email can help drive revenue and nurture customer relationships that grow your business. Here’s what Justin Rondeau from DigitalMarketer says about the power of email: "Email marketing is the lifeblood of any business. If you don’t have a solid email marketing strategy, then you hate money. Email isn’t going anywhere and is still one of the best ways to move a lead to a prospect, a prospect to a buyer and a buyer to a consistent customer." [bctt tweet="If you don't have a solid email marketing strategy, then you hate money. – @jtrondeau"] At the end of the day, the success of your business relies on your ability to connect with people and motivate them to buy your product or service. And when you use email to help achieve that goal, you gain an opportunity to meet people where they are, build relationships, establish trust, prove your value and convince them to take action when they’re ready. So how exactly does email accomplish all of this? Here are six ways email can help transform your business:
1. Turn site visitors into customers.
Launching a website is a huge milestone for any new entrepreneur or small business owner. But with all of the effort you put into creating a website to attract new business, you might notice it’s harder than it seems. While you may receive a couple hundred visitors a day, you’re having a difficult time converting them into actually customers. That’s where email marketing can help. When you have an email list, you can add a sign up form to your website or blog’s homepage and capture the email addresses from your visitors. As you convey the value of your business over time in the emails you send them, you’re able to nurture those relationships. So when people are ready to make a purchase, they go to you instead of a competitor. On Enchanting Marketing’s homepage, for example, the first thing site visitors will notice is the sign up form promoting a “snackable writing course”: Once someone signs up, they then get to experience the value of the founder Henneke’s expertise. Not to mention, as they receive the email content they were promised, it also helps build trust. After delivering the 16-part course, Henneke then encourages subscribers who enjoyed the email series to purchase her book. In it, she explains that they’ll find writing advice similar to what they consumed over the last 16 days: As a result, Henneke’s able to capture visitors from her website and warm them up so they’re ready to make a purchase.
2. Grow your audience… even without a website!
Don’t have a live website? Email marketing can play a critical role in helping you stay connected with your audience. If you own a brick-and-mortar store or frequently attend conferences and networking events, you can leverage these in-person opportunities to grow your list. Download a sign up form app to your mobile device and use email to share updates with your customers. Or, set up a piece of paper on a clipboard with a pen at your cash register and ask customers to sign up for your email list. If you still want to maintain a presence online, create a dedicated landing page that tells people about your business and features a sign up form. This way you can still be discovered online and capture email addresses in the same way you would if you had a multi-page website.
3. Raise brand awareness.
People love sharing content with friends, family and colleagues if they think they’ll benefit from it. And email can be another great piece of shareable content. If you commit to delivering valuable information to your subscribers, there may be times when your subscribers want to pass it along to others who might also find it interesting. To encourage subscribers to share your email, include a call-to-action that tells them to forward the email. This way, it can help increase shareability and get your brand in front of new audiences. In this email below from the digital publishing company DMN, you’ll notice the link to share located at the top of the message: By encouraging subscribers to send this message to others who may find it interesting, they also increase the chances that they’ll get in front of new audiences.
4. Increase traffic to your website by sharing new content.
As you regularly send emails to your subscribers, aim to always include at least one call to action. Consider what links you can include to drive them back to your website. Email is the perfect channel for driving people back to your website. You already know they’re interested in what you have to say, so it’s time to feed the content beast and send them links that drive back to your website. A big piece of this will depend on your ability to create new, valuable content subscribers will want to interact with. Whether it’s a blog post or video, give them a reason to read more than what’s in your email. By driving traffic back to your website, you’re able to keep your brand top-of-mind, and hopefully encourage them to buy another product, log into their account or sign up for a service.
5. Boost sales by promoting products/services.
In addition to sending emails with new content published on your website, you can also use email to promote new products and sales or promotions. Consider this: 98 percent of people check their email every single day. With so many people frequently checking their inbox, this makes it a great way to get urgent information out to your audience. You can influence people to take action by crafting subject lines with the promotion discount, or emphasize urgency by including how much time is left for the sale. Fortunately, your product doesn’t have to be a physical item – it can be an ebook, course, event or any other type of property you create to be sold or registered for. Copyblogger, for example, recently ran an email campaign to promote a discount off of their education platform, Rainmaker. In the final emails, they emphasized both urgency and value: The subject line stressed the timeliness of the discount, as well as how much I would save if I took advantage of it. Most importantly, Copyblogger increased the chances that I would see the email.
6. Establish customer loyalty and advocacy.
In addition to using email as a way to acquire new customers and increase revenue, it can also be a powerful tool for establishing loyalty and brand advocacy. Highlighting customers success stories or featuring user-generated content like social posts and images can be great for reinforcing how much you care about your individual fans. As you listen to what your followers say about your brand on social channels like Facebook and Twitter, look for opportunities where you might be able to share the stand-out posts. Or browse through customer reviews if you regularly collect those. Before you post their feedback, however, be sure to get their approval. Here’s an example of using customer testimonials in an email from online mattress company, Casper: By using a raving customer review in an abandoned cart email, Casper shows that there are other happy customers out there – and you can experience a good night’s sleep like them.
Commit to email marketing
While these are only a few of the many benefits of email marketing, there’s only one way for you to learn more about them – and it begins with experiencing its power for yourself. With all of the benefits mentioned in this article, is there one thing you hope to get out of email marketing that wasn’t listed? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments! To learn more about getting started with email marketing, read next week's post, How to Plan an Email Marketing Strategy. Or get the full experience by checking out the Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing!
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