Is email marketing right for your business?
From "spamming" a business with actual cans of spam to hiding real diamonds in products to over-the-top uses of bathroom humor, there are quite literally countless ways to market yourself and your business these days. But, strangely enough, even with all the creative approaches out there, there is one very common marketing technique that still out performs all the rest.
It may not be as flashy as all those examples, but it’s been tried and tested for decades and always comes out on top with a better reach, average click rate and (the golden goose) stronger ROI. This is the power of email marketing.
Just to show a few numbers, when it comes to reach (people who are actually engaging with your content) email marketing has an average open rate of 22%. Compare this to other avenues like Facebook and Twitter and the results are incredible. For example, if you post the same content to your 2,000 email subscribers, 2,000 Facebook fans and 2,000 Twitter followers, you’ll have 435 email opens, 120 views on Facebook and only 40 people actually see your tweet.
Also, studies show that for every dollar you invest in email, your average return will be $38! And over all, email acquires about 40 times more paying customers than Facebook and Twitter combined. I know, numbers aren't that exciting, but hopefully that’s enough to see that email marketing should at least be considered for your company’s marketing strategy whether you are just getting started or have been trying different types of marketing for years.
So, today we’re going to cover the basics you need to know to get started with email marketing. And, the best part, everything I’m going to mention is completely free. Let’s get started.
There are several popular options for email marketing, like Constant Contact, Emma, etc., but I’m just going to touch on the one I use, because it offers everything needed for powerful, consistent and free email marketing:
Before we go into some specifics with MailChimp, the main idea with email marketing is consistency. People aren’t always ready to buy now, especially with B2B and more expensive products, so you need to be able to nurtures those leads. That way, over time, being consistently in front of your potential customers gives them the opportunity to see you as an authority and develop a relationship with your brand. So, here are a few ways MailChimp makes marketing with email so simple.
1. Build your List
Now, instead of sending out a bunch of individual emails from your personal address, MailChimp provides a place to build your list and collect subscriptions. Also, due to spamming laws, you are actually required to give your recipients a way to opt out of future emails.
2. Engaging Design
This is one area MailChimp really excels, especially if your not a designer. You can lay out simple, beautiful emails that will engage with your customers clearly. You can drop in images, links, text, social sharing, etc. And if you really don't know where to start, they have tons of great templates ready to go (all of which look great on mobile, too).
One great way to make your business feel established and responsive is to take advantage of email automation. And, just last month, MailChimp began including automation on their free plans! This means you can arrange a welcome letter, recommend products or provide free downloads to your customers without lifting a finger. The bottom line: You can provide your customers with deeper interaction with your brand while you sleep.
What good is marketing if you don't know if it's working? MailChimp provides in depth analytics to see what subject lines work, who engages, when they engage and what they engage with. It also compares your stats with your industry's average to give you a better context to how you are doing.
Best of all, it's completely free. I know I mentioned this, but it's worth saying again. If you're just getting started (and until you have more than 2000 subscribers or 12,000 emails a month, which is a lot!) all you have to worry about is a small gray link to give MailChimp credit.
Before you ask, no, I don’t work for MailChimp; I just want to rid you of any excuses you may have to put off your email campaigning.
(Related: 8 simple tricks to write awesome content)
So, forget whatever has held you back and start building your business through email marketing today!