With the rise of social media and content marketing for business, it’s no surprise that many professionals have their doubts about email marketing. Isn’t it outdated? Who would want to spend more time reading emails? After all, half our work days dissolve into a balancing act of deleting and responding to emails.
And yet, as an aspiring writer, I am subscribed to 10+ authors on my personal email. And I’ve noticed that the ones with a massive subscriber list are the ones who provide the most value, whether killer eBooks or free courses. In the same way that authors and bloggers build this following through email, your business can harness the power of email marketing. Think of it less as a readership than a “user-ship”: once the word gets out on your free email resources, readers will become users of your product or service.
Here are some key reasons why clients will invest in email updates from you:
- Email marketing is personal. While social media is great for building brand awareness and connection with your audience, email marketing is even better for personal connection. Even though your subscribers know that your same email is sent out to hundreds or thousands of other followers, they will feel more involved in your work. When you show up on their Twitter or Facebook feed, you’re just one more post in a series of others from competing businesses and companies.
- Email marketing is direct. It’s an investment in your core clientele. You are in control of the content sent to every inbox, and your subscribers are trusting you to use that power responsibly. If you make it worth their time, you’ll stay at the forefront of their minds.
- Email marketing is valuable. If you can offer enough value to your readers through an email list, they will happily sacrifice the precious space in their inbox. Be consistent and be thoughtful.
- Email marketing is measurable. Email subscription services like MailChimp and Aweber usually provide options to track and report your stats. How many subscribers opened each email? How many then followed the links within the email? Etc. At Michigan Creative, we prefer an email marketing automation system called Sharp Spring to give us extensive real-time feedback on the effectiveness of our emails.
So now you’re interested and may be asking yourself, “How do I get these subscribers in the first place?”. Here are four more pointers for keeping email in your marketing plan:
- Start with your biggest fans. These can be recent or long-standing. They’re the ones you can count on them to open every email, check out every offer, and be your advocate. If you lose your core fan base, you lose the potential for future fans. Treat them like royalty.
- Make an offer they can’t refuse. On the sidebar of each page for your website, include the sign-up bar with a short message about what’s in it for the client if he or she subscribes. And besides telling your customers that the emails will provide valuable information, why not offer a reward for signing up? Print-off coupons, eBooks, discount codes, and freebies all fit into this category.
- Provide subscriber options. Different readers prefer different subscription options: daily, weekly, or monthly digests. Whichever options you can provide, make sure that the appropriate amount of information is shared for each digest. A monthly digest should include enough resources and updates to satisfy the reader until next month.
- Share, don’t just sell. Your 80/20 rule for social media applies to email, too: save 20% of your content for marketing yourself, and the remaining 80% should be shared informational or entertaining content. We’ve all seen the marketers who show up on Facebook or Twitter only to announce that they’ve arrived . . . Don’t be that guy.
For more marketing tips from Michigan Creative, keep coming back to the blog! And please do follow us on Facebook and Twitter. For more information on how you can use SharpSpring marketing automation for your email list, visit our marketing automation page.