Email marketing is often taught as the basic foundation to creating any successful marketing campaign online. In theory, the reasoning is solid – would you rather sell to someone once and have them walk away forever, or turn them into a repeat customer who buys again and again? While collecting customer’s emails gives you increased marketing power, just how effective is email marketing as we get further into 2016 and beyond?
With the ever changing landscape of marketing online, is email still a powerful marketing tool?
The truth is that email marketing is still completely relevant and powerful, even today. However, many new people starting out in online business may not understand how to make it work because there’s a lot of bad information floating around.
The trick is to know how to implement an email campaign and the right time to do it for your business.
Ultimately, there’s a reason that your email is jam packed with promotions – it works. If it didn’t, why would these massive companies spend time, energy and money dedicated to email campaigns? This can be translated into the world of smaller scale internet business as well – if it works for the big guys, why wouldn’t it work for you?
But… realize a list isn’t an instant source of income…
It can be really confusing if you’ve been listening to gurus or programs within the world of internet marketing tell you things like:
You MUST create a squeeze page to grow your list!
The most important thing is getting subscribers on your list!
There’s no point in marketing without a list!
You can’t make any money without a list!
No list? Email all your family and friends!
They make it seem like it doesn’t matter who your subscribers are, you’ll make TONS of money with any list! But that couldn’t be further from the truth, because who they are is the most important part.
If you think about it, how in the world are you supposed to build a list as a complete newbie? Who are you going to market to? Ofen time this results in people telling you to blast emails to your family and friends, and that is a very bad move.
Before you build a list, you need:
- An ENGAGED AUDIENCE
- An understanding of your niche and the people within it
Finding the right people to market to is a huge hurdle any business must overcome before they can successfully start email marketing.
People aren’t really taught how to go about it the right way or they are taught methods that worked 15 years ago, but not with today’s audience (people have grown very tired of blatant promotions).
The misguidance can make newbies frustrated and turning to “solutions” like buying others email lists or taking part in a traffic exchange to get more subscribes.
The problem is, these are not solutions and will result in a very poor ROI. Using poor quality methods like this will result in higher unsubscribes, more spam complaints and ultimately the downfall of the campaign. Remember, you need the right people on your list to make it worthwhile.
If you want to grow a profitable list, you need to focus on driving targeted traffic to your website through engaging, unique content. If they see you as a helpful, trustworthy source in your niche they will be interested and be much more likely to subscribe and buy from you in the future.
You don’t need a list to make money… but it helps
Even though email is a great way to communicate and market to an audience, it is only one way. You can make money online without an email list, I did it and I know tons of other people who have as well.
That being said, focusing on marketing through additional platforms can always increase your revenue and it’s always smart to add it somewhere down the line. A list means potential repeat customers, and it’s MUCH easier to sell to a repeat customer than a stranger. Any business will tell you a significant portion of their sales come from people who have already bought from them before.
Benefits of email marketing – It’s more effective than social media
It may seem like marketing through email is less relevent with the increased use of social media platforms like Facebook Twitter and G+, but a closer look proves this theory untrue.
As a matter of fact, if your business has come to the point where you’re debating whether to spend your money on social media campaigns or email marketing, email is still the better option.
It has been statistically proven to be much more successful, resulting in more than TWICE the return on investment of social media
This can be due to several factors:
Better chance of getting noticed – social media platforms like Facebook are making it increasingly harder for your posts to get seen without paying to boost the exposure. If you blast a post to your following, there’s an extremely likely chance it’ll disappear on 99% of their newsfeeds and nobody will ever see it. On the other hand, email will always remain in an inbox until the user deletes it.
More personal – people may be more likely to reply and engage with you through a personal platform like email, rather than one where anything they say can be seen by thousands or even millions of others.
Ability to target a very interested audience – people on an email list have most likely “opted in”- they gave the list owner explicit permission to send them emails, and they have the ability to unsubscribe at any time. Giving a business your email takes more effort than a like or follow, and that results in those people being much more likely to be future customers.
Email has turned mobile – the majority of people now have smartphones that have instant email notifications, allowing them to see your emails even if they’re not sitting down on a computer.
More email users – despite the popularity of Facebook , Twitter and other social media platforms, there are WAY more people who have email accounts.
Challenges of email marketing
Despite the power email can have, it still faces challenges.
Spam filtering – while there are tons of tips you can follow to reduce the amount of emails going to spam, at the end of the day it’s always going to happen to a certain percentage of opt ins depending on the email provider and filtering settings the user has set.
Promotional filtering – then, even if your mail doesn’t go into spam, Gmail introduced the promotional folder last year that filters out a ton of additional emails. I’ve noticed a lot of important email goes into that folder, but it can be easy to overlook.
Getting people to click on your emails – the chances of your email getting seen are a lot greater than social posts, but you still have the challenge of getting people to be interested enough to click and find out what you have to say. People get a lot of email, and it’s very easy to ignore or get buried if the title doesn’t grab their attention.
Not being overly “salesy”– You need to find the right balance of communicating, helping and selling. Obviously the point of an email list is to make more money, but you can’t just blast your customers with sale after sale. If they get the impression you’re just trying to sell
Is it worth it to start an email campaign for your business?
At some point along the way, any business can benefit from an email marketing campaign. Despite the rumors, email marketing still outperforms social marketing methods by a substantial amount even going into 2016, and probably will for a long time to come.
At the end of the day, it’s always better to diversify your marketing efforts. Growing a database of repeat customers can help to substantially boost your income, as it’s much easier to sell to an existing customer than a brand new one. Just remember the importance of having targeted traffic before you try an email list, because the type of people you drive to your list is crucial.
If you can accomplish that, you have the foundation to grow a very successful and profitable email list.
If you are considering starting an email list there are many companies out there that provide affordable and quality services. I like to recommend Aweber or GetResponse. They’re both great companies that can be used for any size business, and both of them offer 30 day free trials.
Test GetResponse free for 30 days (you don’t even need a credit card)
If you have any personal experience with email marketing, please drop your story/results in the comments down below. Have you found it still useful for your marketing efforts going forward?